Equity markets in the US remained subdued as all focus is now on when the new Health bill will be put back to the vote. The DJIA closed 0.22% in the red, the NASDAQ 100 closed up 0.09% while the S&P500 lost 0.1%. In Asia, we saw an improvement in sentiment as the region’s major indices shrugged off the lackluster Wall Street trading to close higher with the ASX 200 gaining 1.1%, the Nikkei 225 gaining 1% and the Hang Seng sneaking in a 0.6% gain.
In FX, the USD was driven lower in early trade yesterday as we saw it hit multi moth lows against most it counterparts with the EURUSD peeking above 1.0900, the GBPUSD peeking beyond 1.2600 and the USDJPY stopping just shy of the 110-support level. We did see some respite at these extremes as sellers took profits and buyers entered at the relative bargain prices. The continued weakens comes off the back of uncertainty regarding the US political structure and will likely continue until clarity regarding the health bill and fiscal stimulus at large is cleared up.
In commodities, crude remains subdued around the $48 mark and awaits clarity from OPEC and non-OPEC members regarding the extension of the supply freeze. If they agree to extend the deal, we will likely see buying pressure reignited else the general direction seems to be to the downside. Gold peeked at 1260 before relinquishing ground to seller to fall back to the 1250 support level. Buyers will look to hold this level in hopes of targeting 1275 while seller ill hope to break below for a drive lower.
Today’s key data comes from the US in the form of the CB consumer Confidence figure, expected at 113.9. The figure represents how confident the US consumer are and how likely they are to spend money. A more confident consumer will spend more money thus a higher than expected number will see the USD strengthen while a lower than expected read will imply the consumers will be hesitant to spend money thus dragging the USD lower.