29 May 2017

Currency Markets the dollar edged higher against a basket of currencies on Monday, moving away from last week’s 6-1/2-month lows and shrugging off news of North Korea’s latest missile test as investor attention turned to the Federal Reserve’s expected interest rate hike next month. The euro edged down 0.1 percent to $1.1165, after notching a 6-1/2-month high of $1.1268 last week. The greenback edged up slightly to 111.37 yen. Britain’s pound edged up 0.1 percent to $1.2817 after hitting a three-week low of $1.2775 on Friday in the wake of a poll showing a shrinking lead for the ruling Conservatives ahead of June 8 elections.

Commodities Markets oil prices fell on Monday as a relentless rise in U.S. drilling undermined an OPEC-led push to tighten supply. Trading activity will be subdued on Monday due to public holidays in China, the United States and Britain. Brent crude futures were trading down 0.3 percent, at $52.00 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 0.3 percent, at $49.63 per barrel. Spot gold was flat at $1,266.19 per ounce. Among other precious metals, silver touched its highest since April 28 at $17.39 earlier in the day and was last down 0.1 percent at $17.33 per ounce. Platinum fell 0.1 percent, to $954.75 per ounce. Palladium was up 0.3 percent at $792.05 per ounce.

US Equity Markets  stocks ended little changed on Friday ahead of the long holiday weekend, though indexes ended a two-week streak of losses and consumer shares were strong for a second day. The Dow was down 0.01 percent, to 21,080.28, the S&P 500 gained 0.03 percent, to 2,415.82 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.08 percent, to 6,210.19. Ulta Beauty jumped 3.2 percent after the company raised its full-year forecast. Deckers Outdoor Corp ended up 18.8 percent after reporting a surprise quarterly profit.  GameStop fell 5.9 percent. The videogame retailer left its full-year earnings forecast unchanged despite beating profit estimates.

Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields held steady in shortened trading on Friday as bond purchases for month-end portfolio rebalancing offset news of a larger-than-expected upward revision to gross domestic product in the first quarter. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was down 0.5 basis point at 2.250 percent, ending marginally higher on the week.

Asian Equity Markets Tokyo stocks edged up in choppy trade on Monday morning as investors waited for clues to when U.S. interest rates will next rise from key U.S. economic data, including jobs figures, to be released later this week. The Nikkei index rose 0.2 percent to 19,716.68 in midmorning trade. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan was a touch higher.  Australian stocks fell 0.4 percent. China’s markets are closed on Monday and Tuesday for a holiday. Brushing aside a North Korean missile launch, South Korea’s KOSPI added 0.4 percent to touch a record high. It was on track for its seventh straight day of gains.