In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the session up 0.12 percent, with sectors and major bourses in mixed territory. Basic resources were the worst performers, down by more than 2 percent, on the back of renewed trade worries and fresh data. In earnings news, Adecco fell 3 percent after reporting its fourth-quarter results. Zalando rose to the top of the index, up 23 percent, after announcing that it expects solid growth this year. The French retailer Carrefour also jumped 2.5 percent after increasing its savings goals.
In Currency Markets the pound edged lower on Thursday after this week’s run as investors booked profits and assessed the continued uncertainty about when Britain will exit the European Union and on what terms. The British currency fell 0.2 percent to $1.3286. The losses were of a similar magnitude versus the euro, with sterling 0.2 percent lower at 85.595 pence. Sterling touched its highest since September, $1.3351 versus the dollar, on Wednesday and a 21-month high of 85.295 pence per euro. It is up more than 4 percent against both currencies so far in 2019.
In Commodities Markets benchmark Brent oil fell while U.S. crude futures steadied on Thursday as U.S.-China trade tensions persisted, the Chinese and Indian economies showed signs of slowing and news of surging U.S. production undermined OPEC-led output curbs. Brent was down 43 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $65.96 a barrel. U.S. WTI crude rose 12 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $57.06. Factory activity in China, the world’s biggest oil importer, shrank for a third month in February as export orders fell at the fastest pace since the financial crisis a decade ago.
In US Equity Markets stocks edged lower on Thursday, weighed down by weak earnings from a handful of companies and after a U.S.-North Korea summit ended abruptly without a deal. Booking Holdings Inc fell 9.8 percent after the online travel services provider missed quarterly earnings expectations. The company weighed the most on the consumer discretionary sector, which dropped 0.86 percent and was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 index. The S&P 500 was down 0.26 percent, at 2,785.16 and the Nasdaq Composite declined 0.44 percent, at 7,521.06.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields rose on Thursday after the Commerce Department reported that the American economy slowed less than expected in the fourth quarter. Yields across maturities ticked up, with the biggest gains recorded in the middle of the yield curve. The benchmark 10-year government yield, a proxy for market sentiment about the overall health of the economy, rose 1.5 basis points, last at 2.708 percent. Two-year yields, which reflect market expectations of Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes, rose by 2.8 basis points.
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