October 17, 2018


Global Commentary 

Asian markets climbed mostly higher on Tuesday, reversing recent weakness as oil stocks rallied and gains from Japan helped to lift the region. The Nikkei finished the day with a 1.25% gain as it rebounded from Monday’s weakness. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also managed to finish 0.07% higher, but on mainland China the Shanghai Composite gave back early gains and posted a 0.85% loss. Australia’s banks recovered somewhat from recent weakness, and the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.56% as a result, while the Kospi in South Korea was flat at the close.

European markets continued to rebound, with the Italian market posting its best daily gain in five weeks, while the pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 notched its best daily climb in six months. The FTSE MiB in Italy advanced 2.23% even as a budget clash with the EU continues to brew. The Stoxx Europe 600 added 1.58%, while Germany’s DAX gained 1.40% and the CAC 40 in France finished 1.53% higher. British stocks didn’t fully participate in the rally, but the FTSE 100 was still 0.43% higher at the close.

In the U.S., upbeat earnings sent equity markets soaring higher, with the Dow Industrials adding nearly 550 points, or 2.21%. The S&P 500 was up by 2.15% as well, and the Nasdaq led with a 2.89% gain as the technology sector rebounded from Monday’s weakness.



Cryptocurrencies held onto Monday’s gains and crept higher on Tuesday, but didn’t get a huge boost from news that Fidelity was starting a cryptocurrency trading service for hedge funds and professional traders. Bitcoin added another 0.2% to its 4.4% Monday gain, but Ripple was the real winner in the top ten altcoins as it cruised higher by 5.7%. Ethereum also made a modest 1.4% gain as it continues to struggle above the $200 level. Litecoin was the biggest loser in the top ten as it fell 1.7%. 



USD/CAD – The gains from crude, and rising tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, have been sending this pair steadily lower. Tuesday was the fourth consecutive losing session, and the downward momentum picked up steam as the pair sliced through the 1.3000 level and closed back near the 1.2900 level. With some traders now talking $100 oil this pair could come crashing lower.

GBP/JPY – After dropping briefly out of its month-long range on Monday, the pair jumped back into the middle of the range on Tuesday, advancing nearly 100 pips and finishing the session back above the 148.00 level. The move higher came as the Pound was broadly higher, and the Yen was broadly softer, despite the rising concerns over tensions between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. 



Metals – Precious metals finished mixed on Tuesday as gains from the stock market limited gains for gold and cut short the three day rally in silver. December gold rose $0.70, or less than 0.1%, to settle at $1,231 an ounce, while December silver fell $0.026, or 0.2%, to finish at $14.701 an ounce.

Oil – Crude gained for the third session in a row Tuesday as traders waited to see if tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia would continue to escalate over the weekend disappearance of a Saudi journalist in Turkey. West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery tacked on $0.14, or 0.2%, to $71.92 a barrel, while December Brent crude rose $0.63, or 0.8%, to $81.41 a barrel.



FTSE 100 – London’s benchmark equity index tacked on 0.43% on Tuesday, lagging markets from across Europe as the Pound firmed versus the U.S. dollar, and European Council President Donald Tusk warned that a no-deal Brexit is now more likely than ever, even though U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said a Brexit trade pact is “still achievable” in a speech in front of Parliament.

S&P/ASX 200 – The Australian market rebounded on Tuesday, with gains from oil companies and miners helping lift the S&P/ASX 200 to a 0.56% gain. Banking stocks also recovered from their recent weakness, posting modest gains that kept the index in positive territory. Miners BHP and Rio Tinto both gained more than 1%, while the big four banks were all up in the range of 0.5% to 0.9%.



Goldman Sachs – Shares of the investment bank fell to a 2-year low on Monday ahead of earnings, but the selling was overdone as the bank early Tuesday reported stronger than expected earnings. Income was up 19% from last year, with the bulk of that coming from increased investment banking and investment management revenues. Shares of Goldman jumped higher by 2.81% by the close after spending the early hours of the trading session moving up and down in a choppy manner. While the stock ended Tuesday at $221.40 a share, there’s room for it to hit $240 before running into resistance.

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