Crude oil prices gave back part of recent gains and reversed in today’s session with WTI front month futures plunging over 3% to retest $51/barrel. Brent front month futures also followed the downtrend and slid lower towards $57 per barrel, as the strong USD index added pressure to the oil market. Base metal prices remained under renewed pressure today with copper extending declines towards $5,580 (-1.5%) and aluminium trading back to $1,840 (-1.8%).
European equity markets rebounded strongly in today’s trading session, supported by stronger than expected earnings results from Coca Cola and UBS, while concerns regarding the Greek debt crisis eased and the euro recovered and traded above 1.13 against the dollar. The CAC, DAX and IBEX climbed higher and gained between 0.6% and 1.2%, while the London benchmark index missed the uptrend and slid slightly lower (-0.5%) towards 6,800.
On the macroeconomic front, US wholesale inventories rose 0.1% in December, missing analysts’ expectations of a 0.2% rise. In the UK, BRC retail sales rose slightly by 0.2% m/m in January versus expectations of a 0.5% increase. Industrial production declined 0.2% in December and manufacturing production rose 0.1% versus estimates of a 0.1% drop. Tomorrow, market participants will be keeping an eye on the widely expected Euro-group meeting as European leaders are seeking a resolution to the Greek debt issue, while Thursday sees the release of the Bank of England inflation report.