Today’s main focus shifts to ECB rate decision. ECB is expected to keep rates unchanged and not signal further easing ahead. In the US, traders will be focusing on 2 FED member speeches to clues as to when a rate hike is more probable.
Currencies: USDJPY dropped to 108.83 from 111.45 last week as stock markets in Asian took a tumble, (JPY is correlated with Stocks) while EURUSD bounces and closed the day above 1.1200. Today’s ECB rate announcement is not expected to be very volatile, so investors are likely to wait for tomorrow NFP Report which could give indications whether a US rate hike could come this summer. GBPUSD was the weakest pair of the day as Brexit concerns have reappeared in the market chatter. According to ICM opinion poll released yesterday by the Guardians, 45% of phone survey respondents supported leaving EU while 42% support staying. GBPUSD lost over 300 pips since Sunday’s open to reach 1.4386 yesterday.
Stocks: Stocks in Japan fell 2.3% as the JPY extended gains against the U.S. dollar. The currency had strengthened late Wednesday after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe postponed a national sales-tax increase, scheduled for next year, until October 2019. After U.S. stocks closed little changed overnight in thin trading, analysts said markets in Asia had little direction to move higher. An improvement in U.S. manufacturing activity data overnight offset pessimism over a fall in U.S. construction spending, but signs that the U.S. economy is recovering didn’t boost stocks.
Oil and GOLD: Oil prices largely stayed stable in Asia as investors and traders wait for the outcome of the OPEC meeting today in Vienna, where a discussion on an output ceiling could be revived. GOLD recovered some of its losses in the Asian session on the back of risk aversion. Yesterday gold reached $1206 lows from $1220. The yellow metal is now trading at $1214 with further direction depending on tomorrows NFP.
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