European Close Market Briefing – 21/08/2017 – by Arjun Lakhanpal

August 21, 2017 by

In European Equity Markets stocks fell further on Monday as geopolitical jitters trickled over from Asia, though gains in carmaker Fiat Chrysler and Danish shipping firm Maersk helped limit losses. The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.5 percent, with euro zone blue-chips down 0.5 to 0.7 percent. The risk-off move in Europe hit banks the hardest, down 0.9 percent with Deutsche Bank and French lenders Societe Generale, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole among top losers.  Fiat Chrysler shares rose 6.9 percent to a 19-year high after Great Wall said it was interested in the Italian-American automaker, confirming reports it is pursuing all or part of the owner of the Jeep and Ram truck brands. Maersk gained 2.9 percent after the firm agreed to sell Maersk Oil to French oil major Total for $7.45 billion.

In Currency Markets the dollar fell on Monday, especially against the yen, hurt by geopolitical tension in North Korea and as investors braced for the annual central banking conference in Jackson Hole this week where the world’s top central bankers may signal their next policy actions. In late morning trading, the dollar fell 0.4 percent against the yen to 108.73 yen. The euro, on the other hand, rebounded from the day’s low to trade up 0.3 percent at $1.1796. The Australian and New Zealand dollars turned higher, with Aussie up 0.15 percent at $0.7943 and with Kiwi gaining 0.33 percent to $0.7334. The dollar index was down 0.39 percent at 93.00, the lowest since August 14.

In Commodities Markets oil prices fell nearly 2 percent on Monday, pulling back from last week’s rally built on signs the global market is starting to rebalance from chronic oversupply. Brent crude futures lost 2 percent at $51.65 a barrel, after rising more than 3 percent on Friday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 1.9 percent to $47.63 a barrel. Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,288.90 an ounce, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were 0.2 percent higher at $1,294.40 an ounce. In other precious metals, silver was up 0.9 percent at $17.08 an ounce. Platinum was 0.5 percent higher at $979.74. Autocatalyst metal palladium was 0.9 percent higher at $931.58 an ounce.

In US Equity Markets stocks  edged lower in late morning trading on Monday, led by technology and financial stocks, with caution prevailing amid concerns over the recent turmoil in the White House and simmering tensions between the United States and North Korea. The Dow was down 0.1 percent, at 21,652.11 and the S&P 500 was down 0.07 percent, at 2,423.76. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.39 percent, at 6,192.23. Apple’s 0.6 percent decrease weighed the most on the S&P and the Nasdaq, while Nike’s 2.62 percent slide dragged the most on the Dow. Jefferies cut its rating and price target on Nike. Herbalife was up 10.88 percent after the nutritional supplement maker said it would buy back $600 million of shares after ending talks to be taken private.

In Bond Markets U.S. Treasuries were steady on Monday as investors awaited speeches by top central bankers later this week for further signals about monetary policy. Benchmark 10-year notes were last up 2/32 in price to yield 2.19 percent, little changed from on Friday. Weakness in stock markets supported sentiment towards safe-haven debt markets, with Germany’s 10-year government bond briefly falling to a one-week low at 0.39 percent.  The yield on Greece’s 10-year government bond fell 5 basis points in early trade to 5.58 percent before trading flat as the session wore on.