US Dollar Surges Amidst Volatility

BoE Signals Higher Interest Rates in the UK

The US dollar had its strongest week against major currency pairs in twelve months. Even as the United States is suffering a bout of political uncertainty the dollar became a safe haven as stocks and bonds saw massive moves this week. The signing of a federal budget by US President Donald Trump boosted the dollar ahead of the release of retail sales and inflation data next week. Central banks are moving away from record low interest rates around the globe.

  • UK inflation expected at 2.9 percent
  • US inflation potential rise has markets worried
  • EU Brexit negotiator warns UK about transition risks



The EUR/USD lost 1.77 percent in the last five trading days. The single currency is trading at 1.2235 after heavy losses were registered by European equities to follow in line with the drop in American markets. The rise in wages in the latest U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP) report triggered a surge of the US dollar as investors are buying the currency as higher rates are in the horizon. Higher inflation is expected and will be one of the economic indicators under review this week. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics will publish the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on Tuesday, February 13 at 8:30 am EST. Core inflation is expected to have gained 0.2 percent in January with anything above could drive the US currency even higher.

European politics have reached some stability with the German coalition now in place but with the upcoming Italian elections in March the boat is sure to rock. Economic fundamentals have been strong in the eurozone with Germany leading the way as usual. The gap between the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB) is closing with regarding monetary policy. The ECB is expected to end its QE program and could even lift interest rates later this year. The week will bring minor indicator releases in Europe with the German central bank chief Jens Weidmann speaking in Frankfurt on Wednesday, February 14 at 3:00 am EST. Earlier that day the GDP figures for Germany will be released with a 0.6 percent growth expected.

The market will be following US releases more closely after a strong week for the USD. Producer Price Index data will be released on February 15 at 8:30 am EST with a forecasted gain of 0.4 percent after the prices of goods fell last month.

Data released on Friday by the CFTC showed short positions of the US dollar shrank for the first time in six weeks signalling a change in investor sentiment towards the greenback.


Canadian dollar weekly graph February 5, 2018

The USD/CAD gained 1.52 percent in the last five days. The currency pair is trading at 1.2613 after the start of Monday trading at 1.2416. The stock market sell off has seen a growing appetite for US dollars as well as the end of some short USD positions. Canadian data was few and far between and it overall did not help the loonie. The Trade balance grew from 2.7 billion last month to 3.2 as imports grew by 1.5 percent in December, while export only did so by 0.6 percent. Canadian employment data was released on Friday and did not paint a pretty picture. Canada lost 88,000 positions well below expectations of a 10,000 gain in January. There was a slowdown anticipated after two back to back 70,000 plus gains, but the drop surprised even the more pessimistic analysts. The fact that most of the losses came in part time positions took some of the sting from the report and could be explained in part by the rise of minimum wages in Ontario.

Next week will be quiet in the Canadian economic calendar with the relatively new ADP non farm report due out on Thursday, February 15 at 8:30 am EST. and Foreign purchases of securities on Friday, February 16 at 8:30 am EST.



The GBP/USD lost 2.17 percent this week. The currency pair is trading at 1.3814 despite a hawkish Bank of England (BoE) singling a rate hike sooner rather than later. The biggest downwards pressure comes from comments by the EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said Brussels as disagreements between the UK and the European Union remain. The words: “A transition is not a given”, was a shock after the Brexit divorce appeared to be headed to a more amicable end. The fragile situation of the conservative government after their narrow triumph in the snap elections they themselves triggered has left them in a position of weakness at this stage of the negotiation.

The Bank of England (BoE) hosted its first super Thursday of the year on February 8. The central bank was openly hawkish about inflation and its willingness to hike sooner than later. The BoE could move interact rates higher as soon as May. The release of the Consumer Price Index on Tuesday, February 13 at 4:30 am could validate the strong messaging from the BoE if inflation stay above the 2 percent target.

Market events to watch this week:

Tuesday, February 13
4:30am GBP CPI y/y
9:00pm NZD Inflation Expectations q/q
Wednesday, February 14
8:30am USD CPI m/m
8:30am USD Core CPI m/m
8:30am USD Core Retail Sales m/m
8:30am USD Retail Sales m/m
10:30am USD Crude Oil Inventories
7:30pm AUD Employment Change
Thursday, February 15
8:30am USD PPI m/m
Friday, February 16
4:30am GBP Retail Sales m/m
8:30am USD Building Permits

*All times EDT
For a complete list of scheduled events in the forex market visit the MarketPulse Economic Calendar

Equities Lose $5 Trillion as Bulls Slay Bulls

Friday February 9: Five things the markets are talking about

**Stateside, the House of Representatives has approved the bill to fund the U.S government and has raised spending limits over two-years, it is now sending the measure to President Trump.**

Investors should expect market turbulence to continue this year as pullbacks and volatility become more common in the wake of rising central bank interest rates and sovereign bond yields.

The growing consensus is that increasing market volatility should not be capable of derailing the underlying economic expansion or fundamentally dent risk assets, it does however make many things less predictable.

Ahead of the U.S open, European stocks have pared their decline and U.S stock futures have gained despite an Asian session seeing red, with China’s bourses tumbling the most in 24-months.

Elsewhere, Treasury yields have backed up to trade atop of their four-year highs as the ‘buck’ edged lower. Crude oil is heading towards its worst week in 12-months on concerns of over growing U.S supply and gold prices have temporarily stopped the bleeding.

On Tap: Canadian employment numbers are out at 08:30 am EDT. Is the market about to see a deep revision to the last two-months of massive job gain headlines?

1. Stocks Sea of red

In Japan, the Nikkei share average tumbled again overnight, mirroring Wall Street’s losses, with oil-related equities leading the broad declines as crude prices slumped. The Nikkei finished down -2.3%, bringing its weekly loss to -8.1%. The broader Topix was -1.9%, down -7.1% for the week.

Down-under, Aussie shares slumped to a near four-month low overnight hammered by renewed selling on worries of higher inflation and interest rates. The S&P/ASX 200 index fell -0.9%. The benchmark has declined -4.6% on the week, its biggest loss in over 24-months. In S. Korea, the Kospi index fell -1.8%.

In Hong Kong, stocks crumble and cap the biggest weekly fall since the global financial crisis. At close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down -3.1%, the Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell -3.87%. For the week, the Hang Seng tumbled -9.5%, the biggest weekly loss since October 2008, while the HSCE posted a weekly loss of -12.01%.

In China, stocks were crushed and suffered their worst day in almost two-years, with blue-chip led carnage dragging the markets into correction territory. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index tumbled -4.0% and the blue-chip CSI300 ended the day down -4.3%.

