European equity markets edged higher in today’s session and posted renewed gains as concerns regarding the Middle East uncertainty eased. The CAC, DAX and IBEX climbed higher between 0.3% and 0.8%, but the London equity benchmark index missed the uptrend as it slid lower by 0.55% towards 6,850.
On the macroeconomic front, the US economy grew by 2.2% in Q4 2014 missing analysts’ expectations of 2.4%, while personal consumption increased 4.4% during the same period, as expected. We received fairly robust results from the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters survey as current conditions surged to 105.0 in March compared to 103.0 in February, while market sentiment was reported at 93.0 in March from 91.2 in February, beating analysts’ estimates. The USD index gave back earlier gains as it hit a high at 97.92 this morning to hover around 97.30 in the afternoon’s session.
The euro remained under pressure trading around 1.085 against the USD as investors remain cautious regarding Greece’s economic stability as the Greek government needs to finalise key terms and conditions over the weekend.
Precious metals remained in negative territory with gold retreating below the key level of $1,200/ounce and silver holding around $17. Platinum and palladium extended declines and fell 0.95% and 3.0%, respectively. Base metals came under renewed pressure today with copper falling over 1.8% towards $6050. Furthermore, crude oil prices reversed yesterday’s gains and retreated within the recent range as concerns over Middle East uncertainty have been alleviated.