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Apple launches and inflation reports dominate trading

Stock markets in North America started the day off strong but then spent most of the day spinning their wheels to finish with modest gains. Capital generally continued to move back into risk markets with defensive havens like gold and JPY in retreat. 

The NASDAQ 100 failed to break through 6,000 today, completing a double top. The index was unable to get a boost despite all of the hoopla surrounding Apple, its largest component, today. Apple launched a number of new products including the Apple TV 4K, a new Apple Watch with cellular communications features, two iPhone8 models and the much hyped iPhoneX its largest iPhone to date. Traders were not overly impressed as the shares gave back gains as the launch event progressed, particularly on the X announcement. It appears that with the shares having already made huge gains this year, traders have been viewing these announcements as an opportunity to take profits rather than add to long positions. 

It was a big day for trading in the UK. Sterling spiked higher on the back of the big EU repeal Brexit bill passing second reading by a 26 vote majority and inflation news. UK inflation figures were higher across the board increasing pressure on Governor Carney to start raising interest rates heading into Thursday’s MPC meeting. Cable is trading at levels similar to this time last year so the currency can’t be blamed for rising inflation any longer.   

NZD has held on to yesterday’s gains which were sparked by a new election poll showing the incumbent National party back in the lead and potentially within striking distance of a majority government. Election news and speculation could keep the Kiwi Dollar active in the coming days. 

After the close, API reported a 6.1 mmbbl increase in crude oil inventories and a 7.9 mmbbl decrease in gasoline inventories. WTI didn't move on the news and gasoline has dropped back a bit. Last week was the point of maximum storm disruption and distortion so traders appear to be taking this all in stride ahead of tomorrow’s DOE reports.