MARKET REVIEW

Oil Prices Dip On Potential Increase In Russian Output

Investing.com - Oil prices edged lower on Friday morning in Asia as Russia hinted it may increase output.

Crude Oil WTI Futuresfor July delivery were trading at $70.63 a barrel at 11:20PM ET (03:20 GMT), down 0.11%. Brent crude futures for July delivery, traded in London, were down 0.15% at $78.67 per barrel.

Shanghai Crude Oil WTI Futures for September delivery were down 0.50% at 480.60 yuan ($75.25) per barrel.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as well as a group of non-OPEC producers led by Russia started withholding output in 2017 to boost oil prices and clear a supply glut. The group had agreed to curb their output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd).

But Russia, in particular, has shown eagerness to end the production cuts, with energy minister Alexander Novak saying on Thursday that restrictions on oil production could be eased “softly” if OPEC and non-OPEC countries see the oil market balancing in June.

OPEC and some non-OPEC major oil producers are scheduled to meet in Vienna on June 22.

Any signs that the group may be heading towards an early exit from the production cut agreement would weigh on prices.

While Russia and OPEC benefit from higher oil prices, which have risen by almost 20% since the end of last year, their voluntary production cuts have allowed other producers to ramp up output and gain market share.

U.S. crude oil production has risen by more than a quarter in the last two years, to 10.73 million bpd. Only Russia produces more, at around 11 million bpd.

Geopolitical risks remain the largest factor keeping oil markets on edge.

U.S. sanctions against Iran, which produces 4% of global oil supplies, will likely cause shortages later this year when trade restrictions take effect.

Production in Venezuela has also plunged to its lowest level in decades due to its ongoing economic crisis.

In the face of these worries, OPEC and Russia could step up production as soon as June to make up for the reduced supply.

Bitcoin Slips as U.S. Justice Department Probes Crypto Manipulation

Investing.com – Bitcoin prices slipped on Friday amid reports that the U.S. Justice Department launched a criminal probe into cryptocurrency market manipulation.

Bitcoin was trading at $7,589.2 by 12:02AM ET (04:02GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange, down 0.5% over the previous 24 hours.

Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, gained 0.9% at $601.4 on the Bitfinex exchange.

XRP/USD’s XRP token climbed 3.4% higher to $0.62712 on the Poloniex exchange.

Meanwhile, Litecoin added 2.2% to $123.00.

The Justice Department has launched a criminal probe to look at multiple forms of illegal activities that could potentially affect the virtual currencies prices unfairly, reports on Thursday said.

While the investigations are still at early stages, people familiar with the matter suggested that the probe is focused on activities such as spoofing, pump-and-dump scheme, and wash trading.

Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) set up a fake IPO to warn investors against fake ICOs while the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is scheduled to host a workshop  to spread awareness against cryptocurrency scams.

According to reports, Authorities are concerned that virtual currencies are vulnerable to scams for multiple reasons, including suspicion that exchanges are actively pursuing cheaters, wild price swings and a lack of regulations like the ones that oversee stocks and other assets.

Asian Stocks Lower as Trump Cancels North Korea Summit

Investing.com – Asian stocks were mostly lower in morning trade on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump called off the planned June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

Trump cited “tremendous anger and open hostility” in recent statements from Pyongyang and called the outcome a setback for both North Korea and the world.

“While many things can happen and a great opportunity lies ahead, potentially, I believe this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and indeed a setback for the world,” Trump said at the White House on Thursday.

In response, North Korea’s government said in a statement that it was surprised at the cancellation, but noted that it remained willing to meet with the U.S. at any time.

“Our goal and will to do everything for peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and mankind remains unchanged, and we are always willing to give time and opportunity to the US side with a big and open mind,” according to the statement. “We express our intent that there is a willingness to sit at any time, in any way to resolve issues.”

In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component opened 0.01% and 0.17% lower at 9:45PM ET (01:45 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.3%.

Reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged China to further open its home market received some focus.

“We understand that China is still developing, but we also see that in some areas China is the absolute technology leader,” Merkel said at a Germany-China business forum she attended with Li. “So in these areas we naturally want reciprocal access. Otherwise, this will gradually lead to us putting in place constraints -- perhaps too many constraints, and that wouldn’t be good.”

Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.1%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 traded 0.1% lower in morning trade.

Peru stocks higher at close of trade; S&P Lima General up 0.39%

Investing.com – Peru stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Non-Metal Minerals, Industrials and Mining sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Lima, the S&P Lima General rose 0.39%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P Lima General were Grana Y Monter (LM:GRA), which rose 8.37% or 0.170 points to trade at 2.200 at the close. Meanwhile, Sider (LM:SID) added 5.41% or 0.040 points to end at 0.780 and PPX Mining Corp (LM:PPX) was unchanged 2.70% or 0.00 points to 0.08 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Candente Copper (LM:DNT), which fell 18.67% or 0.0140 points to trade at 0.0610 at the close. Trevali Mining (LM:TV) declined 4.60% or 0.040 points to end at 0.830 and Panoro (LM:PML) was down 3.41% or 0.009 points to 0.255.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Lima Stock Exchange by 18 to 15 and 9 ended unchanged.

Shares in Sider (LM:SID) rose to 5-year highs; up 5.41% or 0.040 to 0.780. Shares in PPX Mining Corp (LM:PPX) unchanged to 52-week highs; unchanged 2.70% or 0.00 to 0.08.

Crude oil for July delivery was down 1.64% or 1.18 to $70.66 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in July unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to hit $78.81 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 1.12% or 14.40 to trade at $1304.00 a troy ounce.

USD/PEN was down 0.18% to 3.2675, while EUR/PEN rose 0.24% to 3.8361.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.20% at 93.72.

