1000hrs UK EU EuroZone Trade Balance (est €20.35bln vs previous €19.9bln)
1130hrs UK NO Norges Bank Governor Olsen speaks in Tromso
1300hrs UK US Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren speaks in Boston
1400hrs UK US St Louis Fed President James Bullard speaks in Washington
1500hrs UK US University of Michigan Sentiment Index (est 100.3 vs previous 101.4)
1800hrs UK US Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan speaks in Texas
US earnings releases today include JP Morgan, Citi, and Wells Fargo
STOCKS: US stocks climbed yesterday as investors anticipated a strong season of earnings and President Trump suggested that military action against Syria was no necessarily imminent eased the geopolitical fears. This has helped the S&P recover nearly all the losses from the beginning of the year (Dec29 close was 2673.61) to end +21.8 points at 2663.99, with the Dow up 293.6 to 24883.05, and the Nasdaq10072.811 to the good, closing 6656.255 as all the indices closed positively after a choppy day. Trump’s tweet that any attack on Syria could occur “very soon or not at all” eased the fears of a confrontation with Russia, whilst he went further saying how the region had largely been rid of ISIS under his administration, and where were the “Thank you America/” messages!!
Asia-Pacific stocks traded in mixed fashion on Friday. The Nikkei 225 led the way higher adding over 1% early in the morning session, although the index had pulled back from best levels into the lunch break and generally traded sideways in the afternoon. The IT sector registered the largest gains while consumer staples underperformed. - The Hang Seng had a positive start but lost 0.3% but was still on target for its best week in 2 months. The morning session ended virtually unchanged and trading has been pretty much flatlining all afternoon. Casino names bucked the trend, as consumer staples lagged. Mainland China following the same trend generally, but ended the morning shedding around 0.3% before dipping a touch more post the lunch break - Australia's ASX 200 added almost 0.25% as the IT sector boosted the index and utilities lagged. - US index futures lodged small losses with the e-mini S&P currently just 1 point lower, and the mini Dow 2 points worse off. The space awaits a slew of big bank earnings due over the next few sessions.
US TSYS: Treasuries have moved away from the NY closing lows in Asia-Pacific dealing, with sources highlighting better buying in the belly of the curve in early dealing, but they point out that the market feels quiet given the move in NY yesterday. The space operates around session highs, with the 2-10 Year spread 0.8bp flatter and the 5-30 Year spread 0.2bp flatter. - The latest trade war story from the Wall St Journal suggested that the US soon will detail which products are on the $100bln list of goods subject to tariffs. - White & red Eurodollar futures have edged a little higher and trade 0.5 to 2.0 ticks better off than settlement.
OIL: Crude pulled back a little in Asia-Pacific dealing but was still on track to post strong weekly gains after an increase in geopolitical tensions. - WTI lost $0.20 to trade at $66.85, while Brent lost $0.15 to deal at $71.87. - Trump is still to make a decision on Syria, with crude traders keeping an eye on the President's decision and other sources of Middle East tension.
FOREX: The AUD outperformed overnight as the AUDNZD continued to move away from Thursday's low and AUDUSD continued to challenge daily trend line off the YtD high (at 0.7774). The RBA's Financial Stability Review & Chinese trade data gave the AUD little if any trading impetus. - The EURUSD & GBPUSD crosses have stuck to a tight range over night, while the NZD has been pressured by the uptick in the AUDNZD cross. - JPY has struggled for direction, with USDJPY consolidating around the NY closing level, last at 107.35. - USDCAD trades unchanged, sub-1.2590, with little interest in the latest batch of NAFTA headlines.