In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 slightly pared early losses but was still down 0.45% by the close. Travel & leisure , autos and chemicals baskets all fell more than 1% to lead losses as almost every sector traded in the red. Jeweler Pandora leaped 11.9% after issuing a muted trading update but confirming its financial guidance for 2019, while Britain’s John Wood Group led the bounce for oil stocks on the back of escalations in the Middle East, climbing 4.2%.
In Currency Markets sterling rebounded on Monday as investors who had sold the currency for safe havens after the United States killed Iran’s top military commander returned to the pound. Analysts said an upward revision to a business survey supported the pound too while the focus for investors now shifts to a parliamentary debate on Brexit legislation on Tuesday. The pound rose 0.7% to as high as $1.3173 on Monday but remains below last week’s $1.32.
In Commodities Markets oil prices jumped by about 1% on Monday, pushing Brent above $70 a barrel, as rhetoric from the United States, Iran and Iraq fanned tensions in the Middle East after a U.S. air strike killed a top Iranian military commander. Brent crude futures jumped to a high of $70.74 a barrel and was at $69.36, up 76 cents from Friday’s settlement. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 54 cents at $63.59 a barrel after touching $64.72, its highest since April.
In US Equity Markets stocks fell for a second session on Monday, led by financial and technology stocks, as escalating tensions between the United States and Iran pushed investors toward safe-haven assets such as gold and government bonds. The S&P 500 was down 0.25%, at 3,226.84. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.25%, at 8,998.02. Shares of Boeing Co fell 1.1%. A Wall Street Journal report said the plane-maker was considering plans to raise more debt to bolster its finances after the grounding of its 737 MAX jet.
In Bond Markets the Treasury yield curve was flatter on Monday morning as heightened tensions between the United States and Iran continued to boost demand for safe-haven assets. Treasury on Monday will auction off $78 billion in new 13- and 26-week bills. On Tuesday, it will sell $38 billion of new three-year notes; on Wednesday, $24 billion of 10-year notes; and on Thursday, $16 billion of 30-year bonds. The short end of the yield curve was higher, with the two-year yield up 1.3 basis points to 1.539%.