In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up by around 0.8%, having notched a fresh record high earlier in the session. Technology shares led the gains with a 1.4% jump as all sectors and major bourses traded in positive territory. Puma shares jumped 11% after the German sportswear brand beat fourth-quarter sales and earnings expectations, and said it still hopes to reach 2020 targets despite an expected first-quarter hit from the coronavirus outbreak.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar climbed on Wednesday to near a three-year high against a basket of other currencies and the safe-haven yen sank to a nine-month low as a decline in the number of new coronavirus cases in China and expectations for more policy stimulus boosted investors’ appetite for risk. The euro bounced briefly above $1.08 but sank below the mark to trade down slightly against the greenback. The single currency had earlier fallen to a three-year low after a survey showed weakening confidence in Germany.
In Commodities Markets benchmark Brent oil prices rose for a seventh consecutive day after demand worries eased with a slowing of new coronavirus cases in China and supply was curtailed by a U.S. move to cut more Venezuelan crude from the market. Brent was up 71 cents at $58.46 a barrel. The global benchmark has risen nearly 10% since falling last week to its lowest this year. U.S. oil was up 53 cents at $52.58 a barrel.
In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit fresh highs on Wednesday on signs of slowing coronavirus infections and expectations that China would take more measures to bolster its virus-hit economy. The S&P 500 gained 0.46% to 3,385.73. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.71% at 9,801.65. Technology stocks, which are sensitive to news related to China’s growth, gained 0.8%, the most among major S&P sectors. Defensive real estate and utilities were in the red
In Bond Markets Euro zone government bond yields stabilised on Wednesday as investors welcomed signs that the spread of the coronavirus in China was slowing and that more economic stimulus to offset the fallout could be on its way. Germany’s 10-year benchmark yield initially fell to -0.42%, near to Tuesday’s two-week low of -0.43%. The rest of the euro zone market followed suit before yields recovered as sentiment across asset classes improved.