Published on 2020-01-24 11:38
The market mood remained fragile in Friday’s early trading, as a sense of caution prevailed amid concerns over the rapid spread of the China coronavirus outbreak globally, despite the Chinese authorities extending their containment efforts.
The Asian equities traded mixed amid the virus concerns and slowing volumes, as the financial markets in China, Taiwan, South Korea and Indonesia were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. The S&P 500 futures posted small gains while the US Treasury yields returned to the green zone, which somewhat buoyed the sentiment around the US dollar.
Meanwhile, most fx majors traded in tight trading ranges, with the USD/JPY pair stuck in range around the 109.50 level, divided between upbeat Japanese CPI, cautious sentiment and positive Wall Street futures. Among the European currencies, EUR/USD remained on the defensive around 1.1050 after downbeat remarks from the European Central Bank (ECB) Chief Lagarde during the post-monetary policy meeting press conference. GBP/USD held steady above the 1.31 level heading into the key events risks in the European session.
Oil prices found their feet after oil inventories data surprised with a smaller-than-expected drawdown. The coronavirus scare continues capping crude prices. Gold prices remained under pressure below $1560 levels.
Fresh trading momentum could gather pace in the session ahead after a quiet Asian affair, as markets brace for the key preliminary Markit Manufacturing PMI readings from the across the Euro area as well from the UK. The bloc’s PMIs started trickling from 08:15 GMT and could emerge a key driver for the euro in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the UK activity numbers due at 09:30 GMT will be closely watched heading into next week’s Bank of England’s (BOE) policy decision. Also, of note remains the speech by the ECB President Lagarde scheduled at 10:30 GMT.
The NA session is also an eventful one, with Markit’s Preliminary Manufacturing and Services PMI reports for the US lined up for release at 14:45 GMT. Markets will also look forward to the Baker Hughes US Oil Rig Count data, dropping in at 18:00 GMT.