The US stocks traded in a narrow range on Tuesday and closed marginally lower snapping a three day run on the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Commerce Department upgraded its reading on third quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 3.9 percent on Tuesday from 3.5 percent reported last month. The raised estimates reflected upward revisions to business and consumer spending, At the same time The Conference Board report released on Tuesday indicated that US consumer confidence fell unexpectedly in November to its lowest level since June as optimism waned in the short-term outlook for business conditions and jobs. The S&P 500 set an intraday high, but closed 0.1% lower at 2,067.04. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 3 points to 17,814.94.
In Europe, Germany’s Federal Statistics Office confirmed an earlier preliminary estimate showing a 0.1 percent rise in seasonally-adjusted GDP in the third quarter, indicating that Europe’s biggest economy narrowly avoided recession after contraction in the second quarter. Germany’s DAX 30 index climbed 0.8% to 6,731.14, pushing the index’s month-to-date gain to 5.7%. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.2% to 346.28. The European Commission agreed on Tuesday to set up a new fund with $26 billion of capital to act as a catalyst for 300 billion euros of private investment into infrastructure projects to revive growth. The Commission hopes it will create a million jobs over three years. The Nikkei Average rose 0.3% to 17,407.62 on Tuesday. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Tuesday that the central bank would continue to take actions to achieve its 2% inflation target. On Tuesday, the People’s Bank of China lowered its 14-day repurchase-agreement rate by 20 basis points after a surprise interest rate cut on Friday.
Oil futures slumped to their lowest close in more than four years Tuesday after a meeting between OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Venezuela with major oil producers Russia and Mexico failed to reach an agreement on output cuts. ICE January Brent dropped $1.35, or 1.7%, to $78.33 a barrel. Analysts expect Saudi Arabia is likely to adhere to calls for the cartel to stick closer to its production ceiling of 30 million barrels which could provide some near-term support, but have argued it would likely take a bigger reduction to provide a more sustainable increase in the price. The cartel has been exceeding its existing production ceiling of 30 million barrels a day, producing around 30.7 million barrels a day in September.
Gold inched higher on Tuesday after reports US confidence index fell unexpectedly in November. December gold futures settled up 0.1% at $1,197.10 an ounce. December silver settled higher 1% at $16.55 an ounce. China will begin to buy corn from farmers this week under an annual intervention program as it seeks to support the domestic market and boost rural incomes, and plans to buy 40 million tons of corn in 2014/2015. And falling soymeal prices in China are threatening to cut China’s booming demand for US beans as processing margins have started turning negative. A slowdown in imports by China, which buys more than 60 percent of globally traded beans, could add to pressure on global prices that rallied to a four-month high earlier this month on the back of strong demand.