Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Tuesday
1. Sterling slips after deadly Manchester terror attack
The pound slid lower against the yen, euro and dollar on Tuesday after at least 22 people were killed, including some children, and 59 injured by a suspected suicide bomber at the end of a concert by U.S. pop singer Ariana Grande at Manchester Arena on Monday night.
The perpetrator was a man acting alone, who died at the scene after detonating an improvised explosive device, the police said.
The attack came just two-and-a-half weeks before an election that British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to win easily, although polls showing that the contest was tightening added to sterling’s woes.
2. Global stocks mixed in cautious trade
Global stock markets were mixed in cautious trade on Tuesday, as investors reacted to the news of a deadly suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester.
Most Asian indexes closed in negative territory, with Japan’s Nikkei ending down around 0.3%, while China’s Shanghai Composite shed about 0.5%.
In Europe, stocks across the continent inched higher, with Germany’s DAX rising 0.3% in mid-morning trade, while London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.1%.
On Wall Street, the blue-chip Dow futures pointed to an increase of 34 points, or around 0.2% at the open, the S&P 500 futures ticked up 3 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 8 points.
Most earnings are now out of the way by now, but Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) and AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) will be reporting ahead of the opening bell.
3. Oil slips from 1-month high as OPEC meeting draws closer
Oil prices were lower on Tuesday, after rising to the strongest level in around a month in the prior session on growing expectations that OPEC members will extend supply cuts for a prolonged period when they meet on Thursday.
U.S. crude was at $50.67 a barrel, down 46 cents, or around 0.9%, while Brent lost 54 cents to $53.33, amid reports that the White House has proposed the sale of half the country’s strategic oil reserves as part of its budget plan.
Investors looked ahead to weekly data from the U.S. on stockpiles of crude and refined products. Industry group the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report at 4:30PM ET (20:30GMT) later on Tuesday.
4. Euro zone business activity rises at fastest pace since 2011
Euro zone business activity held steady at a more than six-year high in May, according to Markit’s flash composite purchasing managers’ index.
Germany, the motor of the euro area economy, saw growth hit the highest level since April 2011 on the back of strong manufacturing activity that spiked to a 73-month peak.
France also reported good news as its composite PMI hit a 73-month high, buoyed by the services sector as manufacturing activity eased more than expected.
Growth eased across the rest of the single currency area but remained close to a ten-year high.
A separate report showed that German business confidence improved to the highest level on record, indicating that the recovery in the euro area is deepening.
The euro touched a fresh six-month high of 1.1267 against the dollar, extending strong gains from the prior session, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the single currency was “too weak”.
5. Bitcoin rally keeps going; tops $2,200
Bitcoin cleared the $2,200-level for the first time on Tuesday to hit yet another all-time high, as a monster rally continues amid bullish noises around the future of the cryptocurrency.
Prices of the digital currency rose to a daily peak of $2,209.79 on the New York-based itBit exchange at one point, its highest on record (BTC/USD).
Other big exchanges such as Poloniex, BTC-e, Bitfinex, Kraken and BitStamp also showed the cryptocurrency rising above the $2,200-level early Tuesday.
Prices are up almost 60% so far in May. Since the start of the year, the price of bitcoin has soared roughly 124%, taking the total value of the cryptocurrency in circulation to around $37 billion.