In Europe, regional indices trade mostly lower, but are off their session lows after a rebound in U.S futures ahead of the open stateside. Increased outlook for higher rates from the Bank of England (BoE) is weighing on the FTSE.

Indices: Stoxx600 -0.5% at 372.1, FTSE -0.4% at 7144, DAX -0.3% at 12221, CAC-40 -0.4% at 5129, IBEX-35 -0.7% at 9689, FTSE MIB -0.3% at 22407, SMI +0.1% at 8768, S&P 500 Futures +0.7%

2. Oil slides towards steep weekly loss as supply fears mount, gold higher

Oil prices are on track for their biggest weekly loss in 10-months after hitting new lows overnight after data this week showed U.S crude output had reached record highs and the North Sea’s largest crude pipeline reopened following an outage.

Brent futures are down -30c at +$64.51 a barrel. Yesterday, Brent fell -1.1% to its lowest close since Dec. 20. U.S West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude is down -42c at +$60.73 a barrel, having settled down -1% Thursday, its lowest close since Jan. 2.

Note: Brent futures have lost around -9% from their four-year January high print of +$71. Futures positions suggest that investors are sitting on the largest ‘bullish position in history.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) upped its 2018 average output forecast to +10.59m bpd, up +320k bpd from its last forecast 10-days ago.

Note: The output is now higher than the previous bpd record from 1970 and above that of top exporter Saudi Arabia.

Ahead of the U.S open, gold prices have edged a tad higher after hitting more than one-month lows yesterday, as the correction in equities drove investors towards safe-haven assets like gold. However, gold ‘bulls’ should expect a stronger U.S dollar and concerns over rising global interest rates to keep gains somewhat capped. Spot gold is up +0.1% at +$1,320.72 an ounce.

Note: On Thursday, gold prices touched their lowest since Jan. 4 at +$1,306.81 an ounce.

3. Equity pain brings relief to bonds

The Eurozone and U.S bond yields have edged a tad lower as renewed global stock selling has managed to lend some support to safe-haven debt markets.

Bond yields have been backing up aggressively all week as investors brace for an end to easy-monetary policies by G7 central banks.

Note: Yesterday’s more hawkish than expected Bank of England (BoE) was the latest catalyst to cause fixed income to steepen sovereign yield curves.

The yield on U.S 10-year Treasuries has decreased less than -1 bps to +2.84%. In Germany, the 10-year Bund yield fell -1 bps to +0.76%, while in the U.K the 10-year Gilt yield declined -2 bps to +1.617%.

4. Dollar jives and dips

Market risk aversion sentiment remains to the fore, but the G10 forex pairs continue to stay locked within their recent ranges. The U.S dollar bull, and they are dwindling; maintain that it’s the Fed who may be caught behind the curve on rates. Next week’s U.S CPI may very well put the ‘cat amongst the pigeons.’

Note: The greenback has caught a bid now that the House of Representatives has approved the bill to fund the U.S government.

Elsewhere, the EUR/USD (€1.2254) is little changed, the pound continues to benefit, albeit struggling after the U.S funding announcement, from the Bank of England saying on Thursday that it expected to “increase interest rates earlier and faster” than previously projected, seen by many to mean a likely May rate rise.

The Chinese currency is on track for its first weekly loss in nine-weeks as the yuan (¥6.3400) has weakened against the dollar in thin volume.

5. U.K industrial output falls on North Sea pipeline shutdown

Data this morning showed that U.K. manufacturing continued to grow in the final month of 2017, but overall industrial production fell by more than anticipated due to an emergency shutdown of a North Sea pipeline.

In monthly terms, U.K. factory output grew by +0.3%, in line with market expectations, the eighth consecutive month of growth.

However, overall industrial production, meanwhile, declined by -1.3%, +0.4% more than forecast.

Separately, the ONS said that the U.K.’s trade deficit widened in December, driven by increased oil imports and rising prices. The December goods trade deficit stood at -£13.6B – significantly wider than expected (-£11.8B e)

Forex heatmap

Hawks coming home to roost

Hawks coming home to roost

Equity markets were trounced on the back of Global yields parading to multi-year highs Thursday. Indeed, it was less dovish Fed speak that continued to be the driver, and the BoE provided a hawkish bounty for good measure.

The ruckus in the bond pits these days appears hell-bent on marching towards 3 % 10Year UST yields much quicker than anyone had suspected which suggest equity markets will come under the hammer for some time to come. Yields are becoming the real storyline as a combination of tighter monetary policy and the US burdening deficit leading to more supply, suggests we have crossed a 2.75 % 10Y UST bridge of no return, and the ride could get bumpier for equity investors.

The issue is not so much the 3% level but rather the pace that Bond yields have been rising in the US that is sending the markets into disarray. The rapidity of the moves has caught the markets by surprise, and we are going through the predictable panicked repricing of most asset classes.

Oil Markets

Crude prices continued to tank overnight as the commodity complex has suffered dearly due to the uptick in market volatility. But the toxic combination of rising US output and a stronger US dollar has nullified OPEC production cut momentum.

With the markets factoring in US crude production to continue hitting new record highs through 2018, the supply dynamics suggest a move below $ 60 WTI is in the offing.
Gold Markets
Gold toppled to a five-week low after the Bank of England whispered a sooner and more substantial rate rises after revising their growth and inflation forecast. The quicker than expected shift on Central Bank Monetary Policy outlooks coupled with the rapid increase in US bond yields continues to dampen investor sentiment. However, Gold prices quickly recovered as the equity market drawdowns continue to attract risk off hedges while the Syria Standoff with Turkey is offering support on the geopolitical front.
Currency Markets

The Australian Dollar

The rise in US bond yields has toppled the Aussie dollar and dented risk sentiment as global equity market continues to tumble.

Market volatility is weighing negatively on commodities, add in a dose of dovish RBA rhetoric, and therein lies the heart of the Aussie dollar woes.

Also, the Aussie was trampled on when USDCNH shot up from 6.3050 to 6.3750 as it seems that China is opening up more channels for outflows to slow RMB appreciation. (See below)

The Aussie dollar tends not to flourish in these types of markets.
The $ Bull in the China Shop: Chinese Yuan

The dollar bull was let loose in the China shop yesterday as a confluence of events had trader paring back short US dollar risk from the morning fix.

