In European Equity Markets stocks recovered on Wednesday from their biggest one-day loss in five months, as a rebound in banking stocks and some positive first-quarter results outweighed weakness in oil and gas stocks. The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.2 percent at its close, after hitting a three-week low on Tuesday. Banking stocks snapped a six-day losing streak – their longest run of daily losses for 11 months – to rise 1.8 percent, making them the top sectoral gainers. Banco Popular and UniCredit were among top gainers, adding 5.5 percent and 6.1 percent respectively. Sentiment was helped by Jefferies initiating coverage on Dutch bank ING Group with a “buy”, saying ING shares had 18.7 percent upside potential. ING rose 3.8 percent.
In Currency Markets the dollar crept higher on Wednesday, a day after falling to a three-week low against a basket of major currencies amid a repricing of expectations of U.S. Federal Reserve rate increases and concerns about U.S. President Donald Trump’s ability to deliver a promised fiscal boost. The greenback was 0.54 percent higher against the yen and up 0.17 percent against the euro. Sterling edged lower after rising to a six-and-a-half month high against the dollar on Tuesday, after British Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap election for June, saying it would strengthen Britain’s hand in negotiations with the EU. Sterling was down 0.19 percent at $1.2811. The dollar index was up 0.26 percent at 99.757.
In Commodities Markets oil edged lower on Wednesday, after U.S. data showed a smaller-than-expected decline in overall crude inventories coupled with another rise in production, hindering OPEC’s efforts to reduce a global surplus of crude. U.S. crude stocks fell 1 million barrels on the week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a bit less than anticipated. Gasoline stocks posted a counter-seasonal build of 1.5 million barrels. Brent crude futures lost 18 cents at $54.71 a barrel, while U.S. crude futures lost 19 cents to $52.22 a barrel. Spot gold fell as low as $1,275.73 per ounce, and was trading at $1,279.91 per ounce, down 0.7 percent. Spot silver fell 0.5 percent to $18.13 per ounce.
In US Equity Markets gains in financial and technology stocks kept the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq firmly positive on Wednesday, while a decline in IBM held back the Dow. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.11 percent, at 20,499.82, the S&P 500 was up 0.27 percent, at 2,348.46 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.61 percent, at 5,884.97. IBM was down nearly 6 percent after the company reported a bigger-than-expected decline in revenue for the first time in five quarters. Facebook was up 1.3 percent and provided the biggest boost to the S&P and the Nasdaq. Intuitive Surgical was up 7.3 percent after the company reported higher-than-expected first-quarter revenue and profit.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields rose on Wednesday as 10-year notes reached key technical resistance after a rally on Tuesday sent yields to five-month lows, and as rising stocks indicated improving risk sentiment. The 10-year notes were last down 6/32 in price to yield 2.20 percent. France’s 10-year bond yield briefly fell to 0.86 percent , its lowest level in almost three months. South European bond yields, which tend to be sensitive to concerns over the future of the euro zone, fell. Portuguese yields hit a three-week low of 3.78 percent.