European Close Market Briefing – 24/08/2017 – by Arjun Lakhanpal

August 25, 2017 by

In European Equity Markets gains by cyclical sectors helped push stocks higher on Thursday while heavy losses in Dixons Carphone  after a profit warning dominated trading. The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.2 percent at its close, in line with euro zone stocks and blue chips. Dixons Carphone shares lost as much as 29 percent after the mobile phone retailer downgraded expectations for full-year profit, reflecting tougher conditions in the mobile market as customers hold on to handsets for longer. British sub-prime lender Provident Financial added to a recovery from its sharp falls earlier in the week, jumping 13.2 percent.

In Currency Markets the dollar edged higher on Thursday after another politically driven slide against the euro and yen in the previous session, as investors shifted focus away from government tension in Washington to an upcoming global central bankers’ gathering. In mid-morning trading, the dollar rose 0.2 percent to 109.22 yen and 0.1 percent to 93.231 against a basket of six major currencies used to measure its broader strength. The single euro zone currency was last down 0.1 percent at $1.1795. The Australian and New Zealand dollars remained weaker, with Aussie down 0.09 percent at $0.7897 and with Kiwi shedding 0.16 percent to $0.7213.

In Commodities Markets oil prices fell nearly 3 percent on Thursday amid concerns over demand as U.S. Gulf Coast refineries shut operations as Tropical Storm Harvey was forecast to turn into a major hurricane. U.S. crude futures lost 2.6 percent, to $47.14 a barrel and Brent crude fell 89 cents a barrel, or 1.7 percent, to $51.68.  Gold prices drifted lower on Thursday, pressured by a firmer dollar as investors awaited signals on interest rates from central bankers meeting in Jackson Hole. Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,288.91 an ounce, after gaining 0.4 percent in the previous session. Silver fell 0.3 percent to $16.97 an ounce, while platinum rose 0.5 percent to $980.70 an ounce. Palladium added 0.2 percent to $934.40.

In US Equity Markets  stocks struggled for direction late on Thursday morning, as investors remained cautious ahead of the kickoff of the annual gathering of central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1 percent, at 21,834.42 and the S&P 500 was up 0.06 percent, at 2,445.54. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.01 percent, at 6,279.21. Among stocks, Dollar Tree’s 8.4 percent rise, after a strong quarterly report, gave the biggest boost to the S&P and the Nasdaq. Signet Jewelers rose about 23 percent after the company issued its results and said it would buy an online jeweler.

In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields edged higher on Thursday in light volumes as investors waited on central bank speeches in Jackson Hole on Friday for any new indications on monetary policy. Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 4/32 in price to yield 2.1851 percent, from 2.171 percent late on Wednesday. German bond yields were pinned near eight-week lows. German 10-year bond yields were a tad higher at 0.38 percent, having briefly touched a fresh eight-week low of 0.37 percent.