The fix came in a bit higher than expected which usually causes a bit of a move higher but, it was the article in China Economic Daily that was creating the most noise as the report urges corporates to enhance FX risk management. (Nudge Nudge)
China has also resumed its Qualified Domestic Limited Partnership plan after a two-year halt, granting licenses to about a dozen global money managers that can raise funds in China for overseas investments. While it does not have a massive Foreign Exchange flow impact,  and  more symbolic than anything else,  it is none the less suggestive that the Pboc is less sensitive to capital outflow

Given that positions were skewed short US dollar, the confluence of events had traders covering positions aggressively knowing that liquidity will be sure to dry up the closer we get to Lunar New Year.

The China trade numbers were perceived disappointing ( I have opposite view) which contributed to some currency negativity.

But from any logical perspective, it was hard to ignore the Mainland equity fire sales this week which certainly had a negative bias on currency sentiment

The Malaysian Ringgit

Negative regional currency signals abound.

The rapid repricing higher in US bond yields has taken investors by surprise. Moreover, with US yields looking to push higher, we could be in for a bit more pain before the markets find some solid footing.

Higher US yields are supporting the USD and weighing on global equity sentiment which is hurting overall regional risk appetite.

US record crude production continues to weigh negatively on oil prices.

The proximity of Chinese Lunar New year has traders paring back risk.

The market, at least for now, is hedging against the Fed potentially leaning more hawkish, which is explaining the uptick in USD, US Yields and lower equity markets.

Pound jumps on ‘Hawkish’ BoE

Thursday February 8: Five things the markets are talking about

The global equity markets remain unnerved as U.S bond yields again trade atop of their four-year highs after U.S congressional leaders reached a two-year budget deal to raise government spending by almost +$300B.

The bi-partisan deal is expected to stave off a government shutdown, while at the same time widen the U.S federal deficit even further – bond dealers suggest that it could lead to a faster tightening cycle on inflation worries.

Note: The Senate and the House are both expected to vote on the proposed deal today, amid some opposition on both sides of the aisle.

1. Stocks mixed results

In Japan, the Nikkei share average rallied overnight, driven higher by bargain hunters. The Nikkei ended up +1.1%, but has still lost nearly -6%on the week. The broader Topix rose +0.9%.

Down-under, shrugging off early weakness on falling commodities stocks, the Aussie benchmark finished modestly higher, up for a second consecutive day, the S&P/ASX 200 rose +0.2%.

In Hong Kong, stock prices steadied after a five-day losing streak. At close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up +0.42%, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell -0.43%.

In China, stocks ended lower to post a third consecutive session of losses overnight, with the benchmark Shanghai index hitting a six-month low, despite trade data showing the country’s performance exceeded expectations. At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down -1.42%, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was down -0.96%.

Note: China trade balance (USD): +$20.3b vs. +$54.7be; Exports y/y: +11.1% vs. +10.7%e, Imports y/y: +36.9% (fastest growth since Feb 2017) vs. +10.6%e. The yuan dropped the most in two-years amid speculation that policy makers will step up efforts to rein it in after trade figures missed estimates.

In Europe, regional indices are trading lower across the board, mirroring the decline in Wall Street yesterday.

U.S stocks are set to open in the black (-0.2%).

Indices: Stoxx600 -0.5% at 378.3, FTSE -0.6% at 7236, DAX -1.0% at 12466, CAC-40 -0.6% at 5226, IBEX-35 -0.8% at 9901, FTSE MIB -0.6% at 22840, SMI -0.2% at 8958, S&P 500 Futures -0.2%

2. Oil slides as U.S output soars, gold lower

Oil prices have hit new six-week lows overnight after data showed U.S crude output had reached record highs and the North Sea’s largest crude pipeline reopened following an outage.

Brent crude futures are down -14c at +$65.37 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is down -15c at +$61.64 a barrel.

Note: Brent futures have lost around -8% from their four-year January high print of +$71. Futures positions suggest that investors are sitting on the largest ‘bullish position in history.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) this week upped its 2018 average output forecast to +10.59m bpd, up +320k bpd from its last forecast 10-days ago.

The output is now higher than the previous bpd record from 1970 and above that of top exporter Saudi Arabia.

Ahead of the U.S open, gold prices have extended their drop and printed a fresh four-week low, on a firmer dollar and market expectations of more U.S rate hikes this year. Spot gold is down -0.4% at +$1,312.41 per ounce.

3. BoE to tighten sooner rather than later

The Bank of England (BoE), as expected, kept rates steady this morning, but indicated it is likely to ‘tighten’ monetary policy “faster and further” than it had anticipated three months ago.

In the BoE’s view, investors had expected one quarter-point rise in 2018 and subsequent years. But at that rate, inflation would still be slightly above target in early 2021, so a slightly more aggressive series of moves is needed.

The BoE vote was unanimous to keep rates at +0.5%. Gilt yields have jumped, with 5-year backing up to +1.066% from +1% before the decision.

Yesterday, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) again held overnight rates at a record low and projected they will stay there until mid-2019 as inflation remains subdued amid slower economic growth.

“Monetary policy will remain accommodative for a considerable period” according to acting Governor Grant Spencer.

4. Pound jumps on ‘Hawkish’ BoE

Sterling (£1.4035) has rallied aggressively across the board after the BoE brought forward its rate hike expectations – the pound was trading atop £1.3885 before the announcement and EUR/GBP has fallen -0.87% to a new one week low of €0.8750 from €0.8812 beforehand.

USD has consolidated its recent gains after its best daily performance in four months yesterday. The greenback caught a bid after the White House and Senate leaders stated that deal had been reached on a two-year budget that included large increases to both defense and non-defense spending.

Elsewhere, the EUR/USD (€1.2259) remains within striking distance of its two-week low outright as the pair tested €1.2235 in the overnight session. A plethora of ECB speakers have provided little new clues on the outlook for the Eurozone. From the techies, the key support for the pair remains at the psychological €1.21 level.

USD/JPY (¥109.67) is edging back to the upper end of its recent range with the 110 level back in play.

5. German goods exports soar to new records

Data from the German Statistical Office (Destatis) showed that exports of German goods hit a new high last year, amid strong global demand for premium engineering goods.

Exports of goods surged +6.3% to almost €1.3T last year to mark a new record.

Digging deeper, Germany’s plant and machinery makers remain upbeat, with strong demand from China and the U.S. contributing to a +4% rise.

Forex heatmap

Beware: FX Space is Calm, but Appearances can be Deceiving

Wednesday February 7: Five things the markets are talking about

Risk-averse sentiment seems to have cooled for the time being as a number of the major indexes rebound in the overnight session.

Note: From a volatility standpoint, the forex market space appears tranquil when compared to other asset classes like equities or bonds.

The rebound in equity prices has spread to Europe, but capital markets remain on edge as Asian bourses pared their advance while U.S futures retreated.

