American Round-Up – 14/03/2017 – by Arjun Lakhanpal

March 14, 2017 by

In European Equity Markets stocks fell on Tuesday on uncertainty ahead of elections in the Netherlands and a U.S. interest rate decision later in the week. After four days of gains, the pan-European STOXX 600 index eased 0.2 percent, weighed down by banks, energy stocks and basic resources. Deal-making speculation was the main driver behind stock moves, with German utility RWE the biggest STOXX gainer, jumping nearly 8 percent after saying that it might cut its stake in networks and renewables unit Innogy to 51 percent. Innogy’s shares also rose 5.7 percent. RWE also reported full-year results and forecasted a higher profit in 2017.

In Currency Markets the dollar rose on Tuesday, bolstered by an expected interest rate increase by the U.S. Federal Reserve this week and helped by political risks in Europe amid Dutch and French elections that have pressured European currencies. The euro, which hit a five-week high on Monday above $1.07 on expectations the European Central Bank is moving towards winding back its stimulus program, fell 0.2 percent to $1.0636 on caution ahead of the Dutch vote. Sterling, meanwhile, fell 0.5 percent to $1.2151. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar was down 0.24 percent to 114.59, off Friday’s seven-week highs of 115.49. The dollar index climbed 0.2 percent to 101.54.

In Commodities Markets  oil prices slid to three-month lows on Tuesday after OPEC reported a rise in global crude stocks and a surprise jump in production from its biggest member, Saudi Arabia, that came despite output curbs by the group.  Brent futures were down 1.7 percent, at $50.46 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 2.2 percent, to $47.32 per barrel. It was on track for its seventh straight daily decline, which would be its longest such streak since January 2016.  Spot gold edged up by 0.1 percent to $1204.53 an ounce as investors took a wait and see approach ahead of the Fed meeting. Silver edged up by 0.2 percent to $16.98 an ounce, platinum fell 0.1 percent to $939.40 and palladium was down 0.2 percent at $747.75.

In US Equity Markets  stocks were lower on Tuesday as oil prices fell and investors focused on the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting, where it is widely expected to raise interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.3 percent, at 20,818.64, the S&P 500 was down 0.49 percent, at 2,361.64. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.59 percent, at 5,840.90. Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the energy index’s 1.5 percent loss leading the decliners. Shares of United Continental, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines were off between 2 and 4 percent. Valeant lost 11.7 percent after billionaire investor William Ackman said his hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital, sold its entire stake in the company.

In Bond Markets  U.S. Treasury yields edged lower on Tuesday, with those on long-dated and benchmark bonds retreating from three-month highs touched overnight as traders neutralized bets on the eve of a Federal Reserve policy decision.  Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes were last up 4/32 in price, with yields falling to 2.593 percent from 2.607 percent late on Monday. U.S. 30-year Treasuries prices were up 9/32. Yields fell to 3.176 percent from 3.192 percent after hitting a three-month high of 3.215 percent overnight. U.S. two-year notes, which are considered most vulnerable to Fed policy, were last roughly flat in price to yield 1.372 percent.