In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 fell almost 0.2% during afternoon trade, with the vast majority of sectors in negative territory. Europe’s telecoms stocks led the losses, shedding around 0.8%, with the autos and food and beverages sectors also among the session’s worst performers. Chipmaker AMS topped the Stoxx 600 with a 6% jump, while at the other end of the European blue chip index, shares of British technology company Micro Focus fell more than 11% after the company warned on Tuesday that its revenues would fall.
In Currency Markets the dollar index, tracking the greenback against six major currencies, fell 0.29%. Shortly following the release of Powell’s remarks, it hit session lows against the yen and euro. The yen was last 0.28% stronger against the dollar at 108.53, while the euro rose 0.31% against the greenback to $1.1241. The Canadian dollar rose against its broadly weaker U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, but gave up much of its gains as expectations rose that the Bank of Canada would cut interest rates this year amid concerns over global trade wars.
In Commodities Markets oil prices jumped 3% on Wednesday after U.S. crude inventories shrank more than expected and as major producers evacuated rigs in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of an expected storm. Brent crude futures were up $1.92, or 3%, to $66.08 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed $1.75, also 3%, to $59.58 a barrel. U.S. crude stocks fell 9.5 million barrels in the week to July 5, more than triple the 3.1 million barrel draw analysts had expected, as refineries ramped up output, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.
In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 breached the 3,000 points mark for the first time on Wednesday, as hopes of an interest rate cut later this month were lifted by Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell’s comment that the central bank would “act as appropriate” to sustain record U.S. growth. The S&P 500 was up 0.74%, at 3,001.58 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.04%, at 8,226.40. Generic drug-maker Mylan NV’s shares fell 4% after rival Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc cut its 2019 core earnings forecast.
In Bond Markets German 10-year government bond yields came off the day’s high on Wednesday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell highlighted concerns about trade tensions and a weak global economy, bolstering expectations that the Fed will cut interest rates later this month. German government bond yields fell around 3 basis points after the speech to -0.315%. Germany’s debt management office sold 3.155 billion euros of 0.00% 10-year Bunds, holding on to 845 million euros.