- Stocks Gain, With Japan at Decade High; Euro Rise
The euro extended gains and Spanish assets held their advance as the country’s government maintained a hard line on Catalonia’s independence bid. The dollar weakened as investors awaited minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting.
“Fed minutes could show a discussion on inflation, which the market is likely to take as dovish,” said Mark McCormick, North American head of foreign-exchange strategy at Toronto-Dominion Bank. “Keep in mind, though, the minutes have a high noise to signal ratio since we get a lot of views (with little context) in the minutes.”
Spain’s benchmark IBEX 35 Index jumped to a week-high, while the nation’s bonds gained even as core yields across Europe climbed. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy stopped short of suspending Catalonia’s government Wednesday, though starting a process that could lead to that. The Spanish relief rally failed to lift equities elsewhere, however, with the Stoxx Europe 600 little changed and U.S. stocks flat. Oil pared earlier gains to trade around $51 a barrel as OPEC predicted strong demand next year.
Rajoy said he would seek an explanation from Carles Puigdemont after the Catalan president’s announcement late Tuesday that he had a mandate for independence but would hold off and instead seek talks with the Spanish government. The formal demand for clarity may be a first step toward disbanding the regional government and moving control to Madrid. While it averted an immediate confrontation, it means the uncertainty lingers.
In the U.S., investors will parse Wednesday’s FOMC minutes for further confirmation a December rate increase is on track. Ten-year U.S. Treasury yields nudged lower after President Donald Trump said Tuesday he plans to make changes to his tax plan within the next few weeks, while dismissing concerns that his public spat with Senator Bob Corker would scuttle an overhaul.
Earlier, Japan’s Nikkei 225 advanced to the highest in almost twenty-one years and the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a fresh record high. The MSCI Emerging Market Index climbed to a six-year high.
Here are the main moves in markets:
- The S&P 500 Index was little changed at 2,550.36 at 10:42 a.m. in New York, after climbing to a record 2,555.23 Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite Index were also flat after reaching all-time highs yesterday.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed.
- The MSCI All-Country World Index rose 0.1 percent.
- Spain’s IBEX Index rose 1.3 percent.
- The MSCI Emerging Market Index rose 0.5 percent.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2 percent.
- The euro climbed 0.3 percent to $1.1846.
- The Turkish lira strengthened 1.1 percent.
- Spain’s 10-year yield fell three basis points to 1.66 percent.
- Germany’s 10-year yield increased two basis points to 0.46 percent.
- Britain’s 10-year yield climbed one basis points to 1.38 percent.
- West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed at $50.90 a barrel.
- Gold futures added 0.1 percent to $1,289.36 an ounce.
- Copper climbed 0.6 percent to $3.08 a pound.