As the first quarter of 2017 comes to an end, equities are about to attain their best start to a year since 2013. Global stocks are reeving up for a fifth consecutive month of gains.
However, as we enter the last day of the month, global equities are exhausted. Bearish tones have swept the stock market, pushing indices lower.
On track for its worst month since 2015, the South African rand was 2.1% weaker against the dollar after finance minister Pravin Gordhan was dismissed on Thursday. USDZAR is trading up 1.6% at R13.47. The political instability in the region has shed 8.6% off the rand in the past week.
Euro CPI Flash Estimate y/y is due at 09:00 GMT. Consumer prices are expected to have lifted by 1.8% in March, just under the 2% rise seen last month. If actual inflation surpasses forecasts, the euro could lift.
The euro is already starting to make some ground after a sharp fall in yesterday’s session. The euro is trading at 1.0689 against the dollar. The dollar has weakened by 2% this year.
The Japanese yen has shed 1% over the past two sessions when compared with the dollar. Headline inflation rose while consumer confidence slumped, causing a major sell-off. This morning, household spending plummeted 3.8%, forecasts were at just -1.6%.
Consumer spending accounts for most of economic activity, a decline like this is devastating to Japan’s fragile economy. USDJPY is up 0.05% at ¥111.98.
Canada’s monthly GDP will be released at 12:30 GMT. Expectations show GDP at 0.3%. The Canadian dollar is trading downwards this morning, at 1.33 against the greenback. The Canadian dollar is susceptible to intraday volatility. Specifically, with the release of government economic data.
Canada still has room to grow as the nation has not fully recovered from the slump in oil prices.
Continuing the long string of Fed member speakers, today we have New York President William Dudley; the more hawkish the president’s sentiment is, the more the dollar will lift.
This week, we already heard from Eric Rosengren, Boston’s Federal Reserve president. Rosengren sent the dollar higher after hinting at four rate hikes for 2017, to help ward off inflation.
Crude oil has reached its target mark of $50. The commodity has its eyes on $50.50 as its next destination. A barrel will now cost you $50.20. Crude oil might have to wait until next week to reach this level as it is currently down about a quarter percent.
As for gold prices, they’re up about 8% this quarter. However, the precious metal is ending the month on a downward trend. The commodity is at $1242.51. The commodity may be down but it’s not out just yet, with the flurry of economic news due to be released today, there is still time left in the trading session for gold to rebound.
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