Article Highlights

  • Canadian economy grew by 0.3% in December as expected
  • U.S. initial jobless claims at 223K vs. 243K forecast
  • Greece to seek financial assistance from World Bank?
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Risk appetite weakened in the New York session as equities and precious metals dipped while the lower-yielding U.S. dollar took advantage.

Major Events:

Risk appetite takes a step back – U.S. equity indices had to take a breather from their recent climb, ending the day in the red even with all the hoopla over Snap’s IPO. The Dow was down 0.53%, the S&P 500 index closed 0.59% lower, and the Nasdaq slid 0.73%. Precious metals also dipped for the day, with gold down 1.16% and silver ending 3.58% lower.

In Trump-related news, the administration seems to be turning its focus back on investigations about Attorney General Sessions having talks with the Russian ambassador. This could mean another resignation underway, following National Security Advisor Flynn’s decision to step down earlier this month when it was revealed that he lied about having discussions with Russian officials, which would mean more White House drama in the headlines instead of economic and fiscal plans.

Greece to seek financial assistance from World Bank? – Nope, this drama ain’t over either! While French politics has been hogging the spotlight in Europe these days, Greece continues to struggle with debt and its negotiations with its creditors haven’t been going so well.

Recall that the IMF has been reluctant to release the next tranche of bailout funds, pending assessment that Greece has been doing A-OK with its economic and financial reforms. With a looming deadline for another debt repayment, Greek officials need to come up with a Plan B to have enough funds to cough up.

According to a report on POLITICO, the country’s government is seeking an unknown amount of “financial assistance” from the World Bank and that they “are not too happy about it” because it would would push Greece much deeper into debt.

“The government of Greece has asked the World Bank to provide technical and financial assistance to address pressing challenges including: long-term unemployment, economic competitiveness and growth and social protection,” said a spokesperson from the World Bank in a statement. Of course this is also subject to approval from the higher-ups, but what’s apparent at this point is that Greece seems to be down to its last options and is still at the risk of default.

Major Market Movers:

USD –  The Greenback continued to climb against its counterparts but at a slower pace compared to the previous days.

EUR/USD edged down from 1.0527 to a low of 1.0494, USD/JPY is up from 114.22 to a high of 114.57, GBP/USD dipped from a high of 1.2282 to 1.2243, and AUD/USD tumbled from .7620 to .7556.

AUD & NZD – The Aussie and Kiwi were the biggest losers for the day as they also gave up ground to the European currencies.

NZD/USD crashed below the .7100 handle to a low of .7047, EUR/AUD popped up to 1.3875, EUR/NZD climbed from 1.4815 to a high of 1.4897, GBP/AUD is up to 1.6200 and GBP/NZD rose from 1.7294 to test the 1.7400 mark.

Watch Out For:

  • 11:30 pm GMT: Japanese household spending y/y (-0.3% expected, -0.3% previous)
  • 11:30 pm GMT: Japanese national core CPI (0.0% expected, -0.2% previous)
  • 11:30 pm GMT: Tokyo core CPI (0.2% expected, -0.3% previous)
  • 11:30 pm GMT: Japan’s unemployment rate (3.0% expected, 3.1% previous)
  • 12:00 am GMT: New Zealand ANZ commodity prices
  • 1:45 am GMT: Chinese Caixin services PMI (53.3 expected, 53.1 previous)
  • 5:00 am GMT: Japanese consumer confidence index

See also:

London Session Recap

Asian Session Recap

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