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Dollar at 1-Week Highs before Fed Minutes

February 21, 2018, 08:24

Investing.com - The dollar edged up to one-week highs against a currency basket on Wednesday, as investors awaited the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting for fresh indications on the future pace of interest rate hikes.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.12% at 89.75 by 03:24 AM ET (08:24 AM GMT).

The index has climbed higher after it sank to a low of 88.15 on Friday, the weakest since December 2014.

The Fed was to release the minutes of its January meeting later on Wednesday and a hawkish tone could reinforce expectations for a faster pace of monetary tightening this year and boost the dollar.

The dollar has weakened in recent months as expectations for a faster pace of interest rates by the Fed have been offset by a range of bearish concerns.

Worries that large corporate tax cuts and increased government spending will negatively impact the U.S. fiscal deficit, which is projected to balloon to near $1 trillion in 2019 have pressured the currency.

The tax cuts and spending plans could backfire by overheating an already strong economy and causing an unwanted pick-up in inflation.

Expectations for a faster rate of monetary tightening outside the U.S., which would lessen the divergence between the Fed and other central banks, have also eroded the dollar’s relative yield attraction for investors.

The dollar was higher against the yen, with USD/JPY rising 0.31% to 107.03, extending its bounce from Friday’s 15-month lows of 105.55

The euro was a touch lower, with EUR/USD down 0.15% to 1.2319, retreating further from Friday’s three year high of 1.2554.

In the euro zone, data showed that French private sector growth slowed, but remained solid in February.

Sterling was also lower, with GBP/USD shedding 0.17% to trade at 1.3972 ahead of the latest UK jobs report later in the trading day.

Traders were looking to figures on wage growth that could help underline expectations for a rate hike by the Bank of England in May.

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French Private Sector Slows, Remains Solid in February: PMI

February 21, 2018, 08:01

Investing.com - French private sector activity slowed but remained solid in February, according to survey data released on Wednesday.

The preliminary reading of the Markit services purchasing managers’ index came in at 57.9 this month from 59.2 in January.

Economists had forecast a reading of 59.1.

The manufacturing PMI dropped to 56.1, compared to expectations for 58.1 and from 58.4 a month earlier.

The composite output index, which measures the combined output of both the manufacturing and service sectors ticked down to 57.8 from 59.6, against expectations for 59.4.

A reading above 50.0 on the index indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction.

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Japan stocks higher at close of trade; Nikkei 225 up 0.32%

February 21, 2018, 07:45

Investing.com – Japan stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Paper&Pulp, Finance&Investment and Gas&Water sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 added 0.32%.

The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd. (T:5301), which rose 5.37% or 101.0 points to trade at 1983.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. (T:5801) added 2.80% or 160.0 points to end at 5870.0 and Showa Denko K.K. (T:4004) was up 2.56% or 130.0 points to 5210.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co Ltd (T:4506), which fell 6.98% or 120.0 points to trade at 1599.0 at the close. Shinsei Bank, Ltd. (T:8303) declined 3.36% or 58.5 points to end at 1684.0 and SUMCO Corp. (T:3436) was down 2.72% or 77.0 points to 2755.0.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 1897 to 1465 and 203 ended unchanged.

Shares in Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd. (T:5301) rose to all time highs; up 5.37% or 101.0 to 1983.0.

The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was up 7.34% to 23.84.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 0.95% or 0.59 to $61.20 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.69% or 0.45 to hit $64.80 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.22% or 2.90 to trade at $1328.30 a troy ounce.

USD/JPY was up 0.45% to 107.81, while EUR/JPY rose 0.29% to 132.80.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.18% at 89.80.

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Gold Prices at 1-Week Lows as Dollar Remains Supported

February 21, 2018, 07:07

Investing.com - Gold prices fell to one-week lows on Wednesday, as strength in the U.S. dollar continued to weigh, although caution ahead of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest meeting and uncertainty surrounding a big U.S. debt auction this week was expected to limit the greenback's gains.

Comex gold futures were down 0.09% at $1,333.0 a troy ounce by 02:00 a.m. ET (06:00 GMT), the lowest since February 14.

The greenback remained supported against other major currencies despite sustained U.S. deficit worries. The U.S. deficit is projected projected to climb near $1 trillion in 2019 following the recent announcement of infrastructure spending and large corporate tax cuts.

The dollar has been pressured lower recently by expectations for a faster pace of monetary tightening outside the U.S., which would lessen the divergence between the Fed and other central banks.

Market participants were looking ahead to the minutes of the Fed's latest policy meeting, due on Wednesday, for potential indications on the pace of future rate hikes.

Gold is sensitive to moves in both U.S. rates and the dollar. A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency, while a rise in U.S. rates lifts the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 89.67, the highest since February 14.

Investors were also expected to be cautious as the U.S. government was set to launch a series of auctions for $258 billion worth of debt this week.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures lost 0.32% to $16.39 a troy ounce.

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Taiwan stocks higher at close of trade; Taiwan Weighted up 2.81%

February 21, 2018, 06:45

Investing.com – Taiwan stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Optoelectronic, Plastic and Oil, Gas&Electricity sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Taiwan, the Taiwan Weighted added 2.81%.