Canada stocks lower at close of trade; S&P/TSX Composite down 0.13%

Investing.com – Canada stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Healthcare, Energy and Telecoms sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite declined 0.13%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/TSX Composite were New Gold Inc (TO:NGD), which rose 5.48% or 0.160 points to trade at 3.080 at the close. Meanwhile, West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd . (TO:WFT) added 5.32% or 4.78 points to end at 94.68 and Alamos Gold Inc (TO:AGI) was up 5.05% or 0.34 points to 7.07 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Aecon Group Inc . (TO:ARE), which fell 15.40% or 2.67 points to trade at 14.67 at the close. Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. (TO:IVN) declined 6.89% or 0.230 points to end at 3.110 and Canopy Growth Corp (TO:WEED) was down 6.22% or 2.410 points to 36.350.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Toronto Stock Exchange by 615 to 473 and 133 ended unchanged.

The S&P/TSX 60 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/TSX Composite options, was up 0.92% to 12.01.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 1.16% or 14.90 to $1304.50 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in July fell 1.60% or 1.15 to hit $70.69 a barrel, while the July Brent oil contract fell 1.27% or 1.01 to trade at $78.79 a barrel.

CAD/USD was down 0.35% to 0.7759, while CAD/EUR fell 0.59% to 0.6618.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.21% at 93.71.

Bitcoin Moves Off Lows Despite Growing Regulatory Threat

Investing.com – Bitcoin moved off lows Thursday despite the growing threat of regulation following reports the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into possible bitcoin price manipulation.

Bitcoin fell 1.10% to $7,540.8 on the Bitfinex exchange but remained above its session low of $7,260.

The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into whether traders are manipulating the price of Bitcoin and other digital currencies, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The Department of Justice investigation arrives just days after the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASSA) unveiled Monday “Operation Cryptosweep,” to crackdown on fraudulent cryptocurrency activity.

Fears of regulatory pressure kept a lid on bitcoin’s recovery after it rose to session high of $7,729.8. But the recent plunge in bitcoin to a nearly two-month low appeared to be attracting bargain hunters as the total crypto market cap steadied.

The total market cap of cryptocurrencies rose to about $337 billion, at the time of writing, up from about $333 billion on Wednesday, underpinning a recovery in other large-cap cryptos.

Ripple XRP rose 3.03% to $0.62720 on the Poloniex exchange, while Ethereum rose 0.40% to $590.72.

Bitcoin Cash rose 1.65% to $1,051.90, while Litecoin rose 2.14% to $123.36.

U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.30%

Investing.com – U.S. stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Oil&Gas, Financials and Healthcare sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.30%, while the S&P 500 index declined 0.20%, and the NASDAQ Composite index fell 0.02%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), which rose 2.96% or 0.42 points to trade at 14.60 at the close. Meanwhile, Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) added 1.18% or 0.84 points to end at 72.18 and McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) was up 0.48% or 0.77 points to 162.39 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM), which fell 2.29% or 1.88 points to trade at 80.27 at the close. Chevron Corp (NYSE:CVX) declined 1.62% or 2.09 points to end at 126.61 and JPMorgan Chase&Co (NYSE:JPM) was down 1.12% or 1.26 points to 111.23.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were NRG Energy Inc (NYSE:NRG) which rose 3.86% to 34.43, Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS) which was up 3.61% to settle at 64.51 and L Brands Inc (NYSE:LB) which gained 3.44% to close at 35.22.

The worst performers were Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) which was down 8.28% to 151.01 in late trade, Albemarle Corp (NYSE:ALB) which lost 6.70% to settle at 95.02 and Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) which was down 6.65% to 70.90 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Comstock Holding Companies Inc (NASDAQ:CHCI) which rose 154.95% to 5.150, Tyme Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:TYME) which was up 33.45% to settle at 3.87 and Evolus Inc (NASDAQ:EOLS) which gained 22.93% to close at 23.80.

The worst performers were Recro Pharm (NASDAQ:REPH) which was down 54.67% to 5.63 in late trade, QuickLogic Corporation (NASDAQ:QUIK) which lost 30.77% to settle at 1.080 and Tintri Inc (NASDAQ:TNTR) which was down 26.30% to 0.59 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1554 to 1489 and 135 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1341 fell and 1189 advanced, while 138 ended unchanged.

Shares in Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) rose to all time highs; gaining 1.18% or 0.84 to 72.18. Shares in Comstock Holding Companies Inc (NASDAQ:CHCI) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 154.95% or 3.130 to 5.150. Shares in Recro Pharm (NASDAQ:REPH) fell to 3-years lows; down 54.67% or 6.79 to 5.63. Shares in QuickLogic Corporation (NASDAQ:QUIK) fell to 52-week lows; down 30.77% or 0.480 to 1.080. Shares in Evolus Inc (NASDAQ:EOLS) rose to all time highs; gaining 22.93% or 4.44 to 23.80. Shares in Tintri Inc (NASDAQ:TNTR) fell to all time lows; falling 26.30% or 0.21 to 0.59.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 0.08% to 12.57 a new 3-months low.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 1.14% or 14.70 to $1304.30 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in July fell 1.59% or 1.14 to hit $70.70 a barrel, while the July Brent oil contract fell 1.23% or 0.98 to trade at $78.82 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.24% to 1.1724, while USD/JPY fell 0.69% to 109.31.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.20% at 93.72.

Brazil stocks lower at close of trade; Bovespa down 0.94%

Investing.com – Brazil stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Electric Power, Public Utilities and Telecoms sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Sao Paulo, the Bovespa lost 0.94% to hit a new 3-months low.

The best performers of the session on the Bovespa were BRF SA (SA:BRFS3), which rose 6.40% or 1.37 points to trade at 22.79 at the close. Meanwhile, Suzano Papel e Celulose SA (SA:SUZB3) added 6.27% or 2.68 points to end at 45.39 and Braskem SA (SA:BRKM5) was up 5.57% or 2.56 points to 48.48 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Petroleo Brasileiro SA (SA:PETR3), which fell 14.55% or 3.95 points to trade at 23.20 at the close. Petroleo Brasileiro SA PN (SA:PETR4) declined 13.24% or 3.08 points to end at 20.19 and Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (SA:ELET6) was down 6.51% or 1.22 points to 17.53.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the BM&FBovespa Stock Exchange by 256 to 183 and 25 ended unchanged.