Elsewhere, U.S Treasuries have rebounded after yesterday’s slump along with gold and crude prices. The dollar has edged a tad lower as the FX market showed limited reaction to the sharp drop in equities earlier this week.

In Germany, the CDU/CSU, SPD political parties are said to have agreed on a grand coalition treaty.

Up next: Monetary policy decisions are due this week in New Zealand (Today 03:00 pm EDT) and tomorrow in the U.K (07:00 am EDT).

1. Some stocks record small gains

In Japan, equities pared early gains to end a tad higher overnight in a volatile trading session, as investors remained wary of further losses as U.S futures slipped from their highs. The Nikkei 225 share average ended +0.2% higher, while the broader Topix gained +0.4%.

Down-under, Aussie shares rebounded after Tuesday’s biggest one-day drubbing in roughly 24-months. Broad-based buying helped the S&P/ASX 200 index end up +0.8%. The benchmark slumped -3.2% in the previous session. In S. Korea, the Kospi index dropped more than -2%.

In Hong Kong, equities reversed their earlier gains and closed at a five-week low overnight, led lower by material and real estate firms. At close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down -0.89%, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell -2%.

In China, stocks slumped as developers and consumers fall. At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down -1.81%, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was down -2.38%.

In Europe, regional bourses have rebounded from Monday’s sharp sell off, mirroring Wall Streets moves. However, U.S stock futures (-0.8%) are pointing lower once again as volatility continues.

Indices: Stoxx600 +0.8% at 375.9, FTSE +0.6% at 7187, DAX +0.7% at 12474, CAC-40 +0.6% at 5191, IBEX-35 +0.6% at 9869, FTSE MIB +0.8% at 22518, SMI +1.0% at 8926, S&P 500 Futures -0.8

2. Oil steadies, as lower inventories offset by higher U.S output, gold higher

Oil prices are holding steady, as the boost from a report showing a drop in U.S crude inventories last week was offset by evidence of soaring U.S output.

Brent crude futures are down -11c to +$66.75 a barrel, while U.S West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures have eased -12c to +$63.27 a barrel.

Data yesterday showed that U.S. crude inventories fell by -1.1m barrels in the week to Feb. 2 to +418.4m barrels, helping support the commodity.

However, rising U.S oil production continues to hang over the market. EIA data shows that U.S output has risen by +1m bpd in the last year to about +10m bpd.

Investors will take their cue from todays EIA crude stock report (10:30 am EDT).

Ahead of the U.S open, gold prices have rallied from their three-week low on bargain hunting. Spot gold is up +0.5% to +$1,331.23 per ounce. Prices fell over -1% yesterday to hit its lowest since Jan. 11 at +$1,319.96.

3. Sovereign yields fall

In the Euro session, southern European government bond yields have fallen sharply and have extended their recent outperformance on news of a coalition agreement in Germany viewed as positive for Euro integration.

Germany’s Chancellor Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) have agreed “in principle” on a coalition deal. This will take Europe’s economic powerhouse a step closer to a new government. Germany’s 10-year Bund yield has climbed +1 bps to +0.70%.

Italian, Spanish and Portuguese 10-year government bond yields are -5 to -8 bps lower, and spreads over benchmark German Bunds have tightened.

Elsewhere, the yield on 10-year U.S Treasuries has dipped -4 bps to +2.76%, while in the U.K, the 10-year Gilt yield has advanced less than +1 bps to +1.523%.

Overnight, in India the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) statement noted that the decision to keep policy steady (+6%) was not unanimous (5-1) with a dissenter calling for +25 bps hike. It maintained its neutral monetary policy stance and reiterated to keep headline inflation close to +4% target on a durable basis.

4. Dollar has ‘little traction’

From a volatility standpoint, the forex market space appears tranquil when compared to other asset classes like equities or bonds. The U.S dollar continues to be confined to its recent ranges against G10 currency pairs.

The EUR/USD (€1.2346) is a tad lower despite market reports of a grand coalition agreement in Germany. The pair continued to find headwinds above the psychological €1.24 level.

GBP/USD (£1.3884) continues to face headwinds as various press outlets noted that the E.U is prepared to harden its stance during the transition phase of negotiations.

USD/JPY (¥109.07) remains the liveliest of currency pairs, as risk-on and risk-off continues to find capital market leverage.

Note: The Nikkei 225 index did see its initial +2% gain disappear in the final hour of trading.

5. German industrial output slips

Data from Europe this morning revels that Germany’s industrial output slipped at the end of 2017.

Industrial production in December fell -0.6% m/m, led by construction output. Market consensus was looking for a -0.5% decline.

Germany’s economics ministry said manufacturers’ order books signal vigorous production in the coming months. The trend is “clearly pointing up” after reporting a +3.8% monthly gain in manufacturing orders in December on Tuesday.

Forex heatmap

Equity and Crypto Pain Persists

Tuesday February 6: five things the markets are talking about

The global equity rout extended overnight as Asian and European markets followed Wall Street and tumbled, sending equity indexes toward the biggest three-day slide in nearly three-years.

Volatility in stocks has pushed a number of investors to unwind equity bets and head to the ‘mighty’ dollar and the Japanese yen, another haven.

The dollar has also been benefiting from last Friday’s robust U.S employment data. However, despite the greenbacks recent gains, the prospect of faster-than-expected monetary policy tightening abroad has left the buck atop of its lowest level outright in more than three-years.

Note: Yesterday, the VIX saw its biggest daily climb ever, both in percentage and absolute terms.

1. Stocks markets tumble again

Yesterday, U.S. stocks plunged the most in more than six years and volatility roared back into the market as the S&P 500 sank -4.1%.

In Japan, stocks suffered their biggest point drop in 18-months overnight on fears about rising U.S bond yields and a potential pick-up in inflation. The Nikkei share average ended down -4.73%, while the broader Topix fell -4.4%.

Down-under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 traded at levels last seen in October as it slide -3%, while S. Korea’s Kospi was the outperformer in dropping just -1.8%.

In Hong Kong, stocks joined the market rout intensified. The benchmark Hang Seng Index plummeted -5.1%, its biggest daily percentage drop since August 2015, while the China Enterprises index HSCE fell -5.9%.

Note: Hong Kong is particularly exposed to U.S rate moves because the HKD is pegged to the U.S dollar.

In China, Shanghai stocks post their worst day in two-years. The Shanghai Composite Index slumped -3.4%, its biggest single-day drop since February 2016, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended down -2.9%.

In Europe, regional equities move well off its opening levels, but remain in negative territory as U.S futures stage a sharp turn around. Earnings continue to dominate corporate news.

