US Data Eyed as Congress Delays Shutdown

US Futures Higher as Congress Kicks the Can Down the Road

US equity markets are on course to open marginally higher on the final trading day before the Christmas break, with investors seemingly buoyed by not only the passage of tax reform through Congress but also efforts to delay a government shutdown until 19 January.

There’s been some speculation that Donald Trump may sign that tax reform bill today, which will complete the formalities, although I think it’s clear that any near term benefit for markets is now priced in. Friday is likely to be a little thin from a trading perspective, despite the fact that we will get income, spending and inflation data from the US, as well as new home sales, durable goods orders and consumer sentiment.

Catalans Give Independence Parties Slight Majority

The Spanish IBEX is underperforming its peers this morning while Spanish yields have ticked higher after the Catalan election failed to ease the problems in the region, as separatist parties sealed a small majority. To compound the issue further, Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party was decimated at the polls, dropping eight seats to leave it with only three in the 135-seat Catalan assembly. Rajoy’s next steps will be crucial, with the Spanish leader potentially now being forced into talks with the separatist groups in order to find a solution that appeases all concerned.

EUR/USD – Euro Edges Lower as Markets Digest Catalonia Vote

Bitcoin Tumbles Again But Buyers Putting Up a Fight

Bitcoin is trading in the red again on Friday and is headed for a sixth day of losses on the Bitstamp exchange, something we haven’t seen in a very long time. What we’re seeing in Bitcoin in recent days is what many people have been anticipating for a while which is speculators getting burned by a sharp and aggressive correction. The rally over the last couple of months has left Bitcoin vulnerable to this kind of move and it seems the run up to Christmas has triggered some profit taking on the rally and even a shift into some alternative coins.

Bitcoin – Bitstamp

Source – Thomson Reuters Eikon

We’re now seeing a bounce from the earlier lows after a near 20% drop on the day but losses are still substantial. This period is going to be a big test of speculators appetite for these kinds of swings when we’re seeing two-way price action, something we haven’t seen too much of recently.

And just when you thought it was safe to head for Airport

Economic Calendar

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Currency Analyst at OANDA
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Sky News, Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.