In European Equity Markets stocks struggled to find direction on Wednesday, making slight gains as strength in oil and basic resource stocks outweighed weaker autos and healthcare sectors. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.2 percent. Autos stocks were again the worst-performing sector, down 0.5 percent. Danish business support services firm ISS was a top gainer, up 2.9 percent after saying it would buy U.S. catering firm Guckenheimer for 1.5 billion Danish crowns ($222.3 million). Oil services groups Wood Group and Amec Foster Wheeler were up 2.8 and 2.5 percent respectively, after Wood Group said it expected about 36 percent more cost savings from its deal to buy Amec for 2.2 billion pounds ($2.7 billion).
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar gained against the yen on Wednesday for the first time in four days after a report showed U.S. private sector employers created more jobs than expected in March, suggesting a stable labour market and supporting forecasts for at least two more interest-rate hikes this year In midmorning trading, the dollar rose 0.6 percent to 111.39 yen. The euro, meanwhile, was down 0.1 percent to $1.0659. The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a trade-weighted basket of six peers, was up slightly at 100.63, but anxiety about the U.S.-China meeting and a risk-averse mood this week kept it from further gains.
In Commodities Markets oil prices eased from one-month highs on Wednesday, as support from an outage at the largest UK North Sea oilfield was offset by a surprise increase in U.S. crude inventories to a record high limited price gains. Crude inventories rose 1.6 million barrels in week ending March 31, compared with expectations for a decrease of 435,000 barrels. Global benchmark Brent crude was up 31 cents at $54.48 a barrel. U.S. crude rose 23 cents to $51.26. Spot gold was down 0.8 percent at $1,245.63 an ounce. Spot silver was down 0.4 percent at $18.20 an ounce. Platinum advanced 0.1 percent to $959.60 an ounce, while palladium was up 1.1 percent at $813.50.
In US Equity Markets stocks rose on Wednesday after solid private employment data underscored the strength of the economy, boosting financial stocks and helping calm investor jitters over President Donald Trump’s ability to deliver on his policy plans. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.71 percent, at 20,836.92, the S&P 500 was up 0.56 percent, at 2,373.26 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.44 percent, at 5,924.41. Walgreens fell 1.6 percent and weighed the most on the S&P after the drugstore chain operator reported a surprise decrease in quarterly sales. Panera Bread jumped 14 percent to $312.16 after JAB Holdings said it would buy the bakery chain for $7.16 billion.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields edged higher on Wednesday after stronger-than-expected U.S. private payrolls data boosted expectations of a robust jobs report on Friday and possibly a faster pace of interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve. U.S. 10-year Treasury notes were last down 3/32 in price to yield 2.362 percent. The two-year was roughly flat in price to yield 1.254 percent, while 30-year yields were last at about 3 percent from 2.992 percent late on Tuesday.