U.S stocks are set to open in the black (+0.6%).

Indices: Stoxx600 -1.9% at 374.8, FTSE -2.0% at 7191, DAX -2.2% at 12409, CAC-40 -1.9% at 5192, IBEX-35 -1.9% at 9884, FTSE MIB -1.5% at 22494, SMI -1.9% at 8927, S&P 500 Futures +0.6%

2. Oil prices ease, gold higher

Oil prices have fallen for a third consecutive session overnight, although the crude price remains in positive territory so far this year.

Oil is caught up in the markets general risk-off move and not helped by the strength of the U.S dollar in the past two trading sessions.

Brent crude futures are down -35c at +$67.27 a barrel, but still up +1% so far in 2018. U.S West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures have eased by -25c to +$63.90.

Note: Since the S&P 500 hit a record high on Jan. 26, the index has lost -8%. Oil, in contrast, has lost -4.5%, while cryptocurrency bitcoin (BTC) has lost -50% of its value.

Adding to the pressure on oil, which hit its highest price in nearly three-years in January, has been evidence of rising U.S crude production, which could threaten OPES’s efforts to support prices.

Data from the U.S government last week showed that output climbed above +10m bpd in November for the first time in nearly fifty-years, as shale drillers expanded operations.

Gold prices have rallied overnight as the global equity rout encouraged investors to seek shelter in safe havens, although expectations of more U.S rate hikes this year will weigh on the market. Spot gold is up +0.3% to +$1,342.95 per ounce, following yesterday’s +0.5% gain.

3. Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on hold

The RBA overnight chose to stay out of the global shift among central banks toward higher interest rates, amid deep fears that domestic household debt burden would not stand up well to the pain of rising mortgage costs.

The RBA left its cash rate unchanged at a record low +1.5%, signalling no desire to follow the likes of the Fed, the BoE and the ECB in removing the policy accommodation.

Governor Philip Lowe said he remains hopeful that growth and inflation will trend higher this year, but stressed the big uncertainty is the outlook for consumers.

Elsewhere, investors have been dumping government debt, but for different reasons. In the U.S, investors see more inflation coming; while in the eurozone, they see stronger economic growth.

The yield on U.S 10-year Treasuries has increased +6 bps to +2.76%. In Germany, the 10-year Bund yield decreased -3 bps to +0.71%, while in the U.K, the 10-year Gilt yield has declined -3 bps to +1.53%, and the biggest drop in almost five weeks.

4. Dollar finds little traction

The USD remains on soft footing, unable to gather any safe-haven demand despite the pickup in global volatility.

EUR/USD (€1.2400) continues to maintain within its recent consolidated range, €1.2350-1.25, supported by the market sentiment that the eurozone is expanding robustly with stronger growth rates than previously anticipated.

GBP/USD (£1.3935) remains on the defense, as U.K ministers seem to have a difference of opinion on the Brexit strategy.

USD/JPY ‘s strong correlation with U.S interest yields seems to have broken down as the pair tested ¥109 in the session overnight despite the BoJ’s rhetoric that it would continue advocating an easy monetary policy.

Bitcoin (BTC) briefly traded below $6,000 overnight as weakness in digital tokens continued, with Ripple, Ether and Litecoin also tumbling at least -11%.

Note: The BIS said that central banks must be prepared to intervene to stem risks from digital currencies, as Bitcoin has become a “combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster.”

5. German factory orders surge

Data this morning showed that German factory orders surged in December.

Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, increased +3.8% after dropping a revised -0.1% in November. Demand was up +7.2% from the previous year.

The Bundesbank says the German economy will maintain its momentum. After growing +2.2% last year, GDP is forecast to increase +2.5% in 2018.

Note: Strong domestic spending and prosperous global trade is supporting Germany’s economy. This has helped the country’s largest union win a +4.3% pay increase over 27-months.

Forex heatmap

Equities Slump Deepens; Dollar Steady

Monday February 5: Five things the markets are talking about

Global stocks have extended their biggest decline in two-years overnight while the ‘big’ dollar steadies outright against G10 currency pairs. Sovereign treasury yields continue to creep higher, while crude oil prices again come under pressure as U.S explorers raised the number of rigs drilling for crude to the most since August.

This week is again dominated by monetary policy decision with four central banks meetings in the coming sessions – today, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Wednesday, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and its ‘super’ Thursday for the Bank of England (BoE) as it also publishes its quarterly inflation report.

Other data releases will focus on December industrial production (IP) and January composite PMI’s. China will release January data for its merchandise trade balance and its consumer and producer price indexes. North of the U.S border, Canada will close out the week reporting its January labor force survey. It’s December international trade balance is reported on Tuesday.

1. Stocks see red

In Japan, the Nikkei share average fell sharply on overnight as fear that U.S inflation may be finally gathering pace pound global equities. The Nikkei tumbled -2.5%, its biggest one-day drop since Nov 9, 2016, when President Trump won the U.S election. The broader Topix slumped -2.2%.

Down-under, Aussie shares fell overnight, dragged down by financial and materials. The S&P/ASX 200 index slid -1.6% ahead of Wednesday’s Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) rate decision.

In Hong Kong, stocks ended lower on overnight, but recouped much of their earlier losses sparked by Friday’s slide on Wall Street. The Hang Seng index slumped -1.09%, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell -0.43%.

In China, stocks bucked the region’s tumble as the Shanghai Composite index ended the session up +0.73%, while the blue-chip CSI300 Index also reversed its earlier losses, closing up +0.1%.

In Europe, regional indices are trading lower across the board, but off the session lows as markets have faded a large part of the earlier move lower, on the back of a slight pullback in Euro Bond yields as well as a bounce in U.S futures.

U.S stocks are expected to open little changed.

Indices: Stoxx600 -1.0% at 384.1, FTSE -1.0% at 7366, DAX -0.5% at 12715, CAC-40 -0.9% at 5317 , IBEX-35 -0.6% at 10145, FTSE MIB -0.7% at 23048 , SMI -1.0% at 9132, S&P 500 Futures flat

2. Oil trades atop one-month lows, gold prices higher

Oil prices are under pressure for a second consecutive session overnight, as rising U.S output and a weaker physical market added to the pressure from a widespread decline across equities and commodities.

Brent crude futures are down -36c at +$68.22 a barrel, while U.S West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude has fallen -13c to +$65.32.

Oil is caught up in the markets general risk-off move, not helped the strength of the U.S dollar in the past two trading sessions.

Adding to the pressure on oil, which hit its highest price in nearly three-years in January, has been evidence of rising U.S crude production, which could threaten OPES’s efforts to support prices.

