European equity markets were fairly mixed on Friday, following a week of “choppy trading activity”. The CAC, IBEX and the London equity market posted fresh gains and edged higher between 0.22% and 1.1%. However, the DAX failed to follow the trend and slid lower by 0.28% as modest GDP data from the German economy continue to weigh on market sentiment.
On the macroeconomic front, US housing starts jumped by 13.2% in April, reaching 1.075 million, beating analysts’ expectations. Build permits also increased by 8% showing improving signs for the US housing market. However, the results from the University of Michigan/ Thomson Reuters survey were fairly tepid and added some pressure later across the equity and commodity markets.
The US dollar index has consolidated around 80.00 today, while the euro has been trading sideways today, around 1.37 against the US dollar.
Crude oil prices rallied higher today, supported by on-going concerns surrounding the political uncertainty in Ukraine. Brent front month futures retested the key $110 per barrel level, while the WTI contract also jumped above $102 per barrel.
In LME, both aluminium and copper retreated in late trading, coming down towards an exhaustion phase. Gold has broken below $1,300 and Silver has been under pressure after falling more than 0.7% toward $19.