U.S. bond yields climbed even higher so the Greenback also extended its gains. The Loonie, meanwhile, was feeling some bearish pressure, likely because of the slide in oil prices.
- French consumer confidence: 101 vs. steady at 100 expected
- Spanish PPI y/y: steady at 1.3% as expected
- Credit Suisse economic expectations: 7.2 vs. 16.7 previous
David Davis speaks
Brexit Secretary David Davis was speaking before the Commons Brexit committee earlier.
And Davis said that the U.K. wants a “political declaration” on the future trade deal between the U.K. and the E.U. by October, adding that “there’s no reason why we can’t turn a very detailed substantive arrangement into a treaty before the end of the article 50 period.”
Moreover, David said later on that: “I do not think no deal is a significant probability at all.”
Even so, Davis also repeated that the U.K. is ready to leave the E.U. without a trade deal if the E.U. decides to play hard ball.
Other than that, Davis also affirmed that the Brexit process under Article 50 can be extended, provided other E.U. members agree to do so.
And when Davis was then asked if the government is ready and willing to try and hammer out a deal, Davis replied by saying that:
“I’m not going to give advice on how to create circumstances which may undermine the government’s negotiating position. I’m not entirely sure how much force a government sent back with its tail between its legs by parliament would have in such a negotiation.”
ECB members speak
Earlier today, ECB Executive Board Member Vitas Vasiliauskas was quoted by Eurofi magazine as saying that:
“The (bond) purchases will be ended gradually rather than abruptly, ensuring a smooth transition of sufficient length.”
“Any further policy steps will be well-discussed, data-based and gradual, providing sufficient time for markets to adjust.”
Basically, a cautiously hawkish statement on the future direction of the ECB’s QE program.
Yves Mersch, another ECB Member, was also quoted by Eurofi as saying that:
“Confidence has recently risen and convergence is being confirmed — partly because the temporary decline in the inflation rate has been weaker than our internal calculations had predicted.”
“More resilience will follow eventually. Still, patience and persistence with respect to our monetary policy is required.”
Overall, a rather hawkish message from Mersch.
An ECB spokesman later clarified that Vasiliauskas made that statement back on March 15, though. Mersch, meanwhile, supposedly gave his hawkish comment back on March 21.
Commodities resume slide
After recovering briefly yesterday, commodities apparently resumed their broad-based slide during today’s morning London session.
The broad-based commodities slide was very likely due to another bout of strength on the part of the Greenback, which makes globally-trades commodities relatively more expensive and unattractive to buy.
And just for reference, the U.S. dollar index was up by 0.36% to 90.89 for the day when the session ended.
Base metals were actually mixed (yet again), although most were not doing so well.
- Copper was down by 0.03% to $3.141per pound
- Zinc was down by 1.45% to $3,174.50 per dry metric ton
Oil benchmarks were leaking red.
- U.S. WTI crude oil was down by 0.21% to $67.56 per barrel
- Brent crude oil was down by 0.42% to $73.55 per barrel
Precious metals were down and out for the count, despite the intense risk-off vibes in Europe.
- Gold was down by 0.62% to $1,324.80 per troy ounce
- Silver was down by 1.04% to $16.530 per troy ounce
Intense risk aversion in Europe
Europe was hit by a wave of intense risk aversion today, sending the major European equity indices reeling in pain across the board.
And market analysts say that the risk-off vibes were due to higher bond yields, which signal higher borrowing costs down the line and also dampened demand for stocks, especially defensive stocks that pay steady dividends.
- The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down by 0.90% to 1,489.47
- Germany’s DAX was down by 1.80% to 12,325.60
- The blue-chip Euro Stoxx 50 down by 1.16% to 3,466.45
U.S. equity futures were also feeling the heat, which implies that the risk-off vibes may persist into the U.S. session.
- S&P 500 futures were down by 0.48% to 2,622.50
- Nasdaq futures were down by 0.58% to 6,489.00
Major Market Mover(s):
The Greenback had another good run during today’s morning London session.
There weren’t really any direct catalysts. But as usual, market analysts were pointing to higher U.S. bond yields as the source of the Greenback’s strength.
USD/JPY was up by 6 pips (+0.06%) to 109.23, USD/CHF was up by 21 pips (+0.21%) to 0.9839, USD/CAD was up by 35 pips (+0.27%) to 1.2891
All the comdolls (AUD, NZD, CAD) were feeling some bearish pressure during the morning London session. However, the Loonie apparently got the worst of it since the Loonie was the worst-performing currency of the session.
EUR/CAD was up by 7 pips (+0.05%) to 1.5699, GBP/CAD was up by 19 pips (+0.11%) to 1.7965, AUD/CAD was up by 15 pips (+0.15%) to 0.9745
Despite rising bond yields and a stronger Greenback, the yen managed to do well enough, so much so that the yen ended up as the second top-performing currency of the session. And yen bulls can likely thank the intense risk-off vibes for that.
EUR/JPY was down by 32 pips (-0.24%) to 133.00, NZD/JPY was down by 17 pips (-0.22%) to 77.21, CAD/JPY was down by 19 pips (-0.22%) to 74.71
Watch Out For:
- 1:00 pm GMT: CB’s Chinese leading index (1.1% previous)
- 2:30 pm GMT: U.S. crude oil inventories (-1.6M expected, -1.1M previous)
- 8:15 pm GMT: BOC Guv’nah Poloz and Deputy Guv’nah Wilkins will testify before the Standing Senate Committee