In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.7 percent, with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory. Europe’s autos sector, which has been the most sensitive to trade war fears in recent months, led the losses, down almost 2.5 percent Tuesday. France’s Faurecia was the worst sector performer, with shares down 6.6 percent after Jefferies cut its target price for the stock. One in four automobiles is equipped by parts made by Faurecia.
In Currency Markets Sterling steadied on Tuesday after a senior European Union legal adviser said Britain could unilaterally withdraw its Brexit notice, easing some concern among investors about Britain crashing out of the bloc in March without a deal. The pound had spiked to a day’s high of $1.2840 versus a broadly weak dollar before relinquishing its gains to trade flat at $1.2734. Against the euro it rose 0.1 percent to 89.17 pence.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose on Tuesday, extending gains ahead of expected output cuts by producer cartel OPEC and a reduction in Canadian supply. Brent crude oil jumped by $1.89 or 3 percent to a high of $63.58 before slipping back to trade around $62.25, up 56 cents. U.S. light crude was last up 20 cents at $53.15 after earlier gaining more than 3 percent to an intraday high of $54.55 a barrel.
In US Equity Markets stocks fell on Tuesday, as skepticism over chances of a breakthrough in the U.S.-China trade talks weighed on industrial and technology companies. The S&P 500 was down 0.53 percent, at 2,775.57 and the Nasdaq Composite declined 0.62 percent, at 7,395.34. Toll Brothers Inc fell 8.3 percent after the luxury home builder reported its first fall in quarterly orders in more than four years on rising interest rates and higher home prices.
In Bond Markets the gap between Germany’s two-year and 10-year bond yields tightened to its narrowest in 17 months on Tuesday, after parts of the U.S. Treasury yield curve inverted overnight as optimism over the U.S.-China trade agreement faded. Germany’s 10-year bond yield fell to its lowest in four and a half months at 0.265 percent and was last down 4 bps on the day.