nergy commodities have been the main focus of trading today. Continuing to ignore improving US oil inventories, and a larger than expected drawdown in natural gas storage, energy commodities were pounded down again Thursday. The main event of the day was Brent Crude taking another psychological hit breaking under $40.00/bbl with the next big round number test near $35.00 on WTI crude. Crude oil and heating oil fell over 1% on the day while natural gas fell 2%. The one exception to this mess was gasoline which popped for a 3% gain
The decline in crude oil had a mixed impact on energy currencies with CAD and MXN declining again but NOK and RUB gaining on USD. This lack of full confirmation from the currencies suggests that we could be approaching a significant low in energy markets and some traders may be starting to anticipate a washout and rebound.
It has otherwise been a mixed day for currency trading. CHF has been declining after the Swiss National Bank maintained its negative interest rate. EUR tried to break out over $1.1000 but failed and dropped back, while USD bounced back.
AUD and NZD have been among the stronger majors overnight with yesterday’s strong Australian employment report attracting increased interest. We’ll see if today’s New Zealand PMI, food price inflation and consumer confidence reports can keep the party going.
Stock markets in the US and Germany regained their footing Thursday, but essentially remain range bound in between the big ECB and FOMC meetings and decisions. Friday morning brings US retail sales one of the last big US data announcements for the Fed to mull over before deciding whether to raise interest rates or not. Asia Pacific markets, meanwhile, may see positioning ahead of China’s big economic numbers coming out on the weekend.
There have been no major economic announcements after the US close today.
Significant announcements released overnight include:
Switzerland benchmark rate (0.75) no change as expected
UK interest rate and QE 0.50% and £375B no change as expected
UK MPC voting 8 for no change, 1 hawkish dissenter, same as last month
Canada new house prices 1.5% vs street 1.3%
US jobless claims 282K vs street 270K
US natural gas (76 BCF) vs street (65 BCF)
UK trade balance (£11.8B) vs street (£9.7B)
Upcoming significant economic announcements include:
(Note: 11:30 am in Sydney/Melbourne is currently 1:30 pm in Auckland, 4:30 pm in Vancouver, 7:30 pm in Toronto/Montréal, 12:30 am in London and 8:30 am in Singapore)
8:30 am AEDT NZ Business PMI vs previous 53.3
8:45 am AEDT NZ food prices vs previous (1.2%)
11:00 am AEDT NZ ANZ consumer confidence previous 122.7
7:00 am GMT Germany wholesale prices previous (1.6%)
7:00 am GMT Germany consumer prices street 0.4%
9:00 am GMT Italy industrial production street 2.0%
9:30 am GMT UK construction output street (1.1%)
9:30 am GMT UK BoE/GfK 12M inflation est previous 2.0%
10:15 am GMT ECB TLTRO allotments
8:30 am EST US retail sales street 0.2%
8:30 am EST US retail ex auto street 0.3%
8:30 am EST US producer prices street (1.4%)
8:30 am EST US core PPI street 0.4%
10:00 am EST US consumer sentiment street 92.0
1:00 pm EST US Baker Hughes drill rig count previous 737
4:30 pm AEDT Sat China retail sales street 11.1%
4:30 pm AEDT Sat China industrial production street 5.7%
4:30 pm AEDT Sat China fixed assets street 10.1%
5:00 pm AEDT Sat China Bloomberg monthly GDP previous 6.57%
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