US markets stabilise as European markets nurse a hangover

By Trevor Hoey. Published at May 19, 2017, in Features

US markets delivered an unconvincing recovery on Thursday with the Dow finishing up 0.27% to 20,663 points. However, it was only in the last two hours that the index demonstrated any sustained momentum from the previous day’s close.

Furthermore, the 40 point sell-off in the last 15 minutes of trading appeared somewhat panic driven.

One of the better news stories was Wal-Mart Stores Inc as its shares surged after the company delivered an earnings result that was ahead of consensus forecasts.

There seemed to be more confidence around NASDAQ stocks as the index climbed circa 0.5% in the first hour of trading. This was maintained throughout the day with the index closing up 0.7% at 6055 points.

It was the big names that drove the recovery with Apple Inc, Inc and Facebook Inc delivering solid gains.

Trump fever hit European markets overnight with the FTSE 100 plummeting 0.9% to close at 7436 points.

The Paris CAC 40 came off 0.5%, while the DAX was slightly more resilient shedding 0.3% to close at 12,590 points.

On the commodities front, oil rallied strongly from circa US$48 per barrel to hit an intraday high of US$49.60 per barrel before closing not far short of that mark.

Gold gave up some of yesterday’s gains, pulling back 1% to close at US$1246 per ounce.

Iron ore was relatively flat at US$61.60 per tonne per tonne.

Base metals all finished in negative territory, although nickel only fell marginally.

Lead and zinc were the hardest hit, coming off 1.8% and 0.8% respectively.

Copper fell 0.4% to US$2.52 per pound.

The Australian dollar is fetching US$0.742.

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