Daily Market Review 23/09/2013

Shares and core euro zone bonds have secured minor gains today as fresh concerns about the Federal Reserve’s policy stance to some extent undermined the election triumph for Angela Merkel in Germany and some upbeat euro zone data.

Merkel’s resounding win in Sunday’s German elections, seen as a strong vote of support for her efforts in keeping the euro together, was followed by forward-looking euro zone PMI data showing the bloc’s economy continuing to pick up pace. Markit’s September Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index jumped to 52.1 from last month’s 51.5, its highest since June 2011 and beating expectations for 51.9. New orders were at their fastest pace in over two years.

Stock markets finally found direction after a choppy start with gains of 0.2 and 0.3 percent on Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 helping lift the FTSEurofirst 300 0.2 percent.

European stocks hit a five-year high last week and the chairman and senior market analyst for Saxo Bank capital markets indicated that Merkel’s election win was “a ringing endorsement” to ensure the euro survives. Merkel’s victory gave the euro only the briefest of lifts, however, as she will still need a new coalition partner to rule. Having initially gained a quarter of a U.S. cent to $1.3555, it quickly faded to $1.3516. Against the yen, the common currency eased to 133.67, from an early 134.56 while against sterling it inched down to 1.1867 per pound. That left the dollar index little changed at 80.382, not far from a seven-month trough of 80.060 plumbed last week.

Earlier, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan had dipped 0.1 percent. U.S. futures pointed to a slightly firmer open on Wall Street. Some Asian markets had started the week with significant gains, thanks to a survey that showed a promising pick up in Chinese export orders, another sign of stabilisation in the world’s second biggest economy. A preliminary HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index China climbed to 51.2 in September, from August’s 50.1, with 10 out of 11 sub-indices up in the month. New export orders jumped to a 10-month peak of 50.8, the first time in six months that exports have grown. Readings on manufacturing across Europe are due later on Monday.

Shares in Shanghai gained 1.0 percent and Taiwan’s main index was up 0.9 percent. Australian shares were down 0.5 percent and Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. The upbeat China survey sent the Australian dollar a quarter of a U.S. cent higher to $0.9422. China alone takes around one-third of all Australia’s exports, chiefly commodities such as iron ore.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 1.2 percent on Friday, while the S&P 500 Index eased 0.7 percent. Some of Friday’s dip was attributed to comments from St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard who said that a start to winding down the stimulus program was possible in October, depending on coming economic data. Even the thought the Fed might start tapering in October jolted commodity markets, leaving gold down at $1,321.81 an ounce, from Thursday’s peak of $1,374.54. Copper futures were off 1.2 percent. U.S. crude remains also flat at $104.79.

Disclaimer: The information in this analysis is collected from different sources and should serve for informative purposes only. The author shall not be held responsible for the validity of the presented information. No part of this analysis recommends the purchase or sale of a currency pair or any other financial instrument.

Daily Market Review 20/09/2013

World shares are holding at a five-year high on today, while bond and commodity markets are consolidating a week of major gains after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s surprise decision to keep its stimulus intact.

After the sharp moves of Wednesday and yesterday, Asian and early European trading remains largely subdued as investors took stock of their positions and locked in some of the gains, with half an eye on German elections this weekend.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 share index has fallen 0.1 percent in opening trading, core and peripheral euro zone bonds were little changed, while the euro was holding near an eight-month high after its best week since July. MSCI’s index of world shares was also flat but this week’s rises, the best in over a year for Asian stocks, put it was on track for its first three-week run of plus 2 percent gains since 2009.

Behind the moves was Wednesday’s surprise decision by the Fed not to scale back its support for the U.S. economy. For the dollar, the prospect of extended Fed stimulus has not been good news. It was holding above its week lows against a basket of major currencies in early European trading having found support after a string of upbeat U.S. data on Thursday.

Emerging market currencies and stocks are up on the Fed news. Indian financial markets were roiled again on Friday, however, after the Reserve Bank of India unexpectedly raised interest rates by 25 basis points. The Indian rupee fell 1.0 percent to 62.40 to the dollar while Indian shares fell more than 2 percent. The Indonesian rupiah also gave up some of Thursday’s gains to trade at 11,390 to the dollar, down 1.0 percent on the day. Jakarta shares, which jumped 4.7 percent on Thursday, lost 1.3 percent.

