In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 ended 0.2% lower. Europe’s auto stocks were among the worst performers, down more than 1% after Nissan slashed its full-year profit forecast to a near-decade low. Fiat Chrysle rand Valeo fell more than 1% on the news, while Renault was down more than 4%. Meanwhile, technology stocks gained more than 3% after Japan’s Softbank Group said it would buy a 5.6% stake in payments firm Wirecard for around 900 million euros ($1 billion). Shares of the Munich-based firm jumped 13%.
In Currency Markets the pound held at a two-month low on Wednesday, weighed down by a broad-based rally in the dollar and fading hopes of a breakthrough in Brexit talks between the British government and the opposition. The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency versus a basket of six major rivals, hit a 22-month high overnight. British Prime Minister Theresa May told her top team of ministers on Tuesday that talks with the opposition Labour Party aimed at finding a way forward on Brexit were serious but difficult in some areas.
In Commodities Markets oil prices steadied on Wednesday near six-month highs after data that showed U.S. stockpiles rose to their highest since October 2017, countering fears of tight supply resulting from OPEC output cuts and U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran. Brent crude futures fell 17 cents to $74.34 a barrel. The international benchmark reached $74.73 a barrel on Tuesday, highest since Nov. 1. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 53 cents to $65.77 a barrel. The contract hit $66.60 a barrel on Tuesday, highest since Oct. 31.
In US Equity Markets stocks pulled back slightly on Wednesday after a record-setting rally in the prior session, as investors digested a batch of mixed earnings reports. Boeing Co shares gained 1.1% even as the planemaker scrapped its 2019 outlook and reported quarterly revenue below Wall Street estimates due to grounding of its 737 MAX jets. Its shares have lost 11% since the deadly Ethiopian crash in early March. The S&P 500 was down 0.08%, at 2,931.44 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.09%, at 8,113.60.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell across maturities on Wednesday morning as investors piled into the safe-haven asset following reports of a sharp slowdown in Australian inflation and a deterioration in German business morale. U.S. government yields were lower, with declines of around 5 basis points for all notes. The 30-year bond yield fell less, down 3.4 basis points at 2.948%. The largest changes were in the five- and seven-year yields which were 5.1 and 5.4 basis points lower, respectively, ahead of new debt offerings at both maturities this week.