The fairly weak economic data from the US and Eurozone did not impact market sentiment today, as the US and European equity markets continued their upside momentum, posting modest gains.
The London equity benchmark rallied for a sixth consecutive session, ending 0.4% higher on the day, while the CAC and DAX indices also climbed higher by 0.6% and 0.4%. The euro found support around the 1.37 area and extended gains toward 1.375, holding fairly strong against the US dollar. In the UK, retail sales retreated sharply by 1.5% in January, fairly in-line with expectations, following the trend that consumption usually tends to slow down in January after the busy Christmas holiday period.
In the US, we received another round of bearish housing data after existing home sales plunged by 5.1% in January more than analysts initially expected (4.3% decline). However, the US equity markets extended gains with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 indices up 0.22% and 0.28%, respectively, at the time of writing.
On the other side, commodities have been under some pressure today. Crude oil prices reversed and slid lower today with the WTI front month contract falling sharply toward $101 per barrel, as investors were prompted to sell-off following the recent rally in the oil market. LME base metals prices have also ended fairly mixed in today’s session as fairly poor Chinese manufacturing PMI data continue to trigger concerns about a possible slowdown in metals’ demand from China.
In Ukraine, it seems that there is a deal about early Presidential elections. The news has been welcomed by the White House, however saying that they are still prepared to impose sanctions, if needed.