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Europe Roundup: Sterling eases as Brexit uncertainty persists, euro steadies as investors eye ECB policy decision and Draghi’s presser, European shares off 6-week peak - Thursday, September 12th, 2019

Market Roundup

  • BOJ considering ways to deepen negative rates at minimal cost
  • Northern Irish 'no-deal' Brexit challenge dismissed in court
  • U.S. China grant trade concessions
  • Gold recovers on short-covering

Economic Data Ahead

  • (0830 ET/1230 GMT) The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits is likely to have decreased by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 215,000 for the week ended Sept. 6, while continuing claims for the week ended Aug. 30 is expected to rise to 1.690 million from previous week's reading of 1.662 million.
  • (0830 ET/1230 GMT) The U.S. consumer price index likely increased 0.1 percent in August after rising 0.3 percent in July, while in the 12 months through August, the CPI is expected to have risen 1.8 percent.  Excluding food and energy, the core CPI probably rose 0.2 percent, rising 0.3 percent in the previous month.
  • (0830 ET/1330 GMT) Statistics Canada releases its New Housing Price Index (NHPI) for the month of July. The index eased 0.1 percent in June.
  • (1030 ET/1430 GMT) The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports its Natural Gas Storage for the week ending September 6.
  • (1400 ET/1800 GMT) The U.S. reports its monthly budget statement for the month of August.  The government's budget deficit widened to $195 billion from $120 billion in the previous month.

Key Events Ahead

  • No significant events scheduled

FX Beat

DXY: The dollar index edged lower as investors awaited U.S. consumer price index for the month of August, which is expected to accelerate by 0.1 percent, compared to 0.3 percent in July, amid expectations the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates at its meeting next week. The greenback against a basket of currencies traded 0.1 percent down at 98.53, having touched a low of 97.86 on Wednesday, its lowest since August 26.

EUR/USD: The euro steadied after falling to a 1-week low in the previous session, as traders prepared for the European Central Bank meeting at which policymakers are expected to ease policy to support flagging growth. The European currency traded 0.1 percent up at 1.1023, having touched a low of 1.1010 on Wednesday, its lowest since September 4. Immediate resistance is located at 1.1059 (21-DMA), a break above targets 1.1116 (August 27 High). On the downside, support is seen at 1.0963 (August 30 High), a break below could drag it below 1.0925 (September 3 Low).

USD/JPY: The dollar surged to near 1-1/2 month peak, amid improved risk appetite on hopes of a thaw in U.S.-China trade tensions. The major was trading 0.1 percent up at 108.87, having hit a high of 108.16 earlier, its highest since August 1. Investors’ will continue to track the broad-based market sentiment, ahead of the U.S. unemployment benefit claims, consumer price index and monthly budget statement. Immediate resistance is located at 108.37 (July 16 High), a break above targets 108.75 (July 25 High). On the downside, support is seen at 107.28 (5-DMA), a break below could take it lower at 106.76 (10-DMA).

GBP/USD: Sterling declined, extending previous session losses after a case arguing that a British exit from the European Union without a withdrawal agreement would contravene Northern Ireland’s 1998 peace accord was dismissed on all grounds by Belfast’s High Court. The major traded 0.1 percent down at 1.2317, having hit a high of 1.2384 on Monday, it’s highest since July 26. Investors’ attention will remain on the development surrounding Brexit, ahead of the U.S. fundamental drivers. Immediate resistance is located at 1.2353 (September 5 High), a break above could take it near 1.2384 (September 9 High). On the downside, support is seen at 1.2279 (September 6 Low), a break below targets 1.2236 (10-DMA). Against the euro, the pound was trading 0.2 percent down at 89.48 pence, having hit a high of 89.04 on Monday, it’s highest since July 25.

USD/CHF: The Swiss franc edged higher, retreating from a 6-week low hit in the previous session, as the market turned cautious ahead of the European Central Bank policy decision and President Mario Draghi’s press conference. The major trades 0.2 percent down at 0.9904, having touched a high of 0.9940 on Wednesday, it’s highest since August 1. On the higher side, near-term resistance is around 0.9949 (July 31 High) and any break above will take the pair to next level till 0.9975 (August 1 High). The near-term support is around 0.9882 (10-DMA), and any close below that level will drag it till 0.9813 (August 22 Low).

Equities Recap

European shares eased, retreating from 6-week highs as investors widely expect another round of stimulus by the ECB to prop up an ailing eurozone economy.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index declined 0.05 percent at 389.56 points, while the FTSEurofirst 300 fell 0.05 percent to 1,531.05 points.

Britain's FTSE 100 trades 0.8 percent down at 7,332.00 points, while mid-cap FTSE 250 eased 0.2 to 19,950.15 points.

Germany's DAX rose 0.2 percent at 12,376.25 points; France's CAC 40 trades 0.05 percent lower at 5,616.03 points.

Commodities Recap

Crude oil prices eased, extending previous session losses, as the International Energy Agency pointed to the task of balancing the market next year amid surging U.S. supply and no movement toward deeper output cuts by OPEC and its allies. International benchmark Brent crude was trading 1.4 percent lower at $60.15 per barrel by 1049 GMT, having hit a high of $63.74 on Tuesday, its highest since August 1. U.S. West Texas Intermediate was trading 1.1 percent down at $55.31 a barrel, after rising as high as $58.74 on Tuesday, its highest since July 31.

Gold prices surged as investors turned cautious ahead of a European Central Bank meeting, where the central bank is expected to hint at monetary policy easing. Spot gold gained 0.4 percent to $1,502.76 per ounce at 1052 GMT, having touched a low of $1,483.22 on Wednesday, its lowest since August 13. U.S. gold futures rose 0.5 percent to $1,510.80.

Treasuries Recap

The Euro zone bond yields remain deeply negative. The German 10-year bond yield was flat on the day at -0.57 percent. Bund yields are about 17 bps above early September’s record lows, but still down 80 bps this year.

The Japanese government bond prices were little changed amid rising hopes of easing U.S.-China tensions. The Benchmark 10-year JGB futures rose 0.11 points to 154.65. The 10-year JGB yield fell 0.5 basis points to minus 0.215 percent, off 1-month high of minus 0.200 percent. The two-year JGB yield fell 0.5 basis points to minus 0.285 percent, while the five-year yield fell 1 basis points to minus 0.305 percent, reversing earlier rise to -0.280 percent. The 20-year JGB yield fell 0.5 basis points to 0.150 percent. The 30-year JGB yield was flat at 0.285 percent while the 40-year JGB yield rose 0.5 basis point to 0.320 percent.

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