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European Stocks Slip with Oil, Bond Yields Fall

Markets.3

European stocks declined with crude oil and government bonds as an air of caution hung over financial markets with the U.K. hamstrung by political turmoil after last week’s vote to leave the European Union. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index swung between gains and losses after a two-day rally, while crude oil slipped after touching $50 a barrel on Wednesday. Government bonds dropped across developed markets and gold also lost ground.

Central bank efforts to contain the fallout from the Brexit decision helped global equities recoup more than half of the $4 trillion of market value wiped out over Friday and Monday. While the FTSE 100 Index and a Bloomberg gauge of global commodities have recovered pretty much all of their losses since the vote, the rebounds have stalled as political upheaval in the U.K. following Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation prevents the country from entering talks to determine its future relationship with the EU.

“It would be premature to suggest the recovery in risk sentiment has solid legs,” said Rodrigo Catril, a currency strategist at National Australia Bank Ltd. in Sydney. “Post-Brexit, the expectations of a lower-for-longer yield environment and the U.K. political vacuum until September are providing a sense of calm and they are providing an uplift to risk assets. So risk appetite is reappearing, but only cautiously.”

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard is due to speak Thursday in London and may shed light on the U.S. interest-rate outlook after futures indicated the next increase is unlikely to come before 2018, having at the start of this month priced in a 53 percent chance of a move by July. Taiwan’s central bank is forecast to cut its benchmark rate at a monetary policy review, while Mexico’s is seen raising borrowing costs, Bloomberg surveys show. Economic data scheduled for release include euro-area inflation and U.S. weekly jobless claims.

Stocks

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was down 0.2 percent as of 9:26 a.m. London time, while the FTSE 100 fell 0.3 percent. The regional gauge jumped 5.8 percent in the last two sessions, rebounding from an 11 percent plunge over the two trading days that followed the U.K.’s referendum on EU membership. S&P 500 were little changed after a 1.7 percent surge in the index on Wednesday.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.8 percent as benchmark stock indexes advanced across most of the region. Gauges in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore all rallied more than 1 percent. Singapore Exchange Ltd. gained as much as 4 percent after UBS AG raised its stance on the stock to neutral. AU Optronics Corp. climbed more than 6 percent in Taipei, buoyed by an upgrade in Credit Suisse Group AG’s recommendation on the stock.

Currencies

The offshore yuan touched its lowest level since January after Reuters reported that China’s central bank is prepared to allow the exchange rate to weaken to 6.8 per dollar in 2016 to support the economy. It fell as much as 0.7 percent to 6.7021 immediately after the report, before paring declines to 0.1 percent. The Reuters report cited unidentified government economists and advisers involved in regular policy discussions.

Commodities

Crude oil fell 0.8 percent to $49.49 a barrel in New York, after jumping by almost 8 percent over the last two sessions as data showed U.S. stockpiles are declining. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the price may slip below its $50 forecast in the second half of 2016 because of a cease-fire between militants and the government in OPEC member Nigeria.

Gold fell 0.2 percent, trimming its post-Brexit surge to 4.8 percent.

Bonds

U.S. Treasuries due in a decade fell, pushing the yield three basis points higher to 1.54 percent. Similar-maturity German bund yields added four basis points to minus 0.09 percent.

(Source: Bloomberg)