In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 closed just below the flatline, with autos falling 1.7% to lead losses while utilities stocks bucked the trend to gain 1.3%. ASMI shares jumped 10.8% after the Dutch semiconductor company reported stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter sales and orders. At the other end of the benchmark, Chr Hansen fell 6.1% after the Danish bioscience company lowered its guidance, citing unexpectedly persistent market challenges.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar fell against the euro and the yen on Wednesday before the United States and China were due to sign a deal to de-escalate their trade war. The euro gained 0.26% against the greenback to $1.1156. The dollar fell 0.14% against the yen to 109.82, after the Japanese currency on Tuesday hit its weakest level since May at 110.20. Sterling was little changed, retracing losses after weakening when data showed UK inflation rose at its slowest in three years, feeding expectations the Bank of England would cut rates in January.
In Commodities Markets oil prices on Wednesday extended losses, falling to their lowest in over a month, after a U.S. report showed that crude production rose to a new record, overshadowing a bigger-than-expected draw in crude inventories. U.S. crude production for the week ended Jan. 10 rose to 13 million barrels per day (bpd), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Brent futures were down 83 cents, or 1.3%, at $63.66 a barrel, while U.S. crude WTI fell 75 cents, or 1.3%, to $57.48.
In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones indexes set new record highs on Wednesday on a positive tone around trade talks with China from Trump administration officials ahead of the signing of an initial deal later in the day. Bank of America Corp reported better-than-expected quarterly profit, but warned that of weak net interest income in the first half of 2020, knocking shares 2%. The S&P 500 was up 0.30% at 3,293.04 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 33.98 points at 9,285.31.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields declined on Wednesday as investors repositioned around new data showing producer prices barely rose in December. The benchmark 10-year yield was down 3.5 basis points in morning trading to 1.783%. The U.S. Labor Department said on Wednesday its producer price index for final demand ticked up 0.1% last month after being unchanged in November. The two-year U.S. Treasury yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, was down 2 basis points at 1.5577% in morning trading.