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Market Review, September 30, 2016

Yesterday we initially saw the dollar push higher after data showed that U.S. second-quarter growth was upwardly revised more than expected and that U.S. jobless claims rose less than expected last week. US pending home sales data failed to live up to the expectations and the dollar then trimmed its gains against the other major currencies yesterday.

The U.S. National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index fell 2.4% last month, missing expectations for an increase of 0.3%. The index reading at 108.5 is the second lowest this year after January’s 105.4.

Oil prices rose nearly 3 percent, extending their rally on optimism over OPEC’s first output cut plan in eight years, despite some analysts’ doubts that the reduction would be enough to rebalance a heavily over-supplied market. The OPEC agreed on Wednesday to cut output to 32.5-33.0 million barrels per day from around 33.5 million, estimated by Reuters to be the output level in August. OPEC said other details of the plan will be known at its policy meeting in November, leaving unanswered when the agreement will come into effect, what new quotas for member countries will be and for what periods, and how compliance will be verified.

Gold prices rose a tad in Asia on Friday after a key manufacturing survey from China came in as expected and investors looked ahead to more remarks from Fed policymakers. Gold for December delivery rose 0.09% to $1,327.15.

Wall Street dropped yesterday, weighed down by Apple as well as selling in Wells Fargo, Citigroup and other major banks as investors worried about the health of Deutsche Bank.

 

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Market Review, September 29, 2016

Yesterday we saw the dollar edge back up against the other major currencies, after positive US data on durable goods orders.

All through the trading day, investors remained caution (even on the dollar) over the outcome of the meeting between the major oil producers.

After the meeting, OPEC has declared that the producing group agreed to reduce its oil ouput. The agreement market the first time the group cut its oil output since 2008! OPEC will agree to production levels for each member country at its Nov. 30 meeting in Vienna, group officials said.

The dollar hit a 5-month low against the Norwegian crown (1% to 0.80403) and fell against other commodity-linked currencies.

“The price action suggests it was a bit of a surprise,” said Win Thin, global head of emerging market currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York, in reference to commodity currencies’ gains. Investors were very skeptical after the group was unable to reach an output agreement at the previous meeting.

Oil futures gained nearly 6% on the surprising move by the OPEC and even extended those gains in the overnight session.
Brent crude climbed to $49.00/barrel and WTI to $47.33/barrel.

“More cynical traders have pointed out the complete lack of detail, including the potentially problematic question of which nations will curtail production,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at Sydney’s CMC Markets.
“A 6-percent jump in crude prices makes a nice headline, but is within normal bounds for the currently highly volatile energy markets. Although this rally may quickly fade, energy stocks are likely to receive a boost at this morning’s opening,” McCarthy said.

Gold prices dropped during yesterday’s early trading sessions, ahead of the Fed speeches, but were able to recover during the Asian session as Fed Chair Yellen avoided specifying the timing for a rate hike.

Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Tuesday evening that the U.S. central bank should avoid raising interest rates too much. He added that rates should rise but that “I don’t know when” that should happen.

A gradual path to higher rates is seen as less of a threat to gold prices than a swift series of increases!

Wall Street closed its trading day higher yesterday, after the OPEC group meeting fueled a rally in oil. The energy sector had its best day since January, climbing 4.32%.

 

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Market Review, September 28, 2016

Following yesterday’s upbeat US data, the dollar was able to push higher against other major currencies yesterday. Data showed that U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly jumped in September to more than a nine-year high boosted optimism over the strength of the economy.

The greenback also found support as analysts considered that Hillary Clinton did better than her rival Donald Trump during Monday night’s Presidential debate. Markets tend to see Clinton as a status quo candidate, while few are sure what a Trump presidency might mean for international trade deals or the U.S. economy.

Gold prices were lower during North America’s session, extending overnight losses as markets declared Democrat Hillary Clinton as the winner of her first U.S. presidential debate with Republican Donald Trump. Gold for December delivery declined $8.45, or 0.63%, to $1,335.65.

Oil prices plunged after both Saudi Arabia and Iran played down expectations for a deal to freeze or cut oil production at the closely watched informal OPEC meeting on Wednesday. OPEC members, led by Saudi Arabia and other big Middle East crude exporters, such as Iran and Iraq, will meet non-OPEC producer Russia at the International Energy Forum in Algeria today at 14:00GMT.

Wall Street was up yesterday as consumer and technology stocks, including Amazon, led gains on , while a perceived win by Democrat Hillary Clinton in Monday’s first presidential debate gave broader support to equities.

 

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Market Review, September 27, 2016

The dollar remained broadly lower against the other major currencies yesterday, despite US new home sales data that fell less than expected last month, as the Federal Reserve latest policy decision continued to weigh on the greenback.

USD/JPY dropped 0.50% to 100.47.

The yen strengthened after Bank of Japan Haruhiko Kuroda said the central bank remained ready to use every available tool to achieve its 2% inflation target, including additional stimulus measures.

Gold prices held near a two-week high, as investors squared positions ahead of Monday night’s U.S. presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Oil jumped as much as 4 percent on Monday as the world’s largest producers gathered in Algeria to discuss ways to support prices, with nervous trade driving volatility to its highest since a similar meeting to freeze output in April in Doha which failed.

Wall Street fell on Monday as Deutsche Bank weighed on financials and investors were on stand by for the first debate between U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

 

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Market Review, September 26, 2016

On Friday we saw the dollar hold onto modest gains against the other major currencies in a quiet trade, although the Federal Reserve’s decision this week to leave interest rates on hold continued to weigh on the USD.

