US equity indices continued to consolidate last night as the market tried to price in a 96% chance of a rate hike in March.

Traders might want to strike the right balance between the fully anticipated rate hike and the uncertainty surrounding this Friday’s nonfarm payroll number.

Market participants expect a 190k increase in nonfarm payroll last month. This is the key factor remaining which might influence the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision. If the number is far below this expectation, we may see some quick unwinding in risk premiums.

The S&P 500 index broke down below its 10-Day simple moving average line, which is also the near-term support level. The next support level, based on SuperTrend, can be found near the 2,339 area.

The gold price slumped for a fourth consecutive day to the US$1,218 area, technically entering into a bearish trend. Its SuperTrend has flipped downwards into the colour red, indicating that short-term bearish sentiment is going to prevail. The immediate support level is in the US$1,193 area, which is also a key Fibonacci Retracement level.

SGX out for lunch
In Singapore, the SGX plans to resume the mid-day break from 12:00pm to 1:00pm for the first time since all-day trading (CAT) was implemented in 2011. Market participants will still be able to enter and manage their orders during the break.

The SGX said it is proposing an increase to the minimum bid size for stocks and relevant securities trading in the S$1.00-S$1.99 range from the current S$0.005 to S$0.01, in order to promote a more balanced mix of participants for securities in this price range. The exchange is also planning to widen the forced order range from current +/- 20 bids to +/- 30 bids, which is likely to improve order entry efficiency and create deeper market depth.

The SGX will carry out public consultation on these proposals until the end of this month.

Gold - Cash

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