In European Equity Markets stocks fell on Thursday as a jump in the bloc’s currency following the European Central Bank’s policy meeting weighed on exporters, while disappointing updates prompted big moves on individual stocks. The pan-European STOXX 600 ended 0.4 percent lower in a choppy session. Europe’s basic resources sector was the biggest faller, down 1.9 percent, while export-heavy aerospace and defense firms and autos also came under pressure. European banks were 0.4 percent weaker, led lower by a 5.2 percent decline in Nordea’s shares. Germany’s Lufthansa led the travel and leisure sector down with a 8.6 percent decrease, while British budget airline easyJet fell nearly 6 percent after cautious comments on the outlook for summer pricing.
In Currency Markets the dollar fell to its lowest in nearly two years against the euro on Thursday after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said policymakers would discuss possible changes to its bond-buying scheme in the autumn. The euro climbed as high as $1.1655 against the greenback after Draghi spoke, putting it up about 1.2 percent on the day and marking its highest level since August 2015. The dollar fell about 0.3 percent against the yen to a session low of 111.63 yen. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, hit a session low of 94.090, marking its lowest level in nearly a year.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell on Thursday in choppy U.S. trading, as nagging worries about abundant global crude supplies dragged prices lower after an early rally pushed Brent above $50 per barrel for the first time since early June. Brent futures stood at $49.47 a barrel, down 21 cents. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 19 cents to $46.93 a barrel. U.S. crude inventoriesfell by 4.7 million barrels in the week to July 14, according to the Energy Information Administration, more than forecast. Gasoline stocks fell by 4.7 million barrels, exceeding expectations, while distillate stocks also fell.
In US Equity Markets stocks traded little changed in late morning session on Thursday, struggling to hold on to the record highs on the S&P and the Nasdaq, weighed by a decrease in consumer discretionary stocks and disappointing earnings by some big names. The Dow fell 0.05 percent, at 21,629.11, the S&P 500 was up 0.03 percent, at 2,474.75. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.04 percent, at 6,382.38. Home Depot fell 4.1 percent, shaving off 45 points off the Dow and weighing the most on the S&P 500. Sears rose 20 percent after the retailer said it would sell its Kenmore home appliances on Amazon.com and integrate the brand’s smart gadgets with the online giant’s Alexa digital assistant. Qualcomm fell 4.7 percent after the chipmaker’s forecast missed estimates.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields held close to their session lows on Thursday, as jobless claims hitting a near five-month trough last week were offset by a regional business gauge from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve falling to an eight-month low. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was 2.261 percent, down 0.6 basis point from late on Wednesday, while the 30-year bond yield was 2.838 percent, down 0.7 basis point from Wednesday’s close.