NEW YORK: The euro turned lower against the U.S. dollar on Thursday after ECB president Draghi pledged to keep monetary policy loose, while oil prices slipped on further evidence of oversupply and a stronger dollar.
U.S. stocks were little changed following mixed earnings from companies including Verizon Communications, which fell 2.5 percent after it said a strike by its wireline workers was expected to hurt earnings in the current quarter.
FOCUS MOVES TO FED
The euro fell as traders looked past the European Central Bank meeting and weighed the potential for a more hawkish Federal Reserve next week, while the yen gained.
“There’s a risk that the Fed could signal a stronger chance of a June rate rise than markets currently expect,” said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington.
CME Fed funds futures contracts on Thursday suggested traders were pricing in just a 21 percent chance of a Fed interest rate hike in June, according to CME Group’s FedWatch program.
The euro was down 0.12 percent against the U.S. dollar $1.1280 late morning.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi brushed off German criticism of his ultra-loose monetary policy and vowed to use all the tools at his disposal for “as long as needed.”
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, was last up 0.20 percent at 94.682.
Crude oil prices were lower after market data vendor Genscape reported a build of more than 840,000 barrels in U.S. crude in the four days to April 19 at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point, traders who saw the data said.
U.S. crude oil prices slide slid 48 cents to $43.70 a barrel. In London, Brent crude was down 55 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $45.25 a barrel late morning.
Despite Thursday’s slide, crude oil prices are up about 40 percent from multi-year lows hit seen in January.
US STOCKS PONDER MIXED EARNINGS
Wall Street stocks were little changed on Thursday morning after a raft of mixed quarterly earnings and the slide in oil prices kept investors on the sidelines.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.12 percent to 18,073.98, the S&P 500 lost 0.06 percent to 2,101.18 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.27 percent to 4,961.55.
Expectations for first-quarter earnings are dismally low though, with S&P 500 index companies expected to post a 7.2 percent fall in profit on average, and a 1.4 percent decline in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
“The market has a singular focus to retake the old highs set back in May last year,” said Sam Stovall, U.S. equity strategist at S&P Global Market Intelligence in New York.
“Right now, it’s probably just taking a little breather because it has come so far so fast, but I still see the market moving up and attempting to get back to breakeven.”
The MSCI world stock index hit its highest level in almost five months early Thursday before trading flat, while European shares were down 0.4 percent.
U.S. Treasury yields rose to more than three-week highs as oil prices held firm and investors focused on supply of government and corporate debt and next week’s Fed policy meeting.
Heavy corporate debt supply and the scheduled $16 billion sale of five-year Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) on Thursday added to pressure on the government bond market.
“There’s still some uncertainty for the fixed income markets, and given the FOMC meeting next week and the TIPS supply I think you’ve seen people get a bit more cautious,” said Gary Pollack, head of fixed income trading at Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management in New York.
Ten-year notes fell 5/32 in price to yield 1.87 percent, up from 1.85 percent on Wednesday.
Copyright Reuters, 2016
Courtesy : BRecorder