The best performers of the session on the Taiwan Weighted were Global Unichip Corp (TW:3443), which rose 10.00% or 27.00 points to trade at 297.00 at the close. Meanwhile, Leadtek Research Inc (TW:2465) added 10.00% or 2.05 points to end at 22.55 and Li Cheng Enterprise Co Ltd (TW:4426) was up 9.99% or 4.35 points to 47.90 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Lung Hwa Electronics Co Ltd (TW:2424), which fell 9.88% or 3.65 points to trade at 33.30 at the close. Cyberlink Co (TW:5203) declined 3.69% or 2.40 points to end at 62.60 and Chia Ta World Co Ltd (TW:2033) was down 3.01% or 0.55 points to 17.70.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Taiwan Stock Exchange by 849 to 36 and 26 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 0.95% or 0.59 to $61.20 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.70% or 0.46 to hit $64.79 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.09% or 1.20 to trade at $1330.00 a troy ounce.

USD/TWD was up 0.08% to 29.222, while TWD/CNY fell 0.09% to 0.2171.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.12% at 89.75.

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Crypto Prices Slip Despite South Korea Regulator's Better Deal Signal

February 21, 2018, 06:28

Investing.com – Cryptocurrencies’ prices slipped in Asia’s Wednesday afternoon although South Korea’s Finance Supervisory Service (FSS) hinted a better deal for the crypto industry today.

Bitcoin was trading at $10,714.0 by 1:00am ET on the Bitfinex exchange, down 6.26% over the previous 24 hours.

Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, lost 7.77% at $872.32 on the Bitfinex exchange.

Ripple’s XRP token plunged 10.55% to $0.99000 on the Poloniex exchange.

Meanwhile, Litecoin dived 11.22% lower at $218.79.

A comment by FSS chief Choe Heung-sik took centre stage today as the market regulator changed its tough stance on the digital coin trade to a softer tone.

"The whole world is now framing the outline (for cryptocurrency) and therefore (the government) should rather work more on normalization than increasing regulation," said Choe.

Although Choe’s comment was not a directional driver for the crypto prices today, investors saw the news as positive since the regulator’s change of tone was a stark contrast to the justice minister’s warnings last month that the government was considering to shut down local cryptocurrency exchanges, which caused crypto prices to dive in January and earlier this month.

Elsewhere, Dutch financial services company ING reportedly confirmed in an email today that Bitfinex has a bank account with it. However, ING spokesman Harold Reusken noted that the bank does not provide any services to help their customers engage in any cryptocurrencies trading.

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Asian Stocks Higher; Hang Seng Outperforms

February 21, 2018, 06:16

Investing.com - Asian stocks were led higher by Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index in Wednesday afternoon trading session.

The Dow and the S&P 500 snapped their six-session winning streak overnight as Walmart (NYSE:WMT) reported slowing online sales growth and saw its shares plunge 10.18%, its biggest drop in 30 years. The dollar’s momentum continued as yields on U.S. treasury debt rose to four-year high.

The Nikkei opened lower but recovered from its early slip and gained 0.32% at the close. The yen continued its retreat from recent highs thanks to higher U.S. treasury yields and was cited as supportive for Japanese equities.

Meanwhile, mainland Chinese markets remained closed for Lunar New Year holiday, while the Hang Seng Index opened higher in the morning and extended its gain in the afternoon, trading 1.14% higher by 1:20am ET.

In Korea, Lotte Holdings made headlines as its head Shin Dong-bin has reportedly offered to quit as chairman at its Japan-based holding firm, following his arrest for bribery earlier this month.

Elsewhere, the S&P/ASX 200 saw very limited volatility and closed 0.05% higher, but index heavyweight BHP Billiton fell 4.8% as investors responded to the softer tone set in London market overnight following the release of their results report. The Aussie eased 0.23% against the dollar at 0.7865 after the release of a weaker-than-expected construction data. Q4 wage data on the other hand reported 0.6% QoQ instead of the anticipated 0.5%.

News flow in Asia morning remained light otherwise, as investors await minutes from the most recent meetings of the Federal Reserve, which are due later today.

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Australia stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.05%

February 21, 2018, 05:30

Investing.com – Australia stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Consumer Staples, Consumer Discretionary and A-REITs sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.05%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were A2 Milk Company Ltd (AX:A2M), which rose 29.74% or 2.590 points to trade at 11.300 at the close. Meanwhile, Corporate Travel Managment Ltd (AX:CTD) added 13.76% or 2.940 points to end at 24.310 and Seven Group Holdings Ltd (AX:SVW) was up 10.98% or 1.810 points to 18.300 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Wisetech Global Ltd (AX:WTC), which fell 23.21% or 3.400 points to trade at 11.250 at the close. Steadfast Group Ltd (AX:SDF) declined 7.06% or 0.190 points to end at 2.500 and Vocus Group Ltd (AX:VOC) was down 6.23% or 0.160 points to 2.410.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Sydney Stock Exchange by 698 to 545 and 349 ended unchanged.

Shares in A2 Milk Company Ltd (AX:A2M) rose to all time highs; rising 29.74% or 2.590 to 11.300. Shares in Corporate Travel Managment Ltd (AX:CTD) rose to all time highs; gaining 13.76% or 2.940 to 24.310. Shares in Seven Group Holdings Ltd (AX:SVW) rose to all time highs; rising 10.98% or 1.810 to 18.300.

The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was down 3.11% to 14.581.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.16% or 2.10 to $1329.10 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 1.08% or 0.67 to hit $61.12 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.86% or 0.56 to trade at $64.69 a barrel.

AUD/USD was down 0.41% to 0.7851, while AUD/JPY fell 0.02% to 84.59.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.16% at 89.78.

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Gold Prices Remain Under Pressured By Stronger Dollar

February 21, 2018, 05:08

Investing.com - Gold prices were pressured by a stronger dollar and a rising interest rate in Asian afternoon Wednesday.

