January 20, 2017
|01:00||USD||Fed Chair Yellen Speaks|
|02:00||CNY||Industrial Production y/y||6.2%||6.1%|
|02:00||CNY||NBS Press Conference|
|Day 4||ALL||WEF Annual Meetings|
|09:30||GBP||Retail Sales m/m||0.2%||-0.1%|
|13:30||CAD||Core Retail Sales m/m||1.4%|
|Tentative||USD||President-Elect Trump Speaks|
Asian markets were mixed and little changed Thursday as investors remain cautious ahead of the U.S. presidential inauguration set for Friday. The Nikkei was the standout market of the day, gaining 0.94% in response to weakness in the Yen versus the U.S. dollar. In Australia the S&P/ASX 200 started strong, but drifted lower throughout the session, closing with a modest gain of 0.24%. Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite opened lower and then rose in morning trade to reclaim unchanged levels, but then fell once more after the lunch break, ending the day with a loss of 0.38%. In Hong Kong the Hang Seng followed the mainland’s lead, losing 0.21% for the day. The Kospi in South Korea managed a 0.11% gain, and in Singapore the Straits Times Index climbed 0.27% for the day. In Europe markets edged broadly lower after ECB president Mario Draghi made dovish comments that failed to lift equities. The Stoxx Europe 600 ended the session with a 0.06% loss, with the DAX in Germany edging down 0.02% and the French CAC 400 off by 0.25%. In London, the FTSE fell 0.54%, dragged down by the homebuilders after data showed U.K. house price growth slowed in December. Markets in the U.S. traded sideways along unchanged levels for much of the day, but finally headed south after Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen spoke, confirming that the Fed is prepared to hike interest rates in the U.S. several times in 2017. At the close the S&P 500 was lower by 0.36%, the Dow gave up 0.37%, and the Nasdaq posted a 0.28% loss.
EUR – The Euro firmed against the Yen and USD on Thursday while softening versus the Pound following a statement from ECB president Mario Draghi in which he was dovish on the future of monetary policy in the European Union for the coming year.
GBP – The Pound recovered its strength on Thursday, rising broadly against rival currencies.
USD – The USD showed some strength following a speech by Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen, but ended the day softer against the Euro and Pound, although it did firm versus the Yen.
JPY – The Yen fell broadly for a second consecutive session as safe haven demand has been drying up in currency markets.
TRY – While Turkish officials continue to assert that the drop in the Lira is the product of manipulation in currency markets, it has done little to halt the slide in the Lira, which fell broadly again on Thursday against major currencies.
RUB – The Ruble ended Thursday broadly softer versus rival currencies, erasing most of the gains made in the previous session.
Metals – Precious metals headed lower Thursday as the U.S. dollar rose on hawkish commentary from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen. Gold for February delivery fell $10.60, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,201.50 an ounce. March silver fared worse, falling by $0.272, or 1.6%, to finish at $17.002 an ounce.
Oil – Crude shrugged off a rise in U.S. inventory levels Thursday after OPEC member nations confirmed they have begun cutting production, and the organization said it could consider further production cuts later this year if necessary. February West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled up $0.29, or 0.6%, at $51.37 a barrel.
S&P500 – The S&P opened higher, but soon found itself in negative territory. It remained slightly below unchanged levels for much of the day, but found further losses in the afternoon when the Federal Reserve chairwoman gave a hawkish speech. By the close the S&P was near its session lows, with the greatest losses coming from the interest rate sensitive real estate and utilities sectors, falling by 0.37% on the day.
DAX – The DAX bounced back and forth over unchanged levels Thursday morning as investors awaited a speech by ECB president Mario Draghi. When Mr. Draghi spoke and struck a dovish tone the market initially rose, but then gave back the gains as investors across Europe remain cautious. By the close the DAX was back near unchanged levels, ending the day flat with a 0.02% loss.
Nikkei – The Nikkei jumped higher at the open in response to the Yen weakening once more versus the U.S. dollar. Continued Yen weakness throughout the session kept the Nikkei near session highs all day, with the index outperforming in the Asian region as it tacked on 0.94% for the day.
Yahoo Inc. – The internet information technology company has seen better days, but the stock has been recovering nicely of late and is climbing back towards highs last seen in 2014 and previous to that all the way back in 2005. The company will report earnings next Monday, and is expected to beat analyst estimates as it has been undergoing a restructuring, including the sale of $4.83 billion in core assets to Verizon. The move will certainly improve Yahoo’s cost structure, and will allow the company to focus more heavily on the profitable mobile advertising segment. Most recently price has bounced between the $41 and $43 a share levels, but an earnings beat could send it up to test the 2014 high around $51 a share for resistance. Poor earnings on the other hand could knock the stock back to the 2015 low at $29 a share to see if support lies there.
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