Benchmark 10-year German government are stable at 1.865 percent at 0750 GMT after yields – which move inversely to prices – sank to a one-month low of 1.812 percent on Thursday. The euro was at $1.3533 not far from a nearly-eight-month high.

The common currency and the bloc’s shares have been supported by signs of recovery in the euro zone, but some traders are getting nervous before Sunday’s German election.

While Chancellor Angela Merkel is likely to win a third term, her lead has narrowed in recent opinion polls and a new euroskeptic party could make headway in parliament, which might rattle some traders.

In commodities, oil has steadied at $109 a barrel after a 1.5 percent drop the previous day on increased Libyan production and signs of a restart of diplomatic relations with the West. Gold has hovered around $1356 an ounce, on track for its best week in five

Disclaimer: The information in this analysis is collected from different sources and should serve for informative purposes only. The author shall not be held responsible for the validity of the presented information. No part of this analysis recommends the purchase or sale of a currency pair or any other financial instrument.

Daily Market Review 19/09/2013

World shares and global bond prices surged today whilst the U.S. dollar tumbled following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s shocking decision not to cut back on its asset-buying program for now, with aftershocks felt on markets worldwide. The Fed also cut its projection for 2013 economic growth to a 2.0 percent to 2.3 percent range from a June estimate of 2.3 percent to 2.6 percent.

MSCI’s world share index, which tracks 45 countries, jumped 1.2 percent to a fresh five-year high as large gains in Asian markets were quickly matched in Europe where the FTSEurofirst 300 opened up over 1 percent.
The Fed’s decision to keep its asset buying at $85 billion a month was seen as a rebuff to the sharp rise in Treasury yields over recent months, which was proving a headwind for the wider U.S. economy.

The bond market got the message and 10-year Treasury yields tumbled as low 2.675 percent before steadying at 2.704 percent. That was an effective easing in world financial conditions as Treasuries set the benchmark for borrowing costs almost everywhere.

The chance that U.S. interest rates could stay low for longer was further enhanced by news from the White House that noted-dove Janet Yellen was the front-runner to take over the Fed when Ben Bernanke steps down in January.

Emerging markets jumped at the positive news,with the Turkish lira and Indian rupee up more than 2 percent while Indonesia’s main stock index climbed 4.8 percent , the Philippines 3.1 percent, Australia 1.1 percent and Japan’s Nikkei 1.8 percent., while yields on benchmark Japanese debt promptly dropped to four-month lows while in Europe German Bunds at 1.827 percent saw their biggest drop in a month.

The market’s pushing back of the likely timing of the first hike in U.S. rates into 2015 sent the dollar tumbling across the board. The euro was up at $1.3533 after the early flurry of European deals, having already gained 1.2 percent on Wednesday to its highest in almost eight months.

Against an array of major currencies, the dollar lost 1.1 percent in under 24 hours to hit its lowest in 7 months of trade. Only against the yen did it show some resilience, as the Bank of Japan is itself only in the early stages of a bond-buying programme even larger than that of the Fed. The Australian dollar surged 1.5 percent to $0.9498, an effective tightening in conditions that will pressure the Reserve Bank of Australia to cut rates to compensate.

In commodities, the extension of U.S. stimulus was seen as a huge positive for global demand, and prices. Gold stormed ahead to $1,370.06, a gain of almost $70 from early Wednesday, while copper jumped 2 percent to $7,328. Brent crude added another 34 cents to $110.98 a barrel, up from a low of $107.64 on Wednesday. U.S. crude reached $108.71 compared with $105.32 early on Wednesday.

Disclaimer: The information in this analysis is collected from different sources and should serve for informative purposes only. The author shall not be held responsible for the validity of the presented information. No part of this analysis recommends the purchase or sale of a currency pair or any other financial instrument.

Daily Market Review 18/09/2013

Markets have taken up last minute positions today ahead of what is expected to be the first tentative step by the U.S. Federal Reserve to roll back the stimulus program it has used to treat the last five years of financial ruin.

