Global equity markets experienced yet another tentative trading session as May trading seems to be off to a shaky start. Eurozone stocks struggled with direction early on as investor attention was firmly fixed on the unfolding Greek crisis. Efforts between eurozone ministers and the Greece’s negotiating team have so far struggled to produce a conclusion which both sides accept. Greek ministers have pleaded for a reduction in the severity of the payment terms, hoping for a new deal with lenders that will help plug the immediate funding shortfall faced by the Greek government.
The euro traded under pressure for a third straight session today, slipping back towards 1.1066 against the dollar during intraday trading early on before weaker than expected economic data out of the US prompted a reversal and supported the single currency back up towards 1.1160. US trade data disappointed in the month of March as the deficit increased from the previous months -$35.4b to -$51.4bn, much larger than the -$41.7bn expected by market participants. It seems that a stronger dollar significantly hampered exports and with persistent dollar strength throughout April also we could see a further deficit in April trade balance figures. The dollar index rallied have 100.00 against a basket of major currencies, both in March and April, however, the index faced significant selling pressure throughout the second half of April, pushing back below 95.00 as the euro and pound sterling gained significant ground.