Gold futures for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by $2.9, or 0.22%, to $1,328.30 a troy ounce by 12:15am ET.

Benefited from higher treasury yields, the US dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies rose to a week’s high of 89.79, up 0.17% in Wednesday’s mid-day in Asia.

The minutes of Federal Open Market Committee January meeting that are due Wednesday is expected to gather some attention as it is set to explain statement on ‘further gradual’ hikes and may bring volatility to the market. 

In a rising interest rate environment, investor appetite for gold weakens as the opportunity cost of holding the precious metal increases relative to interest-bearing assets such as bonds.

The forex market is also focused on the expected supply of USD 250 billion U.S. dollar worth of new debt this week, as such auction would be a key indicator of investors’ appetite for U.S. assets.

Asian equities traded slightly higher following a decline in U.S. stocks overnight. Volatility was limited however as market range bound in early trade.

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Dollar Continues To Gain Ground; Aussie Eases Following Weak Construction Data

February 21, 2018, 04:16

Investing.com - Developments in the U.S. were in the focus today as Asian market was rather quiet except the upbeat Australian data.

Benefited from higher treasury yields, the US dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies rose to a week’s high of 89.72, up 0.09% at 10pm ET.

The minutes of Federal Open Market Committee January meeting that are due Wednesday should seize attention as it is set to explain statement on ‘further gradual’ hikes and may bring volatility to the market. 

This year may see more interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve than expected as U.S. treasury debt reached its four-year peak, and the yields on the debt kept the dollar’s momentum.

The debt surged as last year's $1.5 trillion tax overhaul signed by President Donald Trump resulted in higher deficit and the budget deal will see $300 billion government spending.

USD/JPY was trading at 107.76 mid-morning, up 0.41%. The pair has been quoted at around 107 recently from around 112 at the end of 2017, a decline initiated by the suggestion of a weaker dollar by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in January.

Japan’s top currency diplomat Masatsugu Asakawa made a few remarks on the yen, saying the yen's recent surge was excessive, and its movement was one-sided.

In Australia, the Aussie eased 0.23% against the dollar at 0.7865 after the release of a weaker-than-expected construction data released by the Australia Bureau Statistics (ABS). Q4 Wage data on the other hand reported 0.6% quarter-on-quarter instead of the anticipated 0.5%.

Elsewhere, USD/CNY stood at 6.3453, up 0.06%. The Chinese market remains offline until Thursday.

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Oil Prices Down In Asia Morning Due To Stronger U.S. Dollar

February 21, 2018, 03:49

Investing.com - Oil prices are down again Wednesday morning in Asia, driven by a recovery in the dollar which pulled down fuel demand.

Crude Oil WTI Futures futures for April delivery were trading at $61.33 a barrel mid-morning in Asia, down 0.74%. Brent crude futures for April delivery, traded in London, were down 0.31% at $64.84 per barrel in mid-morning.

Traders said the declines were due to U.S. dollar-denominated oil imports being more expensive for other countries. The dollar rebounded from three-year lows set last week as traders cut back on some of the bearish bets against the U.S. dollar.

A continued dollar recovery will work against oil prices, but oil markets remain well supported due to a healthy demand-growth in Asia, particularly China, combined with a supply restraint by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Saudi Arabia’s effort to clean up the global oversupply of oil is also helping to stabilize oil price volatility. The Kingdom has vowed to reduce its exports to below 7 million barrels per day (bpd) next month and to cut oil production by 100,000 bpd in March compared to the February level.

Further supporting prices are rising tensions in the Middle East, especially along the border of Syria and Israel. While neither Syria nor Israel is a major player in the oil business, threat to oil anywhere in the Middle East tends to put upward pressure on oil prices.

These mixed signals have caused oil prices to zigzag up and down over the past weeks, mostly between small rises and dips. That said, current prices have moved quite far from the highs of the beginning of February. WTI started February at $65.80 and Brent started at $69.65.

The U.S., now the second-largest producer of oil in the world, continues to increase its oil production, further dragging prices down. The U.S. has increased its production by more than 20% since mid-2016 to more than 10 million bpd.

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Asian Stocks Trade Flat As U.S. Shares Retreat, Treasury Yields Rise

February 21, 2018, 02:12

Investing.com - Asian equities traded slightly higher following a decline in U.S. stocks overnight. Volatility was limited however as market range bound in early trade.

The Dow and the S&P 500 snapped their six-session winning streak as Walmart (NYSE:WMT) reported slowing online sales growth and saw its shares plunge 10.18%, its biggest drop in 30 years. The dollar’s momentum continued as yields on U.S. treasury debt rose to four-year high.

The Nikkei opened lower but recouped its losses and was trading 0.47% higher by 9:15 pm ET. The yen continued its retreat from recent highs and was cited as supportive for Japanese equities.

Meanwhile, mainland Chinese markets remained closed for Lunar New Year holiday, while the Hang Seng Index opened higher and gained 0.73% in early trade.

In Korea, Lotte Holdings made headlines as its head Shin Dong-bin has reportedly offered to quit as chairman at its Japan-based holding firm, following his arrest for bribery earlier this month.

Elsewhere, the S&P/ASX 200 also saw very limited volatility, but index heavyweight BHP Billiton fell 4.7% as investors responded to the softer tone set in London market overnight following the release of their results report.

News flow in Asia morning was light otherwise, as investors await minutes from the most recent meetings of the Federal Reserve, which are due later today.