Expectations are that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will be cautious with cuts to its $85 billion in monthly asset buying when it announces its plans at 1800 GMT, while also seeking to reassure investors that an actual rise in interest rates is still distant. However, uncertainty has kept the dollar pinned near a four-week low against an array of major currencies, stalled at 99.20 yen and approaching the week’s low against the euro at $1.3358.

The consensus is that traders will see a reduction of $10-$15 billion a month with all purchases ending by the middle of next year. Yet even that cautious timetable would be contingent on the economy performing as well as hoped. With such an outcome largely priced in, it could lead Treasuries and the dollar to rally modestly. A slower tapering would tend to benefit bonds and stocks but hurt the dollar. The bigger reaction would likely come if the Fed pulled back more aggressively, as that would lead market to price in an earlier start to rate rises as well. That would be especially painful for emerging market countries that rely on foreign capital to fund current account deficits, with India and Indonesia among the most vulnerable. The tension was evident in Jakarta where both shares and the rupiah are under pressure.

After months of speculation about the Fed’s intentions, caution ruled world markets anticipating the decision. European shares have inched up 0.1 percent at the open after MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.2 percent. Japan’s Nikkei was the main standout with a jump of 1.35 percent, after reaching its highest since late July.

European traders had matters of their own to attend to; namely, the minutes from the Bank of England’s most recent meeting and the latest instalment in Italy’s ongoing political drama. A Senate committee will rule on whether to expel Silvio Berlusconi from parliament over his tax fraud conviction, wit the latest prediction being that he will indicate via a public statement that he cannot bring himself to harm his country by pulling the government dowm, should the committee ruling go against him. Italian bonds extended the gains of the previous two days to leave yields at 4.368 percent and at their lowest in two weeks, though Milan’s stock market remains flat and is still underperforming.

The Fed may choose to alter its threshold for tightening, perhaps by lowering the trigger level on unemployment from the current 6.5 percent. On top of that it will also publish its first economic forecasts for 2016 and the stronger the picture the harder it will be to persuade markets that any future rise in interest rates will only be slow and measured.

Disclaimer: The information in this analysis is collected from different sources and should serve for informative purposes only. The author shall not be held responsible for the validity of the presented information. No part of this analysis recommends the purchase or sale of a currency pair or any other financial instrument.

Daily Market Review 17/09/2013

Shares have dipped and the dollar has fallen today as traders consolidated positions before a U.S. Federal policy meeting at which the central bank is set to start scaling back stimulus.

German Bunds also edged lower, with the 10-year yields rising 1 basis point to 1.888 percent.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.3 percent in early trade, retreating from a five-year high hit yesterday.

In Asia, the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.3 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei stock average downshifted and closed 0.7 percent lower despite opening higher after a holiday on Monday,

The US Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee begins its two-day meeting today, and despite sub par August U.S. jobs data, it is expected to trim its monthly asset purchases by about $10 billion from $85 billion

The dollar was lower versus an array of currencies, at 81.193, after having set a four-week low of 80.968 the previous day.

With the Fed looking set to take its first step to wind down its stimulus, traders will also be focusing on the central bank’s guidance on its future policy stance on Wednesday.

In Europe, all eyes are on the U.S. Federal Reserve. Carmakers dropped 1.3 percent, the top falling sector, after the Association of European Carmakers said European car sales fell 4.9 percent last month.

German car parts and tyre maker Continental AG shed 3.9 percent, the top faller on the FTSEurofirst 300 , with traders citing news that major shareholder Schaeffler had placed shares in the group worth 950 million euros to cut debt.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 fell 0.3 percent to 1,254.44, having posted a close of 1,258.42

in the previous session – its highest close since June 2008.

In commodities, brent oil futures edged lower, extending the previous day’s steep losses, as easing worries over direct action in Syria calmed fears that crude supply from the Middle East would be at risk.

Brent crude for delivery in November was down 23 cents at $109.84 a barrel, after touching a near one-month low of $108.73 in the previous session. Gold hovered just above a five-week low, while copper edged higher on Tuesday but stayed close to five-week lows in cautious trade ahead of the Fed announcement tomorrow.

