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Big swings in commodity markets as traders battle over direction

CMC Markets

Commodity markets remained active today, but this time to the downside as traders recognized Monday’s rally as a bear market bounce that was driven more by short covering. There’s been no change to the underlying reason that oil has been falling, which is that producers continue to pump it out full blast even though demand has weakened. Gold and wheat also had volatile days as some traders took short term profits following Monday’s moves as traders continue to try to figure out whether recent action is a bounce to relieve oversold conditions that have developed in many resource markets, or a more significant turning point. USD is trading higher today on comments from Fed Vice-Chair Fischer who suggested that the Fed is moving closer to dropping the “considerable time” outlook for the current period between the end of QE3 and the first interest rate increase. Apparently, the Fed may replace it with other guidance at some point. Overall, this indicates that the Fed is still moving in a more hawkish direction than many of the other major central banks. Resource currencies underperformed today, particularly NOK (off falling Brent crude), AUD and NZD (off falling metal prices and the RBA’s latest attempt yesterday to talk down the dollar). CAD, however, did not fall as much as other currencies, The loonie has attracted some support ahead of tomorrow’s Bank of Canada meeting. In the statement, traders may be seeking a response from the central bank to a recent OECD projection that Canada could raise rates as soon as May 2015, far earlier than has been conventionally thought. Stock markets bounced back today, following on from yesterday’s big gains in China and on anticipation that falling oil prices may help to boost consumer spending and reduce costs for some sectors, particularly transportation companies. With neither side in charge at the moment, these gains could disappear as fast as they appeared, however, favouring shorter term oriented trading strategies at the moment over longer term players. There’s a lot of news on the way today. Australian GDP kicks things off along with service PMI reports from around the world. The main events are later in the day in north America. In addition to the Bank of Canada decision, the US ADP payrolls and the Fed’s Beige Book regional economic report may attract attention and potentially spark more speculation on how soon the Fed may change its guidance or start raising interest rates. Corporate News There is no major corporate news today. Economic News Significant announcements released overnight include: Singapore PMI 51.8 vs street 51.5 Singapore electronics index 50.6 vs street 52.1 US construction spending street (0.6%) UK construction PMI 59.4 vs street 61.0 Upcoming significant announcements include: 11:30 am AEDT Australia GDP street 3.1% 10:00 am GMT Eurozone retail sales street 1.6% 8:15 am EDT US ADP payrolls street 222K 10:00 am EDT Canada interest rate 1.00% no change expected 10:30 am EDT US crude oil inventories street 1.75 mmbbls 2:00 pm EDT US Beige Book FOMC members Plosser and Brainard speaking. Service PMI reports: 9:30 am AEDT Australia previous 43.6 12:00 pm AEDT China official previous 53.8 12:35 pm AEDT Japan previous 48.7 12:45 pm AEDT China HSBC previous 52.9 4:00 pm AEDT India previous 50.0 8:15 am GMT Spain street 55.2 8:45 am GMT Italy street 50.2 8:50 am GMT France street 48.8 8:55 am GMT Germany street 52.1 9:00 am GMT Eurozone street 51.3 9:30 am GMT UK street 56.5 9:45 am EST US Markit street 56.5 10:00 am EST US ISM street 57.5

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