In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 came down off the day’s peak to end the session 0.3% higher, having earlier hit a four-year high. Telecoms led the way with a gain of 1% while oil and gas stocks slid 0.3% lower. In terms of individual stocks, UDG Healthcare rose 8% after reporting positive full-year results on Tuesday, while SEB added 3.4% after the Swedish bank announced that it had found no evidence of alleged links between the bank and companies sanctioned for involvement in Russian tax fraud. Knorr Bremse stock fell 3.6% after the German brake system manufacturer reported disappointing results before the bell, while Hexpol shares shed 2.8%.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar rose on Wednesday helped by upbeat U.S. data even as continued uncertainty about the outlook for a preliminary U.S.-China trade agreement and a shortened holiday week in the United States kept currency moves muted. U.S. economic growth picked up slightly in the third quarter, rather than slowing as initially reported, amid a stronger pace of inventory accumulation and a less steep decline in business investment. The dollar index, which compares the greenback against six other major currencies, was up 0.17% at 98.415. Sterling was little-changed on the day.
In Commodities Markets oil fell about 1% on Wednesday after a report showing U.S. crude inventories grew unexpectedly last week and gasoline stocks surged, but optimism that a U.S.-China trade deal would be reached soon limited losses. Brent crude futures fell 45 cents, or 0.7%, to $63.82 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 61 cents, or 1%, to $57.80 a barrel. U.S. crude stocks swelled by 1.6 million barrels last week as production hit a record high at 12.9 million barrels per day and refinery runs slowed, the Energy Information Administration said. Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a drop of 418,000 barrels.
In US Equity Markets indexes notched fresh record highs on Wednesday, as latest data pointed to a resilient domestic economy and investors remained optimistic about a resolution to the prolonged U.S.-China trade war. The S&P 500 rose 0.13%, at 3,144.73 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.31%, at 8,674.84. Shares of Boeing fell 1.3% after the Federal Aviation Administration said it would be the only issuer of airworthiness certificates for all new 737 MAX planes, potentially affecting the planemaker’s timeline of starting deliveries by December. Another report said Boeing 777X’s fuselage split during a September stress test.
In Bond Markets core European government debt yields rose only slightly on Wednesday, with yields on benchmark German 10-year bonds pushing above one-month lows as investors awaited for developments on the first phase of a trade deal between the United States and China. Benchmark German 10-year bond yields were up 1 basis point at -0.367%, holding above a November low of -0.384%. Yields across the bond curve have traded in a tiny 5 bps range across the curve over the past month, an indicator of how overall market moves have been. Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields, on the other hand, rose 2.9 basis points to 1.77%.