Markets calm ahead of a short trading week

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Today’s Economic events

  • UK Rightmove HPI m/m 1.30% vs. 2.90% previously
  • New Zealand Credit card spending y/y 7.30% vs. 8.30% previously
  • Eurozone current account 25.4bn vs. 26.3bn
  • UK CBI industrial order expectations -14 vs. -13

Coming Up

  • The US Existing home sales
  • Fed member Lockhart speech

The markets opened today on a quiet note with Japan markets closed on account of Bank holiday. Asian equity markets were however mixed with the Nikkei225 down -1.25% while the Shanghai Composite gained 2.20% for the day. Following through from Friday, the US dollar continued to regain some of the lost ground, although not much of big gains are expected. USDJPY is down -0.11% at the time of writing, with price action trading in a tight range and within Friday’s high and lows. The commodity risk currencies are also flat but biased to the downside. AUDUSD attempted to rally but failed after posting intraday highs near $0.762. At the time of writing, AUDUSD is down -0.04% for the day, trading at $0.76. NZDUSD is down -0.31% with price action capped to the upside. The Kiwi briefly tested session highs to $0.6789 before easing back lower.

In Europe, the markets were quiet with not much of data to go by. EURUSD is flat, with gains of 0.01% at the time of writing, following a dip to the lows above $1.1235 and currently trending lower since prices touched a high above $1.1324 on early Friday. The Euro started to decline after comments from ECB’s economist Peter Praet who said that there was more room for rate cuts, contradicting Draghi’s comments during the ECB’s press conference on March 10th, where he ruled out further rate cuts for the time being, which saw the Euro trim its losses and close higher on the day.

The British Pound was weaker today, down -0.57% at the time of writing. Prices posted a steady decline after Friday’s brief rally to $1.451. A quick pullback to Friday’s lows near $1.4425 has pushed GBPUSD back lower to currently trade at $1.439.

Over the weekend, a UK minister resigned highlighting the frictions within the ruling Conservative party which has divided opinions in regards to the UK’s membership of the EU. Brexit still remains in the minds of traders with any uncertainty being seen as a reason to sell the Pound Sterling. However, prices remain supported above 1.427 – 1.423 and only a close below this level could confirm further downside in the Cable.

European equity markets are trading in the red today with the German DAX down -0.37% and the London FTSE100 down -0.36% at the time of writing.

The NY trading session is also expected to stay quiet with the exception of the US existing home sales data due for release later in the evening. Expectations are that US existing home sales expected to fall 2.70% for the month in February. The data release is followed by FOMC member, Dennis Lockhart’s speech.

On the commodity front, Gold prices are down -0.93% for the day with the precious metal continuing to post a steady decline after the Fed left rates unchanged last week leading to a modest risk-on the environment in the markets. Gold was seen trading at $1243 an ounce at the time of writing. WTI Crude Oil prices are flat today, with gains of 0.24% at the time of writing. Prices are currently trading at $41 a barrel.

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