Here are the latest developments in global markets:
- FOREX: The dollar pared some losses versus the yen, crawling up to 112.80 (-0.25%) after a trim of bond buying from the BOJ send the currency to a five-day low earlier in the day. Euro/dollar moved further down to 1.1924 (-0.33%) probably due to investors engaging in profit-taking, while pound/dollar corrected lower towards 1.3530 (-0.27%) on the back of a stronger greenback. The dollar index peaked at a 1 ½-week high of 92.30.
- STOCKS: European stocks extended their gains on Tuesday to fresh 2 ½-year highs with consumer sectors leading the indices. The pan-European STOXX 600 was 0.30% up at 1015 GMT, boosted by news that the high indebted Netherlands-based cable group Altice, whose shares tumbled by 54% last year, agreed to restructure its European operations and separate its US unit by distributing that unit’s shares to existing shareholders. The blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 also jumped by 0.30%. The German DAX 30 and the French CAC 40 surged by 0.55% while the British FTSE 100 rose by 0.32%, with the British food retailers including Marks & Spencer performing the best. Earnings reports will be in the spotlight this week.
- COMMODITIES: Oil prices lost positive momentum during early European session but remained near fresh 2 ½ -year highs touched during the Asian trading hours amid expectations of a tighter market supported by falling US oil inventories and OPEC-led supply cuts. WTI crude was last trading at $61.87 (+0.23%) and Brent was steady at $67.81 after breaking brefly above the 68-key level. Gold retreated by 0.40% to $1,314.70 per ounce
Day ahead: US JOLTs job openings and Canadian housing starts eyed
Looking through the rest of the day, markets will keep a close eye on the US and the Canadian dollar as data releases associated with a medium to high-risk volatility are scheduled to be delivered during European afternoon.
At 1315 GMT, Canada will report on housing starts, with analysts expecting the annualized gauge to post a softer increase of 212,500 compared to a rise of 252,200 seen in November when the measure reached its highest level in almost a decade. Note that the Canadian government plans to impose stricter regulations on mortgage borrowers in 2018, a strategy that could weaken housing demand.
In the US, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will publish JOLTs job openings at 1500 GMT, a survey conducted to record changes in the US job vacancies. According to forecasts, in November 6.038 million positions were opened, slightly higher than 5.996 million seen in the prior month and marginally below September’s all-time high of 6.177 million.
Meanwhile, Minneapolis Fed President, Neel Kashkari, who was on the opposition of monetary tightening since he took office in 2016, voting against last year’s three rate hikes, will be participating in a Q&A session at 1500 GMT. However, it is worth to note that Kashkari will not be a voting member in 2018.
In addition, political developments in Germany will gather some attention as Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) are holding five-day talks started on Sunday with their former coalition partner Christian Social Union (CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) in an effort to form a coalition government.
Besides that, news out of the Korean peninsula will be in focus after South and North Korea held high-level talks for the first time in more than two-years earlier today to discuss on Winter Olympic Games taking place in South Korea in February.