News Column

FX calm with US markets shut for holiday; Silver and Aussie luster

February 17, 2014



It is a calm start for the global markets on Monday as focus shifts from the holiday-shut Wall Street into the political updates in Italy, where a new premier is expected to take power. The sentiment remains subdued as trading volumes ebb down against the backdrop of US President Day, leaving US markets closed with no major European data on tap. However, traders are keeping a close eye on the dollar-yen volatility reaching the lowest in three months before key policy decision from the Bank of Japan today and the Federal Reserve next week. The Japanese yen was buoyed today by growth data for the fourth quarter, which showed worse than expected growth of 0.3% compared to expectations of 0.7% against the backdrop of unexpected decline in exports, which is still weighed by the strength of the yen in the past period. The biggest mover among the crosses was the USD/JPY dropping towards 101.88 levels as of 16:54 GMT after recording a session high of 101.97 and the lowest at 101.37. The pair is expected to remain volatile given the fact that the US markets are closed for the Presidents Day. In Europe, the trade also proved lackluster, where the euro was flat against the its US counterpart, with the EUR/USD holding around 1.3707 after recording an intraday high of 1.3723 and low of 1.391. The pair has been sitting around 1.37 levels around after Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Monday asked Matteo Renzi, 39-year-old, to from the country`s new government. The Australian dollar was also boosted on news over the weekend of solid lending growth in China, a positive signs for the country's biggest market. The AUS/USD hit the highest in a month around 0.9030 after recording a session high of 0.9068 and low of 0.9022. On the metals markets, gold rose to the highest in three months amid expectations the recovery of the world`s largest economy will take hold, forcing traders to seek the precious metal as a hedge against inflation if the Fed decided to continue tapering its bullion-friendly stimulus program. Spot Gold was up 0.67% at $1,327.57 an ounce as of 10:00 ET today. On the other hand, Silver saw a strong performance with price rising 2.23% around $21.83 an ounce, extending its longest winning streak since 1968, also boosted by the softer US dollar. The USDIX, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a six-currency basket, dropped below the 80-mark trading around 79.98 after recording a session high of 81.13 and low of 80.13.


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Source: ICN.com Financial Markets


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