Wall Street kicked off on a positive note as equity indices logged in strong gains during the first trading day of 2018. The U.S. dollar, on the other hand, wasn’t feeling so upbeat.
Sterling carried on with its climb from the earlier session while the commodity currencies managed to regain a bit of ground.
- New Zealand GDT auction yielded 2.2% rebound in dairy prices
- Canadian manufacturing PMI up from 54.4 to 54.7
- U.S. Markit final manufacturing PMI upgraded from 55.0 to 55.1
Strong start for U.S. stocks
Equity traders seemed excited to start the brand new year, pushing the S&P 500 to a record high close and the Nasdaq past the 7,000 mark. Tech sector giants like Apple, Facebook, and Alphabet led the pack.
- Dow 30 index is up 104.79 points to 24,824.01 (+0.42%)
- Nasdaq is up 103.51 points to 7,006.90 (+1.50%)
- S&P 500 index is up 22.18 points to 2,695.79 (+0.83%)
Commodities, however, were still on the weak end as the reopening of major pipelines in Libya and Britain’s North Sea were foreseen to shore up supply while precious metals other than gold also dipped.
- WTI crude oil is down to $60.36 per barrel (-0.10%)
- Brent crude oil is down to $66.53 per barrel (-0.51%)
- Copper is down to $7,216.50 per tonne (-0.42%)
- Gold is up to $1,317.69 per troy ounce (+1.20%)
Doubts about Fed hikes?
2017 wasn’t exactly the best year for the dollar, but it doesn’t seem like 2018 could be any better. The scrilla picked up where it left off and ended the day in the red against its peers.
Analysts remarked that this might be due to growing doubts about more Fed interest rate hikes in the coming months, as well as unease ahead of another potential missile test by North Korea.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley remarked that their intelligence is getting reports that Pyongyang is gearing up for another ICBM launch anytime soon. She did add that the U.S. hopes it doesn’t happen but that they are also prepared to bring tougher measures against the regime if it does.
Major Market Mover(s):
So much for starting the year on a good note! The dollar was down in the dumps once more, despite a strong showing from U.S. equities.
USD/JPY slid from 112.40 to a low of 112.05, EUR/USD is up to a high of 1.2082, GBP/USD advanced to the 1.3600 handle, and USD/CHF is down to a low of .9699.
The pound was still in the lead, enjoying the positive momentum from the upbeat take of Markit on the manufacturing PMI release earlier in the day.
GBP/JPY continued its climb to 152.71, EUR/GBP is down to .8873, GBP/AUD recovered to 1.7480, and GBP/CAD is up to 1.7010.
Watch Out For:
- Japanese banks still closed for the holiday