Tokyo makes a strong start to 2017

Asian markets made a bold start to the year with the Nikkei 225 up 2.2% on the first day of trading and pushing towards a 13 month high. Tokyo was encouraged by a strong US dollar and positive manufacturing figures from America and the Eurozone. The BOJ will be hoping to see the yen fall significantly this year, giving Japan’s export based economy a much needed boost. Toshiba shares are expected to take another hit today on reports of fresh investigations into the conglomerate’s accounting scandal. Other Asian markets showed mixed results. The Hang Seng was down this morning but the Shanghai Composite, ASX and BSE Sensex all made clear gains.

US Dollar continues to climb

The US dollar is capturing the headlines this morning as it continues to rise, pulling US stocks up with it. The resurgent greenback is heading towards a 14 year high as trader confidence in the American economy grows. Speculation is growing that the FED is likely to adjust interest rates again in the near future. Friday’s NFP figures will almost certainly see some volatility on the dollar and possibly on gold prices. There are some concerns that the December employment figures may be disappointing and poor figures will put (at least a temporary) break on the dollar’s rise.

Other Market News

Gold also rose with futures jumping 0.8% to $1,160.60 an ounce. Crude is likely to be unpredictable, falling 2.6% on Tuesday before beginning to edge back up again. There are increasing doubts about OPECs ability to stick to its planned production cuts and US producers are poised to cash in on any changes in the market. The euro slipped against the dollar to hit a 14 year low overnight. Traders will be paying close attention to the Eurozone CPI figures that are due later this morning. We may see some volatility on the euro today. The British pound also slipped overnight and is not expected to show any major change in performance.