The CBOE Brazil Etf Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Bovespa options, was down 1.80% to 31.01.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 1.14% or 14.70 to $1304.30 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in July fell 1.60% or 1.15 to hit $70.69 a barrel, while the July US coffee C contract rose 0.93% or 1.11 to trade at $120.58 .

USD/BRL was up 0.38% to 3.6420, while EUR/BRL rose 0.62% to 4.2711.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.20% at 93.72.

Colombia stocks higher at close of trade; COLCAP up 0.34%

Investing.com – Colombia stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Industrials, Investment and Agriculture sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Colombia, the COLCAP rose 0.34%.

The best performers of the session on the COLCAP were Cemargos (CN:CCB), which rose 1.96% or 180.0 points to trade at 9380.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Ecopetrol SA (CN:ECO) added 1.65% or 50.0 points to end at 3075.0 and Corporacion Financiera Colombiana SA (CN:CFV) was up 1.42% or 340.0 points to 24220.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Etb (CN:ETB), which rose 0.78% or 3.0 points to trade at 387.0 at the close. Bancolombia Pf (CN:BIC_p1) declined 0.73% or 240.0 points to end at 32420.0 and Interconnection Electric SA ESP (CN:ISA) was down 0.84% or 120.0 points to 14140.0.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Colombia Stock Exchange by 17 to 9 and 4 ended unchanged.

US coffee C for July delivery was up 0.93% or 1.11 to $120.58 . Elsewhere in commodities trading, US cocoa for delivery in July fell 0.25% or 6.50 to hit $2609.00 , while the June Gold Futures contract rose 1.12% or 14.50 to trade at $1304.10 a troy ounce.

USD/COP was down 0.15% to 2863.33, while BRL/COP rose 0.62% to 786.53.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.21% at 93.71.

Crude Oil Prices Settle More Than 1% Lower on Fears OPEC Could Lift Output

Investing.com - Crude oil prices settled sharply lower Thursday as reports OPEC and its allies were considering scaling back production cuts to counter a possible shortage in global supplies weighed on sentiment.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for July delivery fell 1.57% to settle at $70.71 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent fell 0.93% to trade at $79.06 a barrel.

Russian Energy Minister Novak reportedly said Russia would discuss with OPEC in June whether it is appropriate to gradually scale back production cuts as the market was rebalancing at a faster rate than many had expected in the wake of plummeting Venezuela output.

The pending U.S. sanctions on Iran is another risk to global oil supplies that has added $5 to $7 barrels to the price of oil, Novak said.

Novak’s remarks came as traders digested a Reuters report, citing sources, suggesting OPEC may decide in June to ease production cuts amid supply risks and in response to concerns from Washington about higher oil prices.

OPEC and its allies’ strong commitment to the production-cut agreement has seen excess oil supplies slashed to just above the five-year average.

OPEC said in its monthly report released early in May, that oil inventories in developed nations fell to 9 million barrels above the five-year average, down from the 340 million barrels above the average seen in January 2017.

OPEC and its allies are slated to meet in Vienna on June 22.

In November 2016, OPEC and other producers, including Russia agreed to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to slash global inventories to the five year-average. The OPEC-led deal was renewed last year through 2018.

Oil prices were also nursing losses following the unexpected surge in U.S. supplies last week.

Inventories of U.S. crude rose by 5.778 million barrels for the week ended May 18, confounding expectations for a draw of 1.567 million barrels, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Nigeria stocks lower at close of trade; NSE 30 down 1.22%

Investing.com – Nigeria stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Food, Beverages&Tobacco, Banking and Insurance sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Lagos, the NSE 30 declined 1.22% to hit a new 3-months low.

The best performers of the session on the NSE 30 were Total Nig (LAGOS:TOTAL), which rose 7.08% or 15.00 points to trade at 227.00 at the close. Meanwhile, Uacn Prop (LAGOS:UACN) added 2.41% or 0.35 points to end at 14.85 and Unilever Nig (LAGOS:UNILEVE) was unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 points to 50.50 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Diamond Bank (LAGOS:DIAMONB), which fell 8.28% or 0.130 points to trade at 1.440 at the close. Pz Cussons LG (LAGOS:PZ) declined 7.09% or 1.55 points to end at 20.30 and Fidelitybk (LAGOS:FIDELIT) was down 5.50% or 0.120 points to 2.060.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lagos by 75 to 16 and 11 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for July delivery was down 0.90% or 0.65 to $71.19 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in July fell 0.69% or 0.55 to hit $79.25 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 1.13% or 14.60 to trade at $1304.20 a troy ounce.

EUR/NGN was up 0.05% to 421.930, while USD/NGN fell 0.14% to 360.500.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.32% at 93.61.

Dollar Sees Red as Weak U.S. Data Weighs

Investing.com – The dollar was hit by a fresh wave of selling Thursday, losing ground against its rivals following negative U.S. data showing a slowdown in the U.S. housing and labor market.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.23% to 93.69, after hitting a high of 93.91.

The dollar come under pressure after sales of previously owned homes in the US unexpectedly fell in April, as tight supply continued to weigh on housing activity.

The Commerce Department showed existing home sales fell 2.5% in April from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million homes. Economists were expecting a 0.2% decline to 5.56 million homes.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that initial jobless claims rose by 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000 for the week ended May 19, missing economists’ forecast for a drop to 220,000.

That was the second straight rise in jobless claims but analysts said it did not signal a downtrend in the labor market.

"[Jobless claims were] higher than expected, but it will take more than one or two higher readings to signal an uptrend," HFE analysts said in a note to clients.

The greenback had started the session under pressure following the release of dovish Federal Reserve minutes on Wednesday, in which policymakers said they were comfortable with inflation overshooting the central bank’s 2% target, denting investor hopes of more aggressive monetary policy tightening.

