Today’s financial calendar is missing any important announcements that could spark volatility in the markets. Instead, market participants will continue to focus on the upcoming Fed policy speeches (8 speeches this week – not counting Chair Yellen’s with 5 due on Thursday. Other headlines that dominate FX moves are the recent Comments from UK PM Theresa May, which have had a negative effect on the GBP.
Currencies: The Sterling was the biggest loser yesterday with the GBPUSD pair falling as much as 1.3% to 1.2122 and EURGBP having its biggest daily increase since October. In an interview over the weekend, the UK prime minister said that “often people talk in terms as if we are leaving the EU but we still want to keep bits of membership of the EU. We’re leaving; we’re coming out.” These were the first comments this year on leaving the EU and are adding on fears of a hard Brexit especially since Angel Merkel saying that the UK must accept all four freedoms, including free movement of people, if it wants (full) access to the single market, otherwise it would have ‘fatal consequences’ for the remaining 27 member states. The euro gained 0.4 percent to $1.0617, moving away from last week’s 14-year low of $1.0340.
Stocks: U.S. stocks were mixed after the close on Monday. At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones fell 0.38%, while the S&P 500 index declined 0.35%, and the NASDAQ gained 0.19%. In Asia Pacific, stocks were also mixed, with Japan opening today after a holiday yesterday. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.91%, while The S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.86%. Earlier in Australia, retail sales rose 0.2% month-on-month in November, less than the 0.4% expectation.
Oil and Gold: Oil prices plunged almost 4% yesterday on concerns that record Iraqi exports are rising US output would undermine OPEC’s efforts to control global oversupply. U.S. crude settled at $51.96 per barrel, down $2.03, or 3.%. That was the weakest daily closing level since Dec. 16. Brent crude was down $2.22, or 3.9%, at $54.88 a barrel. Gold, on the other hand rose to its highest level in almost 6 weeks of $1187 as uncertainty surrounding the U.S. Federal Reserve’s pace of interest-rate hikes has helped weaken the dollar and drive down interest rates.