In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 1.3 percent higher, with all sectors and major bourses in positive territory. The index hit its highest level since Dec. 3. Britain’s FTSE 100 outperformed most of its peers, rising 2 percent as sterling hit a 2-week low against the dollar. European construction and material stocks led the gains, up over 2 percent amid earnings news. Shares of Assa Abloy jumped 7 percent — among the best performers in the Stoxx 600 — after the Swedish lock manufacturer reported stronger-than-expected sales growth and a rise in fourth-quarter profit.
In Currency Markets the British pound accelerated its losses against the dollar and the euro on Tuesday on the back of renewed selling pressure after the currency fell below a key market level following weak data. Against the dollar, the pound fell half a percent at $1.2961. It also fell by a similar margin against the euro at 88.18 pence. The U.S. dollar edged higher against a basket of major currencies on Tuesday as investors awaited President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address for a possible update on the U.S.-China trade war. The dollar index was up 0.19 percent at 96.034.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell on Tuesday, a day after data showing a decline in U.S. factory orders dragged both benchmarks down from 2019 highs. Despite the slide, investors expect U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and production cuts led by OPEC to head off a glut this year, buoying prices. U.S. crude futures were down 50 cents, or 0.9 percent, at $54.06 a barrel. They touched their highest in more than two months at $55.75 the previous day. Brent crude futures were down 46 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $62.05 a barrel, off a high of $63.63.
In US Equity Markets technology and consumer discretionary stocks pushed indices higher on Tuesday, as upbeat results from Estée Lauder and Ralph Lauren fueled earnings optimism, ahead of the highly awaited State of the Union address by President Donald Trump. Leading gains on the S&P 500 was cosmetics maker Estée Lauder Cos Inc which jumped 13.1 percent, followed by luxury fashion group Ralph Lauren Corp up 10.4 percent, after both their quarterly reports exceeded expectations. The S&P 500 was up 0.33 percent, at 2,733.87 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.64 percent, at 7,394.91.
In Bond Markets long-dated Italian government bond yields rose to 2-1/2 week highs on Tuesday after the government announced it would sell a new 30-year syndicated bond. The yield on Italy’s 30-year bond rose nine basis points after the announcement to 3.66 percent, its highest since Jan. 17. Germany’s 10-year government bond yield was last down 1.4 basis points on the day at 0.167 percent, having hit a high of 0.206 percent after the release of better than expected euro zone data.