Here are the latest developments in global markets:
- FOREX: The pound was steady around $1.3385 despite May saying there is a new “sense of optimism” in the Brexit talks on Monday after she satisfied the European Commission’s demand last week on the three key divorce elements. However, the outline agreed must be voted by all European members at Thursday’s summit for negotiations to move officially to trade discussions. The dollar was weaker against a basket of major currencies as investors were worried that disappointing wage growth readings released on Friday could negatively affect the Fed’s plans to restrict monetary stimulus next year. The kiwi paused its rally around two-week highs of 0.6910 (+1.00%) reached earlier today after the appointment of the new RBNZ governor, Adrian Orr, reduced the chances of a radical change in the country’s monetary policy.
- STOCKS: The pan-European STOXX 600 index was flat around one-month highs at 1040GMT as gains arising from basic materials and banking shares were offset by losses in the tech sector. The German DAX 30 was 0.22% up on the day, while the British FTSE 100 surged by 0.65%, trading near a two-week high. The Spanish IBEX 35 retreated by 0.20% with most industry sectors in the red.
- COMMODITIES: Oil prices were mixed. WTI crude dropped by 0.21% to $57.24 per barrel as concerns over rising US output weighed on the markets, whereas Brent rose by 0.16% to $63.50. In other news, the Saudi Arabian energy minister announced that the state’s giant oil producer Aramco will maintain its exports steady at 2017 lows in January. Gold posted soft gains, rising to $1,250.70 per ounce.
Day ahead: JOLTs Job Openings awaited; Fed & US tax deliberation in focus
With the economic calendar lacking major releases, JOLTs Job Openings out of the US will gather some attention at 1300GMT. The survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics will likely show that the number of positions opened in November will not deviate far away from record highs, inching down by 3,000 to 6,090 million.
However, any potential updates on the progress of the tax legislation as well as any news on monetary policy will likely bring bigger volatility to the markets. Recall that the Fed will kick its last two-day meeting of 2017 on Tuesday with the decision on interest rates being only available on late Wednesday. Although investors are widely expecting policymakers to raise rates by 0.25 percentage points to 1.25%, the monetary statement following the decision will be under the spotlight for any clues on the path of future rate hikes as the central bank recently hinted further tightening next year.
The European Central bank, the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank will also decide on interest rates on Thursday but no changes on monetary policy are expected to be announced.
In the fiscal front, the US President, Donald Trump will deliver a closing argument on tax cuts on Wednesday as Senate and House Republicans are currently debating to create a common outline that will be signed by Trump as soon as the year-end.