Euro, bond yields rise on buoyant business surveys



Wed, 23 Aug 2017 - 03:18 GMT


Wed, 23 Aug 2017 - 03:18 GMT

Euro coins are seen in front of displayed France flag in this picture illustration taken May 7, 2017.

Euro coins are seen in front of displayed France flag in this picture illustration taken May 7, 2017.

LONDON - 23 Aug 2017: The European single currency and euro zone government bond yields rose on Wednesday after a survey showed the bloc's manufacturing businesses had their best month of growth in six-and-a-half years.

U.S. stocks looked set to open lower, with Wall Street futures down 0.3 percent.

Forecast-beating surveys in the euro zone's two biggest economies, France and Germany , helped pull the euro up against the dollar EUR=EBS, which had wobbled against the yen overnight on comments from U.S. President Donald Trump.

The pan-European STOXX 600 however, was dragged down by unloved media stocks. WPP shed more than 10 percent after the world's largest advertising group cut its sales forecast. [.EU]

"At a broad level what PMIs are telling you is that the momentum of the euro zone recovery continues and the strength of the euro is not containing it," said Investec economist Philip Shaw.

Earlier, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched up to a two-week high, before pulling back.

Australian stocks fell 0.2 percent on the day and South Korea's KOSPI ended 0.1 percent higher.

Japan's Nikkei bucked the trend and rose 0.3 percent, taking its cues from Wall Street's technology-led rally on Tuesday.

The dollar wobbled against the yen after Trump told a rally he would be willing to risk a government shut-down to secure funding for a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.

Financial markets have been buffeted in recent weeks by heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, turmoil in the White House, and growing doubts about Trump's ability to fulfil his economic agenda.

A gathering of global central bankers this week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has prompted investors to rebalance their currency positions, leading them to reduce some of their short dollar bets.

The dollar was down slightly against the yen at 109.38 yen, back near the day's low plumbed after Trump told supporters in Arizona "If we have to close down our government, we're building that wall".

The greenback remained clear of a four-month low of 108.605 yen plumbed last week, when turmoil in the White House and geopolitical tensions took a toll on the currency.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was down slightly at 93.412 after rising 0.5 percent the previous day.

Trump's suggestion the NAFTA trade treaty could be scrapped to jumpstart ongoing renegotiations also sent Mexico's peso down 0.6 percent against the dollar.

The euro was up 0.2 percent at $1.1784 after slipping about 0.5 percent Tuesday on weaker-than-expected German investor confidence.

Speeches from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Fed Chair Janet Yellen will headline the annual Jackson Hole event, although neither are expected to announce any significant policy.

"The ECB is clearly very concerned about the recent appreciation in the euro ... and recent 'misinterpretations' by traders to Draghi’s comments will likely mean he steers clear (of discussing policy) once again," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

Draghi gave a speech at Lindau, Germany, on Wednesday but did not discuss the ECB's current monetary policy.

In commodities, Brent crude traded 0.3 percent lower at $51.68 a barrel after data showed a surprise build in U.S. gasoline inventories. Improving Libyan output also added to oversupply concerns in the crude oil market. [O/R]

Nickel prices rose to an eight-month high while zinc touched its highest since August 2007 on expectations of strong demand from China, supply concerns and declining stockpiles. [MET/L]

Benchmark zinc was up 0.8 percent at $3,142.50 a tonne after rising to $3,231.75, its highest since August 2007. Zinc has risen on expectations of a large global deficit and a sharp fall in stocks.

Spot gold was a shade higher at $1,287.58 an ounce, after losing 0.5 percent overnight as the precious metal felt the pressure from a stronger dollar. Spot gold had reached a nine-month high above $1,300.00 an ounce on Friday.



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