Europe stocks soft, dollar weakness
The FT's Jamie Chisholm highlights what to watch in markets on Friday, as stock markets end the week softer after a small dip for Wall Street. The US dollar index is at its lowest level in five weeks and the euro is moving higher after Dutch election results eased European political fears.
Welcome to the FT Market Minute. Here's what we're watching in London on Friday morning.
It's a soft end to the week for stock markets, as futures suggest another small dip for Wall Street. The S&P 500 sits less than 1% shy of its record high ever. So the latest pause in the bull run could still just be called consolidation.
Helping the mood is a steadier oil market, with Brent around $52 a barrel. Arguably of more interest is the performance of the US dollar index. Its inability to rally above January's 14-year high perhaps shows how investors are betting that the period of monetary policy divergence, particularly with regard to the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank, may be drawing to a close.
The dollar index is now at a five-week low, just above the 100 mark, after the Fed's commentary this week was less hawkish than expected, and amid signs that more ECB members are getting itchy about tightening policy.
The euro is heading towards 108 per buck after the Dutch election helped reduce European political fears, and the consequent reduced demand for [INAUDIBLE] is hitting the bund, pushing yields back to 50 basis points. Still, gold bugs like a soft buck, and the bullion is back above 1225 an ounce.
Filmed by Rod Fitzgerald. Produced by Filip Fortuna.