American Round-Up – 20/03/2017 – by Arjun Lakhanpal

March 20, 2017 by

In European Equity Markets stocks hit their highest level in 15 months on Thursday after the Federal Reserve signalled no pick-up in the pace of monetary tightening and centre-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte won elections in the Netherlands. The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended up 0.7 percent at 377.73. Amsterdam’s AEX index hit its highest level in more than nine years, also rising 0.6 percent, while both Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 hit their highest levels since mid-2015. Lufthansa gained 5.2 percent after its results. The German airline reported an improved net debt position and set a brighter outlook, saying it expected profits to fall only slightly despite lower fares and a rising fuel bill.

In Currency Markets the dollar fell to a six-week low against a basket of currencies on Monday, extending weakness from last week, following recent interest-rate guidance from the U.S. Federal Reserve that was less “hawkish” than many had expected. Against the Japanase yen, the dollar fell 0.11 percent to 112.57 yen. The euro was up 0.12 percent to $1.0751, holding below Friday’s six-week high of $1.0781. The pound, which had been up as much as a third of a percent against the dollar in London morning trade, reversed course, falling as low as $1.2368 following the statement, down 0.2 percent on the day. The dollar index was at 100.09, after falling to lows of 99.86 earlier, the weakest level since February 6.

In Commodities Markets  oil prices fell on Monday despite news that OPEC was supportive of extending a six-month deal to cut output as investors continue to grapple with worries about growing U.S. oil output and high inventories. Brent was at $51.67 a barrel, down 9 cents. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rebounded from losses, but were down 43 cents to $48.35 a barrel.  Spot gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,231.45 an ounce after touching $1,235.50, its highest since March 6. U.S. gold futures gained 0.1 percent to $1,231.80. Spot silver rose 0.4 percent to $17.41 an ounce, while platinum was up 0.8 percent at $965.50 and palladium firmed by 0.5 percent to $776.50.

In US Equity Markets  stocks reversed course to trade slightly higher in late morning trading on Monday, helped by a rise in technology stocks including Apple. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.18 percent, at 20,951.53. The S&P 500 was up 0.03 percent, at 2,379.18. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.2 percent, at 5,913.01. Apple rose nearly 1 percent, hitting a new record-high of $141.34, lifting the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index to yet another intraday high. Walt Disney rose 1.1 percent after the media and entertainment company’s “Beauty and the Beast” topped box-office sales. Movado fell 5.70 percent after the watchmaker’s quarterly results missed expectations.

In Bond Markets U.S. Treasuries were steady on Monday before a week that will be dominated by speeches by Federal Reserve officials, with relatively little new data due to provide further clues on economic growth. Benchmark 10-year notes were last up 1/32 in price to yield 2.50 percent, little changed from on Friday.