Slow start to the week
US investors return from the long bank holiday weekend having not missed very much, with Monday proving to be rather uneventful in the absence of North America.
The same macro themes continue to be the driving forces in the markets at the moment, whether that be the more global impacting events like the Sino-US trade talks or domestically focused issues like Brexit. Equity markets are trading slightly in the red though in subdued trade, although this is likely nothing more than a little profit taking following another strong week on the back of no major news flow.
Sterling unmoved by Labour resignations and jobs report
The only notable news stories at the start of the week have come from the UK, where seven opposition lawmakers resigned from the party in a blow to the leadership and party as a whole. It doesn’t really change the landscape on Brexit though which is why the pound was almost entirely unmoved by the revelation. There was probably more of a reaction to the jobs data this morning but even this generated quite a muted response, with the figures being more-or-less in line with expectations.
GBPUSD Daily Chart
Dollar pares gains but remains supported
The dollar has struggled over the last few sessions though, pulling back from its highs on a mixture of profit taking and positive developments in trade talks between the US and China. Those talks are expected to resume in Washington this week as teams from both countries work to avoid further tariffs being imposed at the start of March, now less than two weeks away. An extension for the truce now looks the most likely outcome, which is a positive development for the markets but isn’t weighing on the dollar too much, despite the greenback having performed very well throughout the escalation of the conflict.
Gold buoyed by USD profit taking
Gold has certainly benefited from the pullback in the dollar in recent days, driving above $1,320 having previously held above $1,300 as the drag of a stronger greenback weighed. It has run into some resistance around $1,330, although the next notable level is $1,340 having been so at times in early 2018 and even prior to that.
Gold Daily Chart
WTI struggling to gather momentum after testing resistance
Oil is looking very interesting at these levels, with Brent having broken through notable technical resistance while WTI drags its feet a little. WTI broke above $55 but struggled to pick up much momentum and has since stalled. If we can break through today’s high, just above $56, then it could be the catalyst for further gains but the dollar could hold it back.
Gold Daily Chart
For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.
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