FX& CFD TIRDZNIECĪBAI IR AUGSTS RISKA LĪMENIS
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I. Market focus:
The focus of market participants was on the yields on 10-year U.S. Treasuries, which approached the psychological mark of 3 percent in the previous day, reaching the highest level since 2014. The 10-year Treasury yields have been on the rise since the second half of 2016. Since then, the yields have doubled. A few months ago, the yields on the U.S. 10-year note nearly touched the 3-percent mark, but then the market sentiment was less negative, and the prospects for the global economy as a whole, and the U.S. in particular, seemed cloudless. Now the situation is somewhat different, primarily due to trade disputes between the U.S. and China, as a deterioration in the trade conditions between the two countries is expected to slow the growth rate of the U.S. economy, and an increase in the borrowing cost is seen to enhance the negative effect. Those expectations had a negative impact on market sentiment but provoked a significant rebound of the dollar against other currencies. The possible easing of tension in the trade relations between Washington and Beijing, which was signaled by the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who announced about an intention to visit China a few days ago, could reduce the negative perception by the markets of the prospects for further growth in the U.S. Treasury yields. At the same time, the dollar is likely to continue its appreciation in the near future.
On Tuesday, the main event will be the release of data on consumer confidence in the U.S. from the Conference Board. The corresponding index is set to be published at 14:00 GMT. The median forecasts imply some weakening of the indicator in April compared to March.
The stock market participants assess the quarterly results of companies, as the first-quarter earnings season continues. Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) released its strong quarterly results after the close of yesterday's trading. 3M (MMM), Caterpillar (CAT), Coca-Cola (KO), Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), Travelers (TRV), United Tech (UTX) and Verizon (VZ) will publish their Q1 financials before the market opens.
II. The market highlights are:
The Chicago Federal Reserve announced on Monday the Chicago Fed national activity index (CFNAI), a weighted average of 85 different economic indicators, fell to +0.10 in March from a revised +0.98 in February (originally +0.88), pointing to a moderation in economic growth. Economists had expected the index to come in at +0.27 last month. At the same time, the index’s three-month moving average moved down to +0.27 in March from +0.31 in the prior month. According to the report, two of the four broad categories made positive contributions to the CFNAI last month. The production-related indicators contributed +0.14 to the CFNAI in March, down from +0.54 in February, while the sales, orders, and inventories category made a contribution of +0.04 to the CFNAI last month, down from +0.14 in February. At the same time, the employment-related indicators contributed -0.07 to the CFNAI in March, down from +0.35 in February, and the personal consumption and housing category contributed to the CFNAI -0.01 in March, up from -0.06 in February.
Preliminary data released by IHS Markit on Monday indicated that the U.S. private sector business activity continued to expand at a solid pace in April. According to the report, the Markit flash manufacturing purchasing manager's index (PMI) rose to 56.5 this month from 55.6 in March, marking the sharpest improvement in manufacturing business conditions since September 2014. Economists had expected the reading to come in at 55.0. A reading above 50 signals an expansion in activity, while a reading below this level signals a contraction. March’s boost in the headline PMI was mainly attributable to the expansions in output and new orders, with the latter growing at the quickest pace in over three-and-a-half years. Meanwhile, the Markit flash services purchasing manager's index (PMI) came in at 54.4 this month, up from 54.0 in March, indicating the twenty-sixth successive month of output expansion at service sector firms. Economists had expected the reading to stay at 54.0. April’s growth was supported by an expansion in new business at service providers, which rose the most since March 2015. Overall, IHS Markit Flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index came in at 54.8 in April, up from 54.2 in March. Commenting on the flash PMI data, Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit noted: “After a relatively disappointing start to the year, the second quarter should prove a lot more encouraging. The current data point to an annualized GDP growth rate of 2.5 percent, with scope for some substantial upside surprises in coming months.”
