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Stocks subdued ahead of Super Wednesday

Wall Street closed mixed overnight. The S&P and Nasdaq pushed higher, whilst Boeing and GE dragged the Dow into the red. The S&P enjoyed its 8th consecutive winning session, its longest winning run since October 2017, helped higher by rallying oil prices that boosted energy stocks.

Oil advances

After gaining 1.6% in the previous session, crude oil was climbing once again in early trade on Tuesday. Concerns over tightening supply have seen the price of oil jump 37% since the start of the year and 7% in April alone. Renewed fighting in Libya has lifted oil through resistance at $64, with oil bulls now eyeing $65. The API weekly inventory report will be up next on oil traders’ radar.

Wait and see mood dominates

Asian markets struggled for direction and European bourses are looking towards a broadly softer start to trading on the opening bell. Investors are waiting cautiously on the side-lines, braced for key events lined up for later in the week. There is a definite sense of caution which is keeping traders subdued as they shift their focus towards a busy second half to the week. The wait and see mood is expected to hang around today ahead of key events that make up a 'Super Wednesday'/ These include the crucial Brexit EU summit, the ECB policy announcement and Fed minutes. Then there is the start of the US earning season on Friday, which could set the tone for the coming weeks.

Investors are waiting for the next catalyst before considering extending current gains. With US – China trade talks over for now, the focus is shifting back towards Europe in more ways than one, that's a reason to think any rally could be hard to come by.

Euro shrugs off Trump’s tariff threats

Firstly, Trump is threatening US tariffs on EU helicopters, cheese and wine in retaliation for an ongoing dispute over European Airbus subsidiaries. The market’s response has been limited, the Dax  futures are lagging the broader market and the euro is actually edging higher versus the dollar. In a rare show of moderation, Trump is prepared to wait for the WTO conclusion into an investigation on Boeing and Airbus before applying any tariffs on the EU. Secondly the ECB monetary policy announcement will be closely scrutinized on Wednesday.

Brexit update

The pound continues its recovery versus the dollar in early trade on Tuesday. The House of Lords has passed a Bill preventing the UK from exiting without a Brexit deal. The EU is also toying with the idea of agreeing to a delay for the UK leaving the EU. These pound-positive points should keep sterling supported above $1.30 despite the continuing Brexit chaos.

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