In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 ended flat on Monday with sectors pointing in opposite directions. Oil and gas stocks struggled, down more than 1%. Meanwhile, Europe’s banking index was one of the few sectoral gainers, up around 0.5%. Germany’s Bayer fell toward the bottom of the European benchmark. On Saturday, the firm’s supervisory board said it stands behind the management after a majority of shareholders refused to ratify management’s actions in 2018. Shares of Bayer fell over 3.5%.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar was marginally higher against a basket of currencies on Monday, hovering near a 23-month high, as traders await more data to convince them whether to add to their bullish positions in the greenback. Most major currencies held in tight ranges on light trading volume as Japan began its extended Golden Week holiday. The euro was 0.08% higher at $1.1157, while the dollar was up 0.31% at 111.85 yen. Traders await clues on the Fed’s global economic outlook as the central bank’s policymaking board meets on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In Commodities Markets oil prices steadied on Monday, after a weeks-long rally was halted on Friday when the market tumbled after U.S. President Donald Trump demanded that producer club OPEC raise output to soften the impact of U.S. sanctions against Iran. Brent crude futures rose 5 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $72.207 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures lost 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $63.10. Both benchmarks fell by about 3 percent on Friday after Trump told reporters that he had called OPEC and told the cartel to lower oil prices.
In US Equity Markets stocks edged higher on Monday, as consumer spending rose in March and a benign inflation data underscored the Federal Reserve’s dovish stance on interest rates. The S&P 500 was up 0.12%, at 2,943.41 and the Nasdaq fell 0.18%, at 8,160.77. The defensive utilities and real estate, led the declines among the seven major S&P sectors. Ingersoll-Rand jumped 6.30%, the most among S&P companies, after the Wall Street Journal reported Gardner Denver Holdings Inc is nearing a deal to acquire a unit of the air conditioner maker.
In Bond Markets Spanish government bond yields dipped on Monday after the weekend’s general election in which the Socialists emerged as the strongest party, a result seen by many in the market as pro-European. Spain’s 10- and 30-year bond yields, having fell in the run-up to the vote on the back of pre-election polls, were down about two basis points on Monday. Spain’s bond yield spread over Germany was at its tightest level in nearly two weeks at 100 basis points and well off last week’s highs of 110.6 bps.