European stocks were mixed, trading without much conviction as the euro fell and the dollar was steady before Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi speak in Jackson Hole. There was more decisive action in commodities, where most raw materials climbed.
Despite a positive start after gains in the Asia session, stocks across Europe gradually turned downward and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index edged lower as advancing mining shares failed to outweigh declining retailers. The Bloomberg Commodity Index added 0.2 percent. Crude traded near $48 a barrel as Hurricane Harvey headed for Texas.
In a week when traders have had little to go on and the Northern Hemisphere summer has suppressed volumes, equity markets have struggled for traction as investors await the forum in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Though European Central Bank President Draghi isn’t expected to offer a fresh policy message, his speech and that of Federal Reserve Chair Yellen will be parsed for clues on the timing of reductions in stimulus.
Meanwhile, two Fed officials offered opposing views Thursday on the inflation debate. Kansas City’s Esther George said another rate hike is feasible this year if U.S. data holds up. Dallas’s Robert Kaplan called for patience in waiting for prices to go higher.
Beyond the gathering of central bankers, market risks may be building in Washington. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to fuel the debate on legislation to keep the U.S. government open next month. Trump blasted Republican leaders for ignoring his advice on raising the debt ceiling and creating a “mess.” Countering, House Speaker Paul Ryan said the borrowing limit will be raised. Rates on short-term Treasury bills spiked amid concern Congress and the White House may not act in time.
Terminal subscribers can read more on our Markets Live blog.
Among other key events looming this week:
Indian markets are closed for a holiday.
Yellen is scheduled to discuss financial stability at 10 a.m. New York time on Friday at the Kansas City Fed’s symposium in Jackson Hole. Draghi is set to speak at 3 p.m.
Here are the main moves in markets:
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dipped less than 0.05 percent as of 8:49 a.m. in London.
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index advanced 0.1 percent to the highest in more than a week.
Germany’s DAX Index decreased 0.3 percent.
Futures on the S&P 500 Index declined 0.1 percent.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced less than 0.05 percent.
The euro decreased 0.1 percent to $1.1785.
The British pound increased less than 0.05 percent to $1.2802.
The Japanese yen fell 0.1 percent to 109.63 per dollar.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped less than one basis point to 2.19 percent.
Germany’s 10-year yield advanced two basis points to 0.39 percent, the first advance in more than a week.
Britain’s 10-year yield gained one basis point to 1.064 percent.
West Texas Intermediate crude advanced 0.7 percent to $47.78 a barrel.
Gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,287.15 an ounce.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index gained 0.2 percent.