Closing​ Market Wrap Dec 21, 2017: ‘ salus in arduis’.

In European Equity Markets financials led stocks higher on Thursday in a reversal of earlier losses after a muted response to the approval by the U.S. Congress of a long-anticipated tax overhaul, while a vote in Catalonia remained in focus.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended the session with a 0.6 percent gain.

Britain’s FTSE hitting a record, up 1.1 percent.

Spain’s IBEX was up 1 percent, shrugging off any jitters over a regional Catalan election in Spain.

Nokia was among the best performers on the STOXX 600, rising 4 percent after announcing a patent agreement with China’s Huawei.

Scandal-hit Steinhoff saw a volatile trading session, ending 0.7 percent higher after falling as much as 17 percent earlier in the session.

In Currency Markets the dollar edged higher on Thursday after two days of losses in light trading, lifted by generally positive U.S. data and a tax overhaul plan that could prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at a faster-than-expected pace.

In mid-morning trading, the dollar was slightly higher against a basket of major currencies at 93.352.

The euro was modestly lower at $1.1864, having gained around 1 percent so far this week, supported by a rise in German bond yields.

The dollar was last little changed at 113.40 yen, as the Bank of Japan left its monetary policy measures unchanged, signaling its attention to continue with its loose monetary policy measures.

In Commodities Markets   oil prices fell on Thursday after the operator of Britain’s Forties pipeline in the North Sea said it was expected to restart in early January after repairs over Christmas.

Forties is the largest of the five North Sea crudes that underpin Brent, a benchmark for oil trading in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Forties North Sea Oil Field

Oil prices have risen since the pipeline was shut on Dec 11. But Brent oil prices fell after the announcement and were down 28 cents at $64.28 per barrel.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $57.69 a barrel, down 40 cents from their last settlement.

Gold futures for February delivery rose by 0.08 percent, to $1,270.60 troy ounce.

In US Equity Markets the main indexes rose on Thursday as investors expected lower corporate tax rates to encourage companies to spend their additional capital on dividends, new projects and wage hikes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.42 percent, at 24,831.15.

TheS&P 500 was up 0.31 percent, at 2,687.47.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.11 percent, at 6,968.96.

Shares of Bed Bath and Beyond fell about 13 percent after the company said comparable sales fell 0.3 percent in the third quarter.

Chevron shares jumped more than 3 percent to a record high of $124.60 after broker Cowen & Co raised price target by nearly a third to $160 on expectations of higher cash flow and improving Permian metrics.

In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields held at lower levels with 10-year yields scaling back from a nine-month peak, providing a respite from a sharp three-day bond market selloff tied to the tax plan.

Bond investors have been concerned that adding fiscal stimulus amid full employment will reinforce the Federal Reserve’s haste with raising interest rates, pushing up short-term yields.

Spain’s 10-year borrowing costs fell 2 basis points to 1.46 percent, down more than 30 basis points from highs seen in the wake of October’s banned independence referendum.



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