In Europe, however, equities opened higher, signaling some improvement in risk sentiment
Wall Street equities were mostly lower overnight amid the prevailing risk aversion triggered by lower-than-expected economic data out of the United States. The ISM services PMI fell to 60.1 from May’s record 64.0, well below the 63.3 expected. Investors were also nervous ahead of the FOMC meeting minutes due later today. As such, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones fell 0.20% and 0.60%, respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite bucked the trend to gain 0.17%.
Asian stock markets followed Wall Street lower Wednesday as market players braced for minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged down 0.6%. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo sank nearly 1% while and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.40%. The Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.66% despite the authorities announced they would impose stricter data security standards on domestic companies that want to join foreign stock exchanges.
In Europe, however, equities opened higher on Wednesday, signaling some improvement in risk sentiment. The pan-European STOXX 600 index gained 0.5% in early trade. Royal Dutch Shell stocks rose over 2.5% after the UK-listed oil major said it would boost its returns to shareholders, citing higher oil and gas prices.
Meanwhile, the safe-haven dollar gained due to the recent risk aversion to send the euro to the 1.1800 area. Now, the USD index remains bid in the upper end of the weekly range around 92.50 and could extend the ascent later today if the Fed delivers a more hawkish tone. In this scenario, EURUSD may dip below 1.1800. As of writing, the pair was changing hands around 1.1820, unchanged for the day.