Investors began 2017 in a confident mood after solid manufacturing activity data in Europe and China. 

Banking stocks jumped almost 3 percent. Shares of the newly mergedBPM bankin Italy were at the top of the European index, up by more than 9.8 percent in afternoon trade.

French consumer prices increased 0.8 percent year-on-year, driven essentially by an increase in energy prices. French inflation reached its highest level since May 2014. Inflation across the eurozone is expected to edge up this year on the fading effect of last year’s energy price falls. Forecasts from the ECB show average inflation will fall short of the ECB’s target of just below 2 per cent in 2019 at 1.7 per cent.

January 3 page 001

Gold extended its recovery and rose on Thursday for the fourth consecutive session, as the dollar and U.S. bond yields declined following weaker than expected economic data. Spot gold hit $1,150.26 an ounce, its highest since December 14, and was up 1.1 percent at $1,155.54. U.S. gold futures rose 1.3 percent to $1,156.60 an ounce.

However, growing market expectations of further rate-hike action by the US Federal Reserve in 2017 may limit any near-term sharp appreciation for the Gold.

Gold fell more than 8 percent in November as U.S. Treasury yields rose after Donald Trump's election led to speculation his commitment to infrastructure spending would spur growth.

December 29aur page 001

The euro dropped by one percent to $1.0406 on Thursday. This is the lowest level against the dollar since early 2003.


Federal Reserve officials raised interest rates for the first time this year and forecast a steeper path for borrowing costs in 2017. According to the Federal Reserve officials, inflation expectations have increased “considerably” and the labor market is tightening.

Consumer spending is “rising moderately”, job gains have been solid and business investment “has remained soft,” the Fed said. New projections show central bankers expect three quarter-point rate increases in 2017, up from the two seen in the previous forecasts in September.

December 15 page 001

U.S. equities traded higher on Tuesday, as investors kept an eye on Federal Reserve’s monetary policy nextmeeting.

The Dow also hit a new intraday high after Tuesday's open, briefly rising more than 100 points, with IBM contributing the most gains. Some analysts think that Dow will rise soon above 20,000. The S&P 500 also hit a new intraday record, rising 0.4 percent, with information technology gaining 1.3 percent to lead all sectors higher.

The Nasdaq composite outperformed, advancing 0.9 percent to a new all-time high. Speculation that fiscal easing in the U.S. will drive growth is pushing investors into stocks. With the market assigning 100 percent odds to a Fed rate hike Wednesday, investors see a two-in-three chance of additional tightening by June next year.


December 13 page 001

Oil rose by as much as 6.5 percent on Monday to an 18-month high. OPEC and some of its rivals reached their first deal since 2001 to reduce output to try to tackle global oversupply and boost prices.
U.S. crude futures were up $1.75, or 3.4 percent, at $53.25 a barrel. They earlier touched $54.51, also a high going back to July 2015.
Producers from outside OPEC agreed to reduce output by 558,000 bpd, short of the target of 600,000 bpd but still the largest contribution by non-OPEC ever. "The observation of the OPEC-11 and non-OPEC 11 production cuts is required to sustainably support - oil prices to our 1H17 WTI price forecast of $55 a barrel " Goldman Sachs said.
According to Barclays, there are too many moving parts for OPEC's new policy to be sustainable in the long term.

December 12 page 001

The EUR/USD currency pair was exposed to extreme levels of volatility on Thursday. The ECB has said that it will extend its QE programme out to December next year. From April to December asset purchases will be EUR 60 bn per month, EUR 20bn less than the current monthly purchases.


The reduction to EUR 60 bn from April 2017 untill the end of the year could spark fears of a taper potentially sabotaging growth and pressuring the ECB to take further actions.

December 8 page 001

Britain's top share index rose for a third session, as investors snapped up bank and mining stocks.  The British FTSE 100 Index was up 1.8 percent to 6,902.23 points at its close, its highest closing level since November. European stocks closed higher in this afternoon. Investors shifted their focus to the European Central Bank's (ECB) upcoming meeting. They expect further monetary stimulus to be announced.
Financials contributed 47 points to the rise, supported by gains in euro zone lenders. Another bad day for italian banks. They continued to rally off of lows hit after the Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi said he would resign after the rejection of his reforms in a referendum.

December 7 page 001

The Oil prices continue to increase until 51.82 (Crude Oil) and 54.55 (Brent Oil).

 On Wednesday in Vienna, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reached a deal to cut their oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day in order to raise global prices. Saudi Arabia will take the brunt of this cut. Under the deal, OPEC nations will bring Oil production volume down to 32.5 million barrels per day, with Saudi Arabia, Iraq, UAE, and Kuwait making the biggest cuts.

December 1 page 001

The U.S. dollar reached its highest level against a basket of major currencies for almost 14 years. Donald Trump's election victory drove debt yields higher on expectations of more fiscal spending, price growth and a faster pace of monetary tightening.


The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was last up 0.8 percent at 101.690.DXY. The dollar was also helped by yesterday’s data. The U.S. third quarter GDP revised up and November consumer confidence come in stronger than expected.
The Bank of Japan's decision in September to target zero percent yields for longer-dated debt has played into a broader sense. The yen's rally may now be done after a series of failures to break past 100 yen per dollar.

November 30UJ page 001

Oil prices continue to track lower in the wake of late reports yesterday. This confirms that OPEC experts did not reach an output deal at their working meeting in Russia before tomorrow’s formal summit meet in Vienna.
Reports in Asia suggest the Saudi’s have offered Iran a freeze at +3.7MBD, below the +3.97MBD requested by Tehran as it recovers from western sanctions.
The financial market is worried about the outcome of the OPEC meeting in Vienna this week. Most of financial analysts expect lack of compliance as usual by OPEC members even if an output cut/freeze cut can be reached.
Algeria and Venezuela seek to reach a deal to output cut, but Saudi Arabia has recently suggested that a rate cut might not be needed because demand should recover next year. Khalid Al-Falih, the Kingdom's oil minister suggested that with oil demand expected to "recover in 2017, then prices will stabilize, and this will happen without an intervention from OPEC". Algeria and Venezuela continue to seek support from Russia. The energy ministers of both countries will meet in Algiers and then travel to Moscow on Monday.

November 29oil page 001

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