In European Equity Markets stocks closed mostly lower on Tuesday, with lingering worries about the crisis in Syria and the hotly contested French election creating a cloud over sentiment. The Stoxx Europe 600 index ended down 0.02 percent at 381.18, paring earlier losses. Losses were led by Dialog Semiconductor, which lost 14 percent after a German broker said the company risks losing business from Apple. French rail equipment maker Alstom fell 2.7 percent on reports that rivals Siemens and Bombardier were in talks to combine their rail operations. Banking stocks fell 0.7 percent, with Banco Popular the biggest loser, down 9.7 percent and hitting fresh record lows.
In Currency Markets the dollar fell broadly on Tuesday as geopolitical risk and declining U.S. Treasury yields pushed traders out of the greenback. The yen rose as much as 0.6 percent to 110.21 yen against the dollar in early North American trading. The dollar was last trading at 110.31 yen. The euro also fell against the yen as investors weighed the possibility of a face-off between far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who has increased in polls recently. The euro traded at $1.0612, up 0.14 percent. Sterling added 0.55 percent to $1.2483. The dollar index, which gauges the U.S. currency against a basket of six major peers, was off 0.25 percent on the day at 100.75.
In Commodities Markets crude oil turned positive on Tuesday, reversing course on reports that Saudi Arabia has told OPEC officials it wants to continue OPEC cuts for an additional six months. U.S. West Texas Intermediate rose by 11 cents to $53.19 a barrel, after touching a five-week high of $53.37. Brent crude was down 5 cents from its previous close at $55.93 per barrel. Spot gold was up 0.9 percent to $1,265.47 per ounce. Spot silver was flat at $17.91 an ounce after marking its lowest in more than two weeks at $17.71 in the previous session. Platinum rose 0.5 percent to $940.25 an ounce. Palladium lost 0.2 percent to $799.45 after touching its weakest in more than a week at $784.72 in the previous session.
In US Equity Markets stocks extended losses on Tuesday, setting up for their worst day in three weeks in a broad decline as mounting geopolitical tensions drove investors to safe-haven assets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.46 percent, at 20,562.88, the S&P 500 was down 0.68 percent, at 2,341.12 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.93 percent, at 5,826.12. Ten of the eleven major S&P 500 sectors were lower. Technology was the biggest loser, with a 1.1 percent decline, pulled down by Apple. The financials sector was the second-biggest loser, down 0.93 percent, weighed down by Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Walt Disney rose 0.5 percent after being added to Goldman Sachs’ conviction list.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell on Tuesday for a second straight day as anxiety about possible U.S. military strikes against Syria and North Korea and the outcome of the French presidential election spurred safe-haven demand for U.S. government debt. Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were down 5 basis points at 2.312 percent in late morning trading on Tuesday.