US stocks ended higher for a second session on Tuesday after trading in a narrow range as opinion polls showed support for UK remaining in the European Union ahead of the Thursday’s referendum is rising. The dollar strengthened with the live dollar index data indicating the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, closing up 0.4% at 94.045. The Dow Jones industrial average added 0.1% settling at 17829.73 led by a 2.2% gain in Microsoft. The S&P 500 closed 0.3% higher at 2088.90 led by energy and telecom stocks. The material stocks led the decliners with four out of ten main sectors ending in negative territory. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.1%. In her testimony to the Senate Banking Committee Fed Chair Janet Yellen was optimistic about US economy and defended central bank’s cautious approach to rate hikes stating the UK exit from the EU poses a significant risk to the US economy. Yellen said the Fed will be cautious about interest rate increases until it is clear the job market is improving. Her comment signified the importance of June monthly employment report for central bank’s interest rate decision in July. Today at 13:00 CET Mortgage Applications will be released in US. At 16:00 CET May Existing Home Sales will be published. The tentative outlook is positive. At the same time Fed Chair Janet Yellen testifies to the House Financial Services Committee.
European stocks advanced for the third session on Tuesday with investor confidence bolstered by polls showing growing support for the UK to stay in the EU ahead of a key referendum on June 23. The euro weakened against the dollar. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.7%. Bank shares were mixed after previous day’s rally: Banco Comercial Portugues dropped 7.5% while Commerzbank gained 1.3%. Germany’s constitutional court ruled the European Central Bank’s unlimited bond-buying program, known as OMT and created to provide liquidity at the height of the European debt crisis, complies with German law. ECB President Mario Draghi said in Brussels the central bank is prepared to act if a Brexit results in a financial turmoil. Germany’s DAX 30 index rose 0.5% to 9529.20 helped by ZEW survey results showing economic expectations in Germany jumped in June. France’s CAC 40 index gained 0.6% and UK’s FTSE 100 index added 0.5%. Today at 16:00 CET June Consumer Confidence will be released in euro-zone. The tentative outlook is neutral.
Asian stocks are edging higher today with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is up 0.58% and Australia’s S&P ASX 200 is gaining 0.2%. Nikkei lost 0.6% today in thin trading after recording 4.7% gain over past three sessions with stronger yen hurting exporters’ outlook. Toyota ended 0.5% lower, Panasonic lost 1.25%. Investors took profits ahead of Thursday’s referendum and refrain from making big bets until the uncertainty about UK’s membership is resolved.
Oil futures prices are gaining today after data from the American Petroleum Institute released late Tuesday showed a bigger than expected decline of 5.2 million barrels in US crude inventories last week. At 16:30 CET US Crude Oil Inventories will be released by Energy Information Administration. August Brent crude fell 0.1% to $50.62 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange.