European cash equity markets are mostly higher at the closing bell although have eased back from their best levels this afternoon (FTSE +0.5%, DAX +0.3%, CAC -0.1%).  US cash equity markets are mixed at the closing bell (DJIA -0.2%, S&P +0.2%, NASDAQ +0.7%).

European Closing Report

Health care and media stocks are leading gains while the oil & gas sector has provided a weight. We saw a mixed open on Wall Street meanwhile with the DJIA struggling to avoid a six-day losing streak as the US-China trade dispute rumbles on.

In the bond markets, core European yields are still flat for the day while US government borrowing costs have inched higher in recent trade with the 10-year up a basis point to 2.91%. US data releases were sparse and largely ignored – existing home sales missed at 5.43 Mln (f/c. 5.52 Mln).

The ECB Forum on Central Banking also provided a flurry of central bank speak this afternoon with Fed Chair Powell up first where he said the case for continued gradual increase in rates is strong. ECB President Draghi meanwhile said they are clearly seeing an upward trend in underlying inflation while factors holding back wage growth are gradually waning.

In FX, the Dollar Index is sitting on the flat line while Sterling has seen some upside in recent trade after UK PM May survived a potential Conservative rebellion. In energy space, oil prices have held higher after the DoE reported a larger than expected drawdown in US crude inventories.
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US Closing Report

Communication service stocks have outperformed with 21st Century Fox trading sharply higher as Walt Disney and Comcast battle for their TV and film assets – Walt Disney have upped their offered to $71.3 Bln. 

In the bond markets, US yields have risen this afternoon with 10-year up three basis points to 2.93% which has helped the Dollar Index hang on to the 95 handle. 

In the oil markets, US crude futures settled at $65.71 (+$0.81) after the Saudi Oil Minister said the market demands more oil in the second half of the year. He also said that every OPEC Minister he has met agreed it is time to change course. 

Elsewhere, the UK House of Lords passed the EU Withdrawal bill after peers back down on ‘meaningful vote’ amendment

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