Yellen’s speech to be watched, oil price challenging $50 resistance

Asian equities markets opened positively today. The Singapore market continued trading sideways this week, with volume reducing.

Asian equities markets opened positively today. The Singapore market continued trading sideways this week, with volume reducing.

However, Yellen’s public comments tonight could give markets good reason to remain cautious. Recently, a series of positive US economic data has led a number of Fed governors to take a more hawkish stance towards a possible June rate hike. If she does cover monetary policy tonight, her words will be closely watched by the market for a clearer picture of the market outlook.

Another key data release tonight is the US Q1 GDP, which is forecasted to grow at annualised rate of 0.9% according to Thomson Reuters. Any disappointment could lead to a downward correction as the equities market is close to the strong resistance zone now. On the other hand, if the data beat expectations, it could send the market higher.

FX

The Dollar Index continued to slide from its recent high of 95.60 to 95.15. USD/JPY remained range bound near the 109.80 area this morning. The immediate support and resistance levels for USD/JPY are 111.00 and 108.30 respectively. EUR/USD has rebounded to the 1.1190 area. AUD/USD has also rebounded from its three-month low to around 0.7220.

Commodities

WTI Crude oil prices surged to above $50.00 last night before coming off to $49.20 this morning. The surprise drop in the US DoE crude inventory has given oil prices good reason to extend its rally. However, a few technical indicators have shown that the strong resistance level is found near to the $50.00 area. Gold and Silver prices remained soft, despite the US dollar retracing from recent highs.

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