In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up around 0.1%, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory. Travel and leisure stocks were among the out-performers, rising more than 1% following the EU’s offer to push back the U.K.’s departure from the bloc until Oct. 31. EasyJet, Tui and IAG were the top performers in the sector, while easyJet also led the Stoxx 600, rising almost 9%. Luxury brand LVMH rose 4% after the company posted robust first-quarter sales Wednesday evening, with revenues up more than 16%.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar rose on strong producer price and jobless-claims data on Thursday while sterling was weaker after news of a Brexit delay and the euro dinged by Wednesday’s European Central Bank statement. The euro was modestly lower against the dollar after the European Central Bank hinted it was willing to leave interest rates alone amid trade tensions and signs of flagging growth. It was last down 0.04% at $1.1269. Sterling was 0.1 percent lower, last at $1.308 after EU leaders extended the deadline for Britain to leave the European Union.
In Commodities Markets rising U.S. crude stocks dragged oil lower on Thursday but prices continued to find a floor as OPEC-led cuts and free falling Venezuelan output tightened global supplies. International benchmark Brent futures were at $71.38 a barrel, down 35 cents from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were down 48 cents at $64.13 per barrel. U.S. crude inventories rose by 7 million barrels to a 17-month high of 456.6 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
In US Equity Markets stocks fell slightly on Thursday, hit by a declining healthcare shares, but gains in financials ahead of big bank earnings helped limit losses. The S&P 500 was down 0.12%, at 2,884.73 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.19%, at 7,948.86. The S&P healthcare sector fell 0.79%, dragged down by losses of more than 1% in UnitedHealth Group Inc and Merck & Co. The Nasdaq Biotech index fell 1.29%. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc shares fell 7.6% after the home furnishing retailer forecast weak current-quarter profit.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields rose on Thursday after generally solid data on U.S. jobless claims and producer prices that somewhat eased worries about a steep downturn for the U.S. economy. U.S. 10-year note yields rose to 2.498%, up from 2.477% late on Wednesday. U.S. 30-year bonds were also higher, at 2.920% , up from 2.904% on Wednesday. Investors are now looking to the Treasury's auction of $16 billion in U.S. 30-year bonds, with market participants expecting demand to be a little higher than average.