In European Equity Markets the STOXX 600 closed up by around 1.2%, Chemicals leading the gains with a 2.54% climb, while autos struggled to make headway, falling 0.6%. Thyssenkrupp was the strongest performer, its stock rising 10.03% on reports that Finland’s Kone is assessing the viability of a bid for the German industrial company’s elevators division. Kone shares traded 4.98% higher. Travel agency Thomas Cook saw losses increase and said political uncertainty would impact its profits this summer. Shares were trading around 15% lower in the afternoon session.
In Currency Markets the pound neared a four-month low on Thursday as Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May battled to keep her Brexit deal, and her premiership, intact amid growing fears of a disorderly departure from the European Union. Sterling has weakened more than 1% this month as cross-party Brexit talks have yielded little and left May vulnerable to a leadership challenge. Sterling was down for the ninth straight session, touching a three-month low of $1.2794 and slipping 0.2% against the euro to 87.4 pence, the lowest since February 19.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose on Thursday for a third day running as fears of supply disruption amid heightened tensions in the Middle East overshadowed swelling U.S. crude inventories. Brent crude futures were up $1.03 at $72.80 a barrel, heading for the biggest weekly rise in about three months. U.S. WTI crude futures were up 83 cents at $62.85. Oil was drawing support from the risk of conflict in the Middle East, with helicopters carrying U.S. staff from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday out of apparent concern over perceived threats from Iran.
In US Equity Markets stock indexes rose 1 percent on Monday and were on pace to extend a two-day winning streak, lifted by better-than-expected earnings from Cisco and Walmart, and robust economic data that underscored the strength of the domestic economy. The S&P 500 was up 1.16%, at 2,884.15 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.28%, at 7,922.61. The Philadelphia Semiconductor index fell 1.61%, dragged down by losses in Huawei suppliers Qualcomm Inc and Broadcom Inc, Xilinx Inc, Skyworks Solutions Inc.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields rose on Thursday morning after three strong economic data reports: homebuilding increased more than expected in April, weekly jobless claims fell and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve index of business conditions gained in May. The two-year yield, which is a proxy for market predictions of Fed policy, rose by 3.7 basis points, last at 2.20%, recovering from a dip Wednesday to 15-month lows. The benchmark 10-year yield was last up 3 basis points at 2.409%.
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