European equity markets rebounded in today’s trading session, with the CAC, DAX, IBEX and the London benchmark index posting gains between 0.3% and 1.22%, while the euro has been consolidating around 1.375 against the US dollar.
There were no major macroeconomic data releases today, while strong gains in the mining sector brought optimism and drove the London market higher. Rio Tinto, Antofagasta, BHP Billiton and Anglo American climbed higher between 2.3% and 4.9% due to a strong rebound in base metals prices. Precious metals also corrected higher with gold retesting the $1300 level, while silver surged more than 2.2% towards $20. Randgold and Fresnillo gained 1.4% and 1.95%, respectively.
Banks and insurance companies also posted strong gains today as risk appetite increased. Legal & General, Prudential and Aviva gained between 1.25% and 2.15%, while HSBC led the UK banking sector higher after surging 1.73%.
Later today, investors’ attention will turn to the release of the US Federal Budget details which could provide further direction to the US equity markets. At the time of writing, the Dow Jones index has been trading around 16680 points, nearly 100 points higher (+0.6%) on the day, while the USD index has been fairly unchanged at 79.8.
This week, the main focus will switch to the release of the preliminary or flash GDP figures for Q1 2014 from Japan and the Eurozone and notable individual economies like Germany, France and Italy. Tomorrow, the main focus will switch to the release of the US import/export prices as well as US retail sales. In the Eurozone, the German ZEW economic survey could offer some direction to the euro.