Data from the U.S government last week showed that output climbed above +10m bpd in November for the first time in nearly fifty-years, as shale drillers expanded operations.

Ahead of the U.S open, gold prices have inched higher as declining equities lend support to the yellow metal even though robust U.S. jobs data potentially increased the chances of more interest rate hikes this year. Spot gold is up +0.1% at +$1,334.23 per ounce, after declining -1.2% on Friday in its biggest one-day fall since early December.

3. Sovereign yields continue to back up

Investors on both sides of the Atlantic are dumping government debt, but for different reasons. In the U.S, investors see more inflation coming; while in the eurozone, they see stronger economic growth.

On Friday, the 10-year Treasury yield closed at +2.852%, the highest yield in two-years, compared with +2.410% at the start of the year. German 10-year sovereign Bunds have edged up to +0.701% from 0.430% over the same period.

Note: Inflation-linked Treasuries’ (TIP’s) show that almost two-thirds of the U.S bond selloff that started at the beginning of December is explained by inflation expectations.

Elsewhere, the RBA looks set to continue lagging the trend toward higher interest rates globally. It’s first policy meeting this year on Tuesday will likely see the RBA’s official cash rate steady at +1.5%, with interest in whether its guidance will be more upbeat reflecting a stronger job market.

Aussie policy makers continue to face the problem of weak wages growth, soft inflation reads and an elevated AUD (A$0.7934). Forecasts for the first interest rate hike have been pushed back lately.

4. Dollar under constant pressure

The U.S. dollar remains relatively contained after rebounding at the end of last week, when a strong non-farm payroll (NFP) suggested the currency’s weakness might have gone too far, too fast.

The EUR/USD (€1.2426) has managed to eek out a small gain overnight as optimism continued to flow about a grand coalition in Germany – political parties have said to seek a grand coalition by tomorrow (Feb 6th).

GBP/USD (£1.4102) is little changed despite the Jan. U.K PMI Services reading missed expectations (see below).

USD/JPY ‘s strong correlation with U.S interest yields seems to have broken down as the pair tested ¥109.80 in the session overnight despite the BoJ’s rhetoric that it would continue advocating an easy monetary policy.

Bitcoin (BTC) is down -6.7% at $7,637.

5. U.K services expansion slides to 16-month low, Europe expands

In the U.K, services PMI fell to 53, from 54.2 in December, below the expected consensus for an increase to 54.5. This morning’s data is now following weaker-than-expected manufacturing and construction PMI data last week.

Note: This January slowdown pushes the all-sector PMI into ‘dovish’ territory as far as the Bank of England (BoE) monetary policy is concerned. The BoE announces its latest interest rate decision and inflation report on Thursday.

Elsewhere, the composite PMI for the eurozone in January was revised up to 58.8 from 58.6, hitting its highest level in a dozen years and further proof that the eurozone economy started this year on a very strong footing.

At a national level, Italy stood out, recording its highest reading in a dozen years, as businesses hired at the fastest pace in 17-years.

Note: The ECB will be encouraged to expect acceleration in wages growth that would help it meet its inflation target in the coming years.

Forex heatmap

Dollar Rebounds After Strong Jobs Report

US added 200,000 positions in January

The US dollar rose against major pairs on Friday. The release of the U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP) proved to be the much needed shot in the arm after the greenback was under pressure for most of 2018. The job gains were above expectations but more importantly the hourly wages came in higher, giving the Fed a potential green light to hike 3 or 4 times in 2018. The market is estimating a 77.5 percent probability of the first rate lift to come in March.

  • The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will publish its rate statement on February 5
  • the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) will follow on February 7
  • The Bank of England (BoE) will host a super Thursday on February 8

USD surged after wages rose more than expected



The EUR/USD gained 0.22 percent in the last five days. The single currency is trading at 1.2424. The USD was having a week to forget but a jobs week is not done until the U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP) report is released. The gain of 200,000 jobs in January was the boost the dollar needed after the Fed and the ADP did now sway the market. The USD reversed most of the losses of the week, gaining 0.43 percent against the EUR. The biggest boost came from the hourly wages growth at 0.3 percent for an annualized gain of 2.9 percent.

The disappointing December jobs report played a part as investors were estimating 180,000 positions and instead got pleasantly surprised by both strong gains and positive inflation signals. The move in the USD could be under threat next week as there are few economic released of note in the US and the political drama in Washington has not been beneficial to the greenback.

Fundamentals indicators and monetary policy has been supportive of the USD, but political uncertainty has hurt the dollar’s status as a reserve currency. The upgraded growth expectations around the world have also shrunk the gap between the US and the rest of the world.



The GBP/USD lost 0.31 percent during the trading week. The currency pair is trading at 1.4120 ahead of the Bank of England (BoE) monetary policy meeting on Thursday, February 8 at 7:00 am EST. The central bank is not expected to change its benchmark rate but it could signal a hike sooner rather than later specially as expectations of a softer Brexit and economic growth has been encouraging. The BoE made its first rate rise in a decade back in November. The data released on Super Thursday, so called because of the sheer number of announcements, will guide the market and shape the monetary policy expectations going further into 2018.


Canadian dollar weekly graph January 29, 2018

The USD/CAD gained o.86 percent during the week. The currency pair is trading at 1.2421. The USD appreciated against the loonie and put the Canadian currency at weekly lows. The greenback rose 1.22 versus the CAD on Friday after the release of the U.S. non farm payrolls (NFP). The U.S. Federal Reserve meeting and positive employment numbers earlier in the week did little for the USD, but with the release of the biggest indicator it all turned.

The economic data releases form Canada will start with on Tuesday, February 6 at 8:30 EST with publication of the trade balance. Later that same day the Ivey Purchasing Managers Index will be posted at 10:00 am EST. Employment data will be the highlight of the week on Friday, February 9 at 8:30 am with a 2,000 job loss report expected after the back to back gains of 70,000 positions in the previous months.