Also weighing on the dollar was a rebound in the euro and pound.

EUR/USD rose 0.27% to $1.1727, but ongoing Italian political uncertainty kept a lid on upside momentum.

GBP/USD rose 0.25% to $1.3382 as traders cheered better-than-expected retail sales data.

USD/JPY fell 0.73% as U.S. President Trump called off next month’s meeting with North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un following a series of threats from Pyongyang.

USD/CAD rose 0.44% to C$1.2892 as falling oil prices continued to support the pair amid reports OPEC and its allies could discuss scaling back production cuts at its upcoming meeting in June.

Portugal stocks lower at close of trade; PSI 20 down 0.67%

Investing.com – Portugal stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Utilities, Telecoms and Financials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Lisbon, the PSI 20 fell 0.67%.

The best performers of the session on the PSI 20 were J. Martins SGPS (LS:JMT), which rose 1.09% or 0.1500 points to trade at 13.9100 at the close. Meanwhile, Altri SGPS (LS:ALSS) added 0.77% or 0.0600 points to end at 7.8300 and Semapa (LS:SEM) was up 0.46% or 0.1000 points to 21.6500 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were F.Rama (LS:RAMA), which fell 2.33% or 0.300 points to trade at 12.600 at the close. EDP (LS:EDP) declined 2.01% or 0.0700 points to end at 3.4060 and Mota Engil (LS:MOTA) was down 1.98% or 0.0700 points to 3.4650.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lisbon Stock Exchange by 27 to 8 and 4 ended unchanged.

Shares in Semapa (LS:SEM) rose to 5-year highs; rising 0.46% or 0.1000 to 21.6500.

Brent oil for July delivery was down 0.74% or 0.59 to $79.21 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in July fell 1.06% or 0.76 to hit $71.08 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 1.19% or 15.30 to trade at $1304.90 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was up 0.32% to 1.1733, while EUR/GBP fell 0.01% to 0.8763.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.26% at 93.67.

Russia stocks lower at close of trade; MOEX Russia down 0.07%

Investing.com – Russia stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Telecoms, Oil&Gas and Manufacturing sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Moscow, the MOEX Russia fell 0.07%.

The best performers of the session on the MOEX Russia were NLMK ao (MCX:NLMK), which rose 2.19% or 3.50 points to trade at 163.00 at the close. Meanwhile, MMK (MCX:MAGN) added 1.98% or 0.900 points to end at 46.400 and United Company Rusal Plc (MCX:RUAL) was up 1.80% or 0.480 points to 27.130 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were SG mechel (MCX:MTLR), which fell 4.57% or 5.20 points to trade at 108.60 at the close. X5 Retail Group NV (MCX:FIVEDR) declined 3.13% or 58.5 points to end at 1813.0 and MTS (MCX:MTSS) was down 1.58% or 4.60 points to 286.50.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Moscow Stock Exchange by 111 to 100 and 21 ended unchanged.

The Russian VIX, which measures the implied volatility of MOEX Russia options, was up 0.72% to 22.430.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 1.14% or 14.70 to $1304.30 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in July fell 1.13% or 0.81 to hit $71.03 a barrel, while the July Brent oil contract fell 0.75% or 0.60 to trade at $79.20 a barrel.

USD/RUB was up 0.14% to 61.4366, while EUR/RUB rose 0.40% to 72.0325.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.23% at 93.69.

Netherlands stocks lower at close of trade; AEX down 0.61%

Investing.com – Netherlands stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Oil&Gas, Telecoms and Financials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Amsterdam, the AEX fell 0.61%.

The best performers of the session on the AEX were Galapagos NV (AS:GLPG), which rose 0.59% or 0.500 points to trade at 85.320 at the close. Meanwhile, Aalberts Industries NV (AS:AALB) added 0.52% or 0.22 points to end at 42.86 and Randstad Holding NV (AS:RAND) was up 0.49% or 0.26 points to 52.90 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Philips Lighting NV (AS:LIGHT), which fell 2.99% or 0.74 points to trade at 24.02 at the close. Royal Dutch Shell PLC Class A (AS:RDSa) declined 1.89% or 0.570 points to end at 29.640 and Koninklijke KPN NV (AS:KPN) was down 1.54% or 0.037 points to 2.371.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by 67 to 55 and 18 ended unchanged.

Shares in Philips Lighting NV (AS:LIGHT) fell to 52-week lows; down 2.99% or 0.74 to 24.02. Shares in Koninklijke KPN NV (AS:KPN) fell to 3-years lows; down 1.54% or 0.037 to 2.371.

The AEX Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of AEX options, was up 2.47% to 13.50 a new 1-month high.

Crude oil for July delivery was down 1.13% or 0.81 to $71.03 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in July fell 0.74% or 0.59 to hit $79.21 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 1.13% or 14.60 to trade at $1304.20 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was up 0.29% to 1.1730, while EUR/GBP unchanged 0.00% to 0.8764.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.23% at 93.69.

Spain stocks lower at close of trade; IBEX 35 down 0.29%

Investing.com – Spain stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Financial Services&Real Estate, Building&Construction and Chemical, Petroleum&Plastic sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Madrid, the IBEX 35 declined 0.29%.

The best performers of the session on the IBEX 35 were Inditex (MC:ITX), which rose 3.32% or 0.910 points to trade at 28.360 at the close. Meanwhile, Cellnex Telecom SA (MC:CLNX) added 2.44% or 0.55 points to end at 23.06 and Distribuidora Intl de Aliment (MC:DIDA) was up 0.90% or 0.028 points to 3.151 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Caixabank SA (MC:CABK), which fell 2.40% or 0.100 points to trade at 4.060 at the close. Inmobiliaria Colonial SA (MC:COL) declined 1.47% or 0.140 points to end at 9.415 and Acerinox (MC:ACX) was down 1.44% or 0.170 points to 11.630.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Madrid Stock Exchange by 110 to 70 and 22 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 1.12% or 14.50 to $1304.10 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in July fell 1.14% or 0.82 to hit $71.02 a barrel, while the July Brent oil contract fell 0.75% or 0.60 to trade at $79.20 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.31% to 1.1732, while EUR/GBP unchanged 0.00% to 0.8764.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.24% at 93.68.

