The risk-on vibes and commodities rally gave the comdolls a boost, with the Aussie and the Kiwi vying for the top spot while the Loonie contented itself with third place.
Positive developments (for non-warmongers) in North Korea and the risk-on vibes, meanwhile, eased safe-haven demand for the yen while rumors of the E.U.’s plans to slap tariffs on U.S. imports apparently weakened the Greenback.
- Swiss CPI m/m: 0.4% vs. 0.3% expected, -0.1% previous
- Swiss CPI y/y: 0.6% as expected vs. 0.7% previous
- Euro Zone retail PMI: 52.3 vs. 50.8 previous
North Korea open to denuclearization talks
According to a Russia Today report that cited the Associated Press and South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, Chung-In Moon, a special adviser to the South Korean president Moon Jae-in, said in a statement that:
“The South and the North have agreed to set up a hotline between their leaders to allow close consultations and a reduction of military tension, while also agreeing to hold the first phone conversation before the third South-North summit.”
The meeting is expected to be held in April at Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone. And North Korea supposedly “has no reason to possess nuclear weapons if it has a security guarantee,” according to the report, adding that “North Korea also pledged to freeze its nuclear-missile activities if it holds talks with the US.”
A Bloomberg report also cited South Korean president Moon Jae-in’s office as releasing a statement that reads:
“North Korea has clearly expressed its intention for denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, and if there is no military threat, and North Korea’s regime security is promised, they have clarified that there is no reason to hold nuclear weapons.”
E.U. retaliates against Trump’s tariff plans
According to “a list drawn up by the European Commission and obtained by Bloomberg News,” the E.U. is supposedly planning to retaliate against Trump’s planned tariffs on aluminum and steel, as well as Trump’s threat to slap tariffs on European cars.
And the E.U.’s plan is supposedly to slap a 25% tariff of their own on a broad range of imported U.S. products which include “shirts, jeans, cosmetics, other consumer goods, motorbikes and pleasure boats worth around 1 billion euros; orange juice, bourbon whiskey, corn and other agricultural products totaling 951 million euros; and steel and other industrial products valued at 854 million euros.”
Commodities were in rally mode during today’s morning London session. And unlike yesterday’s commodities rally, today’s commodities rally is broad-based since all the commodity types were in rally mode, including oil.
The commodities rally was likely sustained by the Greenback’s weakness, which makes globally-traded commodities relatively cheaper.
And for reference, the U.S. dollar index was down by 0.37% to 89.63 for the day when the session ended.
Although it’s also likely that commodities were in demand because of the general themes underpinning the markets, namely easing fears of a potential trade war and a higher chance that Trump will back off his tariff plans on aluminum and steel.
Base metals extended their gains from yesterday.
- Copper was up by 1.26% to $3.167 per pound
- Nickel was up by 1.53% to $13,620.00 per dry metric ton
Precious metals were in the green, despite the risk-on vibes.
- Gold was up by 0.64% to $1,328.30 per troy ounce
- Silver was up by 1.27% to $16.620 per troy ounce
Oil benchmarks were also in positive territory.
- U.S. WTI crude oil was up by 0.48% to $60.70 per barrel
- Brent crude oil was up by 0.49% to $63.52 per barrel
More risk-taking in Europe
Today was another risk-friendly day in Europe that sent most of the major European equity indices higher.
Market analysts are still mainly attributing the risk-on vibes to easing fears of a trade war due to push back against Trump’s tariff plans, including from U.S. companies.
However, easing fears related to North Korea likely played a role as well since the major European equity indices got a noticeable bullish jolt when news about North Korea’s openness to denuclearization talks began to make the rounds.
- The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was up by 0.70% to 1,462.21
- Germany’s DAX was up by 1.01% to 12,213.41
- The blue-chip Euro Stoxx 50 was up by 0.66% to 3,382.50
U.S. equity futures were also well supported.
- S&P 500 futures were up by 0.47% to 2,731.25
- Nasdaq futures were up by 0.64% to 6,921.50
Global bond yields surge
Another sign that risk-taking was the dominant sentiment in Europe was the broad-based surge in global bond yields during the session.
- German 10-year bond yield up by 9.76% to 0.697%
- French 10-year bond yield up by 9.64% to 0.986%
- U.K. 10-year bond yield up by 4.41% to 1.564%
- U.S. 10-year bond yield up by 0.76% to 2.901%
Major Market Mover(s):
All the comdolls (NZD, AUD, CAD) were in demand during the session, very likely because of the risk-on vibes and commodities rally, as well as easing fears of a trade war.
And between the three of them, it was the Kiwi that emerged as the ultimate victor. In fact, the Kiwi is also the best-performing currency of the day (so far).
NZD/USD was up by 62 pips (+0.86%) to 0.7297, NZD/CHF was up by 25 pips (+0.36%) to 0.6838, NZD/JPY was up by 75 pips (+0.98%) to 77.56
AUD/USD was up by 65 pips (+0.85%) to 0.7828, AUD/CHF was up by 26 pips (+0.36%) to 0.7335, AUD/JPY was up by 79 pips (+0.96%) to 83.20
USD/CAD was down by 101 pips (-0.78%) to 1.2888, GBP/CAD was down by 27 pips (-0.15%) to 1.7930, EUR/CAD was down by 29 pips (-0.18%) to 1.5990
The risk-on vibes and surging bond yields, as well as positive new related to North Korea, really did a number on the yen, so much so that the yen was the worst-performing currency of the morning London session.
USD/JPY was up by 15 pips (+0.14%) to 106.29, EUR/JPY was up by 86 pips (+0.74%) to 131.88, GBP/JPY was up by 113 pips (+0.78%) to 147.87
The Greenback was already showing signs of weakness early on. However, that weakness intensified shortly after word got around that the E.U. is supposedly planning to retaliate against Trump’s tariff plans.
The yen had a harder time, though. Even so, the Greenback still ended up as the second weakest currency of the session.
EUR/USD was up by 75 pips (+0.61%) to 1.2408, GBP/USD was up by 89 pips (+0.64%) to 1.3914, USD/CHF was down by 47 pips (-0.49%) to 0.9369
Watch Out For:
- 3:00 pm GMT: Canada’s Ivey PMI (56.3 expected, 55.2 previous)
- 3:00 pm GMT: U.S. factory orders (-1.3% expected, 1.7% previous)
- 6:15 pm GMT: BOE MPC member and chief economist Andy Haldane is scheduled to speak
- 9:30 pm GMT: AIG’s Australian construction index (54.3 previous)
- 9:35 pm GMT: RBA Guv’nah Philip Lowe is expected to speak