Market events to watch this week:

Monday, February 5
4:30am GBP Services PMI
10:00am USD ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI
7:30pm AUD Retail Sales m/m
7:30pm AUD Trade Balance
10:30pm AUD Cash Rate
10:30pm AUD RBA Rate Statement
Tuesday, February 6
8:30am CAD Trade Balance
4:45pm NZD Employment Change q/q
NZD Unemployment Rate
Wednesday, February 7
10:30am USD Crude Oil Inventories
3:00pm NZD Official Cash Rate
3:00pm NZD RBNZ Monetary Policy Statement
3:00pm RBNZ Rate Statement
4:00pm NZD RBNZ Press Conference
Thursday, February 8
4:00am AUD RBA Gov Lowe Speaks
7:00am GBP BOE Inflation Report
7:00am GBP MPC Official Bank Rate Votes
7:00am GBP Monetary Policy Summary
7:00am GBP Official Bank Rate
7:30pm AUD RBA Monetary Policy Statement
Friday, February 9
4:30am GBP Manufacturing Production m/m
8:30am CAD Employment Change
8:30am CAD Unemployment Rate

*All times EDT
For a complete list of scheduled events in the forex market visit the MarketPulse Economic Calendar

What to look for in U.S payrolls (NFP)

Friday February 2: Five things the markets are talking about

The U.S labor department is expected to report that 2018 has kicked off with a pickup in hiring.

Market consensus is looking for non-farm payrolls (NFP) to rise by +180k last month, while the unemployment rate continued to hover atop of +4.1% – its lowest level in 18-years.

What to look for in today’s payrolls report:

More hiring

The pace of job creation has been slowing as the U.S economy encroaches on full employment. Employers added an average of +171k jobs a month in 2017. After a slightly softer December (+148k), the market expects todays jobs report to rebound to around its recent trend.

Steady unemployment

The U.S unemployment rate is expected to remain atop of +4.1% last month. Fed officials continue to monitor domestic wage and price pressures, and a falling unemployment rate supports their expectation that tighter labor market will eventually boost inflation.

Note: Fed policy makers’ median projection in December saw the jobless rate dipping to +3.9% by late 2018.

Wage Growth

The biggest surprise in 2017 was that U.S wage gains actually softened after two consecutive years of gains. Average hourly earnings for private-sector workers were up +2.5% in December y/y, but down from +2.9% annual growth at the end of 2016. Minimum-wage increases in many states should help boost earnings for January.

Housekeeping matters

As is typical for the January jobs report, today’s release will include a number of routine changes from the Labor Department. New population controls mean the household-survey figures for the number of employed and unemployed will not be directly comparable between December and January.

The payrolls data will include an annual benchmark revision – roughly +4% of payroll employment will be “reclassified” by industry due to the adoption of updated classifications.

1. Stocks see red as yields back up

In Japan, the Nikkei share average fell overnight on weakness in most sectors, with banking stocks down on worries that JGB bond yields would be kept low after the BoJ conducted a special bond purchase operation to curb rising yields. The Nikkei dropped -0.9% while the broader Topix shred -0.3%.

Down-under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose +0.5%, supported by higher commodity prices. In S. Korea, the Kospi index declined -1.7%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index ended Friday marginally down, but posted its biggest weekly loss in two-months, pressured by rising sovereign bond yields. At the close, the Hang Seng index was down -0.12%, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose +0.78%. For the week, the Hang Seng lost -1.7%.

In China, stocks reversed earlier losses and ended higher on Friday, supported by gains in resources firms. Nevertheless, regional indexes still posted hefty weekly drops, led by the Shanghai benchmark index, which posted its worst week in 14-months. At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up +0.5%, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was up +0.6%.

In Europe, regional indices continue to trade lower with the German DAX registering another -1% decline as rising sovereign rates and mixed earnings continue to weigh on equity markets.

U.S stocks are set to open in the “red” (-0.7%).

Indices: Stoxx600 -0.9% at 389.8, FTSE -0.3% at 7466, DAX -1.4% at 12822, CAC-40 -1.2% at 5390, IBEX-35 -1.3% at 10264, FTSE MIB -1.1% at 23279, SMI -0.7% at 9229, S&P 500 Futures -0.7%

2. Oil prices extend gains on compliance with output cuts, gold lower

Crude oil prices are rallying for a third consecutive session after a survey showed strong compliance with output cuts by OPEC and others including Russia. It’s currently offsetting market concerns about surging U.S production.

Brent futures are up +24c, or +0.3% at +$69.89 a barrel, while U.S West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude is up +33c or +0.5% at +$66.13 a barrel.

A Reuters survey this week showed that production by OPEC rose in January from an eight-month low as higher output from Nigeria and Saudi Arabia offset a further decline in Venezuela and strong compliance with a supply reduction pact.

Stateside, an EIA report Wednesday disclosed that U.S crude output surpassed +10m bpd in November for the first time in nearly half a century.

Gold has edged lower ahead of the U.S open, under pressure from a stronger USD outright. Investors will take their cues fro today’s NFP report. Spot gold is down -0.3% at +$1,345.22 an ounce.

3. Global bond yields break higher

Overnight, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) again conducted a fixed-rate JGB purchase operation (the fourth time performed). Japanese officials offered to buy unlimited amount of 10-year JGB’s at +0.11% in an attempt to control their yield curve. The BoJ said its action to cap rises in bond yields was consistent with the central bank’s current easy monetary policy.

The market is also taking a look at bund yields – higher yields stateside seem justified, given expectations of further rate increases by the Fed, but rising yields in German Bunds seem to be ‘out of sync’ with ECB policy. The ECB is set to remain a “net” buyer of bonds until at least September 2018 and isn’t expected to raise policy rates until 2019.

The yield on U.S 10-years has gained less than +1 bps to +2.79%, the highest in almost four-years. In Germany, the 10-year Bund yield has climbed +2 bps to +0.74 percent, the highest in more than two-years, while in the U.K, the 10-year Gilt yield increased +5% bps to +1.531%, its highest yield in 21-months. In Japan, the 10-year yield has declined -1 bps to +0.086%, the largest drop in 11-weeks.

4. Dollar comes up for air

With higher sovereign bond yields supporting a number of higher currency values, both the ECB and BoJ are beginning to show increasing uneasiness around the recent appreciation of their respective currencies (€1.25 and ¥109.87). The somewhat ‘outlier’ to higher domestic yield has been the USD – it cannot seem to rely on rate and yield differential for solid support.

EUR/USD continued to probe the psychological €1.25 level area on removal of stimulus expectations, but the ‘single’ unit seems unable to sustain any momentum through this key resistance point. ECB officials have upped its rhetoric on volatility concerns. EUR bulls continue to look at pullbacks to add to current ‘long’ positions.

The BoJ’s commitment of keeping its 10-year yield fixed despite rising upward pressure on global yields might allow 10-year yield differentials to move against the JPY. For now, JPY is confined to its ¥107-112 range.

GBP (£1.4216) is trading softer ahead of the U.S open after a weaker U.K Construction PMI print (see below) and housing activity contracting for the first time in 17-months.

Last December, bitcoin appeared to be marching toward $20,000/coin after climbing as high as $19,511 on Dec. 18. Since then, the cryptocurrency (BTC) has plummeted -56%, leaving it just above $8,000.

