Asian markets settled mostly lower. The Nikkei 225 fell a nominal -0.04% and the Shanghai Composite fell -0.31%.
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ECB Executive Board member Praet said that the European economy is firming but still relies on a “substantial degree of accommodation.” European equities fell late in their day with the DAX off -0.42%. Yields on the 10-yr. Bund fell to the lowest levels of the year at 0.236%.
Initial Claims for the week of 02/18 were a benign 244K. The December FHFA Housing Price Index rose +0.4% as expected. Last night, the API report on inventories surprised traders with a draw of -900K barrels. This morning, the EIA reported a build of +600K barrels, but still well below expectations.
Yields on the 10-Year Note fell back to 2.377% and the US$ Index was a little soft. Gold took advantage and jumped +1.5% to $1,251.40, the highest level since November. Moderation in oil inventories at the Cushing OK hub helped support prices. April oil closed up 1.6% at $54.45.
New contract highs were set again by the DJIA, S&P 500, and the NASDAQ 100. A solid open was followed by selling pressure, but markets mostly bounced back. At the end of the day, prices were mixed.