In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 rose 0.6% having earlier hit a one-month high, with autos jumping almost 3% to lead gains on the back of the expected resumption of U.S.-China trade negotiations. Food and beverages was the worst performing sector, shedding 0.9%. Equinor also saw gains, with shares up 7.5% after the announcement of an early start to its Johan Sverdrup oil field. Clydesdale Bank stock fell more than 21% after making a further provision of £300-£450 million in legacy costs to settle PPI claims.
In Currency Markets the Swedish crown rose strongly on Thursday after the country’s central bank said it still expected to tighten monetary policy around the turn of the year, surprising markets and sparking big gains in the long-suffering currency. After holding its benchmark interest rate unchanged at -0.25% as expected, the Riksbank pointed to high resource utilisation and inflation close to target as indications that the economy would remain strong in the short term, supporting plans to hike later this year or early 2020.
In Commodities Markets oil rose to $61 a barrel on Thursday as hopes of progress in resolving the U.S.-China trade row boosted investor sentiment, although a report showing U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly increased weighed on prices. Crude had gained more than 4% on Wednesday as positive Chinese economic data sparked a wider market rally. On Thursday, China said Beijing and Washington had agreed to hold high-level trade talks in early October. Benchmark Brent crude was up 60 cents at $61.30 a barrel, having earlier fallen to $60.25.
In US Equity Markets indices opened higher for a second straight session on Thursday as Washington and Beijing agreed to hold high-level talks next month. The S&P 500 was higher by 0.78%, at 2,960.60. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.06%, to 8,061.29. Among individual stocks, Slack Technologies fell 14.3% after it projected a larger loss in the third quarter than analysts expect. Goldman Sachs gained 2.2% following a Wall Street Journal report of an exodus of firm partners as recently-installed Chief Executive David Solomon aims to restore exclusivity to the designation.
In Bond Markets a declined gripped euro zone bond markets on Thursday, led by longer-dated bonds, on signs of progress in resolving the U.S.-China trade war and doubts about whether an ECB stimulus package next week can match expectations. Germany’s 10-year bond yield, up 9 bps at -0.59%, was set for its biggest one-day jump in over a year. The 10-year Italian yield rose 10 bps to 0.92%, off Wednesday’s record low of 0.803%. Italy’s 50-year yield echoed other longer-dated bonds, up 20 bps at 2.31%.