In European Equity Markets indices ended slightly higher on Wednesday, after the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged and investors looked ahead to an emergency Brexit summit. Europe’s retail stocks were the top performers, up over 1% amid earnings news. Supermarket group Tesco reported a stronger-than-anticipated rise in full-year operating profit on Wednesday, putting the company firmly on track to meet the majority of its turnaround goals. Shares of Britain’s biggest retailer rose more than 3% on the news.

 

In Currency Markets sterling edged up on Wednesday but remained within its recent trading range as investors prepared for the European Union to grant Britain a second Brexit delay that, while reducing the threat of a no-deal exit, creates new uncertainties. Sterling rose 0.3 percent to hit the day’s high of $1.3086, before settling around $1.3070. That leaves the pound firmly within the $1.29 to $1.32 range it has traded within for the last two weeks. Against the euro, the pound strengthened 0.1 percent to 86.19 .

 

In Commodities Markets oil prices rose on Wednesday after U.S. data showing a hefty drawdown in gasoline stocks overshadowed crude inventories rising to their highest levels in more than a year, and as sanctions and blackouts in Venezuela helped tighten global supply. International benchmark Brent futures rose 44 cents to $71.05 a barrels. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures climbed 24 cents to $64.22 a barrel. U.S. crude stockpiles last week rose to their highest since November 2017 last week as imports increased.

 

In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 was flat on Wednesday, as a decline in Boeing shares offset gains in the technology sector, while investors awaited minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting. the S&P 500 was up 0.09%, at 2,880.70 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.23%, at 7,927.62. Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher. Technology stocks gained 0.35%, helped by Microsoft Corp, Nvidia Corp and Cisco Systems Inc. Levi Strauss & Co jumped 6.3% after the jeans maker posted a 7% rise in quarterly revenue after returning to public markets last month.

 

In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell on Wednesday, weighed down by tepid underlying U.S. inflation in March, reinforcing expectations that the Federal Reserve would hold interest rates steady or possibly cut them by the end of the year. U.S. 10-year note yields fell to 2.475%, down from 2.499% late on Tuesday. U.S. 30-year bond yields also dipped to 2.895% from 2.909% on Tuesday. On the short end of the curve, U.S. 2-year yields slipped to 2.321%, compared with Tuesday’s 2.344%.

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