In European Equity Markets stocks recovered most of their earlier “risk-off” losses on Wednesday, with an easing euro and a positive open on Wall Street offsetting falls in richly valued tech stocks. The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended down 0.1 percent after losing as much as 1 percent before consumer staples and other defensive stocks outbalanced struggling financial shares. Shares in chipmakers STMicro, AMS and Infineon fell 3.7 percent, 5.9 percent and 1.5 percent. Other top fallers included UK’s Saga, down 21.4 percent to an all-time low after a profit warning, Elior Group , down 7 percent following results, and Hays, down 3.8 percent after a downgrade to “sell” at Deutsche Bank.
In Currency Markets the dollar edged higher against a basket of major currencies on Wednesday, on optimism about progress on U.S. tax legislation and lawmakers’ efforts to avert a U.S. government shutdown on Saturday. The dollar was 0.36 percent lower against the Japanese yen. Sterling extended an earlier decline to hit a one-week low after the Sun newspaper’s political editor said on Twitter a Brexit deal is unlikely this week. Sterling was 0.42 percent lower against the dollar at $1.3385. The Canadian dollar hit a three-day low against its U.S. counterpart after the Bank of Canada held interest rates steady. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six rival currencies, was up 0.17 percent at 93.54.
In Commodities Markets oil fell 2 percent on Wednesday after a sharp rise in U.S. inventories of refined fuel suggested demand may be flagging, while U.S. crude production hit another weekly record. Government data showed that U.S. crude stocks fell 5.6 million barrels, more than expected, though that was partially the result of the closure of the Keystone pipeline after a leak in South Dakota in mid-November, which cut flows to Cushing, Oklahoma. Brent crude futures were down 2 percent, at $61.63 a barrel, while U.S. crude futures fell 2.3 percent, to $56.33. Spot gold had inched 0.1 percent lower to $1,264.260 an ounce and silver fell 0.4 percent to $16 an ounce.
In US Equity Markets stocks turned weary in late morning trading on Wednesday, with a slide in energy stocks and Home Depot offsetting gains in technology sector as investors readjust their stock holdings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.12 percent to 24,209.73 and the S&P 500 gained 0.11 percent to 2,632.53. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.17 percent at 6,773.39. Home Depot fell 1.5 percent after gaining about 36 percent this year, following the home improvement chain’s announcement of a $15 billion share repurchase plan. H&R Block rose about 7 percent after the tax preparation service provider reported better-than-expected revenue.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell across the board on Wednesday as risk appetite slid after a global sell-off in equities, with investors looking for the next positive driver to push yields higher. U.S. benchmark 10-year yields were down at 2.329 percent from 2.356 percent late on Tuesday, while the two-year slid to 1.806 percent, from Tuesday’s 1.826 percent. U.S. 30-year yields, meanwhile, fell to three-month lows and were last at 2.714 percent, down from 2.732 percent on Tuesday.