ASIA-PACIFIC

Asian trade was dampened by thin holiday markets as the Nikkei was closed due to a bank holiday. The ASX 200 closed slightly negative at -0.32% as lower crude prices dragged the index lower. Chinas Shanghai Index gained a significant 1.67% after China relaxed its restriction on margin trading and injected more liquidity in the markets.

Todays data out of the region is as follows:

AUD:

  • HPI q/q exp to increase by 0.1%
  • RBA Assistant Gov Edey due to speak
  • RBA Gov Stevens due to speak

JPY:

  • Flash Manufacturing PMI exp. 50.6
  • All Industrial Activity expected to increase by 1.9%.

USA

Stocks remained range bound in Friday trade as news flow remained light. The DJIA gaining 0.68%, the S&P 500 gaining 0.44% and th Nasdaq-100 losing 0.24%.

Data out of the region today remains relatively light which will have the USD consolidating its recent losses as we head into the release of the Existing home Sales figure, expected at 5.32M.

EUROPE

ECB`s Weidman was outspoken about his criticism of the ECB`s experimenting with further monetary policy recklessness, stating that a wait and see stance would be more appropriate as the bank attempts to navigate the EU out of its economic funk.

Data out of the region comes in the form of the Current Account expected at 26.3B,slightly higher than last month and the German Buba Report, which will highlight the banks concerns regarding the current economic situation in Germany and its views on the ECB`s stance; a more hawkish report will see the EUR strengthen.

UK

UK markets were slightly rocked and the GBP weakened as Iain Duncan Smith, a high profile member of cabinet, resigned from duty. Allegedly this was over disagreement with Chancellor Osborne`s budget, with others saying that it was to free himself up to campaign in favour of a BREXIT.

COMMODITIES

Oil price continued lower overnight with WTI breaching below 40 $/bbl as resistance appears to have entered the markets after crude gained more than 55% in value since mid-JAN.

Gold remained soft overnight, shedding $13 as bears look to retake some of the more than 230 dollars the precious metal has gained in the last 2 months.