In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 was closed 0.12% higher, with stocks in the baskets of autos, construction and basic resources struggling the most. Chemicals and food & beverages logged positive gains. Adidas, reported a 6% year-on-year increase in sales and flat operating profit, confirming its full-year outlook. CEO Kasper Rorsted said in a press release Wednesday that 2019 would be a record year for the German athletic wear brand. However, shares fell 5.1% as the results failed to excite investors. Marks & Spencer saw its shares fall 0.19% after reporting a 52% rise in profit for the first half of the year.
In Currency Markets the pound was neutral on Wednesday as investors calculated the risks the upcoming general election poses to Britain’s ability to complete its exit from the European Union before Jan. 31, its latest departure deadline. Sterling was last flat against the dollar and the euro at $1.2877 and 86.00 pence respectively. It gained more than 5% last month as traders wound off their short positions on the currency in the hope that a no-deal Brexit was averted. Leveraged funds now hold $2.61 billion of shorts, far less than the $7.81 billion held at the beginning of August.
In Commodities Markets oil prices slipped on Wednesday after a much larger build in U.S. crude inventories than expected and weak euro zone economic figures that weighed on demand sentiment, reversing gains from the previous three sessions. Brent crude was down 42 cents to $62.54 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude lost 12 cents at $57.11 per barrel. The slide followed data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showing U.S. crude inventories rose by 7.9 million barrels in the week to Nov. 1, compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 1.5 million barrels.
In US Equity Markets stocks retreated from record highs on Wednesday, halting a rally that has been fueled by signs of progress in trade talks between Washington and Beijing and a largely upbeat corporate earnings season. The S&P 500 fell marginally 0.04%, at 3,075.70. But the Nasdaq Composite declined 0.21%, at 8,416.71. CVS Health Corp gained 4.8% after the pharmacy chain posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit, boosted by its Aetna health insurance business and pharmacy benefit management unit. Humana Inc rose 2.4% as the health insurer reported quarterly profit that beat estimates on higher sales of its government-backed Medicare Advantage health plans.
In Bond Markets France’s 10-year government bond yield briefly turned positive on Wednesday for the first time since July as upbeat German data and optimism surrounding U.S.-China trade talks lifted borrowing costs across the euro zone to 3-1/2-month highs. But the gains were fleeting as a dip in U.S. Treasury yields in late European trading, accompanied by a modest dollar rebound, burnished the appeal of European government debt. Germany’s 20-year bond yield, which briefly turned positive on both Tuesday and Wednesday, The French 10-year yield rose to 0.001%, while Austrian 10-year yields touched three-month highs at -0.0830% .