Mid-session Europe: Gold regains ground above $1,264/oz
The gathering of 100 senators may well be to do with North Korea which has sent a geopolitical tremor through markets and diluted the risk-on sentiment that has been in vogue since Emmanuel Macron emerged as a red-hot favourite for the presidency of France after Sunday's first-round vote. Trump may well be able to reignite the risk-on nevertheless if he does indeed deliver a corporate tax cut to 15% although the thornier problem of getting it through Congress down the line will remain.
Elsewhere, beleaguered oil bulls will be fixated on this afternoon's EIA report after last week's gasoline build sparked an 8% slide from which the market has not yet recovered.
- CA Canada February Retail Sales (1230 GMT)
- US Weekly DOE Crude Oil Inventories (1430)
The first half of the European FX session has seen the greenback attempting to retrace the recent selloff, yet facing strong headwinds near local resistance levels at 99 points in the USD index. It is currently at 98.90, representing a +0.25% daily change. The key market theme remains the Trump tax reform plan expected to be released in the near future.
EURUSD was rejected at 1.095 in the morning hours, with the potential to fall to support at the 200-day EMA level, which is currently near 1.08. Currently, the pair is at 1.0887, an intraday slide of 0.35%. USDJPY continued to garner strength above 111 on the "Trump trade" revival, but is finding local resistance at 111.50. GBPUSD traded in a 1.28–85 range, underpinned by the 200-day EMA, which is just below 1.28.
It has been another day of repricing euro crosses after the first round of the French election last weekend. The euro upside strike is still in demand, and risk reversal continues to move less favourably for euro puts.
EURJPY is still sees buying interest at the 2-3-month area, USDJPY is slightly higher, and the EURUSD curve is unchanged. Most of the repricing may have been done, and curves will stabilise with some sellers appearing again.
The VIX volatility index is trading at historical lows. USDJPY vols in the 3-month tenor look expensive relative to that of EURUSD. EURUSD appears slightly toppish at the 1.09-10 area, looking at present interest rate differentials, which could indicate that most of the short positions that had been put on related to the French election have been bought back, and now we need to look forward to new data for future direction.
That could come from the European Central Bank though little is expected of the ECB's policy meeting on Thursday, or from the Federal Open Market Committee in June. An alternative way to play a close top in EURUSD could be selling EURCAD spot or selling euro calls.
We are looking to sell the 1-month call od 1.4800 which is paying 142 pips.
European stocks leaned lower with investors assessing a new batch of earnings while they wait to hear much-anticipated tax plans from Trump.
Following on from higher earnings posted by Credit Suisse and Banco Santander today, Bloomberg data shows that banks are expected to increase profits by about 16% this year.
Basic resources stocks underperformed, falling 0.7%, and utilities, pulled lower by disappointing earnings results, were down 0.3%.
France's CAC40 was higher 0.1%, lifted by Kering's 10% rise, while Germany's Dax was mostly flat and the UK's FTSE100 fell 0.1% to 7,269.58, led by losses among utility and industrial shares.
Credit Suisse will raise around CHF 4 billion through a rights offering to catch up to European rivals on capital, ditching plans to float a minority stake in its Swiss banking unit.
Standard Chartered shares gained 2.7% as the Asia-focused lender said first-quarter pretax profit nearly doubled to $990 million and that its restructuring strategy is paying off, raising expectations the bank will start paying dividends again soon.
London Stock Exchange Group rose 0.9% after the exchange operator posted an increase in quarterly income and gross profit.
Copper miner Antofagasta PLC reaffirmed its 2017 production outlook as it reported a 9.4% increase in first-quarter copper production compared with the year before. The shares were down 0.5%.