European equity markets extended gains today, as risk appetite increased while robust US employment data lifted market sentiment. In Eurozone, the CAC, DAX and IBEX surged between 0.4% and 1.7%, ending the week on the positive side following an interest rate cut from the European Central Bank yesterday.
On the macroeconomic front, the US non-farm payrolls data showed jobs increased by 217,000 in May, fairly in line with analysts’ expectations of 218,000, while unemployment fell to 6.3% in May against estimates of 6.4%. The USD edged higher following the optimistic data, holding above 80.4.
In the UK, the London benchmark index gained more than 0.6%, supported by solid gains in financial and mining stocks. Lloyds, Standard Bank, Barclays, RBS and HSBC rose between 0.55% and 1.7%, while sterling came under some pressure against the USD, trading around 1.68.
Base metal prices were fairly mixed. Copper slid lower more than 1% to retest $6700, while Nickel also plunged below $18,900 due to some profit taking. On the upside, Aluminium rose above $1,860 verifying its recent uptrend.
Gold finished the week on the positive side, consolidating around $1250 per ounce in today’s trading session. Silver also managed to hold above the key area of 19.00.
Brent front month futures traded around $109 per barrel today, but were set to post a second consecutive weekly loss amid easing tensions between Ukraine and Russia, which failed to provide further support to the market.