DailyFX European Market Wrap: Greece in Headlines, Gold on the Rise
Political tension is ruling sentiment in European markets once again with concerns centered on elections and tensions surrounding Greece’s debt crisis.
Another key driver is corporate results with the world’s second-biggest miner Rio Tinto reporting full-year earnings of $5.1 billion in 2016 – a rise of 12% – thanks to higher iron ore prices. The company also announced it will pay a much higher dividend than expected and buy back $500 million worth of shares.
Other key earnings reports including Dunelm, with a 26% slump in profits in its half-year trading statement released today, hurt by a weaker market and supply chain disruption at its recently acquired Worldstores business. French drug giant Sanofi reported higher sales in the fourth quarter – with profits more than doubling thanks to cost cutting, and luxury goods maker Hermes reported a rise in sales of 7.5% to €5.2bn.
Commodities, gold and oil were also key themes. Gold is gaining as political uncertainty rises and investors head for havens whereas oil prices declined after the latest US oil inventories report data showed U.S. crude oil and gasoline inventories soared, while oil demand in China stalled.
Looking ahead to Thursday there’s Japan’s machinery orders, with the December consensus set to come in at 3.1% for the month, Germany’s trade balance report for December, US initial jobless claims and US wholesale inventories. And earnings due from Thomas Cook, Twitter and Unicredit.
--- Written by Katie Pilbeam, DailyFX
DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.