5. UK Construction PMI falters

Data this morning showed that U.K activity in the construction sector eased to a four-month low at the start of this year.

Markit’s U.K’s purchasing managers’ index for the construction industry fell to 50.2 in January, down from 52.2 a month earlier – the figure was just above the 50.0 no-change mark, suggesting only a fractional rate of growth.

Digging deeper, concerns about the U.K.’s economic outlook has weighed on new orders, with residential building activity contracting. Cost pressures remain intense, fuelled by shortages of input materials and high costs for imported products.

Forex heatmap

Dollar Support Lukewarm despite Fed’s ‘Hawkish-hold’

Thursday February 1: Five things the markets are talking about

Global equities have kicked off the new month mostly in the ‘black’ as capital market participants have decided that the outlook for growth and corporate earnings remains strong enough to suppress concerns about the back up in sovereign yields.

U.S Treasuries have resumed their slide, while the ‘mighty’ U.S dollar trades steady against G10 currency pairs.

Yesterday, as expected, the Fed held the overnight interest rate target range steady between +1.25 – 1.50% in a unanimous vote (9-0). In their accompanying statement, policy makers noted that the U.S labor market had continued to strengthen and they dropped the language on expecting inflation to remain below +2% in near-term. In fact, the statement made few changes from December and affirmed a solid outlook for U.S. growth. It offered little sign that officials’ thinking about the economy has changed materially.

Note: Next up is tomorrow’s U.S non-farm payroll report (NFP), where U.S employers are supposed to have added more jobs in January than a month earlier (+180k vs. +148k).

1. Stocks get the green light

In Japan, the Nikkei share average rallied overnight, rebounding from a six-day losing streak and pushed most sectors into positive territory, as a weaker yen and upbeat corporate earnings drove the benchmark index higher. The Nikkei rose +1.7%, while the broader Topix jumped +1.8%.

Down-under, Australian shares rose overnight, supported by strong gains in mining stocks and financials. The S&P/ASX 200 index climbed +0.9%. In S. Korea, the Kospi index dropped -0.05%.

In Hong Kong, shares weaken as energy and finance stocks fall. At close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down -0.75%, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell -0.94%.

In China, equities were also under pressure, as investors dumped firms, which are expected to report weaker 2017 earnings, and took profits ahead of the upcoming long Lunar New Year holidays. At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down -0.99% losing ground for the fourth consecutive session. The blue-chip CSI300 index was down -0.71%.

Note: Data overnight showed that growth in China’s manufacturing sector remained solid last month, beating market expectations, as new business led factories to raise output at the start of 2018.

In Europe, regional indices trade higher across the board and in tandem with U.S futures, as corporate earnings support the move higher.

U.S stocks are set to open in the ‘black’ (+0.2%).

Indices: Stoxx600 +0.4% at 397.1, FTSE +0.1% at 7540, DAX +0.4% at 13237, CAC-40 +0.5% at 5507, IBEX-35 +0.5% at 10507, FTSE MIB +0.9% at 23717, SMI +0.4% at 9376, S&P 500 Futures +0.2%

2. Oil rises as OPEC compliance trump’s U.S output, gold lower

Oil is better bid after a survey showed OPEC’s commitment to its supply cuts remains in place, even as U.S production topped +10m bpd for the first time in 48-years.

Brent crude futures are up +49c at +$69.38 a barrel, while WTI crude for March delivery rose +45c to +$65.18 a barrel.

Note: Brent crude rallied +3.3% in January – it was the strongest start to a New Year for five-years.

The week’s EIA report showed the biggest increase in crude oil stocks in 11-months, a rise of +6.8m barrels.

For crude bears, they now have to gage how much U.S production will increase as prices rise.

Ahead of the U.S open, gold prices are under pressure after the Fed left interest rates unchanged, but hinted at hikes later this year. The market would also prefer to take his cues from tomorrow’s U.S payrolls report. Spot gold is down -0.4% at +$1,339.71 per ounce. Yesterday, it touched +$1,332.30 an ounce, its lowest print since Jan. 23.

3. Sovereign yields continue to back up

Yesterday’s FOMC meeting was the last attended by Chair Janet Yellen before she turns over the reins to her successor, Fed Governor Jerome Powell.

Governor Powell will begin his term as chairman on Saturday, and is scheduled to be sworn-in as chairman of the Fed board of governors on Monday.

With the Fed’s three hike ‘dot-plot,’ the odds for a rate increase at the March 20-21 meeting remains at around +78%.

However, yesterday’s FOMC statement hinted that officials might favour more than three-rate increases this year because it offered slightly more conviction that inflation would move higher in 2018.

The yield on U.S 10-year Treasuries has backed up +3 bps to +2.73%, the highest in almost four-years. In Germany, the 10-year Bund yield has climbed +2 bps to +0.72%, the highest in more than two-years, while the U.K’s 10-year Gilt yield has advanced to +1.525%, its highest yield in 21-months.

4. Dollar support remains lukewarm

The USD has ebbed and flowed in the overnight session on market belief that yesterday’s Fed ‘hawkish hold’ has very much been priced-in.

EUR/USD (€1.2433) is back above the psychological €1.24 handle as Euro manufacturing PMI’s this morning support the region’s recovery story.

Note: Beats: France, Swiss, Norway, Czech; misses: Germany, U.K, Spain, Sweden, Poland and in-line: Euro-Zone and Russia.

The single unit is also getting some passive support that eurozone inflation data may have bottomed.

GBP is higher by +0.5% at £1.4245, atop of its strongest level in 19-months, supported by the markets optimism on Brexit talks. Some fixed income dealers are bringing forward their forecast for the next Bank of England (BoE) rate hike to May. It’s conditional on a Brexit transitional agreement next month.

USD/JPY (¥109.73) trades at its overnight highs, underpinned by the Fed’s ‘hawkish-hold’ statement. The pair seems to be locked in a ¥107-110 range.

And following a horrid January for crypto currencies, Bitcoin (BTC) has again edged lower, trading below the psychological $10,000, down-6% at $9,605.

5. U.K manufacturing growth slows

Data this morning revealed an unexpected drop in January U.K manufacturing PMI to a seven-month low of 55.3, down from 56.2 in December and below the market consensus for 56.5.

Digging deeper, Markit (which compiles the survey) said that the reading remained “well above its long-run average of 51.7” and still showed a strengthening in new export order inflows.

Today’s report also revealed a sharp rise in inflationary pressures, with purchase prices rising at the fastest rate in 11-months.

Forex heatmap