Fewer job openings weigh on dollar
US stock market pulled back on Tuesday as the office of the US Trade Representative threatened to levy tariffs on $11 billion of EU products. The S&P 500 lost 0.6% to 2878.20. Dow Jones industrial dropped 0.7% to 26150.58. The Nasdaq fell 0.6% to 7909.28. The dollar weakening continued as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the number of job openings fell by 538,000 to 7.1 million in February. The live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, slipped 0.03% to 97.01 and is lower currently. Futures on US stock indexes point to higher openings today.
DAX 30 underperforms ahead of ECB meeting today
European stocks extended losses on Tuesday on reports the US is considering tariffs on about $11 billion of EU products to level the playing field tilted in favor the European Union due to its subsidies for Airbus. The EUR/USD slowed its climb while GBP/USD turned lower. Both pairs are higher currently ahead of ECB interest rate decision today at 12:45 CET. The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5%. The German DAX 30 dropped 0.9% to 11850.57, France’s CAC 40 lost 0.7%. UK’s FTSE 100 slid 0.4% to 7425.57 ahead of EU summit today with all 28 states voting on whether to grant the UK an additional Brexit extension.
Nikkei leads Asian indices losses
Asian stock indices are mostly lower today as global growth slowing concerns were spurred by US threat to impose $11.2 billion in tariffs on European products including cheese, wine and helicopters. Nikkei fell 0.5% to 21687.57 with yen little change against the dollar. Chinese stocks are mixed: the Shanghai Composite Index is up 0.1% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index is 0.1% lower. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index added another 0.03% despite the Australian dollar turning higher against the greenback.
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Brent futures prices are edging higher today with economic slowdown concerns limiting gains. The American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday report indicated US crude inventories rose by 4.1 million barrels last week while gasoline inventories dropped by 7.1 million. Prices ended lower yesterday. June Brent fell 0.7% to $70.61 a barrel on Tuesday. Today at 16:30 CET the Energy Information Administration will release US Crude Oil Inventories.
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