European equity markets remained under pressure in today’s trading session, amid ongoing concerns regarding Eurozone’s economic stability and prospects. The CAC, IBEX and London equity benchmark index retreated between 0.3% and 1.7%, while the DAX index bucked the downtrend and climbed slightly higher following robust German economic data.
The euro extended losses and slid lower towards 1.132 against the US dollar, as investors remained cautious following the next steps from the new Greek government. The strong USD weighed on market sentiment limiting any strong upside potential, as the USD index held above 94.2.
On the macroeconomic front, the German GfK consumer confidence was reported at 9.3 in February compared to 9.0 in January, beating analysts’ expectations. The main focus will turn to the US Federal Reserve policy meeting this evening as well as its interest rate decision; however, we do not expect any big surprises coming out from the US Federal Reserve Bank.
Crude oil prices came under renewed pressure this afternoon following a bearish weekly DOE inventories report which showed a large build of 8.87 million barrels for the week ending 23rd January. WTI front month futures plunged initially over 3% to retest $44.50 per barrel but have slightly rebounded towards $45 per barrel. Brent front month futures have also tracked the downtrend and retreated towards $49 per barrel.