ASIA-PACIFIC

Equities in the region closed firmly in the green as a surge in oil prices and better than expect data out of the region bolstered sentiment. The ASX 200 made gains of 1.3%, enjoying the increase oil and iron prices. The Nikkei 225 rose 2.6% as a weaker JPY kept equities bid. Chinas Shanghai Index gained 2.1% with better than expected trade balance figures sealing the deal on an increase in optimism.

Currencies in the region benefited from the positive Chinese data and a resurge of crude oil to new yearly highs, with the AUDUSD retesting 0.7700. While the improved risk sentiment saw flight out of safe haven currencies and the JPY weakening as a consequence.

Tonight’s head line data comes from Australia where we expect the Employment Change and Unemployment Rate to be released. They are expected at 18.6k and 5.9% respectively.

USA

Stocks in the US finished stronger as increased oil prices and bullish sentiment was in abundance yesterday. The DJIA finished up 0.94%, the S&P 500 also posted gains of 0.97%, while the NASDAQ closed up 0.84%.

Helping sentiment was the Fed`s release of the discount rate minutes yesterday, which sited mixed to positive feelings from members, with some advocating for a rate hike and other remaining unconvinced as they come to terms with the weakness in the energy and exporting sectors. Overall the hawkish members were extremely hawkish, leading to a bullish stand by the USD as its selloff was halted as some members recommended at least 2 to 3 hikes should be made this year.

Today sees the release of several key figure, which markets will be anticipating as sentiment begins to change. The expected data is as follows:

  • Core Retail Sales m/m expected at 0.4%, higher than last month’s -0.1%
  • PPI m/m expected at 0.3%, higher than last month’s -0.2%
  • Retail Sales m/m expected at 0.1%, better than last month’s -0.1%
  • Core PPI m/m expected at 0.1% vs last month’s 0%

CANADA

A big day for Canadian markets today as we see crude oil making new yearly highs at the same time the Bank of Canada is due to release its Monetary Policy Report , Rate Statement and Overnight Rates ( expected unchanged at 0.5%). Undoubtedly the BOC would have to address the swing in crude oil prices but the volatility at which we are seeing crude change and its susceptibility to headlines form oil producers will make it a tough call. Overall, the Cad is in the best shape it’s been in 4 months, trading around 2000 pips stronger against the USD as oil prices have improved and any decisions announced today will have a definite impact on the CAD. A more hawkish announcement will see the Cad strengthen further as it recovers more of its losses. However, a more dovish outlook by the BOC will see the CAD give back some of its recent gains.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil surged yesterday as Russia and Saudi Arabia were reported to have come to a consensus regarding a freeze in oil production, but the gains were capped after API Crude Oil Inventories saw a larger than expected build up, coming in at 6200K vs 1900K. Markets will be sensitive to any and all data regarding oil, especially news regarding oil producers and the Doha meeting this Sunday. Today’s Crude Oil inventories out of the US will also cause a stir if they print at unexpected levels. The figures is expected to show a build of 0.9M, higher than last week’s drawdown of -4.9M.