European Close Market Briefing – 29/08/2017 – by Arjun Lakhanpal

August 29, 2017 by

In European Equity Markets rising geopolitical tensions and a rising euro sent stocks to their lowest in six months on Tuesday after a missile launch by North Korea sapped Asian markets. The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 1.5 percent, set for its worst daily performance in nearly 14 months and firmly on track to make August its third month of losses in a row. German commercial broadcaster Prosiebensat fell as much as 13 percent after flagging a weaker outlook for advertising in the third quarter, the third cut in advertising guidance this year according to Deutsche Bank analysts. Among the only bright spots were gold miners Randgold Resources and Fresnillo, up 3.1 to 3.8 percent as the price of gold rose to a 9 1/2 month high with investors rushing into safe haven assets.

In Currency Markets the dollar fell to its lowest in more than 2-1/2 years against a basket of major currencies on Tuesday after a North Korea missile launch over Japan prompted repatriation flows into the yen and added to worries about U.S. politics. The dollar was last down 0.5 percent against the Japanese currency at 108.75 yen after falling as much as 0.9 percent earlier to a 4-1/2-month low of 108.28 yen. The dollar touched its lowest in two years against the Swiss franc, another safe-haven currency, at 0.9431 franc. The euro gained as much as 0.8 percent, breaking past the critical $1.20 level to its highest since January 2015, to $1.2069. The dollar index touched its lowest since mid-January 2015, at 91.621.

In Commodities Markets crude prices fell more than 1.5 percent lower on Tuesday as the market grappled with the shutdown of more than 16 percent of refining capacity in the United States after a hurricane ripped through the heart of the country’s oil industry. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude edged down 1.3 percent to $45.95 a barrel. International Brent crude futures were down 0.4 percent to $51.69 a barrel. U.S. gasoline futures were up about 4.8 cents. That was well off the two-year high of $1.7799 per gallon hit the previous day on news of the refinery closures. Spot gold was up 0.6 percent to $1,317.31. Other precious metals, including silver and platinum, also gained.

In US Equity Markets the Dow fell more than 100 points at the open on Tuesday as North Korea’s missile test over Japan prompted President Donald Trump to warn that “all options are on the table”, triggering a flight to safety among investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.46 percent, at 21,708.26, the S&P 500 was down 0.46 percent, at 2,432.81. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.57 percent, at 6,247.33. Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the financial index’s 1.08 percent loss leading the decliners. U.S.-listed shares of gold miners rose, with Kinross Gold rising 2.5 percent and Harmony Gold gaining about 5 percent. Nike fell 2.33 percent after Morgan Stanley cut its price target by $4 to $64.

In Bond Markets benchmark 10-year Treasury yields fell to their lowest since last November on Tuesday on safety buying after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan’s northern Hokkaido island into the sea. Ten-year Treasury yields fell as low as 2.086 percent, the lowest since Nov. 10, two days after Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election, before rising back to 2.10 percent. The yield on Germany’s 10-year government bond , the benchmark for the euro zone region, fell 3 basis points to 0.34 percent, its lowest since June 28.