Poland stocks higher at close of trade; WIG30 up 0.44%

Investing.com – Poland stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Oil&Gas, Chemicals and Basic Materials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Warsaw, the WIG30 added 0.44%.

The best performers of the session on the WIG30 were Bank Millennium SA (WA:MILP), which rose 2.96% or 0.24 points to trade at 8.34 at the close. Meanwhile, LPP SA (WA:LPPP) added 2.91% or 265.00 points to end at 9360.00 and CCC SA (WA:CCCP) was up 2.14% or 5.80 points to 276.80 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Powszechna Kasa Oszczednosci Bank Polski SA (WA:PKO), which fell 3.02% or 1.22 points to trade at 39.24 at the close. Energa SA (WA:ENGP) declined 2.96% or 0.27 points to end at 8.86 and Alior Bank SA (WA:ALRR) was down 2.78% or 2.00 points to 70.00.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Warsaw Stock Exchange by 251 to 179 and 186 ended unchanged.

Shares in Energa SA (WA:ENGP) fell to 52-week lows; losing 2.96% or 0.27 to 8.86.

Crude oil for July delivery was down 1.00% or 0.72 to $71.12 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in July fell 0.65% or 0.52 to hit $79.28 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 1.09% or 14.00 to trade at $1303.60 a troy ounce.

EUR/PLN was up 0.33% to 4.3167, while USD/PLN rose 0.07% to 3.6806.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.22% at 93.70.

Germany stocks mixed at close of trade; DAX down 0.94%

Investing.com – Germany stocks were mixed after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Technology, Software and Food&Beverages sectors led shares higher while losses in the Basic Resources, Telecoms and Utilities sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Frankfurt, the DAX fell 0.94%, while the MDAX index lost 0.57%, and the TecDAX index gained 0.16%.

The best performers of the session on the DAX were Linde AG 1 (DE:LIN1), which rose 1.25% or 2.4000 points to trade at 193.7500 at the close. Meanwhile, Merck KGaA (DE:MRCG) added 0.63% or 0.52 points to end at 83.70 and SAP SE (DE:SAPG) was up 0.44% or 0.420 points to 96.840 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Commerzbank AG O.N. (DE:CBKG), which fell 6.42% or 0.652 points to trade at 9.500 at the close. Deutsche Bank AG NA O.N. (DE:DBKGn) declined 4.79% or 0.522 points to end at 10.376 and Daimler AG NA O.N. (DE:DAIGn) was down 2.77% or 1.860 points to 65.220.

The top performers on the MDAX were Tag Immobilien AG (DE:TEGG) which rose 1.65% to 17.880, Gerresheimer AG (DE:GXIG) which was up 1.35% to settle at 67.800 and Hugo Boss AG NA O.N. (DE:BOSSn) which gained 0.96% to close at 77.720.

The worst performers were Osram Licht AG (DE:OSRn) which was down 2.46% to 51.50 in late trade, Schaeffler AG Pref (DE:SHA_p) which lost 2.06% to settle at 13.31 and Leoni AG (DE:LEOGn) which was down 1.86% to 54.920 at the close.

The top performers on the TecDAX were Siltronic AG (DE:WAFGn) which rose 2.32% to 148.000, Evotec AG O.N. (DE:EVTG) which was up 2.31% to settle at 14.585 and Sartorius AG VZO O.N. (DE:SATG_p) which gained 2.11% to close at 140.500.

The worst performers were Nordex SE O.N. (DE:NDXG) which was down 4.24% to 10.265 in late trade, SMA Solar Technology AG (DE:S92G) which lost 3.92% to settle at 56.300 and Medigene NA O.N. (DE:MDG1k) which was down 3.39% to 14.840 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by 459 to 246 and 82 ended unchanged.

Shares in Deutsche Bank AG NA O.N. (DE:DBKGn) fell to 52-week lows; falling 4.79% or 0.522 to 10.376. Shares in Sartorius AG VZO O.N. (DE:SATG_p) rose to 52-week highs; up 2.11% or 2.900 to 140.500.

The DAX volatility index, which measures the implied volatility of DAX options, was up 3.26% to 17.20 a new 1-month high.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 1.11% or 14.30 to $1303.90 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in July fell 1.02% or 0.73 to hit $71.11 a barrel, while the July Brent oil contract fell 0.65% or 0.52 to trade at $79.28 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.27% to 1.1728, while EUR/GBP unchanged 0.00% to 0.8764.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.22% at 93.70.

Sweden stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Stockholm 30 down 0.53%

Investing.com – Sweden stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Oil&Gas, Basic Materials and Financials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Stockholm, the OMX Stockholm 30 lost 0.53%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Stockholm 30 were Swedish Match AB (ST:SWMA), which rose 1.81% or 7.6 points to trade at 427.6 at the close. Meanwhile, Svenska Handelsbanken AB A (ST:SHBa) added 0.50% or 0.49 points to end at 98.47 and Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson Class B (ST:ERICb) was up 0.47% or 0.31 points to 65.59 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Kinnevik, Investment AB ser. B (ST:KINVb), which fell 3.34% or 10.6 points to trade at 306.8 at the close. SSAB AB ser. A (ST:SSABa) declined 2.51% or 1.25 points to end at 48.65 and Boliden AB (ST:BOL) was down 1.96% or 6.25 points to 311.95.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Stockholm Stock Exchange by 351 to 255 and 62 ended unchanged.

Shares in Swedish Match AB (ST:SWMA) rose to all time highs; rising 1.81% or 7.6 to 427.6.

