Cape Town - European stocks
dropped for a second day as commodity producers tracked declines in oil
and metal prices, while the pound weakened after a report showed UK retail sales fell in January.
retreated and the euro weakened after two left-wing presidential
discussed a potential single candidacy that would bring about a showdown
with Marine le Pen’s anti-euro National Front.
gauge of commodities headed for the lowest close in more than a week,
dragged down by industrial metals which were hurt by signs of tightening
liquidity in top consumer China. The pound headed for the lowest level
in a month.
Stocks are pausing a rally as investors go back and forth assessing
the prospects for President
Donald Trump’s economic plans and the timing of US interest-rate
increases. In Congressional testimony this week, Federal Reserve chair
Janet Yellen warned against waiting too long to tighten policy. Concerns
about France’s future in the euro region in the event of a Le Pen
presidency are roiling the country’s assets.
“The softness we’re seeing this morning isn’t surprising given the
positive energy we’ve had in the past week,” said
Nandini Ramakrishnan, a London-based strategist at JPMorgan Asset
Management. “Le Pen strength in the polls does mean a weaker euro. We
expect the euro to be a first bearer of that brunt.”
What’s coming up:
The Conference Board releases the US leading economic index for January.
US tractor-maker Deere & Co is among the companies reporting earnings.
Here are the main moves in markets:
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.4% as of 13:33 as resources companies slid 1.2%.
Futures on the S&P 500 Index dropped 0.3% after the benchmark
gauge fell for the first time in eight days, halting the longest rally
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.3%, with China stocks traded
in Hong Kong paring a weekly gain.
Treasuries gained, pushing the yield on benchmark 10-year notes down
three basis points to 2.42%.
European government bonds were mixed. French notes fell, with yields on
10-year notes rising one basis point to 1.03%.
gained, with benchmark yields dropping four basis points to 0.31%, while gilts advanced following the retail report, driving
benchmark yields four basis points lower to 1.22%.
The Bloomberg Commodity
Index, which measures returns on raw materials, fell 0.6%
heading for its fourth weekly drop in five.
Industrial metals fell, with
nickel down 0.9%, the most on the London Metal Exchange.
Oil declined 0.6% to $53.03 a barrel.
Crude is heading for its
first weekly decline in five weeks as expanding US crude stockpiles
countered output cuts from OPEC and other producing nations.
Gold nudged 0.2% higher to $1 241.75 an ounce and is and is set
for its seventh weekly gain in eight weeks.
Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter: