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Nervy markets

A few days out of the office and not a huge amount has happened in the world of the FX markets, but the action has clearly been more in the commodity and equity space. Investors were spooked by the move in Apple’s stock price which prevented the S&P 500 index from pushing to a new record high on its third attempt in as many months and the Nasdaq has formed a spike that resembles the bursting of a bubble. Since conquering the 7,000 level the FTSE 100 has continually failed to maintain its ground and looks more and more unable to recoup its lost ground the more it remains aimlessly drifting in the mid-6,000 area. Tech stocks faltering, commodities weakening, Asian growth slowing and interest rate hikes on the horizon are all a recipe for limited upside to indices going forward so we could see another uptick in volatility like we saw earlier in the month.

Yesterday was a landmark for the Bank of England only in respect to the release of MPC meeting minutes which will now be released at the same time as the actual rate decision going forward. The BOE’s next policy meeting is on 6th August where we might see the first votes for a rate hike after yesterday’s minutes revealed no one had yet stuck their neck out. Today sterling sees retail sales released which are expected to rise and could provide the pound with a reason to defend the 0.7000 level in EURGBP. Then there’s the weekly jobless numbers from the US expected to dip to 280k, pretty much on par with the current 4-week moving average.

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