Gold prices turned lower, as investors were locking in profits from the previous metal’s climb. Gold futures for December delivery dropped to $1,338.65. The December contract ended Thursday’s session 1.00% higher at $1,344.70 an ounce. Gold prices rallied after the Fed decided on Wednesday to hold interest rates and projected a less aggressive rise in interest rates next year and in 2018.

Oil prices fell about 3% on a report that Saudi Arabia did not expect an agreement at talks this week among major crude exporters aiming at freezing production.

Wall Street also retreated on Friday, as lower oil prices weighed on energy shares and Apple continued its decline.

 

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Market Review, September 23, 2016

The dollar fell against a basket of major currencies yesterday, a day after the Federal Reserve cut its longer-term interest rate expectations.

The U.S. central bank’s policy-setting committee left its target rate for overnight lending unchanged at the end of its two-day meeting on Wednesday. It also projected a less aggressive rise in rates next year and in 2018, and cut its longer-run interest rate forecast to 2.9 percent from 3.0 percent.

That knocked the dollar almost across the board as investors reduced their expectations for U.S. interest rates. Higher interest rates make currencies more attractive to investors.

“On one hand the Fed looks like it will raise rates in December … and on the surface that’s somewhat hawkish and positive for the dollar, but at the same time the Fed lowered its longer-term projected path of interest rates,” said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.
“It’s hard to get too excited about the dollar when the Fed is lowering its projected path of rate hikes into the future.”

Gold prices rallied yesterday as the dollar sank on cautious Fed holding off on raising interest rates and scaling back the number of rate hikes it expects next year.

Brent oil for November delivery tacked on 84 cents, or 1.8%, to trade at $47.67 a barrel. Oil traders continued to weigh prospects that major oil producing nations will freeze output to support the market when they meet next week. OPEC members, led by Saudi Arabia and other big Middle East crude exporters, will meet non-OPEC producers led by Russia at informal talks in Algeria between September 26 and 28.

Wall Street extended Fed-fueled rally yesterday. The S&P 500 tallied its best two-day performance in more than two months, while the Nasdaq closed at a record high.

 

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Market Review, September 22, 2016

Overnight, the dollar slipped lower against the other major currencies, as investors analyzed the Federal Reserve’s policy decision to hold steady and thought whether the Bank of Japan’s new policy measures represent starker easing.

Gold for December delivery rose ti $1.337.75 an ounce. The precious metal is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar in which it is priced. A gradual path to higher rates is seen as less of a threat to gold prices than a swift series of increases.

Oil prices rose around 1 percent, extending gains from the previous session after a surprise third consecutive weekly U.S. crude inventory draw tightened the market.

Wall Street racked up gains on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged, for now leaving intact the low-rate environment that has helped underpin the bull market.

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Market Review, September 21, 2016

Dollar was almost unchanged yesterday even after the release of downbeat US housing sector data and as investors awaited the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan’s highly-anticipated policy statements.

EUR/USD held steady at 1.1180

Market participants were also looking ahead to the BoJ’s upcoming policy meeting this week, amid speculation over a possible rate cut further into negative territory. Overnight, the Japanese yen weakened sharply after the central bank unveiled policy changes that showed a sharp new effort to spur inflation. 2hours ago, the BoJ left interest rates unchanged.

The commodity-related loonie came under pressure as oil prices moved back lower after Venezuela said global crude supplies needed to decline by 10% in order to bring production down to consumption levels, sparking fresh supply glut concerns. Crude prices had rallied on Monday after Venezuela said OPEC and non-OPEC producers were close to reaching an output stabilizing deal.

Gold has found its familiar “stand-by” territory, sitting tight before the Federal Reserve rate decision and Yellen’s speech.

During the intraday oil prices sank to fresh 6-week lows as focus shifted to US supply report. During the Asian session, crude prices jumped up as API reports showed a sharp fall in stocks.

Wall Street ended little changed  as healthcare gains countered declines in energy shares, a day before highly anticipated outcomes of monetary policy meetings in the United States and Japan.

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Market Review, September 20, 2016

Yesterday we saw the dollar extend losses agianst the other major currencies as investors became more cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve rate decision and the Bank of Japan’s highly-anticipated policy meetings this week, amid speculation over a possible rate cut further into negative territory.

The commodity currencies were supported by a rebound in oil prices, after Venezuela said OPEC and non-OPEC producers were close to reaching an output stabilizing deal. USD/CAD dropped 0.32% to trade at 1.3171.

Gold prices rose as the dollar slipped. Gold for December delivery tacked on $8.10, 0.62%, to trade at $1,318.30.

Oil prices rose 1 percent after Venezuela hinted that OPEC members and other major oil producers could agree to a deal to freeze output, and as clashes in Libya disrupted attempts to restart crude exports from key ports.

A mixed session on Wall Street ended little changed, with gains in big bank stocks offsetting a drag Apple, as investors braced for the Federal Reserve meeting later this week.

The Fed is expected to leave interest rates unchanged at the two-day meeting, but investors will assess Chair Janet Yellen’s speech on Wednesday to see if the central bank plans to hike as soon as December.

 

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Market Review, September 19, 2016

Friday was a strong day for the dollar that was able to show gains that extended to two-and-a-half week highs against the other major currencies despite a disappointing U.S. consumer sentiment report as investors turned their attention to the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting scheduled for this week.

EUR/USD declined to 1.1166.

GBP/USD tumbled 1.06% to 1.3100, the lowest since August 31. The pound remained under pressure after the Bank of England kept monetary policy on hold on Thursday, but indicated that it could cut interest rates again as soon as November unless the economy picks up.

Gold was little changed.

Oil closed lower on ongoing supply worries.

U.S. stocks fell on Friday as the possibility of a $14 billion fine against Deutsche Bank weighed on big banks and investors wrestled with lingering uncertainty about when the U.S. Federal Reserve will hike interest rates.