In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 ended trade 0.2 percent lower on Tuesday. While the French and German bourses closed below the flat line, the U.K. FTSE was up 0.7 percent. Autos and technology were the two top performing sectors, both finishing up by around half a percent. Meanwhile, healthcare stocks were the worst performing in Europe, dragged down by H. Lundbeck. The Danish pharmaceutical company foundered at the bottom of the Stoxx 600, closing over 14 percent lower.
In Currency Markets the pound fell on Wednesday, skidding to its lowest levels against the dollar and euro in almost a year as markets ramped up bets on Britain leaving the EU without an agreement with Brussels on their future relationship. London-based traders reported a significant increase in investors hedging against a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. Sterling fell half a percent versus the euro to 90.175 pence. The pound fell to as low as $1.2859 against the dollar. The pound has fallen 10.6 percent since mid-April versus the greenback
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell on Wednesday as a trade dispute between the United States and China escalated further and after Chinese import data showed a slowdown in demand. Brent crude futures fell $1.88 to $72.77 a barrel, a 2.5 percent loss. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $1.85 to $67.32 a barrel, a 2.7 percent loss. Crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels in the last week, the EIA data showed, compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 3.3 million barrels.
In US Equity Markets stocks were slightly lower on Wednesday as a decline in crude oil prices pressured energy shares, offsetting gains in technology and bank stocks. The S&P 500 was up 0.05 percent, at 2,859.76 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.11 percent, at 7,892.37. CVS Health rose 3.9 percent after it beat analysts’ estimates for adjusted quarterly profit as it sold more prescription drugs at its stores. Mylan fell 2.8 percent after the drug-maker said it was evaluating a wide range of options and reported a quarterly profit that missed estimates.
In Bond Markets Italy’s two-year bond yield rose sharply late on Wednesday, with analysts citing reported comments by Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio that tough tactics would be applied in budget talks with the European Union as a trigger for the move. Two-year Italian government bond yields were up almost 8 basis points at 0.99 pct, having reversed falls made earlier in the day after reassuring comments on the budget talks from Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.