European equity markets came under renewed pressure for third consecutive session today, heading for their first monthly decline of 2015 following the recent disappointing economic data. The CAC, IBEX and London equity benchmark indices traded fairly mixed today, the DAX index bucked the downtrend and edged higher adding 0.50%, at the time of writing.
The US Federal Reserve left open the prospect of a possible interest rate rise in the second half of 2015 despite yesterday’s poor US GDP data. The USD extended declines today and reached a low at 94.39 against a basket of currencies but has slightly rebounded to hover around 95.0 at the time of writing. US equity indices posted heavy losses today with the Dow Jones index dropping over 100 points (-0.70%) towards 17,900, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ retreated by 0.7% and 0.9%, respectively.
The weak USD continues to provide strong support to crude oil and base metal prices. WTI front month futures rebounded and climbed to retest $59 per barrel, heading for a $10 per barrel gain in April. Copper has rallied over 2% today towards $6,300, while aluminium has extended gains above $1,900. Lead and zinc posted strong gains after climbing over 2%. On the negative side, precious metals missed the uptrend and slid lower with gold falling towards $1180/ounce and silver plunging over 3.5% below $16.