Dollar pauses as trade deficit soars
US stock market pulled back third session in a row on Wednesday amid new round of weak data. The S&P 500 lost 0.7% to 2771.45. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 0.5% to 25673.46 led by technology, energy and health-care stocks. Nasdaq composite index fell 0.9% to 7505.92. The dollar strengthening paused as US trade deficit climbed to 10-year high of $621 billion in 2018 while 10 of the central bank’s 12 districts indicated “slight-to-moderate” growth in late January and February in the Beige Book survey: the live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, slipped 0.04% to 96.85 but is higher currently. Futures on US stock indexes point to lower openings today.
DAX 30 leads European indexes losses
European stocks pulled back on Wednesday. The the GBP/USD and EUR/USD turned higher ahead of European Central Bank policy meeting today but are currently lower. The Stoxx Europe 600 slipped 0.04% led by banking and auto makers shares. Germany’s DAX 30 fell 0.3% to 11587.63 France’s CAC 40 slid 0.2% while UK’s FTSE 100 added 0.2% to 7696.00. The European Central Bank is expected to announce more cheap loans while keeping guidance and interest rates unchanged.
Australian stocks rise as trade surplus surges
Asian stock indices are mixed today. Nikkei lost 0.7% to 21456.01 despite yen’s resumed slide against the dollar. China’s stocks are mixed: the Shanghai Composite Index is up 0.1% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 0.8% lower. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index on the other hand rose 0.3% as the Australian dollar turned higher against the greenback as data showed trade surplus surged in January.
Brent rebound continues
Brent futures prices are gaining today after data showed US gasoline stockpiles were more than double the forecast while US crude inventories rose. The US Energy Information Administration reported yesterday that domestic crude supplies rose by 7.1 million barrels. May Brent crude rose 0.2% to $65.99 a barrel on Wednesday.