In European Equity Markets the pan-European STOXX 600 closed up 0.91% in trade. Sector wise, basic resources and tech led gains, rising 1.74% and 1.8%. Shares of Bayer fell 2%, after a California jury hit the German pharmaceutical giant with a $2 billion punitive damages award to a couple who claimed its Roundup weed killer caused their cancer. It was the largest U.S. jury verdict to date in litigation over the chemical. Volkswagen shares traded 1% higher after the German automaker presented plans for an IPO (initial public offering) of its truck division.
In Currency Markets sterling hit a new two-week low on Tuesday as British employment data showed wage growth in the quarter ending March was lower than expected, signalling the possible start of a turbulent period for the broader economy. Wages in Britain had grown at strong rates over the past year or so but slowed to 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019, data showed, lower than predictions of 3.4 percent. Sterling fell on Tuesday to a two-week low of $1.2909, down 0.3 percent on the day. It was also slightly down against the euro at 86.80 pence.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose on Tuesday after top exporter Saudi Arabia said explosive-laden drones launched by a Yemeni armed movement aligned to Iran had attacked facilities belonging to state oil company Aramco. Brent crude futures were at $71.02 a barrel, up 79 cents or 1.12%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.68 per barrel, up 64 cents or 1.05%. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said Aramco had halted pumping on the East-West pipeline until the damage was evaluated, but that production and exports were continuing without disruption.
In US Equity Markets stocks edged higher on Tuesday, as investors picked up beaten-down technology and industrial stocks following optimistic comments from Washington and Beijing that tempered concerns about a further escalation in the trade war. The S&P 500 was up 0.54%, at 2,827.02 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.52%, at 7,686.96. Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 1.1% gain in energy stocks as oil prices rose. Walt Disney Co’s shares gained 0.7% after it signed a pact with Comcast Corp to assume full operational control of streaming service Hulu.
In Bond Markets Italian government bond yields rose sharply on Tuesday with the two-year close to its highest level this year after comments from Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and a lacklustre debt auction renewed focus on Italy’s slow growth and rising debt. Salvini said Rome was ready to break European Union budget rules if necessary to spur job creation. Italy’s 10-year bond yield hit a two-month high of 2.755%, up 6 basis points on the day, while shorter-dated two-year and 5-year yields rose around 8 bps each.