Closing Market Wrap 12/19/17: ‘acta non verba’.

In European Equity Markets stocks pulled back on Tuesday in a broadly weaker market as a rally inspired by investor optimism about a tax reform in the United States lost its strength.

Expectations that the long-anticipated U.S. tax bill will pass this week lifted the pan-European STOXX 600 benchmark by as much as 0.2 percent in morning trade. But the index turned lower and accelerated losses in afternoon, ending down 0.4 percent.

Top faller in Europe was Steinhoff,  down 20 percent, after the South African retailer hit by an accounting scandal said it had started to lose credit lines from lenders.

Among the gainers was chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor which rose more than 8 percent after Tsinghua raised its stake in the company further to 9 percent.

In Currency Markets the dollar rose against most currencies on Tuesday, helped by upbeat U.S. housing data, but gains were limited by doubts about the overall impact of a major U.S. tax overhaul plan on the economy. In mid-morning trading, the dollar rose 0.2 percent against the yen to 112.82 yen.

Against the euro, however, the dollar was weaker. The euro was last at $1.1814, up 0.3 percent.

Sterling lost 0.31 percent to 1.3342.

Elsewhere, the Australian and New Zealand dollars fell, with Aussie down 0.12 percent at $0.7653 and with Kiwi falling 0.10 percent to trade at $0.6988.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rallied 0.03 percent to 93.26.

In Commodities Markets  oil edged up towards $64 a barrel on Tuesday, helped by a North Sea pipeline outage, OPEC-led supply cuts and expectations that U.S. crude inventories had fallen for a fifth week.  But rising U.S. output has put a lid on gains. Shale production will rise to a record in January, according to a government forecast published on Monday, as higher prices encourage increased drilling.

Brent crude was up 0.2 percent to $63.54 a barrel.

U.S. crude gained 0.4 percent to $57.41.

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