At the London afternoon fixing, gold increased $9.00 to $1209.00, and copper futures were up 0.4% to reach $2.79. In oil, Dated Brent spot crude decreased $0.20 to reach $64.63. WTI spot crude decreased $0.02 to reach $56.97.
The Dollar Index dropped 0.9% as the USD decreased relative to the EUR, JPY, GBP, CAD and AUD. However, it increased against the CHF.
Stocks in the US market were mixed as the Conference Board said that consumer confidence was weak in April due to a slowdown in hiring. The Dow Jones industrials gained 0.4%, the S&P 500 increased 0.3% and the Nasdaq dropped 0.1%.
Twitter plummeted more than 25% after reporting that adjusted earnings per share exceeded expectations while revenues came in lower than projected. Apple declined as quarterly profits came in below analyst expectations. Whirlpool sank as the company lowered its 2015 forecast due to a rising USD and decreasing demand for its appliances in Brazil.
Over in Europe, equities markets were down across the board as investors awaited the upcoming US FOMC announcement. Profit taking also played a role as well as weak UK first quarter GDP. The London FTSE and Swiss SMI decreased 1.0%, while the Italian MIB and Spanish Ibex dropped 1.2% and 0.3% respectively. The French CAC retreated 1.8% while the German DAX was down 1.9%.
In terms of individual stocks, Commerzbank declined due to stock dilution worries. Deutsche Bank also retreated. GDF finished lower after reporting a 10% drop in first quarter profits. Orange also dropped due to weak results that came in with previous forecasts. Total advanced while BP was down despite better than expected profits for both businesses. Standard Chartered depreciated after posting a 22% drop in first quarter pre-tax profit.
Equities markets in the Asia Pacific region were mixed with shares in Australia, China, South Korea and Singapore sliding while those in Japan advanced. The Shanghai Composite was down after the country’s securities regulator issued a warning statement to investors regarding market risks. In China, the Shanghai Composite decreased 1.1% while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng index was virtually unchanged.
In Japan, the Nikkei gained 0.4%. Honda Motor finished higher prior to releasing quarterly earnings. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group edged up on a Nikkei report that showed a possible ¥1 trillion net profit in 2014. Mitsubishi Electric moved ahead after the company posted a fiscal 2015 attributable profit that increased 53% from last year. Tokyo Electron edged down after the company canceled its merger deal with Applied Materials.
The S&P/ASX and All Ordinaries both dropped 0.6%.
Macro Themes and Looking Ahead
The Eurozone will be releasing March M3 money supply data and April EC economic sentiment. The FOMC will announce its latest monetary policy decision. The US will be posting its first estimate of first quarter GDP.