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Market Sideways as Healthcare Bill Vote Delayed Print E-mail
ONG Focus | Insights | Written by Oil N' Gold | Fri Mar 24 17 01:05 ET
Financial markets remained range-bound as US congressional vote on healthcare bill has been delayed. Equities were mixed. Wall Street slipped with DJIA and S&P 500 losing -0.02% and -0.11% respectively, whilst the broad European Stoxx 600 index gaining +0.85% for the day. US Treasuries remained firm with yields lower. 2-year yields dropped -1 point to 1.25% and 10-year yields flat at 2.42%.
Big Day for Healthcare Print E-mail
ONG Focus | Insights | Written by Oil N' Gold | Thu Mar 23 17 02:14 ET
Investors are holding breath as they await US Congress' voting on a key healthcare reform bill. As Chair of the House Freedom Caucus, Mark Meadows, suggested, there are still insufficient votes to pass the bill but the chance appears to have improved. The market views the outcome as an indicator of the Congress' willingness to support Donald Trump's agenda and his pro-growth policy, which is the key reason for Wall Street's relentless rally since his victory.
Sentiment Roiled on Concerns over Delay of Trump's Pro-Growth Policies Print E-mail
ONG Focus | Insights | Written by Oil N' Gold | Wed Mar 22 17 01:47 ET
Risk assets fell across the board, amidst concerns over possible delay of US President Donald Trump's pro-growth policies. With the House of Representatives due to vote on the healthcare bill to repeal Obamacare this Thursday, investors worried that Trump might have not have enough votes to repeal and to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a first step towards proposed tax reform later in the year.
Oil Prices Fell Despite OPEC's Hint to Extend Output Cut Print E-mail
ONG Focus | Insights | Written by Oil N' Gold | Tue Mar 21 17 01:38 ET

Oil prices softened amidst a generally mixed financial market. The front-month WTI crude oil contract dropped -1.15% to settle at 48.22 while the Brent contract was down -0.27% to close at 51.62. Traders remained concerned over the buildup of US oil supply, shrugging off Reuters' report that OPEC intends to extend production cuts into 2H17 and Saudi Arabia's data that the Kingdom has trimmed crude exports by -0.3M bpd in January. The equity markets were mixed after British PM Theresa May confirmed that she would trigger, on March 29, Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. It would then take around 2 years for the UK to formally leave the EU. GBPUSD soared to a 3-week high of 1.2435 before reversing and settling at 1.2356, down -0.29%. Wall Street was largely flat with DJIA and S&P 500 slipping -0.04% and -0.2% respectively. US Treasury yields were lower as little insight was seen from Fed presidents' speech after last week's FOMC minutes. Chicago Fed president Charles Evans indicated that he could support two or three rate increases this year.

UK PM Theresa May confirmed that the government would trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on March 29, so as to ensure that the process would be completed by the ned of March 2019. As she noted in a visit to Swansea, Wales, May pledged to "get the best possible deal for the United Kingdom", including "a good free-trade deal" with the EU and a security agreement after Brexit. In response the May's move, lead negotiator, Michel Barnier, noted in Twitter that the EU were preparing to impose customs controls, despite May's determination to secure "frictionless trade". European Council president Donald Tusk indicated that he would distribute his response to the British government within 48 hours of next Wednesday.

The March FOMC meeting was not as hawkish as some had expected. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans suggested he would not rule out the possibility of four rate hikes "if things really pick up", with, e.g. inflation rising over +2% but it is certainly not his base case. At an interview with Fox Business, Evans noted that "as I gain more confidence in the outlook I could support three total this year. If inflation began to pick up, that would certainly solidify (that expectation). It could be three, it could be two, it could be four if things really pick up". Commenting on Donald Trump's GDP growth outlook, Evans suggested that "4% would be really an outsized number". Meanwhile, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, who dissented a rate hike last week suggested that he would be "very surprised" if core inflation reached 2% this year. He reiterated that there is no urgency to hike interest rate as there is no "high-inflation threat right around the corner".

Released earlier today, the RBA minutes for the March meeting revealed concerns over the increasing levels of household debts which would be exacerbated by rising unemployment and falling consumption. The members also noted there had been a "buildup of risks associated with the housing market". Meanwhile, Treasurer Scott Morrison warned yesterday that "there remain pressures that have built up again over the last few months". He and the chief corporate regulator have indicated that measures to further crack down property investor loans would be implemented. According to Morrison, "Australia has a very high proportion of interest only loans and these are issues that have been the topic of discussion".