Crude oil for July delivery was down 1.10% or 0.79 to $71.05 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in July fell 0.74% or 0.59 to hit $79.21 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 1.10% or 14.20 to trade at $1303.80 a troy ounce.

EUR/SEK was up 0.12% to 10.2590, while USD/SEK fell 0.16% to 8.7472.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.22% at 93.70.

Norway stocks lower at close of trade; Oslo OBX down 0.78%

Investing.com – Norway stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Technology Hardware&Equipment, Energy and Banking sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Oslo, the Oslo OBX lost 0.78%.

The best performers of the session on the Oslo OBX were BW LPG Ltd (OL:BWLPG), which rose 4.37% or 1.32 points to trade at 31.50 at the close. Meanwhile, Yara International ASA (OL:YAR) added 2.10% or 7.1 points to end at 345.6 and Grieg Seafood (OL:GSFO) was up 2.06% or 1.90 points to 94.15 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Petroleum Geo - Services ASA (OL:PGS), which fell 4.97% or 2.08 points to trade at 39.78 at the close. Aker BP ASA (OL:AKERBP) declined 2.43% or 7.40 points to end at 297.40 and Equinor ASA (OL:EQNR) was down 1.99% or 4.3 points to 211.4.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Oslo Stock Exchange by 119 to 57 and 17 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for July delivery was down 1.13% or 0.81 to $71.03 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in July fell 0.85% or 0.68 to hit $79.12 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 1.09% or 14.00 to trade at $1303.60 a troy ounce.

EUR/NOK was up 0.18% to 9.4835, while USD/NOK fell 0.09% to 8.0886.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.20% at 93.72.

Forex- Dollar Remains Lower On Fed, North Korea News

Investing.com - The greenback remained lower on Thursday after an unexpected dovish-tone in the latest Federal Reserve meeting minutes and news that the White House had called off a planned summit with North Korea.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.20% to 93.72 as of 11:22 AM ET (15:22 GMT).

The White House said in a statement that it would be "inappropriate" to have a planned summit at this time. Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un were set to meet in Singapore on June 12 to discuss possible denuclearization.

The dollar was also held back by Fed meeting notes suggested that while another interest rate hike is warranted, the central bank would accept inflation rising above its target rate for a while.

This was a surprise to investors, who expected that the Fed will increase interest rates and tighten monetary policy in the coming months. The Fed raised rates in March and is expected to raise rates twice more, with a 95% chance of a hike in June.

The dollar was down against the safe haven yen, with USD/JPY falling 0.80% to 109.18.

Meanwhile sterling was higher on Thursday after UK retail sales came in higher than expected, boosting confidence in the economy. GBP/USD rose 0.17% to 1.3370 but was lower from its session high 1.3412.

The euro was also higher, but was held back by economic and political worries in Europe. The EUR/USD increased 0.22% to 1.1721. Elsewhere, the Australian dollar was higher, with AUD/USD up 0.07% to 0.7563 while NZD/USD was unchanged.

Commodities - Natural Gas Futures Turn Higher After Storage Data

Investing.com - The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. increased by 91 billion cubic feet in the week ended May 18, compared to forecasts for a build of 92 billion.

Thursday’s data compared with a gain of 106 billion cubic feet (bcf) in the preceding week and represented a decline of 804 billion from a year earlier and was also 499 bcf below the five-year average.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 1.629 trillion cubic feet, 33.0% lower than levels at this time a year ago and also 23.4% below the five-year average for this time of year.

After the report, natural gas for delivery in June on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.3 cents, or about 0.1%, to trade at $2.917 per million British thermal units by 10:33AM ET (14:33GMT).

Futures had been inching down 0.4 cents, or about 0.1%, at $2.910 prior to the release of the supply data.

The commodity was on track for its third straight session of gains on the back of weather forecasts for hotter weather across the country.

In its forecasts for May 24-30, the National Weather Service predicted above-average temperatures that would consolidate over most of the U.S. and continue in the following week.

Demand for natural gas tends to rise in the summer months as warmer temperatures increase the need for gas-fired electricity to power air conditioning.

U.S. Existing Home Sales Fall in April

Investing.com - Sales of previously-owned U.S. homes fell in April, according to figures released by the National Association of Realtors on Thursday.

Existing home sales fell 2.5% in April from the previous month to an annualized pace of 5.46 million units.

Economists had forecasts a 0.2% decrease to an annualized pace of 5.56 million.

Existing home sales account for 90% of the market and are calculated when a contract closes.

NAR indicated that sales also slid 1.4% on an annualized basis as all four major regions saw no gain in sales activity last month.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun explained that the slump was due to extremely low inventory levels.

“The root cause of the underperforming sales activity in much of the country so far this year continues to be the utter lack of available listings on the market to meet the strong demand for buying a home,” he said.

“Inventory shortages are even worse than in recent years, and home prices keep climbing above what many home shoppers are able to afford,” Yun added.

According to the report, the median existing-home price for all housing types in April was $257,900, up 5.3% from April 2017 ($245,000).

Wells Fargo Sees Stock Market Breakout

Investing.com - Stocks have been stuck in a volatile trading range since the correction of February, but one Wall Street firm says that will soon yield to another move higher.
In a note to clients, the Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) Investment Institute says technical data indicate a breakout and "a resumption of the trend that was in place before the correction."
The firm points to the fact that on several recent occasions the S&P 500 has closed above its 200-day moving average, which is viewed as a key indicator for determining long-term price trends.
Wells says history shows that once a breakout begins investors will feel a sense of "missing out" on the market gains and invest new money, pushing prices even higher.
The firm has a year-end, price target for the S&P 500 of 2,950, which is about 3% higher than the index's record peak in late January.

Saudi Arabia stocks lower at close of trade; Tadawul All Share down 0.02%

Investing.com – Saudi Arabia stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the Real Estate Development, Media&Publishing and Building&Construction sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul All Share fell 0.02%.

