Global equity markets were mostly mixed while the Dollar dipped ahead of Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s first Congressional testimony later today. Powell’s testimony could offer investors a fresh opportunity to appraise the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy approach for the second half of 2018. The central bank head is expected to reiterate that the Federal Reserve remains committed to gradual monetary policy tightening.
Crude prices got whacked on oil supply, real and imagined. Talk of futures strategic petroleum reserve releases along with signs of real increases of production in some OPEC countries sent oil into the basement. Weak economic data out of China and some warnings about trade wars by the International Monetary Fund did not help and it overshadowed the reality that U.S. oil supplies will probably fall dramatically again this week.
Investors have been left wondering whether today’s sluggish jobs data may have any implications on the Bank of England’s rate decision next month. Total pay levels rose at an annual rate of 2.5% in the three months to May, unchanged from April, according to the ONS.
The dollar started the new week lower, supporting the major currency pairs such as the euro/U.S. dollar (EUR/USD) currency pair and poubd//U.S. dollar (GBP/USD) currency pair this morning. There wasn’t any fresh news out to impact the greenback, so its weakness can be attributed in part to profit-taking.
Following the relentless rally throughout last year, the price action in the major US stock market indices over the last six months has felt like purgatory. After seeing a blowoff top to new record highs at 2875, the S&P 500 has been consolidating in a lackluster range between 2600 and 2800 since the start of February, frustrating both bulls and bears alike.
Today’s meeting between President Trump and Russian President Putin is more symbolic than anything. Sanctions, the U.S election meddling and Syria are expected topics, but we are unlikely to find real substance coming from this headline-grabbing summit. Earnings and economic data are the headlines we are paying attention to most closely this morning.
The world’s oil-consuming nations are showing growing unease about the rapidly tightening global crude oil market and are considering releasing oil from their strategic petroleum reserves. On Friday, Bloomberg News reported that the Trump Administration is reviewing options ranging from a 5 million-barrel test sale to the release of 30 million barrels from its oil reserve to cool pump prices ahead of congressional elections in November and as sanctions on Iran are due to snap back.
The S&P 500 closed at the highest level since Feb. 1 for the second time this week and extended gains overnight, this is surely a breakout isn’t it? Not so fast, we will discuss this in the technical section below. Global equity markets are all higher and being led by the Nikkei, which is up almost 2%, about half of which came during yesterday’s U.S. hours (Nikkei futures are up about 1%). This strong 48-hour move comes as the Japanese yen has completely broken down through long-term technical support.