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May 29, 2017

Time (GMT) Currency Event Previous Forecast
All Day CNY Bank Holiday
29th-3rd EUR German Retail Sales m/m 0.1%
All Day GBP Bank Holiday
All Day USD Bank Holiday
13:00 EUR ECB President Draghi Speaks
23:30 JPY Household Spending y/y -1.3%
23:50 JPY Retail Sales y/y 2.1%

 

Global Commentary

Asian markets ended mixed on Friday as a strong Yen hurt Japanese equities and falling crude dented resource shares in Australia and elsewhere.  The Nikkei in Japan slipped away from the 20,000 level as it lost 0.64% for the day.  In Australia the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.66% lower, although it did end off its session lows.  Mainland China posted a modest gain of 0.08%, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng following suit and closing 0.03% higher.  South Korea’s Kospi extended its strong rally as it added 0.53%, and in Singapore the Straits Times Index finished the day 0.46% lower.  European markets ended the day with modest losses as they were pulled lower by losses from the gas and oil sectors.  The broad based Stoxx Europe 600 finished the day with a loss of 0.20%, while Germany’s DAX ended 0.15% lower and the CAC 40 in France had a slight 0.01% drop.  London’s FTSE closed at a record high as it added 0.40% due to s sharp drop in the Pound following a new poll showing the Conservative Party lead in the coming general election is narrowing further.  U.S. markets spent the day trading along unchanged levels in light volume as investors were already stepping away from the markets ahead of the long three day holiday weekend.  At the close the S&P 500 was up a slight 0.03%, the Dow fell a slim 0.01%, and the Nasdaq outperformed with a 0.08% gain.

 

FOREX

EUR – The Euro was mostly weaker on Friday, falling against the USD and Yen, but gaining on the Pound as the British currency is having problems of its own.

GBP – The Pound softened sharply and broadly on Friday after a new poll showed that support for the Conservative Party in the U.K. is falling ahead of the June 8th general elections, which could spell trouble for Theresa May’s Brexit plans.

USD – The USD firmed against the Pound and Euro on Friday, but softened versus the Yen as safe haven buyers stepped in and purchased Yen in response to rising global geopolitical risks.

JPY – The Yen firmed broadly on Friday in response to increased safe haven buying caused by concerns over North Korea, the U.S. political scene, and the upcoming general election in the U.K.

TRY – The Lira was mixed due to outside forces on Friday as it firmed versus the Pound, ended the session flat versus the Euro, and softened against the USD and Yen.

RUB – The rebound in crude prices on Friday helped support the Ruble, with the Russian currency firming against most major currencies, although it was unchanged at the close versus the Yen.

 

Commodities

Metals – Precious metals gained on Friday due to a fresh round of geopolitical concerns as traders worry about North Korea, the upcoming U.K. elections, and the U.S. political scene.  June gold rose $10.90, or 0.9%, to $1,267.20 an ounce.  July silver rose $0.13, or 0.8%, to finish at $17.323 an ounce.

Oil – Crude rebounded on Friday, paring the nearly 5% drop from the previous session as traders try to gauge how they feel about the extension of OPEC production cuts and lack of hope for additional cuts.  July West Texas Intermediate crude added $0.90, or 1.8%, to settle at $49.80 a barrel.

 

Indices

S&P500 – The S&P spent the day trading in a tight range back and forth over unchanged levels before squeaking by with a slight gain of 0.03% to set a new record close.  Trading volumes were thin throughout the day as many investors decided to take off early ahead of the three day holiday weekend.

DAX – The DAX suffered a choppy morning session before dropping modestly below unchanged levels and remaining there in a tight trading range for the remainder of the day.  Weakness from energy shares kept pressure on the German benchmark index as it closed the day 0.15% lower.

Nikkei – The Nikkei began the day with gains, but after trading flat for the morning the index fell in the afternoon, retreating again from the 20,000 level.  A stronger Yen during the Asian session weighed on the Nikkei, leading to a loss of 0.64% for the Japanese benchmark index by the close.


Stocks

Microsoft Corp – After a brief pullback last week shares of Microsoft have continued the upward move that began last June when the stock was trading around $48 a share.  Investors have been positive about the company’s shift into services and cloud computing, and have given the stock a push higher after years of range bound trade.  On Friday the stock posted another gain and closed at $69.96 a share.  The rally in Microsoft shares is now roughly 4 ½ years old, which means it could be nearing an end, but with the broader indices continuing to hit new record highs we don’t feel it is time to start selling yet.  Shares have room to climb higher as long as investors remain bullish, so we are betting on more gains out of this tech bell weather stock.

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