In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 ended 0.1% lower at the closing bell, with travel and leisure stocks adding 0.6% to lead gains while food and beverages slipped 0.6%. Shares of London-listed NMC Health fell 16% after two investors sold their stakes in the company. The Abu Dhabi-based hospital chain has been embroiled in a protracted dispute with activist short-seller Muddy Waters over its accounting practices. At the top of the European benchmark, video game producer Ubisoft’s shares gained 4.7%.
In Currency Markets the safe-haven yen fell from three-month highs against the dollar on Wednesday, as investors grew more optimistic that Iran’s attack on U.S. forces in Iraq overnight was unlikely to escalate into a full-blown regional conflict. Another safe haven, the Swiss franc, also pared gains that took it to a more than one-week peak versus the greenback earlier in the global session. The dollar was little changed against the Swiss franc, at 0.9702 franc, after falling to a more than one-week trough earlier in the global session.
In Commodities Markets brent oil futures fell on Wednesday from a near four-month peak hit early after an Iranian rocket attack on U.S. forces in Iraq did not damage oil infrastructure, and on a report showing a surprise build in U.S. stockpiles. Brent futures were down $1.20, or 1.8%, to $67.07 a barrel. In early trade, the contract hit its highest since mid-September at $71.75. The global benchmark has been trending higher since hitting an October low of $56.15 per barrel, and the session high was 28% above that level.
In US Equity Markets indexes edged higher on Wednesday as investors drew comfort from Iranian signals that overnight missile strikes “concluded” its retaliation to the U.S. killing of General Qassem Soleimani. The S&P 500 was 0.22%, at 3,244.37 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.25%, at 9,091.54. Keeping the blue-chip Dow under pressure, Boeing Co fell 1.9% after its 737-800 jet belonging to a Ukrainian airline burst into flames shortly after take-off from Tehran, killing all 176 people aboard.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields were steady on Wednesday, retracing their overnight drop as investor concerns eased about the conflict between Iran and the United States. Overnight, the 10-year yield fell to 1.705%, its lowest in more than a month as worried investors bought Treasuries in a safe-haven move when Iranian forces fired missiles at military bases housing American troops in Iraq. The 10-year yield was last 0.7 basis point lower to 1.818%, recouping nearly all of its overnight drop as demand for the safe-haven security receded.