Less than a month ago the CBOE volatility index – known as the best indicator of fear in the markets – dropped to a record low of below 9. The declines were a result of steady equity markets, low trading volumes, and optimism that the markets were heading higher. This has all changed in the past two weeks, with the fear index rallying from a low of 9.52 to 17.28 – an 81% spike in 4 days from Aug 8 to Aug 11.
No, not the sustained collaboration Troika between the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that is overseeing the Greek Debt Bailout. While we feel the Greek Debt Bailout situation is still festering in the background on the IMF actually only funding its commitment once the European creditor nations agree much more extensive Greek debt relief, that is not the ‘troika’ of the moment.
The U.S. dollar remained on the defensive early Thursday, after yesterday’s declines led by increased uncertainty over another U.S. rate hike in 2017 and President Donald Trump’s fiscal agenda after abolishing the Manufacturing Council and Strategy & Policy Forum.
A joint meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee and the Board of Governors was held in the offices of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. and continued on Wednesday, July 26, 2017, at 9:00 a.m.
The British Pound is trying to steady its stance at 1.28, after stronger than expected UK wage growth figures spared it from further losses, following a heavy decline noted in the latest inflation figures that were released yesterday.
The latest "saber rattling" surrounding nuclear tensions between the U.S. and North Korea continues to dominate the headlines, and some level of concern about the situation is certainly justified. While we still expect cooler heads to prevail, there's certainly an elevated risk that a miscalculation or miscommunication on either side could lead to disaster.
The U.S. consumer price index measure of inflation rose 0.1% month-over-month in July but failed to match expectations of a 0.2% rise as we had envisaged in our Australian dollar/U.S. dollar (AUD/USD) currency pair report earlier.
The war of words between Trump and North Korea has largely dictated the direction of the market for the past 24 hours. Safe havens, were the primary beneficiaries over the increased tensions, with Gold, the Swiss Franc, the Japanese Yen, and U.S. Treasuries rising across the board.