US cash equity markets logged a second day of gains this afternoon (DJIA +0.9%, S&P +1.0%, NASDAQ +1.4%). Material related stocks have outperformed and are on course for their best day in almost a month, boosted by higher commodity prices and strong corporate results. Renewed hopes of US tax reform have also played their part after Politico reported President Trump’s top aides and congressional leaders have made significant strides in shaping a tax overhaul. Treasuries meanwhile are on course to close lower while the Dollar Index is higher as we approach the end of the session. Oil prices also settled higher at $47.64 (+$0.27) after some choppy price action this afternoon in reaction to events at the Sharara oil field in Libya – most recently, field workers said they are working to gradually reopen the field. Elsewhere, minutes revealed Federal Reserve banks voted unanimously to leave the discount rate unchanged ahead of the July FOMC meeting.
* According to congressional aides, a growing number of congressional Republicans are considering a manoeuvre that would allow for $450 Bln of tax cuts without offsets.
* Field workers said they are gradually reopening the Sharara oil field after the earlier shutdown.
* WSJ: According to people familiar with the matter, Chevron CEO Watson is planning to step down next month.
* Federal Reserve banks voted unanimously to leave the discount rate unchanged ahead of the July FOMC meeting.
* US crude oil futures settled at $47.64 (+$0.27) | Brent crude futures settled at $51.87 (+$0.21)