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Mexico stocks lower at close of trade; S&P/BMV IPC down 0.50%

February 20, 2018, 10:29

Investing.com – Mexico stocks were lower after the close on Tuesday, as losses in the Consumer Goods&Services, Financial Services and Healthcare sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Mexico, the S&P/BMV IPC fell 0.50%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/BMV IPC were VOLARIS A (MX:VOLARA), which rose 5.06% or 0.81 points to trade at 16.83 at the close. Meanwhile, Grupo Aeroportuario Del CentroNorte (MX:OMAB) added 2.57% or 2.410 points to end at 96.070 and Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico SAB De CV Class B (MX:GAPB) was up 2.40% or 4.44 points to 189.15 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Grupo Elektra , S.A.B. De C.V. (MX:ELEKTRA), which fell 4.01% or 26.34 points to trade at 630.40 at the close. Cemex SAB de CV (MX:CMXCPO) declined 2.73% or 0.380 points to end at 13.550 and Genomma Lab Internacional SAB De CV (MX:LABB) was down 2.17% or 0.440 points to 19.850.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Mexico Stock Exchange by 168 to 134 and 19 ended unchanged.

Shares in Cemex SAB de CV (MX:CMXCPO) fell to 52-week lows; losing 2.73% or 0.380 to 13.550. Shares in Genomma Lab Internacional SAB De CV (MX:LABB) fell to 52-week lows; losing 2.17% or 0.440 to 19.850.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 1.84% or 25.00 to $1331.20 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 0.02% or 0.01 to hit $61.56 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract rose 0.05% or 0.03 to trade at $65.07 a barrel.

USD/MXN was up 0.00% to 18.7094, while EUR/MXN rose 0.01% to 23.0818.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.63% at 89.64.

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Bitcoin, Litecoin Shrug off Carney Criticism as Crypto Inflows Continue

February 20, 2018, 09:53

Investing.com – The bitcoin recovery remained on track as investor jitters of a coordinated regulatory crackdown on the crypto-industry continued to fade, opening the door for new fund inflows.

The total cryptocurrency market cap rose to about $510 billion, at the time of writing, from $420 billion a week ago.

The continued uptick in crypto inflows come on the heels of fresh criticism from Bank of England governor Mark Carney told Reuters that bitcoin has “pretty much failed” on the traditional aspects of money. He added that it was not a store of value because it is “all over the map,” and said that “nobody uses it as a medium of exchange.”

That, however, failed to stop the ongoing rise in both Litecoin and bitcoin, as the two in-form cryptos continued to attract investor inflows while Ethereum, Ripple and Bitcoin Cash traded roughly flat.

Bitcoin rose 5.96% to $11,870.80 while Litecoin rose 10.12% to $247.19. Litecoin has rallied in recent session to become fifth most valuable crypto by marketcap, overtaking Cardano.

The rally in Litecoin comes amid a split or “hard fork” created rival Litecoin Cash. Investors had piled into Litecoin in the days leading up to the hard fork in anticipation of receiving free Litecoin Cash, which was distributed, at the time of fork, to any user "hodling" Litecoin.

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Brazil stocks higher at close of trade; Bovespa up 1.19%

February 20, 2018, 09:30

Investing.com – Brazil stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Financials, Public Utilities and Electric Power sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Sao Paulo, the Bovespa added 1.19% to hit a new all time high.

The best performers of the session on the Bovespa were Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (SA:ELET6), which rose 8.65% or 2.15 points to trade at 27.00 at the close. Meanwhile, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (SA:ELET3) added 6.82% or 1.46 points to end at 22.88 and Fibria Celulose SA (SA:FIBR3) was up 6.66% or 3.94 points to 63.09 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Companhia Brasileira deDistribuicao (SA:PCAR4), which fell 5.27% or 3.76 points to trade at 67.55 at the close. EcoRodovias SA (SA:ECOR3) declined 3.76% or 0.40 points to end at 10.25 and Gerdau SA Pref (SA:GGBR4) was down 3.47% or 0.58 points to 16.15.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the BM&FBovespa Stock Exchange by 247 to 220 and 34 ended unchanged.

Shares in Fibria Celulose SA (SA:FIBR3) rose to all time highs; up 6.66% or 3.94 to 63.09.

The CBOE Brazil Etf Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Bovespa options, was up 1.31% to 30.08.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 1.80% or 24.40 to $1331.80 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 0.11% or 0.07 to hit $61.62 a barrel, while the May US coffee C contract fell 0.42% or 0.50 to trade at $119.95 .

USD/BRL was up 0.58% to 3.2556, while EUR/BRL fell 0.00% to 4.0163.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.63% at 89.64.

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Peru stocks lower at close of trade; S&P Lima General down 0.38%

February 20, 2018, 09:35

Investing.com – Peru stocks were lower after the close on Tuesday, as losses in the S&P Lima Juniors, Banking&Financials and Mining sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Lima, the S&P Lima General declined 0.38%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P Lima General were Grana Y Monter (LM:GRA), which rose 8.74% or 0.160 points to trade at 1.990 at the close. Meanwhile, Sider (LM:SID) added 4.35% or 0.020 points to end at 0.480 and Volcan Minera (LM:VOL_pb) was up 1.70% or 0.020 points to 1.200 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Sociedad Minera el Brocal SAA (LM:BRO), which fell 14.75% or 1.800 points to trade at 10.400 at the close. PPX Mining Corp (LM:PPX) unchanged 4.76% or 0.00 points to end at 0.06 and Trevali Mining (LM:TV) was down 3.94% or 0.050 points to 1.220.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lima Stock Exchange by 18 to 6 and 15 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for April delivery was up 0.11% or 0.07 to $61.62 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.85% or 0.56 to hit $65.11 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 1.81% or 24.50 to trade at $1331.70 a troy ounce.

