- An uninspiring lead from US and Asian bourses filters into Europe despite the upside in the energy complex
- USD-index continues its persistent softness with USD/JPY briefly breaking below 107.00.
- Looking ahead, highlights include US Core PCE and Personal Spending, as well as comments from Fed's Kaplan, and BoE's Cunliffe
Asia traded mixed amid holiday thinned trade and a cautious tone following Wall St. losses, where an Apple sell-off and weak US GDP dampened sentiment.However, ASX 200 (+0.4%) edged higher underpinned by commodity strength in which WTI broke above USD 46/bbl. Elsewhere, the Shanghai Comp (-0.3%) was subdued after further discouraging earnings in which PetroChina posted its first ever quarterly loss and ICBC reported lacklustre growth as well as an increase in NPL’s, while the PBoC also conducted a net CNY 290bln drain. Finally, Japanese markets were shut for Showa Day public holiday.
PBoC injected CNY 30bln via 7-day reverse repos; for a net weekly drain of CNY 290bln vs. CNY 680bln net injection last week. (RTRS)
PBoC strengthened the CNY mid-point by the most since 2005 at 6.4589 vs. Prev. mid-point 6.4954. (RTRS)
CENTRAL BANK SPEAKERS
ECB's Praet (Soft Dove) said there should be no discussion on new measures and focus should be on implementing recent decisions. Praet also added that rates cannot be cut indefinitely and that helicopter money is not on the table, not even informally. (BBG)
EQUITIES/ FIXED INCOME
Despite the upside in the energy complex today, sentiment is firmly dampened after the soft close in the US yesterday and the risk off trading seen overnight. Although Asia saw thin trade due to the Japanese holiday, the upside seen in both JPY and precious metals illustrated the uncertainty felt across asset classes, with this filtering through to Europe. Equities have traded in the red throughout the morning, with Euro Stoxx lower by 1.2%, although with the downside in equities failing to filter through to any significant price action in fixed income. Bunds are flat on the day and continue to trade in the tight range between 162.50 and 162.25.
A very mixed session in FX, but one which again is to the detriment of the USD as the index is pressed down to fresh 6 month+ lows on the back of another down-leg in USD/JPY. Losses in London saw 107.00 taken out, but ahead of 106.50, exotic protective bids are helping contain the sell-off, albeit temporarily so as yet. EUR/USD has been propelled higher accordingly, having adopted a strong bid tone in recent sessions. Earlier gains extended through the pre 1.1400 top seen over the ECB press conference last week, and despite running into strong offers above here, the pullback is contained ahead of 1.1350, with better than expected Q1 GDP in the Euro zone now aiding the bid. This has also helped EUR/GBP recover a little, with Cable now only managing to match the early Feb high at 1.4667 before retracing back through 1.4600. Bids in the mid 1.4550’s supporting for now. Commodities still recovering amid the backdrop of recent jitters in equity markets. Oil continues to power north to help maintain USD/CAD pressure on 1.2500. Strong bids coming in ahead of this but sellers keen ahead of 1.2550.
Heading into the North American crossover, energy prices have seen upside for much of the morning with Brent crude futures above USD 48/bbl, while WTI is trading at levels last seen since October. Newsflow for the energy has been somewhat light, with only reports out of Saudi Arabia that they may potentially boost oil production in the summer to around 10.5mln bpd. Elsewhere, Gold rose nearly 1% as a cautious tone spurred a flight-to-safety reaching USD 1280.00/oz eyeing the highs of USD 1284.8/oz seen on the 11th Mar'16, Elsewhere Silver broke the recent highs of USD 17.66/oz reaching USD 17.84/oz with the next level up at USD 18.44/oz. Copper and iron ore prices also benefited from the USD’s demise to 8-month lows, with Dalian iron ore futures hitting limit up in early trade.
Saudi Arabia's oil output could possibly rise to around 10.5mln bpd in the summer. (RTRS)
SPDR Gold Trust Holdings increased 0.19% to 804.14 metric tons. (BBG)
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