22 May 2017

Currency Markets the dollar inched higher on Monday, but remained close to six-month lows against a basket of currencies as investors assessed the impact of the latest bout of U.S. political turmoil and a resurgent euro.  The euro fell 0.2 percent to $1.1189 after rising to a six-month high of $1.1212 on Friday. Against the yen, the euro added 0.2 percent to 124.87. Against its perceived safe-haven Japanese counterpart, the dollar added 0.2 percent to 111.53 yen, though the latest developments in North Korea did not give the yen much of a lift. The dollar index steadied 0.2 percent from Friday’s late U.S. levels to 97.292. But it was hovering not far from the previous session’s low of 97.080, which was its deepest trough since Nov. 9.

Commodities Markets oil prices rose on Monday, supported by reports that an OPEC-led supply cut may not only be extended into next year but might also be deepened to tighten the market and prop up prices. Brent crude futures were up 0.6 percent, from their last close at $53.93 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were back above $50 per barrel, trading up 0.6 percent, at $50.65. Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,252.46 per ounce. It rose about 0.7 percent on Friday. Silver hit its highest since May 1 at $17.13 an ounce earlier in the session, before paring gains. Platinum fell 0.5 percent at $933.90 an ounce, while palladium shed 0.1 percent to $758.97.

US Equity Markets  stocks rose but closed below their session highs on renewed concerns about Donald Trump’s presidency, after two new reports related to a federal investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Trump’s election campaign. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.69 percent, to 20,804.84, the S&P 500 had gained 0.68 percent, to 2,381.73 and the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.47 percent, to 6,083.70.  Deere hit an all-time high of $122.24 and closed up 7.3 percent after the farm and construction equipment maker posted a better-than-estimated quarterly profit. Deere helped lift Caterpillar Inc 2.2 percent. General Electric Co  was the S&P’s top driver with a 2.4 percent rise.

Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell on Friday as investors worried that allegations against U.S. President Donald Trump would disrupt efforts to cut taxes and increase spending. Benchmark 10-year note yields were unchanged on the day at 2.23 percent, after earlier rising as high as 2.26 percent. The yields fell as low as 2.18 percent on Thursday, their lowest since April 19.

Asian Equity Markets Japan’s Nikkei index rose on Monday morning following gains in U.S. shares, but the dollar’s weakness and U.S. political turmoil kept investors nervous and limited gains in the market. The Nikkei rose 0.3 percent to 19,653.32 in midmorning trade. The broader Topix added 0.4 percent to 1,565.76 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.4 percent to 13,988.42. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan edged up 0.9 percent on Monday helped by gains in Australia and Hong Kong stocks despite fresh curbs unveiled by regulators on the property markets in the latter. The Shanghai Composite bucked the trend and eased 0.18 percent.