In European Equity Markets stocks fell on Thursday after seven straight sessions of gains, with weaker metal prices weighing on miners and a poor update battering shares in engineering group Cobham. The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.4 percent after recent gains to a two-month high on Wednesday. Cobham led the STOXX 600 lower after falling 15.3 to its lowest level since August 2005. Dutch insurance company NN Group fell 7.6 percent after its fourth quarter core profit missed expectations, while power producer Drax fell 5.3 percent after saying it was reviewing its dividend policy. Air France-KLM jumped 12.6 percent after reporting better-than-expected operating profit for 2016 and said it had made a “resilient” start to 2017.
In Currency Markets the dollar weakened against a basket of major currencies on Thursday, retreating further from a one-month high, amid lower U.S. bond yields and uncertainty over the timing of the Federal Reserve’s next interest rate increase. The greenback scaled back from a 2-1/2 week high of 114.95 yen on Wednesday against the yen, touching a low of 113.17 yen. It was last down 0.8 percent at 113.24 yen. The euro gained 0.7 percent at $1.0672, recovering from a five-week trough of $1.052 set on Wednesday. Sterling rose 0.24 percent to $1.2492. The dollar index was last down 0.7 percent at 100.48, below a one-month peak of 101.76 reached on Wednesday.
In Commodities Markets oil prices reversed gains to trade nearly 1 percent lower on Thursday but continued to hold in a tight range as the market weighed swelling U.S. inventories against possible renewed efforts by major oil producers to reduce a price-sapping glut. Brent crude was down 0.9 percent, at $55.27 a barrel while U.S. light crude lost 0.4 percent, to $52.85 a barrel. Gold rose on Thursday as the dollar weakened after a 10-day winning streak and investors took the opportunity to buy bullion as a hedge against political uncertainty in the United States and Europe. Spot gold rose 0.7 percent to $1,241.18 an ounce. Silver was up 0.3 percent at $18.04 an ounce.
In US Equity Markets stocks fell on Thursday, weighed down by energy stocks as oil prices fell and as banks shares fell for the first time in six days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.09 percent, at 20,593.81, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.22 percent, at 5,806.81. The S&P 500 was down 0.22 percent, at 2,344.08. The technology index edged up 0.16 percent, buoyed by Cisco’s 2.9 percent gain after its results. Wells Fargo fell 1.2 percent after Credit Suisse downgraded its stock to “neutral” from “outperform”. TripAdvisor sank 9.3 percent after posting lower-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit. NetEase jumped 12 percent following the Chinese online game developer’s revenue beat.
In Bond Markets the spread between U.S. and German benchmark government bond yields were close to one-month highs on Thursday as the central banks of the two regions diverge on policy and political risks in Europe keep a lid on yields. The yield on Germany’s 10-year government bond has risen steadily since hitting its September trough of minus 0.16 percent, trading has been choppy. It was last down 2 bps to 0.37 percent, coming off one-week highs hit on Wednesday.