DAX Dips as Political Uncertainty Grips Washington

The DAX index has posted slight losses in the Wednesday session. Currently, the DAX is trading at 12,758.00. On the economic front, Eurozone Final CPI climbed 1.9%, matching the forecast. Final Core CPI improved to 1.2%, also matching the estimate. On Thursday, the president of the ECB, Mario Draghi, will speak at an event at the University of Tel Aviv.

Global stock markets are lower due to the political uncertainty which has engulfed Washington. The US media is having a field day, as the Trump administration lurches from scandal to scandal. On Tuesday, reports surfaced that President Trump asked former FBI director James Comey to end an investigation into ties between Russia and Trump’s former security adviser, Michael Flynn. Another brewing controversy is Trump’s passing of classified intelligence to the Russian foreign minister earlier this week. Trump initially denied the claim, but has since backtracked, admitting that he did share intel with the Russians, but that he had acted within his rights. With the Trump administration busy putting out political fires, investors are growing increasingly nervous that the president’s agenda for a stimulus package and tax reform will stall, and the euro has taken advantage, gaining 1.5% against the greenback.

The markets were on the money in predicting euro-area inflation data. Eurozone Final CPI matched the forecast with a strong gain of 1.9% in April, considerably higher than last month’s gain of 1.5%. Eurozone inflation is closing in on the ECB’s target of 2.0%, which could increase pressure on the ECB to consider tapering its ultra-loose monetary policy. Germany, for one, is finding that ultra-low interest rates is hampering growth, and wants Brussels to adopt a tighter monetary policy. On Tuesday, Eurozone Flash GDP was unrevised from the April forecast, posting a gain of 0.6% in the first quarter. The eurozone continues to show improved numbers in 2017, boosted in no small part by the German economy, which also expanded 0.6% in the first quarter. The well-respected ZEW Economic Sentiment surveys, which gauge optimism among investors and analysts, were a mixed bag for May. The German indicator improved to 20.6, short of expectations. What was more surprising was the unexpected jump from the Eurozone indicator, which improved to 35.1, its strongest level in almost two years.

A rise in oil prices has boosted stock markets on Monday, as Brent crude climbed close to 2 percent. This surge boosted the DAX, which briefly touched a high of 12,833.00, a new record. The first quarter of 2017 has seen improved numbers in the euro area, largely due to strong numbers from Germany, the largest economy in the eurozone. Germany’s economy expanded 0.6% in the first quarter, compared to a 0.4% gain in Q4 of 2016. What was particularly encouraging was that the expansion was broadly based, with strong consumer and state spending, and an upsurge in the construction and manufacturing and export sectors.

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Economic Calendar

Wednesday (May 17)

  • 5:00 Eurozone Final CPI. Estimate 1.9%. Actual 1.9%
  • 5:00 Eurozone Final Core CPI. Estimate 1.2%. Actual 1.2%
  • Tentative – German 30-y Bond Auction

Thursday (May 18)

  • 13:00 ECB President Mario Draghi Speaks

*All release times are EDT

*Key events are in bold

DAX, Wednesday, May 17 at 6:50 EDT

Open: 12,720.00 High: 12,879.00 Low: 12,696.00 Close: 12,758.00

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Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Kenny Fisher joined OANDA in 2012 as a Currency Analyst. Kenny writes a daily column about current economic and political developments affecting the major currency pairs, with a focus on fundamental analysis. Kenny began his career in forex at Bendix Foreign Exchange in Toronto, where he worked as a Corporate Account Manager for over seven years.