European equity markets posted strong gains today following robust US economic data which increased risk appetite. The CAC, DAX, IBEX and London equity benchmark ended higher between 0.45% and 0.75% and the euro rebounded strongly above 1.36 against the US dollar.
On the macroeconomic front, UK retail sales fell by 0.5% in May, in line with analysts’ expectations. Sterling edged higher, trading strongly above 1.70 against the USD, while it remained also very strong above 1.25 against the euro.
In the US, weekly jobless claims fell 6,000 to 311,750 in the week ending 14th June, according to the US Labour Department, showing improving employment conditions. Furthermore, the Philadelphia Fed business index surged to 17.8 in June compared to 15.4 in May, beating analysts’ expectations.
Brent front month futures climbed higher for a fourth consecutive session breaching above the $115 per barrel level, as the escalating crisis in Iraq seems to have deteriorated in the last few days. Base metal prices rebounded today with the exception of Nickel which slid lower towards $18,500. However, Aluminium continued its strong uptrend after rising more than 0.8% towards $1900.
Tomorrow, market participants will be keeping an eye on the release of the German producer prices as well as UK Public sector net cash requirement data (PSNCR) for May.