Americas roundup: Dollar slips to 4-week low, Gold hits 1-month high, Wall street rises, Oil prices stay near high on strong U.S. refinery runs, China data-december 29th 2017
• US w/e Initial Jobless Claims, 245k, 240k forecast, 245k previous.
• US w/e Jobless Claims 4-Wk Avg, 237.75k, 236.00k previous.
• US w/e Continued Jobless Claims, 1.943 mln, 1.900 mln forecast, 1.932 mln previous, 1.936 mln revised.
• US Nov Retail Inventories Advance, 0.2%, 0.4% previous.
• US Nov Adv Goods Trade Balance, -69.68 bln, -68.10 bln previous.
• US Nov Wholesale Inventories Adv, 0.7%, -0.5% previous, -0.4% revised.
• US Dec Chicago PMI, 67.6, 62.0 forecast, 63.9 previous.
• New York governor says new U.S. tax code may be unconstitutional.
• Trump ‘disappointed’ China allowing oil into North Korea.
• Italy President dissolves parliament ahead of elections.
• Alabama officials to certify Jones as Senate winner despite Moore challenge.
Looking Ahead – Economic Data (GMT)
• 00:30 Australia Nov Housing Credit, 0.5% previous
• 00:30 Australia Nov Private Sector Credit, 0.4% previous
Looking Ahead – Events, Other Releases (GMT)
• N/A The European Central Bank to release monthly data on lending and money supply
• N/A ECB’s Lautenschlager, European Banking Authority Chief Andrea Enria and Basel Committee Chair Stefan Ingves speak in Frankfurt
EUR/USD is likely to find support at 1.1900 levels and currently trading at 1.1952 levels. The pair has made session high at 1.1958 and hit lows at 1.1935 levels. The euro rose higher against US dollar on Thursday as greenback dipped on a less upbeat U.S. growth outlook after the passage of major tax cuts. Last week’s passage of the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years gave the dollar some support, but markets are not confident that the tax reform will feed through quickly into increased consumer confidence. An index which tracks the greenback against six major currencies slipped nearly half a percent on Thursday to its weakest since Nov. 27. It was last down 0.45 percent at 92.609.The dollar index has dropped more than 9 percent this year, putting it on track for its biggest annual slide since 2003. The greenback hit its strongest in 14 years at the start of 2017 on hopes that U.S. President Donald Trump would implement pro-growth, pro-inflation measures. But it has fallen on worries that Trump would not succeed in implementing other programs he campaigned on, in particular, infrastructure, and as other countries’ central banks have moved towards tightening monetary conditions, lessening the divergence between their policies and that of the Federal Reserve.
GBP/USD is supported in the range of 1.3385 levels and currently trading at 1.3441 levels. It reached session high at 1.3445 and dropped to session low at 1.3429 levels. Sterling edged higher against the dollar on Thursday as dollar dipped after data showed a widening U.S. trade gap offsetting figures demonstrating a continuingly firm labor market. Traders closely track U.S. economic data in search of clues to the pace of U.S. interest rate increases in coming months. Though employment has shown signs of consistent strength, mixed reports on economic activity have fueled bets that the Federal Reserve will be slow in tightening policy. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits was unchanged last week at 245,000, slightly above the 240,000 forecast, but the underlying trend remained consistent with a tightening labor market. Sterling benefited from the dollar’s weakness, gaining as much as half a percent to hit a two-week high of $1.3456.The pound is on track for its best year against the dollar since 2009, with a more than 9 percent climb, though it is still down more than 10 percent since last year’s vote in Britain to leave the European Union.
USD/CAD is supported at 1.2518 levels and is trading at 1.2583 levels. It has made session high at 1.2622 and lows at 1.2566 levels. The Canadian dollar strengthened to a two-month high against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, as the greenback broadly fell and commodity markets held on to recent gains. The currency, which had been trading in range roughly between 1.26 and 1.29 over the past two months, touched its strongest since Oct. 20 at C$1.2566. The U.S. dollar held near a one-month low against a basket of major currencies as the latest jobless claims data suggesting a firm labor market was offset by advance trade balance figures that pointed a widening trade gap in November. Investors have also been weighing prospects for global central banks to tighten monetary conditions, lessening the divergence between the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy and the rest of the world. The price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, stood near its highest in two and a half years, supported by strong data from top importer China amid thin trading activity ahead of the New Year weekend. The Canadian dollar was last trading at C$1.2566 to the greenback, up 0.67 percent.
AUD/USD is supported around 0.7762 levels and currently trading at 0.7791 levels. It hit session high at 0.7797 and made session lows at 0.7583 levels. The Australian hovered near multi-week peaks on Thursday as a rally in metals combined with low volatility globally and a soft greenback boosted Australian dollar. Australia’s commodity-driven currency edged up 0.31 percent to $0.7793, a level not visited since Oct. 24.The Aussie is seen ending the year about 8 percent higher, reversing the losing streak of the past four years. Trade was light across the board as many market participants were on holiday. Thursday’s gains came as copper, seen as a barometer for global growth, held near a four-year high. Australia is a major exporter of natural gas, metals and iron ore, so higher prices for these commodities add to the country’s national income. The price of oil, stood near its highest in two and a half years, supported by strong data from top importer China and on increased U.S. refining activity that drew more crude from inventories.
European shares inched lower on Thursday with company news and macro events scarce in holiday-thinned trading, while Britain’s FTSE 100 hovered just under a record high.
UK’s benchmark FTSE 100 closed up by 0.01 percent, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 ended the day down by 0.39 percent, Germany’s Dax ended down by 0.72 percent, France’s CAC finished the day down by 0.65 percent.
U.S. stocks edged higher in light trading on Thursday, buoyed by gains in financial stocks and as technology stocks continued to slowly recover from a losing skid.
Dow Jones closed up by 0. 23 percent, S&P 500 ended up 0. 0.16 percent, Nasdaq finished the day up by 0.14 percent.
U.S. Treasury prices dipped on Thursday, giving back some of Wednesday’s strong month-end extension rally, after the Treasury Department sold $28 billion of seven-year notes to moderate demand.
The 10-year yields rose back to 2.436 percent on Thursday with no major news or economic catalysts to drive market direction.
Gold extended gains on Thursday to a one-month high on a strong technical outlook and a U.S. dollar at a four-week low, as palladium prices reversed earlier losses to touch a fresh 17-year high.
Spot gold was up 0.59 percent at $1,294.58 per ounce by 2:37 p.m. (1937 GMT) after hitting its highest since Nov. 29 at $1,295.21 an ounce. U.S. gold futures for February delivery settled up 0.45 percent at $1,297.20 per ounce.
Oil prices edged up on Thursday, remaining near 2-1/2-year highs after data showed strong demand for crude imports in China and on increased U.S. refining activity that drew more crude from inventories.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 20 cents to $59.84 a barrel. Brent crude futures settled up 28 cents at $66.72 a barrel.
Source: FXWire Media Round Ups