It was lackluster day yesterday and so far today, as volumes are on the lower side of normal. The reason is not only the lack of important data releases, but also the fact that new hints in regards to the direction of interest rates should be given on Friday as Janet Yellen speaks. Today, Germany will release Q2 GDP final while US will release house price index, existing home sales and crude oil inventories.
Currencies: The market continues to look ahead to the Jackson Hole conference and not least Janet Yellen’s speech later this week, and if it will give any guidance on whether the Fed has plans to hike rates this year or even hike rates as early as next month. Yesterday the USD gained a little on the back of strong US home sales numbers. In the Asian session, there were no major data releases or events and most major currency pairs were caught in a tight range. EUR/USD opened around 1.1310 and declined to 1.1280, while GBP/USD consolidated between 1.3170-1.3200. USD/JPY started the new trading day around 100.20 and rallied to 100.52 ahead of the Tokyo open, but was not able to keep up momentum and eventually fell back to 100.30.
Stocks: In Asia, equity returns were mixed in spite of solid session in Wall Street on Tuesday. Japanese stocks ended however in positive territory, boosted by a slightly weaker yen. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.56%. The Nasdaq Composite briefly hit an all-time intraday high, while the S&P 500 flirted with its own intraday record. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq had traded at levels that would have given them new closing highs Tuesday, but fell short by the close.
Oil and Gold: Oil prices fell on Wednesday as an unexpected build in U.S. crude inventories weighed on markets. Brent was trading at $49.32 a barrel, down 64 cents, or 1.3%, from their last close. WTI crude was down 72 cents, or 1.5 %, at $47.38 a barrel. Gold suffered losses on the back of a stronger USD. Major resistance proves to be $1343 while the first support is at $1331.