European equity markets gave back earlier gains and retreated lower in today’s session as investors try to digest the US Federal Reserve minutes. The USD index edged higher and hovered around 99.30 against a basket of currencies, weighing heavily to crude oil prices.
In Europe, the CAC and DAX indices posted renewed losses following ongoing concerns regarding Greece’s economic stability and prospects. The Athens Stock Exchange extended declines today as market participants remained cautious ahead of the European Union summit. The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras requested a meeting with leaders of France and Germany as well as the main EU institutions as the current economic and political conditions look fairly tentative. The euro plunged today towards 1.06 against the US dollar after having tested a high at 1.1040 yesterday.
Crude oil prices extended losses with Brent front month futures falling over 2% below $55 per barrel, while WTI front month futures declined sharply towards $43 per barrel amid ongoing concerns over record high levels of crude oil inventories.
Base metal prices rebounded today with copper surging over 3% towards $5860 and aluminium gaining above $1750, at the time of writing. Precious metals also remained in positive territory with gold recovering above $1170/ounce.