In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up by around 0.5 percent, with most sectors in positive territory. Auto stocks led the gains on the back of earnings and optimism over U.S.-China trade talks. Michelin was the top performing stock across Europe, up by 13 percent, after giving a strong outlook for 2019. Randstad rose 4.7 percent after reporting its fourth-quarter results which beat market expectations. Meanwhile, British travel and tourism firm Tui fell over 6 percent after reporting a widening loss for its first quarter.
In Currency Markets the British currency rose off three-week lows against the dollar on Tuesday as Prime Minister Theresa May said the government would seek to speed up ratification of its Brexit withdrawal deal with the European Union if time gets too tight. The pound rose 0.2 percent to $1.2876, its weakest since Jan. 21. Versus the euro, sterling held its own and was unchanged on the day at 87.695 pence per euro. Time is running out for May to persuade the EU to amend the Brexit deal and then get British lawmakers to approve it, before Britain is scheduled to leave the bloc on March 29.
In Commodities Markets oil prices gained nearly 3 percent on Tuesday, supported by OPEC-led production cuts, which Saudi Arabia said it would surpass by more than half a million barrels per day (bpd), and by U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela. Brent crude futures were up $1.65, or 2.7 percent, at $63.16 a barrel . U.S. WTI crude oil futures also gained 2.7 percent, rising by $1.40 to $53.81. Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter and de facto leader of OPEC, said it would reduce crude production to about 9.8 million bpd in March, over half a million bpd more than it had originally pledged.
In US Equity Markets indices rose over 1 percent on Tuesday, in a broad-based rally fueled by a tentative deal reached by American lawmakers to avoid another partial government shutdown and hopes that the U.S.-China trade talks could result in an agreement. The S&P 500 rose 1.09 percent, at 2,739.33 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.32 percent, at 7,404.68. Cosmetics maker Coty Inc jumped 14.4 percent, the most on the S&P, after German conglomerate JAB Holding Co said it planned to hike its stake.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields rose on Tuesday after lawmakers reached a tentative pact to avert another government shutdown, and as investors focused on inflation data expected on Wednesday for further signals about interest rate policy. Benchmark 10-year yields have fallen from 2.799 percent on Jan. 18 and are down from a seven-year high of 3.261 percent in October as investors price in a far more dovish Fed. The yields bounced off technical support at around 2.62 percent on Friday. On Tuesday, the notes fell 5/32 in price to yield 2.677 percent.
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