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported on Monday that the U.S. existing home sales rose 1.1 percent m-o-m to an annual rate of 5.60 mln units in March from an unrevised 5.54 million in February. Economists had forecast home resales increasing to a 5.55 million-unit pace last month. According to the report, single-family home sales edged up 0.6 percent m-o-m to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.99 million in March, while existing condominium and co-op sales surged 5.2 percent m-o-m to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units. Despite last month’s gain, sales were 1.2 percent below a year ago. The NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun said that closings in March eked forward despite challenging market conditions in most of the country. "Robust gains last month in the Northeast and Midwest – a reversal from the weather-impacted declines seen in February - helped overall sales activity rise to its strongest pace since last November at 5.72 million," said Yun. "The unwelcoming news is that while the healthy economy is generating sustained interest in buying a home this spring, sales are lagging year-ago levels because supply is woefully low and home prices keep climbing above what some would-be buyers can afford."
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) announced on Tuesday that Australia’s headline consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.4 percent q-o-q in the first quarter of 2018, following a 0.6 percent q-o-q gain in the fourth quarter of 2017. Economists had forecast that consumer prices would grow 0.5 percent q-o-q. According to the ABS’ report, the most significant price rises in the reviewed period showed education (+3.3 percent q-o-q), gas and other household fuels (+6.0 percent q-o-q), pharmaceutical products (+5.6 percent q-o-q), vegetables (+3.7 percent q-o-q) and medical and hospital services (+1.5 percent q-o-q). These rises were partially offset by drops in international holiday travel and accommodation (-2.4 percent q-o-q), audio, visual and computing media and services (-6.1 percent q-o-q) and furniture (-2.8 percent q-o-q). Annual headline CPI increased 1.9 percent in the first quarter, the same pace as in the fourth quarter and shy of economists’ forecast for 2.0 percent. Trimmed mean CPI, a key measure of underlying inflation favoured by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), rose 0.5 percent q-o-q, compared to 0.4 percent q-o-q advance in the fourth quarter and expectations for 0.5 percent q-o-q raise. Annual trimmed mean CPI grew 1.9 percent in March quarter, accelerating from 1.8 percent in the prior three-month period and exceeding economists’ expectations for 1.8 percent.
III. Market Situation
The currency pair EUR/USD declined moderately at the beginning of the session, as the dollar continued to strengthen on the back of the growth in the U.S. Treasury yields. Later, however, the pair erased all losses, due to a partial profit-taking after a fall by almost 200 points since April 19 and a downward correction of the U.S. dollar. Today, the pair’s performance could be impacted by the German data on the business climate from the IFO, as well as the U.S. statistics on housing prices, new home sales, and consumer confidence. In addition, the focus of markets gradually shifts to the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting, which will be held on Thursday. Most market participants believe that the ECB’s tone will be more dovish. If the ECB rhetoric is less dovish than expected, the exchange rate of the single currency will receive support. Resistance level - $1.2289 (low of April 23). Support level - $1.2154 (low of March 1).
The currency pair GBP/USD consolidated near the opening level, due to the lack of new drivers. Today, the pair’s performance could be influenced by the British data on public sector net borrowing, and the balance of industrial orders from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Apart from the UK’s data, traders will also pay attention to the dynamics of the U.S. currency and the general market sentiment toward risky assets. Later this week, the focus will be on the preliminary data on the UK’s GDP growth in the first quarter of 2018 (due on Friday). Experts note that the acceleration of the growth rate can strengthen analysts' expectations of an increase in interest rates at the Bank of England’s (BoE) meeting on May 10th. According to economists’ forecasts, in the GDP grew by 1.4 percent in the first quarter of 2018, the same pace as in the fourth quarter of 2017. Resistance level - $1.4246 (high of April 18). Support level - $1.3888 (low of March 16).