USD/PEN was up 0.06% to 3.2525, while EUR/PEN fell 0.41% to 4.0167.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.63% at 89.64.

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Canada stocks lower at close of trade; S&P/TSX Composite down 0.08%

February 20, 2018, 09:25

Investing.com – Canada stocks were lower after the close on Tuesday, as losses in the Materials, Consumer Staples and REITs sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite fell 0.08%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/TSX Composite were Canopy Growth Corp (TO:WEED), which rose 11.70% or 3.100 points to trade at 29.600 at the close. Meanwhile, Capital Power Corporation (TO:CPX) added 6.48% or 1.47 points to end at 24.16 and Aphria Inc (TO:APH) was up 6.19% or 0.870 points to 14.930 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Uni-Select Inc. (TO:UNS), which fell 11.80% or 3.07 points to trade at 22.94 at the close. Osisko Gold Ro (TO:OR) declined 8.08% or 1.08 points to end at 12.29 and Semafo Inc . (TO:SMF) was down 4.93% or 0.17 points to 3.28.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Toronto Stock Exchange by 697 to 438 and 130 ended unchanged.

Shares in Uni-Select Inc. (TO:UNS) fell to 52-week lows; losing 11.80% or 3.07 to 22.94. Shares in Osisko Gold Ro (TO:OR) fell to 52-week lows; falling 8.08% or 1.08 to 12.29.

The S&P/TSX 60 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/TSX Composite options, was unchanged 0.00% to 21.65 a new 52-week high.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 1.77% or 24.00 to $1332.20 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 0.18% or 0.11 to hit $61.66 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.78% or 0.51 to trade at $65.16 a barrel.

CAD/USD was down 0.69% to 0.7907, while CAD/EUR fell 0.11% to 0.6410.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.63% at 89.64.

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U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 1.01%

February 20, 2018, 09:25

Investing.com – U.S. stocks were lower after the close on Tuesday, as losses in the Telecoms, Utilities and Consumer Goods sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.01%, while the S&P 500 index lost 0.58%, and the NASDAQ Composite index fell 0.07%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), which rose 1.67% or 0.76 points to trade at 46.32 at the close. Meanwhile, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) added 0.78% or 0.72 points to end at 92.72 and American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) was up 0.41% or 0.40 points to 97.19 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT), which fell 10.18% or 10.67 points to trade at 94.11 at the close. Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) declined 2.45% or 1.23 points to end at 48.92 and Merck&Company Inc (NYSE:MRK) was down 2.33% or 1.31 points to 54.98.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Noble Energy Inc (NYSE:NBL) which rose 10.81% to 29.12, Mosaic Company (NYSE:MOS) which was up 5.23% to settle at 26.76 and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (NYSE:CMG) which gained 3.91% to close at 317.57.

The worst performers were Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) which was down 10.18% to 94.11 in late trade, Genuine Parts Company (NYSE:GPC) which lost 5.17% to settle at 94.67 and Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS) which was down 4.99% to 31.61 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Fogo De Chao Inc (NASDAQ:FOGO) which rose 23.90% to 15.55, Voyager Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:VYGR) which was up 22.21% to settle at 23.66 and Orexigen Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:OREX) which gained 18.07% to close at 0.980.

The worst performers were MiMedx Group Inc (NASDAQ:MDXG) which was down 39.56% to 8.74 in late trade, Ubiquiti Networks Inc (NASDAQ:UBNT) which lost 25.34% to settle at 55.28 and Adamas Pharma (NASDAQ:ADMS) which was down 21.85% to 26.39 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 2106 to 988 and 114 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1679 fell and 864 advanced, while 114 ended unchanged.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was up 5.65% to 20.56.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 1.77% or 24.00 to $1332.20 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 0.18% or 0.11 to hit $61.66 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.78% or 0.51 to trade at $65.16 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.57% to 1.2336, while USD/JPY rose 0.64% to 107.27.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.63% at 89.64.

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Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch

February 20, 2018, 09:09

Investing.com - Here's a preview of the top 3 things that could rock markets tomorrow

1. Fed Minutes, Housing, Manufacturing, Service Data To Keep Dollar Rebound Alive?

The Federal Reserve publishes Wednesday the minutes of its January meeting at which the central bank voted to keep its benchmark rate unchanged but adopted a more hawkish tone in its monetary policy statement, citing improving inflation.

RBC suggested that the subtle change in the Fed’s language on inflation may have been a deliberate effort by the central bank to open the door to a more “forceful tone on rate hikes” as the year progresses.

A trio of reports on services, manufacturing, and housing are also expected to draw investor interest for clues on the underlying strength of the US economy.

Economists forecast manufacturing PMI to show a preliminary reading of 55.4 for February while services PMI is expected to improve on the prior month reading of 53.3.

Existing Home Sales for January is expected to show a rise of 0.9% in January to 5.6m.

The dollar continued its rebound Tuesday as an uptick in US debt issuance slated for this week, pressured Treasury prices, sending bonds yields surging.

2. Crude Oil Prices Settle Higher as Cushing Inventories Decline

Traders look ahead to a fresh batch of crude oil inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute due Wednesday.

The American Petroleum Institute reported crude oil stockpiles unexpectedly fell by 1.05 million barrels for the week ended Feb. 16.

Crude oil futures settled higher on Tuesday as investors cheered upbeat commentary on oil market rebalancing while data showing Cushing inventories declined lifted sentiment.

3. The Pound Attempts Test of $1.4 Against Greenback Again

A raft of UK economic data is slated to hit the wires on Wednesday which could draw a sharp reaction in sterling against the dollar.

