European cash equity markets are firmly lower at the closing bell having extended earlier declines in the second half of the session (FTSE -0.1%, DAX -0.9%, CAC -0.6%). Euro Zone exporters will have been hampered by a rising Euro with Eur/Usd hitting a fresh one-week high above $1.18. Oil stocks meanwhile are under pressure as crude prices slipped with Brent losing over two-percent at the lows. Geopolitical tensions also continue to play their parts following the joint US-South Korean military drills held over the weekend and this has seen both the Yen and gold prices extend gains this afternoon. Data wise, the Chicago Fed national activity index slipped to -0.01 (f/c. 0.10) from +0.16 while Canadian wholesale trade sales fell -0.5% month-on-month (f/c. -0.2%) – both figures prompted minimal reaction.
Key Headlines/Data:
* Kuwait Oil Minister says the impact of OPEC output cuts has been seen in the first-half of the year with US stocks falling by more than expected.
* In their latest position paper, the UK government have urged the EU to not separate good and services in Brexit negotiations.
* Chicago Fed National Activity Index (Jul) -0.01 versus 0.10 expected, previous 0.13 revised to 0.16
* Canadian Wholesale Trade Sales M/M (Jun) -0.5% versus -0.2% expected, previous +0.9% revised to +1.0%
* ECB data shows they bought €8.3 Bln of public sector bonds last week, down from €9.7 Bln prior
* Spanish police say they have shot a man wearing an explosive belt in Subirats, west of Barcelona. Media reports also suggest that policy have arrested a man suspected of driving the van involved in last week’s attack.