Disclaimer: The information in this analysis is collected from different sources and should serve for informative purposes only. The author shall not be held responsible for the validity of the presented information. No part of this analysis recommends the purchase or sale of a currency pair or any other financial instrument.

Daily Market Review 16/09/2013

 The U.S. dollar has slid, while bonds and shares rallied today following the withdrawal of Lawrence Summers from the race to head the Federal Reserve suggested that a more gradual approach to tightening monetary policy is on the horizon.
Summers’ surprise decision came just before the central bank meets on Tuesday and Wednesday to decide when and by how much to scale back its asset purchases from the current pace of $85 billion a month. Traders are assuming that U.S. monetary policy will stay easier for longer should the other leading candidate for Fed chair, Janet Yellen, get the job. Markets had perceived Summers as more likely to scale it back more quickly than the more dovish Yellen, who is currently second in command at the Fed.

It was even possible a first rate rise could be pushed out into 2016, rather than 2015 as currently planned according to analysts. Going by Yellen’s past speeches, it was said she would most probably prioritize reducing the jobless rate.
Further whetting risk appetite was a growing expectation of a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis after a Russian-brokered deal averted U.S. strikes for now. This helped propel world shares to just short of a five-year high.

In Europe, bourses were quick to catch on after a strong day in Asia, with London’s FTSE , Frankfurt’s Dax and Paris’s CAC 40 opening 0.8 – 1 percent higher to lift the pan-regional FTSEurofirst 300 0.75 percent. The euro was up more than half a U.S. cent at $1.3370, after hitting its highest in almost three weeks. The dollar also dropped against sterling and the Swiss franc. It proved more resilient against the yen, paring early losses to stand at 98.72. Liquidity was lacking with Japanese markets closed for a holiday today.

In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 1.5 percent to their highest since early June. South Korean shares added 1 percent, Australia .AXJO 0.5 percent and Indonesia 1.7 percent.

Elsewhere, the prospect of a more protracted stimulus easing cycle in the U.S. would be a big relief to emerging markets from India to Brazil which have been hurt by expectations offshore funds would switch to developed markets as yields there rose.

In commodities markets, gold recouped some of last week’s losses, rising to $1,327 an ounce, while copper lifted off a five-week low. Oil prices declined as the likelihood of a U.S. strike on Syria had all but evaporated, with brent crude losing $0.52 to $111.15 a barrel.

Disclaimer: The information in this analysis is collected from different sources and should serve for informative purposes only. The author shall not be held responsible for the validity of the presented information. No part of this analysis recommends the purchase or sale of a currency pair or any other financial instrument.

Daily Market Review 13/09/2013

The dollar and U.S. Treasury yields rose today after reports out of Japan that U.S. President Barack Obama was close to naming former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers to lead the Federal Reserve.

Debate in Washington has focused on whether Obama will pick Summers or Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke, whose term as head of the U.S. central bank expires in January. Traders are closely watching the situation because Summers is known to be less enthusiastic about the policy of quantitative easing, which has supported riskier asset markets.

The U.S. dollar was 0.3 percent higher against an array of currencies while 10-year U.S. Treasury yields rose 4 basis points from Thursday’s New York close to over 2.95 percent, also dragging up German Bund yields. World shares edged lower.

Japan’s Nikkei business daily has said Summers would be named as the next Fed chairman after the U.S. central bank’s policy meeting ending on Sept 18, at which it is expected to start reducing its massive monetary stimulus.

World share markets were already heading lower before the Nikkei report as many investors were reluctant to build new positions before the Fed meeting, which is expected to see its bond-buying cut back from a current $85 billion a month.

The broader FTSEurofirst 300 stock index was down 0.2 percent in early trading, led by miners after heavy selling of gold linked to expectations of the Fed’s stimulus reduction.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.8 percent, pulling further away from a three-month high and on track for a second losing day after a 10-day winning streak – its longest such run in six years.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei share average bucked the trend and edged up 0.1 percent on reports the government is considering lowering the corporate tax rate next year as part of efforts to soften the impact of a planned consumption tax hike.

In commodity markets, cash and U.S. gold futures were on course for their worst week since June after heavy selling linked to expectations of the Fed rollback. Gold fell 3.4 percent on Thursday, its biggest one-day decline in more than two months, as signs of a diplomatic solution to Syrian crisis, the expectations about the Fed and the firmer dollar took their toll on investor demand.

