European Close Market Briefing – 23/11/2017 – by Arjun Lakhanpal

November 23, 2017 by

In European Equity Markets the pan-European STOXX 600 index ended flat on Thursday, while euro zone blue chips erased early losses to trade up 0.3 percent after business surveys for the bloc cemented optimism on the economy. Centrica fell 15.5 percent after it lost 823,000 or about 6 percent of its energy customers in four months and full-year earnings missed market estimates. Among the leading European gainers was Altice, jumping 3.9 percent after a report the debt-ridden French telecoms and cable group was looking to sell its telecoms network in the Dominican Republic. Thyssenkrupp reversed early losses to trade up 3.9 percent after demand for elevators helped boost its orders to a five-year high.

In Currency Markets the euro rose for a third consecutive day on Thursday after breaking through a key technical level when a flurry of European business surveys pointed to a strengthening growth outlook for the region. The euro was up 0.2 percent on the day at $1.1850 against the dollar and not far from a one-month high of $1.1862 set last week in a holiday-shortened week. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar fell 0.03 percent to 111.19 after going as low as 111.07 overnight. Sterling fell 0.16 percent to $1.3300. The dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.06 percent to 93.09.

In Commodities Markets  U.S. crude hit a two-year high in thin trade on Thursday as the shutdown of a major crude pipeline from Canada and a draw on fuel inventories pointed to a tightening market, despite rising output from U.S. producers. U.S. crude was up 35 cents at $58.39 per barrel, close to a two-year peak of $58.44 touched earlier in the session. Brent crude traded at $63.40 per barrel, 8 cents above its last close. Trading volumes were thin because of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. Spot gold was 0.1 percent lower at $1,290.82 per ounce. In other precious metals, silver fell 0.2 percent to $17.12 an ounce, platinum fell 0.9 percent to $930.20 an ounce, while palladium was flat at $1,001.95 an ounce.

In U.S., Equity Markets are closed for Thanksgiving holiday.

In Bond Markets  Southern European government bond yields underperformed on Thursday after a flurry of upbeat economic data and with European Central Bank’s October meeting minutes showing some ratesetters wanted a clean end to asset purchases in 2018. On Thursday, the gap between Italian and German 10-year government bond yields widened to 143 basis points, 3 bps wider than in early trades and 7 bps off the tightest levels this month. Germany’s benchmark Bund yield was steady at around 0.36 percent.