Today’s morning London session was rather calm, likely because many European banks were closed for the holiday and there weren’t any top-tier economic reports or market-moving news.
There weren’t really any major moves, but the Swissy and the Greenback are both noteworthy since the former was nudged broadly higher while the latter was on the back foot.
- Many European countries are observing the Easter Monday holiday today
- No major economic reports were released during the European session
Signs of risk aversion
Most European countries were observing the Easter Monday holiday, so the major European equity indices were closed for the day.
However, other markets were open, namely the U.S. equity futures market. And looking at the bullet points below, we can see that risk aversion seems to have been the dominant sentiment in Europe.
- S&P 500 futures were down by 0.22% to 2,637.25
- Nasdaq futures were down by 0.50% to 6,561.25
And market analysts say that risk sentiment was shaky, likely because of lingering concerns with regard to possible regulations on the tech sector, as well as renewed fears of a potential trade war between the U.S. and China. After all, China did announce tariffs on U.S. goods earlier.
Commodities climb higher
Even though fears of a potential trade war were supposedly returning, commodities still extended their gains from earlier and are broadly higher for the day.
Anyhow, market analysts generally attributed the commodities rally on the Greenback’s overall weakness, which made globally-traded commodities (priced in USD) relatively cheaper and attractive to buy.
And for reference, the U.S. dollar index was down by 0.30% to 89.48 for the day when the morning London session ended.
Other than that, some market analysts also say that renewed fears of a trade war generated safe-haven flows that helped to buoy precious metals.
Other market analysts, meanwhile, say that oil prices were bid higher because of expectations that Trump will reintroduce sanctions on Iran, as well as optimism because of the drop in U.S. oil drilling activity.
Base metals were raking in gains.
- Copper was up by 1.31% to $3.065 per pound
- Nickel was up by 2.65% to $13,380.00 per dry metric ton
The same can be said of precious metals.
- Gold was up by 0.82% to $1,338.10 per troy ounce
- Silver was up by 1.18% to $16.460 per troy ounce
Oil benchmarks were also in positive territory.
- U.S. WTI crude oil was up by 0.38% to $65.19 per barrel
- Brent crude oil was up by 0.62% to $69.77 per barrel
Major Market Mover(s):
For what it’s worth (given the rather muted moves), the Swissy was the best-performing currency of the morning London session, likely because of the risk-off vibes due to the renewed trade war fears.
EUR/CHF was down by 3 pips (-0.02%) to 1.1758, AUD/CHF was down by 8 pips (-0.11%) to 0.7321, NZD/CHF was down by 6 pips (-0.09%) to 0.6896
The Greenback saw a littler more action than the Swissy. With that said, the Greenback was the worst-performing currency of the session, likely because of the returning fears of a potential trade war between the U.S. and China.
USD/CAD was down by 13 pips (-0.10%) to 1.2875, USD/JPY was down by 5 pips (-0.05%) to 106.28, USD/CHF was down by 16 pips (-0.17%) to 0.9528
Watch Out For:
- 1:30 pm GMT: Markit’s Canadian manufacturing PMI (55.6 previous)
- 1:45 pm GMT: Markit’s final U.S. manufacturing PMI (no expected change from 55.7)
- 2:00 pm GMT: ISM’s U.S. manufacturing PMI (60.1 expected vs. 60.8 previous)
- 2:00 pm GMT: U.S. construction spending (0.4% expected vs. 0.0% previous)
- 10:00 pm GMT: NZIER business confidence (-12 previous)