European equity markets extended gains in today’s trading session and managed to hold in positive territory despite the ongoing sharp sell-off in the oil market, as robust corporate earnings results from Alcoa spread a bullish tone across the global equity markets. The DAX, CAC, IBEX and London equity benchmark index rallied between 0.6% and 1.8%, while US equities rebounded today with the Dow Jones surging over 250 points (+1.5%) at the time of writing.
However, crude oil prices extended sharp declines towards a 6-year low as WTI front month futures hit a low earlier in today’s session at $44.20 per barrel but rebounded to trade around $45.5 per barrel. Brent front month futures plunged towards $45 per barrel in early trade but have slightly recovered towards $46 per barrel. Oil prices remain weak amid ongoing concerns regarding a slowdown in the global oil demand and persistent build in crude oil inventories worldwide.
Precious metal prices remained in positive territory with gold holding above $1230/ounce and silver breaking above the key $17 area, up 3% on the day.
The main focus will turn to the release of the US monthly budget statement this evening, which could provide further insight regarding the current US economic conditions and prospects. The USD index continues its strong upside rally holding above 92.2 against a basket of currencies, while the euro retreated heavily towards 1.17 against the dollar amid concerns about Eurozone’s economic stability with the upcoming Greek elections in two weeks.