Data from the Office for National Statistics is expected to show, average weekly earnings grew by 2.5% in December, in-line with wage growth in the previous month.

Economist forecast the unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained steady at 4.3% in December, while the claimant count is expected to show a change of 4,100.

Investors will also look for clues about future inflation expectations, when the Bank of England releases inflation report hearings, with a speech by BoE governor Mark Carney likely to garner added attention following investor expectations that the central bank is poised raise rates sooner rather than later.

GBP/USD remained steady against the dollar after a Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources, that the European Parliament is working on a proposal calling for the European Union to negotiate an "association agreement."

The agreement was said to give Britain "privileged" access to the single market and membership agencies.

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Colombia stocks lower at close of trade; COLCAP down 0.33%

February 20, 2018, 08:20

Investing.com – Colombia stocks were lower after the close on Tuesday, as losses in the Financials, Industrials and Investment sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Colombia, the COLCAP declined 0.33%.

The best performers of the session on the COLCAP were Cemex Latam Holdings SA (CN:CLH), which rose 1.40% or 140.0 points to trade at 10160.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana SA (CN:SIS) added 0.81% or 320.0 points to end at 39820.0 and Empresa de Energia de Bogota SA ESP (CN:EEB) was up 0.74% or 15.0 points to 2040.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Etb (CN:ETB), which fell 2.44% or 11.0 points to trade at 440.0 at the close. Celsia SA (CN:CEL) declined 2.03% or 95.0 points to end at 4595.0 and Cementos Argos Pf (CN:CCB_p) was down 1.60% or 140.0 points to 8600.0.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Colombia Stock Exchange by 1 to 0.

Shares in Etb (CN:ETB) fell to 52-week lows; losing 2.44% or 11.0 to 440.0. Shares in Cementos Argos Pf (CN:CCB_p) fell to 52-week lows; falling 1.60% or 140.0 to 8600.0.

US coffee C for May delivery was down 0.42% or 0.50 to $119.95 . Elsewhere in commodities trading, US cocoa for delivery in May rose 1.30% or 27.50 to hit $2143.00 , while the April Gold Futures contract fell 1.67% or 22.60 to trade at $1333.60 a troy ounce.

USD/COP was up 1.00% to 2864.03, while BRL/COP rose 0.32% to 878.83.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.62% at 89.63.

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Crude Oil Prices Settle Higher as Cushing Supplies Fall Sharply

February 20, 2018, 07:35

Investing.com – Crude oil prices settled higher as investors cheered upbeat commentary on oil market rebalancing while data showing Cushing inventories declined lifted sentiment.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for March delivery rose 22 cents to settle at $61.90 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent fell 51 cents to trade at $65.16 a barrel.

“We have seen a remarkable year in 2017 – the market of crude has been restored and went to healthy numbers,” United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said at the International Petroleum Week conference in London on Tuesday. “Ahead of us this year is the balance of supply and demand.”

That helped crude extend its positive start to the week after settling higher on Monday, while ongoing reduced flows from TransCanda’s Keystone pipelined slashed Cushing stockpiles to a nearly three year low.

A drop in cushing supplies come against the backdrop rising US output which shows no sign of abating, threatening to dampen OPEC’s efforts to rein the market of excess crude supplies. Offsetting that, however, were comments from UAE Suhail Al Mazrouei, mentioning that OPEC and its oil producing allies could continue oil cooperation beyond 2018.

The number of oil rigs operating in the US jumped by seven to 798, the highest level since April 2, 2015, according to data Friday from energy services firm Baker Hughes.

The American Petroleum Institute weekly inventory report is slated for Wednesday after US markets close.

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Gold Prices Slump Nearly 2% as Dollar Extends Gains

February 20, 2018, 07:16

Investing.com – Gold prices fell sharply amid a rejuvenated dollar and rising bond yields ahead of the release of the Federal Reserve’s January meeting minutes.

Gold futures for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by $23.20, or 1.71%, to $1,333 a troy ounce.

The upcoming issuance of more than $250 billion of new US debt expected this week, pressured Treasury prices, boosting yields, sending gold prices tumbling as the dollar added to gains.

Also weighing on gold prices was the upcoming release of the Federal Reserve’s January meeting minutes due Wednesday which could signal that the central bank is leaning toward a more hawkish approach to monetary policy tightening in the wake of rising inflation and economic growth.

The Fed made a subtle change to the language in its January monetary policy statement, appearing to adopt a more upbeat outlook on the pace of inflation for 2018. RBC suggested this may have been a deliberate effort by the central bank to open the door to a more “forceful tone on rate hikes” as the year progresses.

In a rising interest rate environment, investor appetite for gold weakens as the opportunity cost of holding the precious metal increases relative to interest-bearing assets such as bonds.

The bearish start for gold comes as CFTC COT data showed money managers cut their long bets on gold for the third straight week.

In other precious metal trade, silver futures fell 1.63% to $16.44 a troy ounce, while platinum futures fell 0.59% to $1,006.30 an ounce.

Copper fell 1.89% to $3.187, while natural gas added 2.42% to $2.62. The rise in natural gas prices come as Macquarie reported Tuesday an uptick in demand ahead of a cold snap expected in March.

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Dollar Edges Higher as Short Bets on Greenback Fall to 6-Week Low

February 20, 2018, 06:17

Investing.com – The dollar traded higher against a basket of major currencies as investors eyed a raft of upcoming US debt auctions this week to gauge investor appetite for US assets ahead of the release of the minutes from the Fed's January policy meeting.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.59% to 89.61.