The best performers of the session on the Tadawul All Share were Saudi Industrial Services Co. (SE:2190), which rose 4.87% or 0.70 points to trade at 15.08 at the close. Meanwhile, Saudi Transport&Investment Co (SE:4110) added 4.63% or 1.85 points to end at 41.85 and Abdullah Al Othaim Markets Company (SE:4001) was up 3.53% or 2.47 points to 72.50 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Saudi Automotive Services Co. (SE:4050), which fell 13.00% or 2.34 points to trade at 15.66 at the close. Al Alamiya Cooperative Insurance (SE:8280) declined 6.90% or 2.11 points to end at 28.45 and Dar Alarkan Real Estate Development (SE:4300) was down 5.03% or 0.60 points to 11.34.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Saudi Arabia Stock Exchange by 118 to 63 and 5 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for July delivery was down 1.67% or 1.20 to $70.64 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in July fell 1.40% or 1.12 to hit $78.68 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 0.71% or 9.20 to trade at $1298.80 a troy ounce.

EUR/SAR was up 0.26% to 4.3979, while USD/SAR rose 0.02% to 3.7509.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.21% at 93.71.

ECB Minutes - Markets Believe Asset Purchases Likely to Conclude by End of 2018

Investing.com - Minutes from the European Central Bank's April 26 policy meeting released Thursday revealed that policymakers were confident that inflation would return to the 2% target in the medium term, while they recognized that markets expected that the asset purchase program would be concluded by the end of this year.

Last month the ECB left the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.40%, respectively.

It also confirmed that its asset purchase program would remain at €30 billion ($35.2 billion) a month would continue, until the end of September or beyond if necessary.

At that meeting, ECB president Mario Draghi acknowledged the slowdown in the euro zone economy, referring to it as a “moderation”. However, Draghi blamed temporary factors such as a harsh winter, strikes, and the early date of Easter, in March instead of April.

The minutes recognized that there had been “some moderation in activity, but so far remained consistent with a solid and broad-based expansion of the euro area economy.”

“The underlying strength of the euro area economy continued to support the Governing Council’s confidence that inflation would gradually converge to its inflation aim of below, but close to, 2% over the medium term,” the minutes stated.

Nevertheless, the IHS Markit purchasing managers’ index released on Wednesday showed that business activity in the region sank to an 18-month low in May, dampening ECB prospects for the removal of policy accommodation.

The minutes showed that members "broadly agreed" that financial conditions continued to be "very accommodative overall", in spite of increased uncertainty and volatility in some markets.

"A remark was made that survey and analysts’ expectations regarding APP net purchases were unchanged, with market participants continuing to anticipate net purchases concluding towards the end of 2018." the ECB noted.

Overall, the minutes were largely in line with Draghi’s message at the April 26 press conference and little movement was seen in Forex markets after the publication.

At 7:42AM ET (11:42GMT), EUR/USD was trading at 1.1711 from around 1.11715 ahead of the release, while EUR/GBP was at 0.8745 from 0.8744 earlier.

The next monetary policy meeting will take place on June 14.

Weekly Comic: Powell Doesn’t Offer Hawks Much As Fed Tilts Dovish

Investing.com - Minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting hinted at a dovish approach to interest rate hikes in the United States, disappointing hawks that were expecting a more aggressive pace of monetary tightening.

Most Fed policymakers thought it likely another interest rate increase would be warranted "soon" if the U.S. economic outlook remains intact, the minutes showed on Wednesday.

But they also revealed the Fed would tolerate inflation rising above its goal for a time, suggesting it would not raise the tempo at which it increases interest rates.

The probability of three more rate hikes by the end of this year, rather than two, decreased immediately after the release of the minutes, according to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

Investors have fully priced in a rate rise at the Fed's next policy meeting on June 12-13. However, Wall Street remains divided over how many more time the central bank will raise interest rates after that.

The dollar and Treasury yields lost momentum, pulling back from recent highs after the minutes of the Fed's last policy meeting were seen as dovish.

Several market-moving reports, including the May jobs report and the second estimate of GDP growth for the first quarter, are due next week, and investors will be watching for more clues on the current rate-hiking path.

To see more of Investing.com’s weekly comics, visit: http://www.investing.com/analysis/comics

Sri Lanka stocks higher at close of trade; CSE All-Share up 0.10%

Investing.com – Sri Lanka stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Power&Energy, Trading and Telecoms sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Colombo, the CSE All-Share added 0.10%.

The best performers of the session on the CSE All-Share were Adam Investments Ltd (CM:ADAM), which rose 50.00% or 0.100 points to trade at 0.300 at the close. Meanwhile, Equity Two PLC (CM:ETWO) added 24.33% or 14.60 points to end at 74.60 and Selinsing PLC (CM:SELI) was up 22.27% or 136.60 points to 750.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were PCH Holdings PLC (CM:PCHH), which fell 14.29% or 0.100 points to trade at 0.600 at the close. York Arcade Holdings PLC (CM:YORK) declined 11.00% or 11.00 points to end at 89.00 and Paragon Ceylon PLC (CM:PARA) was down 10.44% or 5.90 points to 50.60.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Colombo Stock Exchange by 102 to 91 and 55 ended unchanged.

Shares in Adam Investments Ltd (CM:ADAM) rose to all time lows; rising 50.00% or 0.100 to 0.300. Shares in York Arcade Holdings PLC (CM:YORK) fell to 52-week lows; falling 11.00% or 11.00 to 89.00.

Crude oil for July delivery was down 0.71% or 0.51 to $71.33 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in July fell 0.83% or 0.66 to hit $79.14 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract rose 0.45% or 5.80 to trade at $1295.40 a troy ounce.

GBP/LKR was up 0.61% to 211.890, while USD/LKR rose 0.08% to 157.990.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.18% at 93.74.

India stocks higher at close of trade; Nifty 50 up 0.80%

Investing.com – India stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the IT, Technology and Banking sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NSE, the Nifty 50 added 0.80%, while the BSE Sensex 30 index added 0.93%.

