In European Equity Markets stocks hit a two-week low on Wednesday, extending losses from the previous session, weighed down by weaker banks and a plunge in security services firm Gemalto following a profit warning. The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended down 0.4 percent, little affected by an attack in London near the British parliament which left several people injured. Dutch lender ING Groep was among the biggest fallers, down 4 percent after disclosing a criminal investigation which could result in significant fines. Raiffeisen Bank lost 5.6 percent after Immigon completed the sale of 9.92 million shares in the Austrian bank.
In Currency Markets the dollar lost further ground on Wednesday and hit a four-month low against the safe-haven yen, with investors rethinking the growth expectations under a Trump administration that had pushed the greenback to a 14-year peak and stocks to record highs. Against the yen, the dollar fell as much as 0.85 percent to a four-month low of 110.76 yen, with nervousness deepening ahead of a key healthcare vote in U.S. Congress on Thursday. The euro was trading up 0.06 percent on the day at $1.0814. Sterling fell to the day’s low of $1.2426 against the dollar after loud bangs were heard outside Britain’s parliament. The dollar index was down 0.2 percent at 99.617, its lowest since Feb. 3.
In Commodities Markets oil prices slid to almost four-month lows on Wednesday, with Brent briefly falling below $50 a barrel, after data showed U.S. crude inventories rising faster than expected, piling pressure on OPEC to extend output cuts beyond June. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said U.S. inventories climbed almost 5 million barrels to 533.1 million last week, far outpacing forecasts of 2.8 million. Global benchmark Brent futures for May delivery were down 1.7 percent, at $50.12 a barrel. On its first day as the front-month, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for May were down 1.6 percent, at $47.47 per barrel. Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,248.68 an ounce.
In US Equity Markets the S&P and the Nasdaq reversed course to climb higher in afternoon trading on Wednesday, as investors sought bargains a day after the major indexes posted their biggest one-day loss since before the election. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.15 percent, at 20,637.07, the S&P 500 was up 0.06 percent, at 2,345.48. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.22 percent, at 5,806.64. The financial sector, which suffered its worst daily decline since June on Tuesday, was down 0.22 percent. Bank of America and Wells Fargo were down about 0.7 percent. Sears Holdings lost 16.5 percent after the retailer warned on Tuesday about its ability to continue as a going concern after years of losses and declining sales.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell to three-week lows on Wednesday as concerns about delays in passing Washington fiscal reforms weighed on stock markets and increased demand for safe-haven bonds. Benchmark 10-year notes were last up 8/32 in price to yield 2.41 percent, down from 2.43 percent on Tuesday. German yields fell with other euro zone equivalents, but they remain within sight of 13-month highs struck just over a week ago.