If not for the Autumn Statement by the Chancellor George Osborne in the British Parliament today, I think dealers would have called an early night ahead of the long weekend in the U.S. Asian equities were really nothing to write home about, closing mixed Nikkei and HS lower with Shanghai firmer. In Europe, the DAX and CAC were the star performers closing up 2.15% and +1.5% on the back of positive corporate announcements (Metro +6%, LafrargeHolcium +4% and Thomas Cook +10%) all raising dividends and payouts greater than expected. In the UK, the home builders surged afters Mr. Osborne’s comments bolstered the construction and builders interests; Barratt’s, Wimpey, and Persimmon all gained 5%.
FX initially saw weakness for EUR, GBP and JPY but many recovered towards the close. The euro spent the majority of the day below the psychological 106 level, but book-squaring into the close reversed a lot of those trades. We saw the mirror trade in emerging market currencies as we saw yesterday with the Rouble and Turkish Lira losing around -0.5% against the USD. The DXY (US Dollar Index) saw small gains closing +0.3% higher at 99.85.