Brent crude oil inched higher towards $113 a barrel as the United States and Russia worked toward a plan for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons, though worries over supply disruptions in Libya and escalating violence in Egypt weighed.

Brent is now up for three straight sessions but the gains do not seem enough to cover two days of heavy losses in the week that wiped nearly $5 off the European benchmark. That put it on track for a nearly 3 percent weekly drop, its steepest since the week that ended June 21.

Disclaimer: The information in this analysis is collected from different sources and should serve for informative purposes only. The author shall not be held responsible for the validity of the presented information. No part of this analysis recommends the purchase or sale of a currency pair or any other financial instrument.

Daily Market Review 11/09/2013

A week of gains for world stocks has come to an end today, while a sell-off in oil and core government debt eased, as talks began on trying to avert a U.S. military strike on Syria.

The safe-haven yen has struck a seven-week low against the dollar and stood near multi-year lows against the euro and pound, while shares in Europe inched lower in early deals after indexes across most of Asia had finished the day flat.

U.S. President Barack Obama said late yesterday that Russia’s offer to push Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to put chemical weapons under international control could potentially avert military action which the U.S. had been considering pursuing.

Markets are mostly in consolidation mode after substantial shifts over two previous sessions when what looked to be a rapid move towards U.S. action was halted by Russia’s plan.

In Europe, Britain’s jobs data will be in focus amid signs its economy is on the rebound. The report had not been released at the time of writing, however the it was expected that the data would indicate a slight increase in job numbers and employment.

The FTSEurofirst 300 pan-European share index remains virtually unchanged after an early trading rush, as a 0.1 percent rise on Germany’s Dax balanced falls of 0.1 and 0.3 percent on London’s FTSE and Paris’s CAC 40. The region’s core debt markets also saw a subdued start as this week’s save-haven sell-off abated. Benchmark German government bonds tracked minor gains by U.S. Treasuries, though UK assets inched back ahead of the jobs data and focus remained on Italy after its benchmark yields rose above Spain’s for the first time in a year and a half yesterday.

Political instability and worries about Italy’s banks ahead of a major health check of all Euro Zone banks by the European Central Bank in the coming months are driving the move. Rome will sell up to 11.5 billion euros of treasury bills later, ahead of a tripartite bond auction tomorrow which aims to raise 7.5 billion.

In the U.S., stock futures pointed to subdued trader sentiment on Wall Street after the S&P 500 gained for the sixth straight day.

In currencies, the dollar struck a seven-week high of 100.55 yen, while the euro briefly reached a 16-week high around 133.37.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan has ended 0.1 percent lower but remained at a three-month high having gained more than 8 percent in the last two weeks.

In commodities, oil has recovered ground with Brent crude coming up to $111.72 a barrel from a 2-1/2-week low of $110.59. The steadier performance came after a 4-percent drop in the past two sessions. Copper has moved up to $7,185.50 a tonne, whilst gold clawed back to $1,364.50 having slid to a three-week low of $1,356.85 an ounce.

Disclaimer: The information in this analysis is collected from different sources and should serve for informative purposes only. The author shall not be held responsible for the validity of the presented information. No part of this analysis recommends the purchase or sale of a currency pair or any other financial instrument.

Daily Market Review 10/09/2013

World shares have soared to a near one-month high, while oil and government bonds slipped, helped by receding expectations of U.S.-led military action against Syria and after positive Chinese data.

Riskier assets saw a strong resurgence in Europe after Monday’s comments from U.S. President Barack Obama that Russia’s plan to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control could be a breakthrough in the crisis. This was supported by optimistic industrial and retail figures out of China,

Asian shares have closed at a 3-month high, with positive sentiment continuing in Europe where early gains of 0.6 – 1 percent on London’s FTSE, Germany’s Dax and Paris’s CAC 40 pushed the FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.6 percent.

Oil fell to $113 a barrel, its lowest in two weeks, while safe-haven U.S. and German government bonds and gold and other precious metals were also on the back foot.

