Investors continued to shun safer havens in overnight trading. Bonds were routed for a second night in a row, the Yen slid and gold threatened to break support at $1,480. Shares held firm in mixed trading. Oil markets sold off on news that the White House sacked key foreign affairs advisor John Bolton, but recouped losses alongside stocks late in the US session.
US ten-year bonds traded up to 1.73%, a sharp move from 1.46% just a week ago. The shift in bond markets is at least partly driven by growing doubts about an announcement of further bond purchases by the European Central Bank after its meeting on Thursday night. Better German and French activity reads last week pushed economists’ consensus back to no change in interest rates. However traders are still reflecting a 100% probability of a reduction of 10 to 20 basis points.
The departure of noted hawk Bolton from the Oval Office initially hit crude oil markets as traders anticipated a softening of the approach to Venezuela and Iran. The effect was short-lived as surging natural gas markets highlighted a stronger demand scenario.
The positive momentum has Asia Pacific futures markets pointing to a small opening lift in stocks. Rising industrial metal, crude oil and iron ore prices could buoy sentiment, and offset some likely pressure on gold miners.