The economic calendar is very thin today, and this week in general. Focus will shift on Fed Chairwoman’s Janet Yellen’s speech on Friday. Overnight, the USD index gained as yet another Fed member (Stanley Fischer) reiterated that interest rates might increase this year after New York Fed president William Dudley, warned last yet that the market is underestimating this likelihood.
Currencies: EURUSD dropped under 1.1300 (high last week was 1.1365) and USDJPY rose to 100.90 (last week’s low was 99.50) as the USD gained across the board on Fischer’s comments last night. The Pound came under pressure on Friday after news emerged that the UK will trigger Article 50 (required for a Brexit) as soon as April of next year. Commodity currencies were under pressure too, with AUD/USD falling from 0.7630 to 0.7585 and NZD/USD declining from 0.7265 to 0.7215. The Canadian Dollar reversed as well, as the rally in Oil paused. USD/CAD rose from 1.2875 in the early Asian session to a high of 1.2925 so far.
Stocks: Asian shares were largely mixed Monday with traders expecting hawkish commentary from U.S. Federal Reserve officials this week at its annual conference in Jackson Hole. U.S. stocks finished lower Friday as investors worried about whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates sooner rather than later. Nasdaq however, managed to claim its 8th consecutive weekly gain, the longest streak since April 23, 2010.
Oil and Gold: On Friday, Oil edged up by 30 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $48.52 a barrel. That is nearly 23% above the recent settlement low of $39.51 on August 2. Brent crude also climbed on Thursday to settle 22% above their low from earlier this month. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s top producer, and non-OPEC Russia, the world’s largest crude producer, have expressed willingness to participate in those talks, which some say could lead to a pact to freeze production levels. GOLD on the other hand is under pressure at $1332.50 from $1358 highs last week, as the prospects of an interest rate hike and a stronger USD, makes the yellow metal loose appeal.
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