Close June 26
In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 0.3% lower, with auto stocks gaining 0.9% while the healthcare sector led losses with a 1.2% fall. British energy company John Wood Group rose 6.6% after keeping its full year outlook unchanged while announcing improved first half performance. German steelmaker Thyssenkrupp, meanwhile, jumped 6.9% after reports of a possible offer from Finnish engineering company Kone. German chemical distributor Brenntag fell 3.6% after reporting that it had sent weapons-grade chemicals to Syria in 2014 despite sanctions.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar rose on Wednesday as traders scaled back expectations of an aggressive interest rate decrease next month after comments from Federal Reserve officials that such a move may not be warranted at this time. The dollar was up 0.45% at 107.660 yen, while the euro was 0.38% higher at 122.34 yen. The greenback was little changed against the euro at $1.1364. The dollar fell last week after policy-makers opened the door to rate cuts in coming months.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose about 3% on Wednesday and hit their highest in about a month, buoyed by U.S. government data that showed a much larger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude inventories as exports hit a record high, and surprise drops in refined product stockpiles. Brent crude futures rose $1.61, or 2.5%, to $66.66 a barrel. U.S. WTI crude futures rose $1.84, or 3.2%, to $59.67 a barrel. Crude inventories fell 12.8 million barrels last week, the EIA said, far surpassing analyst expectations for a decrease of 2.5 million barrels.
In US Equity Markets stocks rose on Wednesday after comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s fueled optimism that the United States and China were close to striking a trade deal, while the tech sector was boosted by chipmaker Micron’s upbeat results. Tech stocks were the biggest gainers among the 11 major S&P sectors, with a 1.53% jump, while the trade-sensitive industrial index rose 0.17%. The S&P 500 was up 0.21%, at 2,923.62. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.83%, at 7,950.27.
In Bond Markets Germany’s 10-year bond yield nudged off record lows on Wednesday as comments from U.S. Federal Reserve officials tempered the market’s most aggressive U.S. rate cut bets. The spotlight also fell on Austria, which priced a five-year bond issue below the ECB’s deposit rate and tapped its ‘century’ bond. Most 10-year euro zone bond yields were up 2-3 basis points on the day, with Germany’s Bund yield at minus 0.306%, off record lows hit Tuesday at almost minus 0.34%.
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