Dollar strengthens as services expansion accelerates
US stock market added to previous session losses on Tuesday as mixed economic data did little to boost market sentiment. The S&P 500 lost 0.1% to 2789.65. Dow Jones slid 0.05% to 25806.63. The Nasdaq slipped 0.02% to 7576.36. The dollar strengthening accelerated as the Institute for Supply Management’s nonmanufacturing index showed US services sector expanded at a faster pace in February while new home sales declined in December. 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, rose 0.3% to 96.885 and is higher currently. Futures on US stock indexes point to lower openings today.
FTSE 100 outperforms European Indices
European stocks advance continued at roughly previous session pace on Tuesday led by bank shares. Both the EUR/USD and GBP/USD continued falling and are lower currently. The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.2%. The German DAX 30 rose 0.2% to 11620.74, France’s CAC 40 added 0.2% and UK’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.7% to 7183.43.
Shanghai Composite still leader among Asian indices
Asian stock indices are mostly higher today. Nikkei slumped 0.6% to 21596.81 while yen resumed its climb against the dollar. Chinese stocks are extending gains on further stimulus hopes after Premier Li Keqiang pledged to increase deficit spending, cut taxes, lower fees for businesses and boost bank lending by 30% to small and private companies. The Shanghai Composite Index is up 1.6% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index is 0.2% higher. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index gained 0.7% erasing all of previous session losses as the Australian dollar accelerated its slide against the greenback as GDP report indicated Australia’s economic growth slowed to just 0.2% in the fourth quarter.
Brent futures prices turned lower today after Chevron and Exxon Mobil forecast higher shale oil production. The American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday report indicated US crude inventories rose by 7.3 million barrels last week while gasoline inventories fell. Prices ended marginally higher yesterday. May Brent added 0.3% to $65.86 a barrel on Tuesday. Today at 16:30 CET the Energy Information Administration will release US Crude Oil Inventories.