Eurozone markets slipped yesterday as investors were torn between Wall Street euphoria over renewed optimism that US tax cuts will clear a key legislative hurdle and concerns awaiting OPEC’s next move.
Oil prices were mixed ahead of the decision from a meeting in Vienna of 24 producing nations on crude output levels.
However, Bitcoin traded at $9,309.25 according to Bloomberg data — well down on a record $11,434 reached Wednesday.
The pound extended its climb against the dollar following reports British and European Union negotiators were close to a divorce settlement deal over Brexit.
That didn’t help London’s benchmark FTSE 100 equities index, which closed down 0.9%.
Many companies listed there make much of their earnings abroad, and a high price for the pound depresses profits.
A strengthening euro affected main eurozone markets with Frankfurt’s DAX 30 sliding 0.29% while the Paris CAC 40 dropped 0.47%.
Europe’s economic recovery is gathering steam, with eurozone unemployment falling to the lowest level since January 2009 and inflation picking up, official figures showed yesterday.
The EU’s official statistics agency announced that the jobless rate in the single currency area fell to 8.8% in October, with inflation rising to 1.5%.
“November’s rise in headline eurozone consumer price inflation and the fall in the unemployment rate in October may offer some reassurance to the ECB as it prepares to reduce the pace of its asset purchases,” said Jennifer McKeown, chief European economist at research group Capital Economics.
The European Central Bank is starting to wind down the massive support it has given the 19-member eurozone to help it through the crises of recent years.
Traders were meanwhile awaiting “the Opec meeting in Vienna where it is expected that oil ministers will extend the output freeze”, noted Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke through 24,000 for the first time.
“US stocks are higher in early action, with signs that the Senate’s tax reform bill is moving closer to a vote preserving optimism,” said analysts at Charles Schwab brokerage.
The Senate, which has been seen as the more challenging branch of Congress, has begun debate on the bill which could be voted on by the end of the week, which means it could potentially reach President Donald Trump’s desk to be signed into law by the end of the year.
Earlier in Asia, share prices of technology firms slid following sharp losses on major US firms including Apple and Netflix on Wednesday.
The retreat is the latest to hit Asia as investors fret over a recent rally that has sent several indices to record highs, though a surprise jump in a gauge of Chinese factory activity provided some support to Shanghai.
The move has fuelled speculation it could spark a broad move across Asia’s central banks to lift rates as they try to avoid capital outflows with the US Federal Reserve on course to tighten policy.
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