In European Equity Markets the muted start to the second quarter continued on Tuesday with stocks ending a choppy session slightly in positive territory as gains in oil-related stocks and miners more than offset weakness in the autos sector. The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended up 0.2 percent, while the resources-heavy FTSE 100 outperformed and was up 0.5 percent. Autos were the biggest sectoral losers, down 0.6 percent, with Schaeffler, Peugeot and Volkswagen leading the sector lower. Figures for U.S. sales of new vehicles in March at major carmakers came in below market expectations while investor worries over the outlook for diesel vehicles has cast a cloud over European auto stocks.
In Currency Markets the safe-haven yen rose to a one-week high against the dollar and a 4-1/2 month peak versus the euro on Tuesday, as investors grew cautious about a possibly contentious meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. In late morning trading, the dollar fell 0.4 percent to 110.49 yen, after earlier sliding to a one-week low of 110.27. The euro fell to a three-week trough earlier and was last at $1.0657, down 0.1 percent. The Aussie hit a three-week low of U$0.7545, having declined steadily over the past two weeks from a four-month high of U$0.7750. The dollar index added 0.15 percent to 100.51.
In Commodities Markets oil prices on Tuesday rose to a near one-month high as expectations of a drawdown in U.S. crude and product inventories outweighed news of higher Libyan production. Brent futures were up 1.7 percent, at $54.03 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 1.4 percent, at $50.94 per barrel. Gold prices hit a one-month high on Tuesday, boosted by a lower dollar after U.S. economic data persuaded investors to reassess the idea of an imminent Fed rate hike. Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,255.9 an ounce. Spot silver rose 0.3 percent to $18.28, having hit a one-month high at $18.412 an ounce. Platinum gained 0.8 percent to $959.0 and palladium added 0.6 percent to $807.2.
In US Equity Markets stocks were slightly lower on Tuesday, weighed down by financial and technology shares, and as investors braced for a potentially tense meeting between President Donald Trump his and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.11 percent, at 20,628.39, the S&P 500 was down 0.20 percent, at 2,354.24 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.13 percent, at 5,886.79. The biggest drag on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq was Nvidia, which fell 4 percent after Pacific Crest downgraded the stock to “underweight” from “sector weight”. The financials index fell 0.39 percent, led by Bank of America. The lender’s stock lost 1.1 percent after a rating cut by Citigroup.
In Bond Markets benchmark U.S. Treasury yields touched their lowest in more than five weeks on Tuesday before edging higher to trade little changed on doubts about the ability of U.S. President Donald Trump to win enactment of fiscal stimulus. U.S. 10-year notes were last up just 3/32 in price to yield 2.337 percent, from a yield of 2.350 percent late Monday. U.S. 30-year bonds were last up 6/32 in price to yield 2.973 percent, from a yield of 2.984 percent late Monday. Two-year notes last yielded 1.246 percent, compared with 1.242 percent late Monday.