Dollar Loses Ground Against Rivals

Trading 01 fév 2020 Commentaire »

The U.S. dollar weakened against major currencies on Friday, amid mounting concerns about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the global economy, and a mixed batch of economic data.

The Chinese National Health Commission said that 213 people have died from the coronavirus, while the number of confirmed cases has risen to more than 9,800.

The U.K. and Russia have also confirmed their first cases of coronavirus infection, triggering fears about the economic impact of the disease.

The United States issued a Level 4 warning, its highest, urging Americans to avoid travel to China as a wave of panic and infections increase. More countries announced plans to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan, ground zero of the deadly virus.

The World Health Organization on Thursday declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency, but said it wasn't recommending measures that unnecessarily interfere with international trade or travel.

In U.S. economic news, data from the Commerce Department showed that U.S. personal income increased slightly more than anticipated in the month of December.

The report said personal income rose by 0.2% in December after climbing by a downwardly revised 0.4% in November.

Revised data released by the University of Michigan showed U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly improved in the month of January compared to the previously reported deterioration.

The consumer sentiment index for January was upwardly revised to 99.8 from the preliminary reading of 99.1. The index is now up from the final December reading of 99.3.

The dollar index declined to 97.38, down by about 0.5% from previous close.

Against the euro, the dollar was down more than 0.5% at $1.1092, weakening from $1.1033. Preliminary data from Eurostat showed that Eurozone inflation accelerated for the third straight month in January.

Inflation rose to 1.4% from 1.3% in December, in line with expectations.

Against Pound Sterling, the dollar was at $1.3203, more than 0.8% down from previous close of $1.3093, after data from the Bank of England showed that UK mortgage approvals rose to the highest level in two-and-a-half years in December.

The Japanese Yen was up by about 0.55%, at 108.35 a dollar, compared to 108.95 yen a dollar Thursday evening.

The dollar was down sharply at 0.9632 against Swiss franc, while it was stronger against the loonie at 1.3234.

The Aussie was down more than 0.4% against the dollar, with the AUD-USD pair quoting at 0.6693.


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Oil Settles Notably Lower, Sheds Nearly 5% In Week

Trading 01 fév 2020 Commentaire »

Crude oil futures drifted lower on Friday, weighed down by growing concerns about outlook for energy demand due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus' potential impact on the global economy.

Oil prices edged higher earlier in the session after the World Health Organization declared an international health emergency with the novel coronavirus outbreak in China, but did not recommend travel restrictions, saying there was no reason for measures that affect international travel and trade.

However, prices dropped subsequently amid uncertainty about energy demand outlook.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended down $0.58, or about 1.1%, at $51.56 a barrel, the lowest settlement for a front-month contract in nearly six months.

WTI crude oil futures shed about 4.8% in the week, losing for a fourth straight week, and widening losses to 15.6% for the month.

Brent crude futures declined $0.21 to $58.08 a barrel.

According to analysts, the coronavirus might hit China's economic growth by 0.4 to 1 percentage point this year. This could significantly hurt the U.S. economy, and in fact, global growth.

It is feared that the virus outbreak in the country might result in a substantial drop in energy demand from China.

The death toll in China from the new coronavirus rose to 213 today, as more countries announced plans to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan, ground zero of the deadly virus.

The United States issued a Level 4 warning, its highest, urging Americans to avoid travel to China as a wave of panic and infections increase.

Investors also noted reports suggesting that Saudi Arabia has opened a discussion about moving an upcoming output policy meeting to early February from March to address the sharp drop in crude oil prices recently.


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Treasuries See Further Upside As Coronavirus Death Toll Rises

Trading 01 fév 2020 Commentaire »

Extending the upward trend seen over the past several sessions, treasuries moved to the upside during trading on Friday.

Bond prices saw further upside late in the trading day, reaching new highs for the session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 3.8 basis points to 1.520 percent.

With the continued decrease on the day, the ten-year yield slumped to its lowest closing level in nearly four months.

Treasuries continued to benefit from concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, as the death toll from the disease continues to rise.

Chinese officials said 213 people have died from the coronavirus, while the number of confirmed cases has risen to more than 9,800.

The U.K. and Russia have also confirmed their first cases of coronavirus infection, raising concerns about the rapid spread of the disease and the impact on the global economy.

Meanwhile, traders largely shrugged off a report from the Commerce Department showing personal income increased by slightly more than anticipated in the month of December.

The report said personal income rose by 0.2 percent in December after climbing by a downwardly revised 0.4 percent in November.

Economists had expected income to inch up by 0.1 percent compared to the 0.5 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

The Commerce Department also said personal sending climbed by 0.3 percent in December following a 0.4 percent increase in November, with the growth matching expectations.

Excluding price changes, personal spending inched up by 0.1 percent in December after rising by 0.3 percent in November.

Revised data released by the University of Michigan showed U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly improved in the month of January compared to the previously reported deterioration.

The consumer sentiment index for January was upwardly revised to 99.8 from the preliminary reading of 99.1. The index is now up from the final December reading of 99.3.

The upward revision came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the consumer sentiment index to be unrevised at 99.1.

While news regarding the coronavirus outbreak will continue to attract attention next week, traders are also likely to keep an eye on the monthly jobs data as well as reports on manufacturing and service sector activity.


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Gold Futures Settle Slightly Lower

Trading 01 fév 2020 Commentaire »

Gold prices edged slightly lower on Friday, but scored a weekly gain, having moved notably higher in some of the sessions with traders seeking the safe-haven asset amid growing worries about the impact of the coronavirus attack on the global economy.

The dollar eased against some major currencies as worries about the virus outbreak weighed on the currency. The dollar index was down by about 0.4% at 97.47, off the day's low of 97.40.

Gold futures for April ended down $1.30, or 0.08%, at $1,587.90 an ounce.

On Thursday, gold futures for April ended up $13.20, or about 0.8%, at $1,589.20 an ounce, the highest settlement for the most active contract since early April 2013.

Gold futures gained about 3.8% in the week.

Silver futures for March ended up $0.020 at $18.012 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled down $0.0070 at $2.5170 per pound.

According to Chinese officials, 213 people have died from the coronavirus, while the number of confirmed cases has risen to more than 9,800.

The U.K. and Russia have also confirmed their cases of coronavirus infection, raising concerns about the rapid spread of the disease and the impact on the global economy.

The United States issued a Level 4 warning, its highest, urging Americans to avoid travel to China as a wave of panic and infections increase. More countries announced plans to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan, ground zero of the deadly virus.

The World Health Organization on Thursday declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency, but said it wasn't recommending measures that unnecessarily interfere with international trade or travel.

In U.S. economic news, personal income in the U.S. increased by slightly more than anticipated in the month of December, rising by 0.2% after climbing by a dowardly revised 0.4% in November, according to a report released by the Commerce Department.

Revised data released by the University of Michigan on Friday showed U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly improved in the month of January compared to the previously reported deterioration.

The consumer sentiment index for January was upwardly revised to 99.8 from the preliminary reading of 99.1. The index is now up from the final December reading of 99.3.

The upward revision came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the consumer sentiment index to be unrevised at 99.1.

A report released by MNI Indicators showed the Chicago business barometer tumbled to 42.9 in January from a revised 48.2 in December. Economists had expected the business barometer to edge down to 48.8 from the 48.9 originally reported for the previous month.


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