December 23, 2015

Time (GMT) Currency Event Previous Forecast
All Day JPY Bank Holiday
08:00 CHF KOF Economic Barometer 97.9 98.9
09:30 GBP Current Account -16.8B -21.3B
09:30 GBP Final GDP q/q 0.5% 0.5%
13:30 CAD Core Retail Sales m/m -0.5%
13:30 CAD GDP m/m -0.5%
13:30 USD Core Durable Goods Orders m/m 0.5% 0.1%
13:30 USD Personal Spending m/m 0.1% 0.3%
15:00 USD New Home Sales 495K 507K
15:30 USD Crude Oil Inventories 4.8M
23:50 JPY Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes

Global Commentary

Asian markets were modestly higher in a quiet holiday session Tuesday.  Japan’s Nikkei was the lone retreating market as it fell for a third consecutive session, losing 0.16% as investors are concerned about the expansion of the Bank of Japan bond buying program in 2016.  China’s Shanghai Composite came back from earlier losses to post a 0.26% gain as buying in the insurance sector outweighed concerns about Beijing’s failure to restart the economy.  Hong Kong’s Hang Seng followed the mainland market higher as it added 0.18%.  In Australia the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.15% as commodities had a small rally.  Elsewhere the Singapore Straits Times ended 0.26% higher, while the South Korean Kospi gained 0.57%.  European markets finished a choppy and light pre-holiday session broadly, but modestly lower.  The Stoxx Europe 600 erased earlier gains to finish 0.08% lower, with Germany’s DAX falling 0.09%, while the French CAC 40 added 0.05%.  London’s FTSE had a healthy 0.80% gain, snapping a two session losing streak on strength from the energy and mining sectors.  U.S. markets were broadly higher for a second consecutive session as investors shrugged off soft economic data.  At the close, the S&P 500 was 0.88% higher, the Dow advanced 0.96%, and the Nasdaq was up by 0.65%. 


EUR – The Euro continued to firm broadly against rival currencies for the second day this week on Tuesday.

GBP – The Pound remains unable to find support and Tuesday saw it broadly lower against major currencies again.

USD – The USD continued to show weakness Tuesday as it softened against the Euro and Yen, though it was stronger versus the GBP.

JPY – The Yen firmed against the USD and GBP on Tuesday, though it was weaker versus the Euro.

TRY – The Lira fell broadly Tuesday after the Turkish central bank surprised markets by keeping interest rates unchanged.

RUB – The Ruble benefitted from higher oil prices Tuesday, firming broadly against major currencies.


Metals – Precious metals were broadly lower Tuesday as traders took profits following the last two sessions of significant gains.  February gold was down $7.20 at $1,073.40 an ounce.  March silver was down $0.035 at $14.28 an ounce.

Oil – Crude headed higher Tuesday after the U.S. lifted a 40 year old ban on U.S. oil exports and traders appeared to be unwinding short positions ahead of the year end.  February crude, rose $0.33, or 0.9%%, to finish at $36.14 a barrel.


S&P500 – The S&P climbed steadily all day, posting a 0.88% gain in a lightly traded session.  All ten of the S&P sectors finished higher, making for a solid pre-Christmas rally.

DAX – The DAX opened higher, but rapidly descended into negative territory.  The rest of the session was choppy, with the DAX moving in and out of positive territory before finally settling 0.09% lower in a thinly traded pre-Christmas session.

Nikkei – The Nikkei ended 0.16% lower as it fell for the third session in a row in a choppy trading day.  Investors remain concerned that the Bank of Japan won’t be able to deliver results from its bond and ETF buying program in the coming year.


Exxon Mobil – Despite persistently falling crude prices, shares of Exxon Mobil have found support at the $75 level, bouncing higher from there earlier this month, though recently the stock pulled back slightly as it reached the $80 level.  While the move is positive for now, there is nothing to keep crude prices from falling further as OPEC and Russia continue to pump out record amounts of crude, and Libya and Iraq are poised to add to the glut of global crude.  There is support for the stock at the $60 level and this could act as a floor if crude doesn’t fall too far, but if it does we could see shares testing the longer term support at the $45 a share level.  Analysts are increasingly bearish on the stock, with the number recommending a sell climbing in the past three months, while those recommending to hold the stock has dropped in the same period.

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