European stocks are set to rise firmly Wednesday amid a slump in the U.S. dollar and a rally in government bond yields linked to the latest revelations surrounding the ongoing investigation into possible Russian meddling in last year’s Presidential elections.
Britain’s FTSE 100 is slated to open 0.4% higher at the opening bell, according to financial bookmakers IG, with oil and commodity stocks likely to lead the early gainers. Germany’s DAX index is priced to gain around 0.37% while Switzerland’s defensive SMI index will likely open little-changed.
The dollar’s weakness, which began yesterday following email revelations that President Donald Trump’s son met with a lawyer he thought was working with the Russian government in order to collect damaging information on Hilary Clinton, continued overnight, fuelled further by comments from two Federal Reserve officials – Lael Brainard and Neel Kashkari – said tame inflation and wage growth indicated no rush towards faster interest rate increases.
The comments, which come ahead of the first of two days of testimony to lawmakers on Capitol Hill from Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen, trimmed benchmark 10-year Treasury yields by around 2 basis points to 2.36% and clipped 0.11% from the dollar index, a measure of the greenback’s strength against a baskets of six global currencies, to 95.56.
The pound was marked modestly higher at 1.2854 at the start of European trading, with investors looking to key employment and wage data at 09:30 London time for evidence that recent signalling from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney on tighter monetary policy can be backed up by economic data.
Global crude prices extended gains in overnight trading, thanks in part to a weaker U.S. dollar and yesterday’s release from the American Petroleum Institute which showed that oil inventories fell by a much more-than-expected 8.1 million barrels in the week ending July 7.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures for August delivery were marked 1.6% higher from their Tuesday close at $45.80 by 06:30 London time while Brent contracts for September, the global benchmark, were seen 1.4% higher at $48.20.
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