In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 0.24% higher having jumped between red and black multiple times during a choppy session. Household goods stocks added 0.65% on average and travel and leisure stocks notched a 0.75% gain. Oil and gas sector fell 0.39%. NMC Health’s London-listed shares climbed more than 10% as the Abu Dhabi-based hospital chain gears up for a legal battle with U.S. activist short seller Muddy Waters, which launched an assault on the company’s balance sheet last month.
In Currency Markets the Swiss franc hit its strongest against the euro in almost three years on Tuesday after the United States added Switzerland to its watchlist of currency manipulators. Analysts said the inclusion could discourage the Swiss National Bank (SNB) from intervening to try and limit further appreciation of the franc, although the Swiss finance ministry said it would have no immediate consequences. The euro fell nearly 0.5% to 1.0760 francs, leaving the Swiss currency at its strongest since April 2017.
In Commodities Markets global oil benchmark Brent crude rose to more than $64.50, recovering from four days of declines on easing Middle East tensions, as the United States and China prepared to sign a preliminary trade deal. Brent crude gained 43 cents, or 0.7%, to $64.63 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 11 cents, or 0.2%, to $58.20 a barrel. The outlook for oil demand was supported by the expected signing of a Phase 1 U.S.-China trade deal on Wednesday.
In US Equity Markets stocks pulled back slightly from record levels on Tuesday, as technology stocks handed back gains made on hopes of a preliminary U.S.-China trade deal and Wells Fargo slid in a mixed start to big banks’ quarterly earnings. Kicking off fourth-quarter earnings season, the largest U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase & Co rose 2.1% after reporting a better-than-expected profit as strength in its trading and underwriting businesses offset weakness in consumer banking.
In Bond Markets benchmark 10-year government bond yields in the euro area inched down on Tuesday, as debt markets steadied after a sharp selloff the previous session on hopes of an easing of trade tensions between the United States and China. Germany’s benchmark 10-year bond yield was down almost 2 basis points at -0.21%, having briefly touched its highest level in almost two weeks at -0.188%. Most other 10-year bond yields in the bloc were down around 1-2 bps on the day .