European markets experienced further selling pressure today as risk appetite remained subdued throughout the week due to the violence flaring up in Iraq as well as ongoing unrest in Ukraine. Comments made by St Louis Fed president James Bullard, who hinted at the possibility of an interest rate rise in the US as early as March next year, also fuelled appetite for safe haven assets. An unexpected drop in eurozone business and consumer confidence also weighed heavy on investor appetite today but markets attempted to recover some of the sessions' early losses after the announcement that Jean-Claude Juncker had been nominated by 26 out of the 28 EU leaders
Both the yen and Swiss franc strengthened against the dollar with yields on German and US government bonds falling as investors pulled out of risky assets. European benchmark equity indices spent much of the session swinging between gains and losses and the pessimistic sentiment carried over to the US session which subsequently saw both the S&P 500 and DJIA trade lower from the outset.
Spot gold prices held firm just below $1,320/oz today, with prices recovering the majority of yesterday’s brief sell-off. US centric macro data was limited to the University of Michigan consumer confidence index, which exceeded expectations by 0.5 points, coming in at 82.5 in June, at the time of writing. However, both the S&P 500 and DJIA were trailing lower as investors were still mulling over the sharp downward revision to first quarter GDP.