In European Equity Markets stocks fell on Thursday as cyclicals fell and some big stocks went ex-dividend, while earnings from firms including Aegon and Coca Cola HBC sparked significant moves. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.3 percent, while euro zone blue chips lost 0.3 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.8 percent as large caps Anglo American, BT Group, Rio Tinto and Lloyds fell after going ex-dividend, while Germany’s DAX retreated 0.3 percent. Shares in insurer Aegon and soft drinks bottler Coca Cola HBC rose 8.5 percent and 9.4 percent respectively after their updates. Aegon beat expectations for its second quarter underlying pretax profit, while Coca Cola HBC shares hit a record level after first half sales were higher than expected.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar fell to an eight-week low against the Japanese yen on Thursday as continuing tensions between the United States and North Korea led investors to look for assets viewed as less risky. The dollar was down 0.53 percent against the yen at 109.48 yen, after briefly falling as low as 109.53. The euro was 0.18 percent lower against the greenback. The New Zealand dollar was 0.79 lower against the greenback after New Zealand’s central bank said it was slightly more uncomfortable with the high level of the local dollar than it had been in May. The dollar index edged higher after Dudley’s comments and was up 0.03 percent to 93.577.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell on Thursday, on concerns of lingering global oversupply as Russia considered a future output resumption and OPEC boosted its July production numbers. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 0.7 percent to $49.21 a barrel. Brent crude futures were down 0.3 percent to $52.54 a barrel. OPEC said its oil output rose by 173,000 bpd in July to 32.87 million bpd, led by the exempt producers plus top exporter Saudi Arabia, citing figures it collects from secondary sources. The spot gold price was up 0.7 percent at $1,286.07 per ounce, after hitting an earlier high of $1,286.40. Silver rose 1.7 percent to $17.20 an ounce. Platinum gained 1.1 percent to $982.40 per ounce palladium climbed 1.1 percent to $900.85 per ounce.
In US Equity Markets stocks fell sharply on Thursday, with the Dow falling more than 100 points, as lackluster results from retailers Macy’s and Kohl’s added to investor nervousness over escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.5 percent, at 21,938.34, the S&P 500 was down 0.77 percent, at 2,454.90. The Nasdaq Composite was down 1.08 percent, at 6,284.03. Shares of Macy’s lost 8.3 percent and Kohl’s 7.3 percent after the department store operators reported a decrease in quarterly same-store sales that stoked concerns that their turnaround may still be a long way off. The CBOE Volatility Index rose to a near three-month high of 15.36.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury long-dated yields fell to six-week lows on Thursday, pressured by continued tensions between the United States and North Korea as well as weak data that further reduced expectations of an interest rate hike in December. In late morning trading, U.S. 10-year yields fell to 2.216 percent, from 2.242 percent late on Wednesday. U.S. 30-year bond yields also fell, down to 2.801 percent, from Wednesday’s 2.818 percent. Germany’s 10-year bond yield traded at 0.40 percent on Thursday, the lowest since June 29.