European Close Market Briefing – 18/05/2017 – by Arjun Lakhanpal

May 18, 2017 by

In European Equity Markets stocks fell to two-week lows on Thursday as political upheaval in Washington D.C. continued to weigh, though deal-making activity and earnings updates kept the region’s outperformance against global peers intact. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.9 percent, while Germany’s DAX retreated 0.8 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 1.3 percent, extending Wednesday’s losses after reports that U.S. President Donald Trump had interfered with an FBI probe, following a week of tumult at the White House. Shares in Italy’s Fiat Chrysler were weaker after the U.S. Justice Department said that it was preparing to sue the carmaker over excess diesel emissions as early as this week.

In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar reversed early losses against a basket of major currencies on Thursday after stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data put the focus back on a widely anticipated increase in overnight interest rates by the Federal Reserve. The yen, which saw its biggest daily gain against the dollar since July on Wednesday, had touched a more than three week high. The dollar was last up 0.3 percent to 111.15 yen. The euro fell 0.45 percent against the dollar to $1.1105. The Brazilian real fell more than 7 percent on news President Michel Temer was recorded discussing payments to silence testimony by a potential witness in a wide-ranging corruption probe known as Lava Jato, or Car Wash.

In Commodities Markets oil prices rose on Thursday in a volatile session on growing signs that key oil producers will adhere to production cuts at next week’s OPEC meeting amidst a persistent global glut. Brent crude rose 30 cents a barrel to $52.51. U.S. crude oil rose 30 cents to $49.37. Both crude oil benchmarks rose on Wednesday after news of a drawdown in U.S. crude inventories and a decrease in U.S. output. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said inventories fell 1.8 million barrels in the week to May 12 to 520.8 million barrels.  Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,258.75 an ounce, having touched its highest since May 1 at $1,265.04. Silver fell by 0.6 percent to $16.75 an ounce.

In US Equity Markets  stocks rose as upbeat economic data emboldened investors to return to the market on Thursday, a day after Wall Street suffered its worst selloff in eight months following a political crisis involving President Donald Trump. the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 45.66 points, or 0.22 percent, at 20,652.59, the S&P 500 was up 8.1 points, or 0.34 percent, at 2,365.13 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 38.40 points, or 0.64 percent, at 6,049.63.  Cisco lost 7.5 percent after the networking gear maker forecast current-quarter revenue that came in below analysts’ estimates. Wal-Mart was up 2.2 percent after the big-box retailer’s quarterly earnings beat analysts’ expectations.

In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell on Thursday as investors worried that allegations against U.S. President Donald Trump would divert lawmakers from tax cuts and fiscal spending that they had hoped would boost growth. Benchmark 10-year notes were last down 1/32 in price to yield 2.26 percent, up from 2.22 percent late on Wednesday. Germany’s benchmark 10-year government bond yield was down 2 basis points at 0.36 percent, a two-week low.