On the dataflow, today's focus is on UK's inflation. Headline CPI probably rose to +2.1% y/y in February, from +1.8% a month ago. Core inflation might have also improved t +1.7% y/y, from +1.6% in January. Separate, the CBI Industrial Trends Survey for March might show the total order index slipping to 5 from 8 in February. The housing price index might have gained +6.3% y/y in January, easing from +7.2% a month ago.

Uncertainty Remains in Global Trade Policies Print E-mail
ONG Focus | Insights | Written by Oil N' Gold | Mon Mar 20 17 01:37 ET
The key event over the weekend was the G20 meeting in Germany. However, the message over trade policies was ambiguous. The financial ministers shrugged off comments over preventing protectionism as US President Donald Trump suggested reconsidering the global trade order. As noted in the communiqué, the G20 nations pledged to "working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies". Yet, the statement omitted the previous pledge to "avoid all forms of protectionism".
Weekly Fundamentals - Softer Fed Lifted Commodity Prices Print E-mail
ONG Focus | Insights | Written by Oil N' Gold | Sat Mar 18 17 05:36 ET
A less hawkish-than-expected Fed, which sent US dollar lower, rescued energy prices from falling for a third consecutive week. The oil supply outlook has remained mixed in the near-term. The market continued to weigh OPEC's compliance against US ramp up in output. The front-month WTI crude oil contract settled at 48.78, recovering +0.6%, whist the Brent contract closed at 51.76, up +0.45%, for the week.
Sentiment in Europe Soars on Dutch Election, More Hawkish BOE Print E-mail
ONG Focus | Insights | Written by Oil N' Gold | Fri Mar 17 17 01:46 ET
Highlight of the day was BOE's meeting as Kristin Forbes, the most hawkish MPC members, surprisingly voted to raise the policy rate by +25 bps. GBPUSD jumped to a 2-week high of 1.2376 after the announcement, before settling at 1.2358, up +0.55%.EURGBP was more mixed as the single currency was lifted by the outcome of the Netherlands' general election.
Crude Oil Recovered on USD Weakness, Inventory Declined Print E-mail
ONG Focus | Insights | Written by Oil N' Gold | Thu Mar 16 17 00:03 ET
The Fed hiked interest rate as widely expected. However, the accompanying statement and the economic projections suggested that the future rate hike path might not be as hawkish as some had anticipated. This resulted in the decline in US dollar and Treasury yields after the announcement. US 2-year yields dropped -8 points to 1.308% whilst 10-year yields plunged -10 points to 2.50%.
Saudi Arabia Cheats? Print E-mail
ONG Focus | Insights | Written by Oil N' Gold | Wed Mar 15 17 01:12 ET
Selloff of crude oil accelerated, after an OPEC report showing that Saudi Arabia's output increased last month, despite its pledge to cut production. A surprising draw in crude oil inventory probably contained the decline. The front-month WTI contract, extending the decline for a 7th consecutive day, fell to as low as 47.09 before settling at 47.72, -1.41%.
Yields Higher as Some Begin Talking about More Hawkish Dot Plot Print E-mail
ONG Focus | Insights | Written by Oil N' Gold | Mon Mar 13 17 23:56 ET
US Treasury prices weakened, sending yields higher, whilst the greenback was range-bound, as the market awaits the FOMC meeting. With a 25-bps rate hike a done-deal, the market now focuses on the likelihood that another hike would be implemented in June and whether there would be more hawkish changes in the dot plot. 10-year US Treasury yields are back above 2.60% (added +3 points to settle at 2.617%) and 2-year yields added +1 points to 1.376%. It appeared that long dated corporate issuance was a key driver of the rise in yields. Wall Street was mixed. Besides the FOMC minutes meeting, investors were cautious over the Netherlands general election, as well as Scotland's potential second referendum to leave the UK. DJIA slipped -0.1% whilst S&P 500 added +0.04%.
Focus Turns to June as March Fed Funds Rate Hike Certain Print E-mail
ONG Focus | Insights | Written by Oil N' Gold | Mon Mar 13 17 01:23 ET
Upbeat sentiment driven by strong US employment carried forward to Asian session on Monday. Shares in Asia Pacific generally strengthened with Japan's Nikkei 225 index adding around +0.2% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gaining +0.89%. Last Friday, Wall Street climbed higher with DJIA and S&P 500 indices up +0.21% and +0.33% respectively.
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