The U.S. Treasury is preparing to sell more than $250 billion worth of new debt this week, to fund the growing deficit in the wake of recent tax cuts and plans to ramp up government infrastructure spending. The upcoming issuance of new debt pressured Treasury prices, boosting yields, which in turn, underpinned dollar momentum.

Others suggested, however, that profit taking in rival currencies like the euro, yen and sterling has been the main driver of dollar strength seen Tuesday. Data showed a fall in negative investor sentiment on the greenback as traders rein in their bearish bets. Large speculative net short US dollar bets slipped to six-week lows in week to February 13, CTFC Commitment of Traders report showed.

Sterling, however, was one of the few currencies that held steady against the greenback on Tuesday, supported by a Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources, that the European Parliament is working on a proposal calling for the European Union to negotiate an "association agreement." The agreement was said to give Britain "privileged" access to the single market and membership agencies.

Yet, some market participants remained sceptical as the proposal appears to contradict the position of EU chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, who suggested last week that the UK was destined to exit both the single market and customs union.

Action Economics said the proposal of granting Britain “privileged access” would come against a number of hurdles not least time constraints as it would take a multi-year timeframe until such a bespoke deal would be ratified by EU members.

GBP/USD traded flat at $1.3996, while EUR/USD fell 0.53% to $1.2341.

USD/JPY gained 0.61% to Y107.64, while USD/CAD 0.57% to C$1.2633.

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Portugal stocks higher at close of trade; PSI 20 up 0.24%

February 20, 2018, 05:45

Investing.com – Portugal stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Telecoms, Basic Materials and Industrials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Lisbon, the PSI 20 gained 0.24%.

The best performers of the session on the PSI 20 were Mota Engil (LS:MOTA), which rose 5.63% or 0.2050 points to trade at 3.8450 at the close. Meanwhile, The Navigator Company SA (LS:NVGR) added 4.05% or 0.1720 points to end at 4.4160 and Pharol SGPS SA (LS:PHRA) was up 3.14% or 0.0070 points to 0.2300 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were EDP (LS:EDP), which fell 2.45% or 0.0680 points to trade at 2.7040 at the close. Ibersol SGPS (LS:IBS) declined 2.11% or 0.250 points to end at 11.600 and REN (LS:RENE) was down 1.28% or 0.0320 points to 2.4640.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lisbon Stock Exchange by 20 to 14 and 4 ended unchanged.

Brent oil for April delivery was down 0.18% or 0.12 to $65.55 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 0.99% or 0.61 to hit $62.16 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 1.72% or 23.30 to trade at $1332.90 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.49% to 1.2346, while EUR/GBP fell 0.51% to 0.8816.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.54% at 89.56.

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Denmark stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Copenhagen 20 up 0.15%

February 20, 2018, 05:35

Investing.com – Denmark stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Software&Computer Services, Technology and Oil&Gas sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Copenhagen, the OMX Copenhagen 20 rose 0.15%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Copenhagen 20 were Vestas Wind Systems A/S (CO:VWS), which rose 4.03% or 17.3 points to trade at 447.0 at the close. Meanwhile, FLSmidth&Co. (CO:FLS) added 2.26% or 8.7 points to end at 393.9 and Novozymes A/S B (CO:NZYMb) was up 1.52% or 4.8 points to 321.1 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were AP Moeller - Maersk A/S B (CO:MAERSKb), which fell 3.07% or 335 points to trade at 10565 at the close. AP Moeller - Maersk A/S A (CO:MAERSKa) declined 2.81% or 290 points to end at 10030 and Jyske Bank A/S (CO:JYSK) was down 1.83% or 6.4 points to 343.4.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange by 71 to 52 and 18 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for April delivery was up 0.93% or 0.57 to $62.12 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.17% or 0.11 to hit $65.56 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 1.73% or 23.40 to trade at $1332.80 a troy ounce.

USD/DKK was up 0.48% to 6.0314, while EUR/DKK fell 0.00% to 7.4472.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.53% at 89.55.

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Finland stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Helsinki 25 up 0.73%

February 20, 2018, 05:30

Investing.com – Finland stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Consumer Services, Basic Materials and Industrials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Helsinki, the OMX Helsinki 25 rose 0.73% to hit a new all time high.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Helsinki 25 were Outotec Oyj (HE:OTE1V), which rose 3.66% or 0.284 points to trade at 8.048 at the close. Meanwhile, Valmt (HE:VALMT) added 2.28% or 0.40 points to end at 17.97 and Metsa Board Oyj B (HE:METSB) was up 2.21% or 0.160 points to 7.395 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Nordea Bank AB FDR (HE:NDA1V), which fell 0.73% or 0.070 points to trade at 9.505 at the close. Telia Company AB (HE:TELIA1) declined 0.66% or 0.025 points to end at 3.751 and Tieto Oyj (HE:TIE1V) was down 0.61% or 0.18 points to 29.34.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Helsinki Stock Exchange by 96 to 47 and 10 ended unchanged.

Shares in Outotec Oyj (HE:OTE1V) rose to 3-years highs; gaining 3.66% or 0.284 to 8.048.

Brent oil for April delivery was down 0.15% or 0.10 to $65.57 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 0.88% or 0.54 to hit $62.09 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 1.65% or 22.40 to trade at $1333.80 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.44% to 1.2353, while EUR/GBP fell 0.54% to 0.8813.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.47% at 89.50.

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France stocks higher at close of trade; CAC 40 up 0.64%

February 20, 2018, 05:35

Investing.com – France stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Oil&Gas, Industrials and Technology sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 added 0.64%, while the SBF 120 index gained 0.61%.