The currency pair AUD/USD traded slightly higher after it fell sharply at the beginning of the session in response to the release of inflation data in Australia. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported that Australia’s headline consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.4 percent q-o-q in the first quarter of 2018, following a 0.6 percent q-o-q gain in the fourth quarter of 2017. Economists had forecast that consumer prices would grow 0.5 percent q-o-q. Annual headline CPI increased 1.9 percent in the first quarter, the same pace as in the fourth quarter and shy of economists’ forecast for 2.0 percent. Meanwhile, trimmed mean CPI, a key measure of underlying inflation favoured by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), rose 0.5 percent q-o-q, compared to 0.4 percent q-o-q advance in the fourth quarter and expectations for 0.5 percent q-o-q raise. Annual trimmed mean CPI grew 1.9 percent in March quarter, accelerating from 1.8 percent in the prior three-month period and exceeding economists’ expectations for 1.8 percent. The annual increase was the fastest since the fourth quarter of 2015 but below the RBA’s target. Resistance level - AUD0.7682 (high of March 23). Support level - AUD0.7545 (low of December 13, 2017).
The currency pair USD/JPY trading almost unchanged, keeping near its highest level since February 12. The yen was under pressure, as the demand for safe-haven assets continued reducing amid easing concerns about geopolitical risks and global trade tensions. Elsewhere, the Japanese data on producer prices also impacted the pair’s performance. The Bank of Japan (BoJ) reported producer prices in the country rose 0.5 percent y-o-y in March, following an upwardly revised 0.7 percent y-o-y advance in February (originally 0.6 percent y-o-y gain). That was in line with economists’ forecast. On a monthly basis, producer prices increased 0.5 percent in March after growing 0.3 percent in the previous month. Resistance level - Y109.30 (high of February 9). Support level - Y106.88 (low of April 17).
U.S. stock indexes closed mixed on Monday, as a top-weighted technology sector continued to be under pressure due to concerns about soft smartphone demand. Investors preferred cautious approach ahead of a slew of corporate earnings this week and amid growing Treasury yields. In addition, the focus was on the March data on the existing home sales in the U.S. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that the U.S. existing home sales rose 1.1 percent m-o-m to an annual rate of 5.60 mln units in March from an unrevised 5.54 million in February. Economists had forecast home resales increasing to a 5.55 million-unit pace last month. According to the report, single-family home sales edged up 0.6 percent m-o-m to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.99 million in March, while existing condominium and co-op sales surged 5.2 percent m-o-m to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units. Despite last month’s gain, sales were 1.2 percent below a year ago.
Asian stock indexes closed solidly higher on Tuesday, correcting after heavy sell-off in recent sessions. The Chinese shares climbed on the back of the outcomes of the meeting of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The Political Bureau of the CPC announced intention to carry out market reforms and implement opening-up policies. It also said it would stick to a proactive fiscal policy and prudent and neutral monetary policy. The Japanese equity benchmark, the Nikkei, surged as a weaker yen supported export-oriented companies.
European stock indexes are expected to trade higher in the morning trading session.
Yields of US 10-year notes hold at 2.97% (-1 basis points)
Yields of German 10-year bonds hold at 0.63% (-1 basis points)
Yields of UK 10-year gilts hold at 1.54% (0 basis points)
Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures traded lower. Crude oil for delivery in June settled at $69.28 (+0.93%). The crude oil prices rose, on concerns of reinstatement of the U.S. sanctions on Iran, and a high OPEC's commitment to its output cut deal as well. Market participants are awaiting data on oil inventories in the U.S. Today, the American Petroleum Institute (API) will publish its weekly data on the U.S. crude oil stockpiles. Tomorrow, the focus will be on official report on crude inventories in the U.S. from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Gold traded at $1,327.80 (+0.24%). Gold prices rose moderately, as the U.S. currency retreated. The index, measuring the value of the U.S. dollar relative to a basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.06 percent to 90.90. Since gold prices are tied to the dollar, a weaker dollar makes the precious metal cheaper for holders of foreign currencies.
IV. The most important scheduled events (time GMT 0)
IFO - Current Assessment
IFO - Expectations
IFO - Business Climate
CBI industrial order books balance
Housing Price Index
S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices
Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index
New Home Sales
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