In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.2% higher at the closing bell, with construction and material stocks leading gains on a 1% rise while travel and leisure stocks shed 2%. In corporate news, U.K. food delivery firm Just Eat urged its shareholders to reject a $6.3 billion takeover offer from Prosus, saying a separate proposal from Takeaway.com was a better fit for the firm. Takeaway shares traded 0.5% lower while Just Eat hovered just below the flatline. In terms of individual stocks, Vifor Pharma shares added 7% after reporting positive data for a new drug study.
In Currency Markets sterling fell on Tuesday after a second opinion poll showed the Conservative Party’s lead is narrowing before the British election next month. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have held an often double-digit lead over the opposition Labour Party in the polls for weeks. Hopes that a Johnson victory would end over three years of uncertainty over Brexit have lifted the pound, despite concern about any no-deal exit from the European Union. Sterling fell 0.4 percent to as low as $1.2835, after rising to as high as $1.2913 on Monday. Against the euro, the pound was down around 0.5 percent at 85.775 pence, off Monday’s one-week high of 85.30.
In Commodities Markets oil prices edged higher after news that U.S. and Chinese officials discussed trade on Tuesday, while predictions for a draw on U.S. crude stockpiles lent some support as well. Brent crude futures rose 18 cents to $63.83 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude rose 14 cents to $58.15 a barrel. U.S. crude stockpiles were expected to have declined 300,000 barrels last week, according to a Reuters poll of analysts, ahead of reports from the American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry group, on Tuesday, and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
In US Equity Markets indexes hit all-time highs on Tuesday, as gains for Disney and Best Buy countered weak consumer confidence data and a slump in shares of discount store operator Dollar Tree. Walt Disney Co was the top boost to the Dow Jones with a 1.8% rise, after a report its streaming service was averaging nearly a million new subscribers a day. The stock also propped up the benchmark S&P 500. Best Buy Co Inc jumped 7.4% as it forecast strong holiday-quarter earnings, while discount store operator Dollar Tree Inc fell 15% after the company projected holiday-quarter profit below expectations, signaling the fallout from the trade dispute.
In Bond Markets Euro zone bond yields eased on Tuesday as U.S. and Chinese officials appeared to make progress in agreeing the first phase of a trade deal. Most euro zone bond yields were lower on the day. Benchmark German 10-year bund yields were down 1 basis point to -0.375% from a five-month high at -0.22% reached earlier in November that had been driven by growing trade optimism. Meanwhile, the mood among German consumers rose unexpectedly heading into December, a survey showed on Tuesday, suggesting that household spending will continue to prop up growth.