US equity markets closed the session relatively flat yesterday as we saw fluctuations between green and red all day long in the absence of any real market movers. The DJIA lost 0.03%, the NASDAQ 100 finished higher by 0.08% while the S&P 500 lost 0.2%. In Asia, we also saw mixed trading with the Nikkei 225 losing -0.4%, the ASX 200 remaining unchanged and the Hang Seng managing a gain of 0.3%.
In commodities, crude oil found some support as OPEC members reiterate their support for a continued freeze on output for the second half of the year too, which has seen crude move off of yesterday lows of 48.50 to currently trade at 49.35. Markets have taken the news as positive, but await confirmation from non-OPEC members too which would then give a real boost to prices. Gold slid from its 1235 highs as seller overcame buyers on the back of more positive rhetoric form Fed members.
In FX, the USD weakened against it major counterparts with the EURUSD outperforming on the back of political news after the firsts presidential debate in France, which saw the anti EU party come off second best, leading markets to believe that the more pro EU party will likely take the election and thus keeping the EUR bid. Elsewhere, the AUDUSD was largely unaffected by the RBA meeting minutes which stated that the economy was stable and warranted a steady policy while continuing to hint that the AUDUSD strength would hamper the work done so far.
Today’s major news comes from the UK, where we see the release of the CPI y/y data. Today’s release will be closely watched by markets after last week’s BOE meeting showed that the UK economy is fairing ok, with a fair bit of inflation prompting members to vote on a hold on interest rates with a slight hawkish tone after 1 member voted to lift rates. If today’s CPI data shows the UK economy to be heating significantly, we would see the GBP move higher as markets prepare for a potential interest rate hike in the next BOE meeting. If however, the CPI data disappoints markets, we are likely to see the GBP hammered lower as bears look to test circa 1.2100.