European equity markets posted fresh gains in today’s trading session as risk appetite increased. The CAC, DAX and IBEX gained between 0.4% and 0.65%, while the London benchmark index missed the uptrend and retreated by 0.3%.
On the macroeconomic front, the UK Halifax House prices survey showed prices fell unexpectedly by 0.6% in June, missing analysts’ estimates of a 0.2% rise. Prices on a yearly basis rose by 8.8% in June again slightly below expectations of 8.9%. Sterling came under pressure trading around 1.255 against the euro but managed to hold above 1.71 against the US dollar.
The euro edged higher trading above 1.36 against the USD, offering further support to equity and commodity markets.
In London, heavy losses in technology and utility sectors dragged the index lower. Sage Group and Arm Holding retreated 1.5% and 1.03%, respectively. Energy stocks traded on the negative side following weaker crude oil prices. Brent front month futures extended losses today retreating heavily towards $108 per barrel as investors were prompted into some profit taking to lock in recent gains. The weekly DOE oil inventories report showed a large decline of 2.37 million barrels in crude oil stocks but failed to provide some upside momentum.
Petrofac and BG Group declined by 1.9% and 1.5%, respectively.
Tomorrow, investors’ attention will turn to the release of the Bank of England’s interest rate announcement. Furthermore, market participants will be keeping an eye on the release of the UK RICS Housing survey, Chinese imports and exports as well as US weekly jobless claims figures.