In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 closed just below the flat-line, with sectors pointing in different directions. The FTSE 100 got a slight boost from the pound’s fall, climbing 0.2 percent. Looking at individual stocks, French engineering firm Spie jumped to the top of the European benchmark, up over 8 percent, after reporting strong full-year results. Swiss pharmaceutical firm Galenica also rose, up more than 6 percent, on the back of a 24 percent increase in net profit for 2018.
In Currency Markets the pound fell sharply on Monday after Britain’s Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said the legal risks to the United Kingdom of the Brexit backstop remained unchanged despite assurances from the European Union. The fell plunged 0.7 percent to a day’s low of $1.3041. It had been as high as $1.3290 earlier in the session on hopes British Prime Minister May would eventually secure a deal before Brexit in less than three weeks. The pound also fell sharply against the euro, falling by one percent to the day’s low of 86.33.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose about 1 percent on Tuesday, supported by signs of tightening global supply after a Saudi official said the kingdom plans to cut oil exports in April, while a power outage in Venezuela reduced crude exports from the country. Brent crude futures gained 42 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $67.00 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 55 cents, or 1 percent, to $57.34 a barrel. Since the beginning of the year, both benchmarks have risen about 25 percent.
In US Equity Markets stocks rose on Tuesday as benign February inflation data supported the Federal Reserve’s dovish stance on future rate hikes, but Boeing’s fall for a second straight session pressured the Dow. The S&P 500 was up 0.44 percent, at 2,795.59 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.48 percent, at 7,594.27. Apple rose 2 percent and was the biggest boost to the S&P and Nasdaq. F5 Networks Inc fell nearly 8 percent, the most on the S&P index, after the network software maker said it would buy privately held NGINX.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields drifted lower on Tuesday after data showed tame inflation in the world’s largest economy in February, backing expectations the Federal Reserve will hold interest rates steady this year after hiking rates four times in 2018. In early trading, U.S. 10-year note yields fell to 2.633 percent, down from 2.641 percent late on Monday. U.S. 30-year bond yields were down at 3.027 percent , from 3.032 percent on Monday.