The best performers of the session on the Nifty 50 were Bharti Airtel Ltd. (NS:BRTI), which rose 4.34% or 15.50 points to trade at 371.90 at the close. Meanwhile, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (NS:TCS) added 3.31% or 115.65 points to end at 3603.70 and Infosys Ltd (NS:INFY) was up 2.96% or 35.10 points to 1221.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Tata Motors Ltd (NS:TAMO), which fell 6.33% or 19.60 points to trade at 288.65 at the close. Oil And Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (NS:ONGC) declined 4.39% or 7.70 points to end at 167.70 and GAIL Ltd (NS:GAIL) was down 5.45% or 17.60 points to 309.50.

The top performers on the BSE Sensex 30 were Bharti Airtel Ltd (BO:BRTI) which rose 4.11% to 371.45, Infosys Ltd (BO:INFY) which was up 3.09% to settle at 1221.85 and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (BO:TCS) which gained 3.08% to close at 3604.80.

The worst performers were Tata Motors Ltd (BO:TAMO) which was down 6.56% to 288.95 in late trade, Oil And Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (BO:ONGC) which lost 4.50% to settle at 167.65 and Tata Motors Ltd DVR (BO:TAMdv) which was down 4.40% to 168.30 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the India National Stock Exchange by 834 to 754 and 45 ended unchanged; on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1324 fell and 1229 advanced, while 129 ended unchanged.

Shares in Tata Motors Ltd (NS:TAMO) fell to 52-week lows; down 6.33% or 19.60 to 288.65. Shares in Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (NS:TCS) rose to all time highs; up 3.31% or 115.65 to 3603.70. Shares in Infosys Ltd (NS:INFY) rose to 52-week highs; up 2.96% or 35.10 to 1221.00. Shares in Tata Motors Ltd (BO:TAMO) fell to 52-week lows; losing 6.56% or 20.30 to 288.95. Shares in Infosys Ltd (BO:INFY) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 3.09% or 36.60 to 1221.85. Shares in Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (BO:TCS) rose to all time highs; gaining 3.08% or 107.75 to 3604.80. Shares in Tata Motors Ltd DVR (BO:TAMdv) fell to 3-years lows; losing 4.40% or 7.75 to 168.30.

The India VIX, which measures the implied volatility of Nifty 50 options, was down 7.15% to 13.1450.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.45% or 5.80 to $1295.40 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in July fell 0.63% or 0.45 to hit $71.39 a barrel, while the July Brent oil contract fell 0.74% or 0.59 to trade at $79.21 a barrel.

USD/INR was up 0.10% to 68.355, while EUR/INR rose 0.14% to 80.0917.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.17% at 93.75.

Top 5 Things To Know In The Market On Thursday

Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, May 24:

1. U.S.-China Trade Dispute Remains In Focus

Trade concerns continued to nag at investors after U.S. President Donald Trump appeared to have opened a new front in the trade war by considering new tariffs, this time on cars.

The Trump administration is weighing a plan that would impose tariffs of as much as 25% on imported vehicles, citing national security grounds.

The move opens yet another front in the Trump administration’s trade battles with both allies and rivals, a confrontational approach that has yielded mixed results.

Meanwhile, China's Commerce Ministry said earlier that it had not pledged to cut the country's trade surplus with the U.S. by a certain figure, fueling uncertainty over trade talks between the world's two largest economic powers.

2. U.S. Stock Futures Point To Muted Open

U.S. stock futures pointed to a muted open, as investors looked ahead to a fresh batch of corporate earnings and economic data, while monitoring fresh developments surrounding talks with China and North Korea.

At around 5:45AM ET, the blue-chip Dow futures dipped around 7 points, or less than 0.1%, the S&P 500 futures inched up 1 point, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 7 points, or roughly 0.1%.

Stocks ended slightly higher on Wednesday, as an early session sell-off was entirely erased following the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting.

On the earnings front, reports from Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST), and Gap (NYSE:GPS) will be the notable reporters from the retail sector, while Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL), Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK), and McKesson (NYSE:MCK) will also report results on Thursday.

Elsewhere, in Europe, the continent's major bourses inched higher in mid-morning trade, with Italy leading the advancers as political tension there eased for now.

Earlier, in Asia, markets in the region stumbled as investors reacted to fresh setbacks in trade talks between the U.S. and China.

3. Dollar Loses Steam After Dovish Fed Minutes

The dollar lost momentum against a basket of currencies, pulling back from a five-month high after the minutes of the Fed's last policy meeting were seen as dovish.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.25% at 93.67, down from a five-month high of 94.12 set on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield stood at around 3.01% in early action.

While the minutes showed most policymakers thought it likely another interest rate increase would be warranted "soon", they also revealed the Fed would tolerate inflation rising above its goal for a time, suggesting it would not raise the tempo at which it increases interest rates.

On the economic data side, investors will get the weekly report on initial jobless claims at 8:30AM ET, followed by home prices for March at 9AM ET.

A report on existing home sales in April, and the Kansas City Fed’s latest manufacturing activity reading are then due at 10AM and 11AM respectively.

4. Oil Prices Slip On Rising Stockpiles, OPEC Worries

Crude prices were on the backfoot, pressured by a surprise jump in weekly U.S. crude supplies.

U.S. crude was down 53 cents, or 0.7%, at $71.31, while Brent crude, the global benchmark, declined 78 cents, or 1%, to $79.02 a barrel.

Speculation that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries may decide to boost output to make up for a Venezuelan production shortfall and potential lost supply from Iran also weighed on oil prices

5. DOJ Launches Investigation Into Bitcoin Manipulation

The U.S. Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation into whether traders are manipulating the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Investigators are focused on illegal moves that can affect prices, such as spoofing, which refers to flooding a market with fake orders.

Federal prosecutors are working with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the sources said.

Bitcoin prices sank 7%, or around $550, to $7,339 (BTC/USD), after falling sharply Wednesday.