European Opening Session – 31/03/2017 – by Arjun Lakhanpal

March 31, 2017 by

In Asian Equity Markets Japanese stocks rose on Friday as upbeat industrial production data and a weak yen supported sentiment, with exporters and tech stocks underpinning the broad market in early trade. The Nikkei index gained 0.5 percent to 19,165.47 in midmorning trade, and is poised for a similar weekly decline. The broader Topix rose 0.7 percent to 1,538.27 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 0.8 percent to 13,755.95.  MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan retreated 0.15 percent, as investors balanced positions on the last day of the month and quarter. China’s CSI 300 index added 0.25 percent, putting it on track for a 4.1 percent quarterly rise.

In Currency Markets the dollar edged up on Friday, poised for weekly gains after solid U.S. economic data contrasted with cooling euro zone inflation, though it was set to book losses in the first quarter amid concerns about the direction of U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies. The euro nursed losses, flat on the day at $1.0675 and down 1.1 percent for the week. It was up 0.9 percent for March, and 1.5 percent for the quarter. Against its Japanese counterpart, the dollar added 0.1 percent to 112.07 yen. Sterling edged up 0.2 percent to $1.2481 on track for a slight gain in a week marked by volatile trading as British Prime Minister Theresa May formally triggered the Brexit process. The dollar index was up 0.2 percent at 100.59.

In Commodities Markets oil prices eased on Friday as traders took profits following three days of straight gains on the expectation that an OPEC-led crude supply cut that was initially supposed to only last for the first half of the year would be extended. Brent crude futures were at $52.70 per barrel, down 26 cents from their last close. In the United States, West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 18 cents at $50.17 a barrel. Spot gold was down 0.2 percent on the day at $1,240.45 per ounce, while spot silver was down 0.2 percent to $18.05 per ounce. Platinum fell 0.1 percent to $941.75 per ounce, after hitting its lowest in just over two weeks at $941.15 earlier in the session. Palladium eased 0.4 percent to $790.50 an ounce.

In US Equity Markets stocks  gained on Thursday, led by financial shares, after data showed U.S. economic growth was stronger than previously reported last quarter, helped by robust consumer spending, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq set a record closing high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.33 percent, to 20,728.49, the S&P 500 gained 0.29 percent, to 2,368.06 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.28 percent, to 5,914.34. Financial stocks rose 1.2 percent, with Bank of America and Citigroup propping up the S&P 500. Lululemon Athletica shares plunged 23.4 percent after the Canadian yoga and leisure apparel retailer said first-quarter comparable sales were expected to fall.

In Bond Markets  Japanese government bond prices fell on Friday tracking a retreat in U.S. Treasuries, with the market bracing for the Bank of Japan’s announcement of its monthly debt-buying plans for April.  The five-year JGB yield rose 1 basis point to minus 0.125 percent and the benchmark 10-year JGB yield was up half a basis point at 0.065 percent. Treasury prices fell on Thursday after the final fourth-quarter U.S. gross domestic product number was revised higher.


Economic Calendar

  • 09:30 GMT+1 UK Current Account
  • 13:30 GMT+1 CAD GDP m/m