Pound Bounces On Brexit News; Italian Politics Also On The Watchlist

Here are the latest developments in global markets:

FOREX: The is lower on Thursday, albeit by less than 0.1%, still hovering near the five-month highs reached earlier in the week. The US currency barely rose yesterday even though the yields on longer-term US Treasuries continued to climb, reaching fresh multi-year highs. Elsewhere, jumped today after a media report on Brexit suggested the UK is willing to make concessions to avoid a hard border in Ireland. STOCKS: Wall Street closed higher yesterday, despite a continued climb in US Treasury yields, a factor that has been limiting advances in stocks recently. The climbed 0.63%, while the and the Jones rose by 0.41% and 0.25% respectively. The gains come ahead of a meeting today between China’s Vice Premier Liu He and key US officials including Treasury Secretary Mnuchin in Washington. The topic will be trade issues, and any relevant comments could well impact US equities today. Futures tracking the , , and are all flashing red, pointing to a lower open. In Asia, Japan’s and the rose by 0.53% and 0.45% correspondingly, though in Hong Kong the fell by 0.44%, even though tech giant (+5.2%) reported . In Europe, futures tracking the major indices were all close to neutral levels, with the exception being Italy’s , which is expected to open much higher. COMMODITIES: Oil prices were higher on Thursday, extending gains from yesterday. and are up by 0.3% and 0.2% respectively, both hovering near multi-year highs. The trigger for the latest leg higher was a surprisingly large drawdown in the weekly data released yesterday. More broadly, recent media reports suggest that Saudi Arabia believes the spike in prices is driven by speculation and that this is not ground for producers to boost output, playing down expectations the Kingdom may raise its production

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