The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were Compagnie de Saint Gobain SA (PA:SGOB), which rose 2.95% or 1.27 points to trade at 44.26 at the close. Meanwhile, STMicroelectronics (PA:STM) added 2.53% or 0.455 points to end at 18.455 and Airbus Group SE (PA:AIR) was up 2.21% or 2.10 points to 96.99 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Carrefour SA (PA:CARR), which fell 1.86% or 0.37 points to trade at 19.25 at the close. Cap Gemini SA (PA:CAPP) declined 1.29% or 1.35 points to end at 103.60 and Renault SA (PA:RENA) was down 1.13% or 0.99 points to 86.90.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were Edenred (PA:EDEN) which rose 8.24% to 27.85, Korian Medica SA (PA:KORI) which was up 5.78% to settle at 26.360 and Sopra Steria Group SA (PA:SOPR) which gained 4.67% to close at 156.80.

The worst performers were Eramet (PA:ERMT) which was down 5.19% to 113.30 in late trade, Electricite de France SA (PA:EDF) which lost 3.34% to settle at 10.43 and Carrefour SA (PA:CARR) which was down 1.86% to 19.25 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 314 to 270 and 97 ended unchanged.

Shares in Airbus Group SE (PA:AIR) rose to all time highs; up 2.21% or 2.10 to 96.99. Shares in Edenred (PA:EDEN) rose to all time highs; rising 8.24% or 2.12 to 27.85.

The CAC 40 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was down 2.20% to 17.31.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 1.64% or 22.20 to $1334.00 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 0.91% or 0.56 to hit $62.11 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.14% or 0.09 to trade at $65.58 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.43% to 1.2354, while EUR/GBP fell 0.54% to 0.8813.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.47% at 89.50.

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Spain stocks higher at close of trade; IBEX 35 up 0.91%

February 20, 2018, 05:35

Investing.com – Spain stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Consumer Goods, Building&Construction and Financial Services&Real Estate sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Madrid, the IBEX 35 rose 0.91%.

The best performers of the session on the IBEX 35 were Indra A (MC:IDR), which rose 4.10% or 0.450 points to trade at 11.430 at the close. Meanwhile, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA (MC:GAM) added 3.30% or 0.410 points to end at 12.835 and Acerinox (MC:ACX) was up 2.90% or 0.340 points to 12.050 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Viscofan (MC:VIS), which fell 1.85% or 1.000 points to trade at 53.100 at the close. Red Electrica Corporacion SA (MC:REE) declined 0.90% or 0.145 points to end at 15.985 and Enagas (MC:ENAG) was down 0.73% or 0.150 points to 20.510.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Madrid Stock Exchange by 110 to 71 and 14 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 1.63% or 22.10 to $1334.10 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 0.93% or 0.57 to hit $62.12 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.12% or 0.08 to trade at $65.59 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.43% to 1.2354, while EUR/GBP fell 0.55% to 0.8812.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.47% at 89.50.

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Netherlands stocks higher at close of trade; AEX up 0.76%

February 20, 2018, 05:35

Investing.com – Netherlands stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Technology, Industrials and Healthcare sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Amsterdam, the AEX added 0.76%.

The best performers of the session on the AEX were ASML Holding NV (AS:ASML), which rose 3.24% or 5.00 points to trade at 159.25 at the close. Meanwhile, Koninklijke Boskalis Westminster NV (AS:BOSN) added 2.13% or 0.65 points to end at 31.19 and Aegon NV (AS:AEGN) was up 2.00% or 0.110 points to 5.620 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Altice NV (AS:ATCA), which fell 1.38% or 0.11 points to trade at 7.84 at the close. Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV (AS:AD) declined 0.86% or 0.154 points to end at 17.650 and Heineken (AS:HEIN) was down 0.42% or 0.36 points to 85.00.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by 70 to 41 and 15 ended unchanged.

The AEX Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of AEX options, was down 2.04% to 15.82.

Crude oil for April delivery was up 0.94% or 0.58 to $62.13 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.12% or 0.08 to hit $65.59 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 1.63% or 22.10 to trade at $1334.10 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.42% to 1.2355, while EUR/GBP fell 0.54% to 0.8813.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.46% at 89.49.

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Belgium stocks higher at close of trade; BEL 20 up 0.44%

February 20, 2018, 05:20

Investing.com – Belgium stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Industrials, Technology and Basic Materials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Brussels, the BEL 20 rose 0.44%.

The best performers of the session on the BEL 20 were Solvay SA (BR:SOLB), which rose 1.88% or 2.10 points to trade at 113.90 at the close. Meanwhile, Galapagos NV (AS:GLPG) added 1.22% or 1.140 points to end at 94.320 and bpost NV (BR:BPOST) was up 1.15% or 0.32 points to 28.24 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Ontex Group (BR:ONTEX), which fell 1.88% or 0.48 points to trade at 25.10 at the close. Cofinimmo-Sicafi (BR:COFB) declined 0.38% or 0.40 points to end at 104.00 and UCB (BR:UCB) was down 0.03% or 0.02 points to 66.56.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Brussels Stock Exchange by 67 to 47 and 19 ended unchanged.

Shares in bpost NV (BR:BPOST) rose to all time highs; up 1.15% or 0.32 to 28.24.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 1.63% or 22.10 to $1334.10 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 0.96% or 0.59 to hit $62.14 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.14% or 0.09 to trade at $65.58 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.44% to 1.2353, while EUR/GBP fell 0.54% to 0.8813.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.48% at 89.51.

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