It has been a very volatile session for the European equity markets. The DAX, IBEX and Italian benchmark indices posted renewed gains heading towards a positive end of the trading session. However, the London equity benchmark index missed the uptrend and slid lower by 0.60% trading below 6,900 as investors remained cautious ahead of the UK election results. Sterling was under pressure and reached a today’s low at 1.5164 but has slightly rebounded to consolidate around 1.52 against the USD.
On the macroeconomic front, we received fairly robust US employment data as weekly jobless claims increased by 265,000 for the week ending 2nd May compared to 278,000 estimated. The USD rebounded with the USD index trading above 94.50 against a basket of currencies.
Crude oil prices came under renewed pressure today, giving back earlier gains after the EIA report published a bearish forecast/outlook showing that US oil demand will grow 1.7% in 2015, compared with a 6.3% gain in production. Brent front month futures retreated nearly 2% towards $66 per barrel while WTI front month futures slid lower below $60 per barrel.
Tomorrow, the main focus will be on the US non-farm payroll data, which could provide an insight into current employment conditions. The UK election results could offer further momentum to European equity markets and the pound sterling.