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    European Stocks, US Futures Advance, Commodities Hit Highest Point in Decade

    Asian Stocks Mixed, with Oil Rising above $66.00 a Barrel

    Wednesday saw the rise of US futures and European stocks. Technology stocks rallied after yesterday’s decline geared by worries about inflation. Investors’ spirits were cheered up by upbeat earnings reports and signs that the global economy would soon recover from the pandemic. The Stoxx 600 Index advanced more than 1%, boosted by travel shares and miners who gained the most on Wednesday. The FTSE climbed 1.2%.

    Hugo Boss AG reported first quarter sales that suppressed investors’ expectations. The company’s shares immediately jumped 4.27% as a result. Novo Nordisk A/S, a Danish pharmaceutical company, raised its profit and sales forecast for 2021 and climbed 2.76%. US equity futures were higher. The Asian markets were mixed.  The S&P/ASX added 0.4%. The Nikkei in Japan shed 0.8%, while Topix slid 0.5%. The Hang Seng gave up 1.8%. r

    Commodities continued rising. On Wednesday, their prices hit the highest point in almost ten years. Copper traded at around $10,000 a ton. Oil soared above $66.00 a barrel. The dollar reversed losses incurred during the Asian trading and advanced. Treasuries were steady. 

    Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen caused some commotion in the markets by saying that the Federal Reserve would need to raise interest rates slightly lest the economy overheats. Yellen then immediately assured everyone that interest rates would remain as low as they are now throughout the economy’s recovery. Yet her mention of the rates’ increase  still pushed the Nasdaq 100 1.88% lower, forcing the Index to experience the worst day since March. 

    Stocks and bonds in India climbed after the central bank approved 500 billion rupees of liquidity, equivalent to $6.8 billion, to banks to support lending to vaccine makers, hospitals, and providers of health services. 

    Traders should watch the following moves in the markets on Wednesday:

    Stocks

    S&P 500 Futures were 0.3% higher in the morning during the European session. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 1.2%. The FTSE added 1.2%. The German CAC climbed 1.0%, while the DAX in France soared 1.4%. The Nikkei in Japan dipped 0.8%. The Topix lid 0.57%. The Hang Seng shed 1.8%. The ASX in Australia moved 0.4% up. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gave up 0.3%. The MSCI Emerging Market Index dropped as much. 

    Currencies

    The dollar index inched 0.1% higher. The euro took a 0.2% dive to trade at $1.1993. The British pound remained unchanged at $1.1993. The onshore yuan was little changed at 6.475 per dollar. The Japanese yen shed 0.1% to trade at 109.43 per dollar. The AUD/USD pair changed hands at 0.7723, up 0.21%. The Canadian dollar rose 0.21% to 1.2283 against the greenback. The USD/CHF pair gained 0.19% to trade at 0.9154.

    Commodities

    West Texas Intermediate crude advanced 1.2% to $66.45 a barrel. Brent crude increased 1.2% to $69.71 a barrel. Gold edged 0.1% lower to $1,777.36 an ounce. Silver gave up 0.3% to $26.47 per ounce. Platinum sank 0.86% to trade at $1,228.23. Copper jumped 0.73% to $455.45.

    Bonds

    The yield on 10-year Treasuries gained one basis point to 1.60%. The yield on two-year Treasuries increased less than one basis point to 0.16%. Germany’s 10-year yield advanced two basis points to -0.22%. Britain’s 10-year yield climbed two basis points to 0.815%. Japan’s 10-year yield was unchanged at 0.097%.

    Looking forward:

    These are the main events that traders should watch this week:

    • U.S. ADP employment change is due on Wednesday.
    • Chicago Fed President Charles Evans gives a virtual speech at an event hosted by Bard College on Wednesday. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester gives a virtual speech to the Boston Economic Club on Wednesday. 
    • The Bank of England rate decision is out on Thursday.
    • The April U.S. employment report is published on Friday.

    Have a successful trading day!

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