Russia’s proposal to work with Damascus to put its chemical weapons under international control could avert planned U.S. action, although Obama said he will still continue efforts to convince politicians to back military action.

In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.1 percent, extending yesterday’s 1.3 percent gain to reach highs not seen since early June, while Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 1.5 percent higher, adding to Monday’s 2.5 percent rally as news that Tokyo had won the right to host the 2020 Olympic Games helped support trader sentiment. Upbeat Chinese industrial output and retail sales data on today has also added to growing evidence that its recent economic slowdown may have bottomed out. A run of encouraging factory activity data from China, Europe and the United States has suggested the global economy as a whole is gaining a firmer footing.

After a run of bad luck for hard-hit emerging markets, those markets have continued to find support from last week’s disappointing U.S. jobs data which has added to the debate surrounding the Federal Reserve’s plans to scale back stimulus. The MSCI emerging equities index was at a three-month high as the day’s 1.1 percent rise took its rally over the last nine trading sessions to almost 9 percent.

In currencies, the downgrading of hostility in the Middle East and better than anticipated data out of China have helped the dollar shrug off some of its recent sluggishness, though it remained near a 1-1/2 week low against a basket of major currencies, having fallen 1 percent since the close of trade last week. The euro also continued to recover following a mild selloff last week. The common currency was steady at $1.3255, keeping close to a 1-1/2 week peak of $1.3281 yesterday. The dollar held better against the yen, which sagged on Monday as the Nikkei rallied.

 

Disclaimer: The information in this analysis is collected from different sources and should serve for informative purposes only. The author shall not be held responsible for the validity of the presented information. No part of this analysis recommends the purchase or sale of a currency pair or any other financial instrument.

Daily Market Review 09/09/2013

Positive Chinese trade and inflation data has pushed Chinese shares to three-month highs and boosted regional shares today, whilst Japanese shares rallied and the yen dropped after Tokyo won in its bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

The U.S. dollar sank while U.S. debt yields were off two-year highs after a disappointing U.S. jobs report at the close of last week, which has raised speculation the Federal Reserve may minimize the size of a likely reduction in stimulus many investors expect later this month.

European shares were expected to open slightly firmer, today with both Germany’s DAX and Britain’s FTSE seen rising about 0.1 percent. However, concerns about U.S. intentions to strike Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons could cap the gains.

In Asia, Mainland Chinese shares surged after Chinese August inflation data added to optimism following solid trade figures published yesterday. The CSI300 index of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings jumped 3.4 percent, hitting its highest level since early June. Elsewhere, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.9 percent, with both Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and Seoul’s Kospi hitting their highest level in about three months.

According to reports released today, China’s exports grew 7.2 percent last month, above market expectations of a 6.0 percent rise from a year earlier. That was followed by data showing consumer inflation held steady in August while producer price deflation continued to ease, another sign of a stabilizing economy.

Investors are bracing for more data from China including industrial production and retail sales tomorrow. Japan’s Nikkei share average gained 2.5 percent, hitting a one-month high as traders bet that hosting the Olympics would boost the economy by 3 trillion yen over the coming seven years.

In the U.S., investors are also grappling with worries that withdrawal of the Fed’s stimulus could destabilize asset prices worldwide. Despite soft job data, most U.S. primary dealers expect the Fed to announce at its next policy meeting September 17 and 18 that it will cut the extent of its bond purchases. Others think the Fed could trim its monthly bond buying from the current $85 billion to an even more modest $5 billion.

In the currency markets, the dollar index currently stands at 82.25, steadying after Friday’s 0.6 percent fall. The euro was buying $1.3175, off Friday’s seven-week low of $1.31045. Against the yen, the dollar briefly rose to as high as 100.11 yen thanks largely to its strong correlation to Japanese shares, but quickly gave up gains on profit-taking to stand at 99.65 yen for a gain of 0.5 percent from late last week.

U.S. crude oil futures slipped slightly but stayed near two-year highs owing to ongoing uncertainty regarding U.S. intentions in the Middle East.

Disclaimer: The information in this analysis is collected from different sources and should serve for informative purposes only. The author shall not be held responsible for the validity of the presented information. No part of this analysis recommends the purchase or sale of a currency pair or any other financial instrument.