EU Open - The new trading year begins on positive note as equities & commodities rally

Markets Overview:

  • Equities: Hang Seng (+0.67 %), CSI 300 (+0.83 %), KOSPI (+0.88 %), ASX 200 (+1.19 %)
  • Commodities: WTI Crude $54.04 (+0.60 %), Brent Crude $57.17 (+0.62 %), Natural Gas $3.47 (-6.85 %), Gold $1158.53 (+0.96 %), Copper $253.75 (+1.28 %)

What traders are talking about:

Liquidity returns

In Asia, the second trading day of the year 2017 has finished, and liquidity in the markets is slowly improving. The year has begun with a risk-on sentiment, as most Asian stock indices finished the day higher. Chinese and HK markets rose roughly 0.70 %, while Australia's ASX rallied more than 1 % on the day.

In FX, the Dollar retraced some of its gains from yesterday, and the commodity currencies were the best performing one's. The decline in the Dollar also lifted commodity prices, with WTI rallying above $54 and Brent above $57. The OPEC agreement to cut output has officially started on Sunday, which might be also a reason why Oil has been bid in the past few trading sessions.

Precious metals have benefited as well. Gold climbed from $1149 in the early APAC session to $1158, while Silver rose from $15.86 to $16.11.

Singapore GDP beats expectations

The strong Singapore GDP figures surprised traders. The country's economy grew 9.1 % quarter-on-quarter in Q4, beating expectations of a 3.7 % print, led by a recovery in manufacturing and services. The year-on-year figure arrived at 1.8 % vs. 0.6 % expected. USD/SGD came under pressure following the release, and fell from 1.4520 in the early Asian session to a low of 1.4460.

Solid Chinese PMI print

The Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI for December came in at 51.9 vs 50.7 expected. This marks the sixth consecutive print above 50, and output rose at the fastest pace since January 2011. Caixin noted that domestic demand strengthened, but new export orders remained sluggish.

China is trying to stop capital flight

As the Yuan continues to plunge, China is adding new requirements for its citizens in order to prevent further capital flight out of the country. The quota of $50,000 per person per year (amount of foreign currency that can be purchased) was left unchanged, but the government added several extra requirements, such as bank customers signing a pledge that the purchased foreign currency will not be used for the overseas purchases of property, securities, life insurance or investment-type insurance. Further, the customers must explain in detail for what they will be using the foreign currency, and violators will be put on a watch list, which also subjects them to anti-money-laundering investigations.

Overnight, China's central bank put the USD/CNY fix at 6.9498 (vs. 6.9370 on Friday). There was also speculation about a one-off devaluation, with the Chinese State Information Centre suggesting this could be required "to maintain renminbi stability at a balanced level".

Australia home prices rise

According to data from CoreLogic, Australian house prices increased at the fastest pace in seven years in 2016, as record-low interest rates fuelled demand. CoreLogic stated that the average value of a house in Australia increased by 10.9 % in 2016, compared to 7.8 % in 2015.

Economic Calendar:

  • 08:55 GMT - German Unemployment Rate
  • 09:30 GMT - UK Manufacturing PMI
  • 13:00 GMT - German CPI
  • 14:45 GMT - US Markit Manufacturing PMI
  • 15:00 GMT - US ISM Manufacturing PMI

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