Markets Today

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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After a quiet week last week we’re on track for another one and it’s a struggle to write anything meaningful today. There have been only a few bits and bobs to report and that is reflected in modest market movements. Currency movements against the USD have generally been within 0.2%, with a notable exception being a soft yen. UST yields have nudged lower after some soft data.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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The low vol environment continued on Friday, with only modest changes in bonds, equities and currencies. The USD ended the week on a soft note for no particular reason. Strong new home sales data were ignored. Trump returned to the spotlight with his admission that he never taped his conversations with former FBI Director Comey. This was widely seen as another blow to his credibility as investigators continue with their probe into allegations of his obstruction of justice and associations with Russia.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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The low volatility environment continues, with only small changes in currencies, equities and bond markets. CAD, NZD and NOK are the only notable movers, supported by data and central banks.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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On a quiet day in a quiet week, currency, bond and equity movements have been small. Commodity currencies have underperformed a little as oil prices continue to get smashed, while GBP has been in focus after another MPC member outlines his views.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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With no global economic releases of note, traders were focused on central bank speakers, with the BoE’s Carney’s comments helping drive a weaker GBP. The only other point of interest overnight was a further fall in oil prices.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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It’s all looking pretty good out there, with global equities showing solid gains, helped by a positive turnaround in the US tech sector and no releases of US data – which have shown an underwhelming run recently – to spoil the party. Argentina plans to issue 100-year bonds, a country that has defaulted five times in the last century, at less than 8%. It must be a bull market.

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Soft US data saw the USD unwind some of its post-FOMC gain and helped nudge yields lower. US consumer confidence undershot expectations, falling to its lowest level since the November Presidential election, while housing starts and permits were also soft. The USD was already on a descending trend before the data were released, and the USD majors index ended the day down about 0.3%, falling on all the major cross rates.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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The moves seen in the aftermath of the Fed’s tightening of monetary policy yesterday have extended, with the USD finding supporting and UST yields drifting higher. US equities are softer and the VIX index is higher.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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Some much information, so little space and time. The combination of very weak US CPI data and the FOMC Statement with accompanying press conference has seen a big swing in UST yields and the USD.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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In the currency space, GBP and the CAD remain in the spotlight, with both showing good gains against the USD. But markets are generally treading water ahead of the FOMC announcement due tomorrow morning and UST rates are little changed.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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With little economic data to speak of, politics and central bankers have driven currencies, which sees GBP remaining under pressure and the CAD leading the charge.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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In currency markets, the only price action of note on Friday was the plunge in GBP as soon as exit polls showed a likely inconclusive and therefore shocking election result.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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Two of the three major risk events for this week have now passed with no adverse market reaction so focus now turns to the UK election, where the first exit polls will be released from about 9am. The NZD continues to outperform, while the USD has also been well bid, although currency movements have been modest. US equities are flat, while global bond yield movements have been divergent.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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It has been another slow news day as traders await the three key risk events for the week, beginning with the ECB meeting tonight. Equity markets are fairly flat and global bond yields have nudged up from recent lows. CAD and AUD book-end the currency leader board, with CAD weaker on lower oil prices and AUD higher on economic data.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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On a slow news day, markets have worked themselves into a bit of a tizzy, with fear over the outcome of the three key events scheduled for Thursday. This has seen global bond rates fall, demand for the safe-haven yen, and slightly softer equity markets.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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It has been a fairly sleepy overnight session in markets, with US equities tracking sideways around recent highs, small changes in global bond yields and modest currency movements except for a notable outperformance by the AUD. For locals returning after a long weekend, much of the price action occurred after the soft US employment report on Friday night.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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The first day of the month kicked off with some positive US economic news and higher oil prices that have lifted the USD, UST yields and US equities.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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There’s been plenty of newsflow to digest but, again, market movements have been fairly modest. As the month draws to a close, the S&P500 is down slightly, weighed by the energy sector as oil prices show a chunky fall; and the financial sector as a couple of major banks report softer revenue. The low market volatility and lower Treasury rates environment has made it tough to make money. As we go to press, the WSJ is flashing a headline that former FBI director will say President Trump asked him to back off Flynn probe in his testimony to the Senate committee next week.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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There has been plenty of newsflow to digest but the low volatility environment has continued after the long weekend in the US and UK, with only modest price changes across equities, bonds and currency markets.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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With the US, UK and China on holiday, market trading is thin and there has been little change in pricing.

With no data to speak of, focus turned to central bank speakers. In a speech in Asia yesterday, the Fed’s Williams reaffirmed his view that a total of three interest-rate increases makes sense this year (including March’s rate hike). While a non-voter, he is often seen to be aligned with Fed Chair Yellen, whose view in response to the recent run of softer US data remains unknown.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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It was a quiet end to the week ahead of the long US weekend, with US equities flat, UST yields little changed and a flat USD. Economic data released had no impact on the market. They showed a modest upward revision to US Q1 GDP to a still-underwhelming annual rate of 1.2% and soft core durable goods orders.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -

It was a quiet end to the week ahead of the long US weekend, with US equities flat, UST yields little changed and a flat USD. Economic data released had no impact on the market. They showed a modest upward revision to US Q1 GDP to a still-underwhelming annual rate of 1.2% and soft core durable goods orders.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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US equities are probing fresh highs, led by the consumer discretionary sector on positive retail reports, and the VIX index is probing sub-10 levels. However, the risk-on environment hasn’t supported the NZD as it weakens a little alongside other commodity currencies on much weaker oil prices. UST yields have traded in a tight range.

BNZ Markets Today

Doug Steel -
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Central bank comments generated the most action overnight. But generally subdued trading conditions prevailed through most of the night with limited movement across many markets ahead of this morning’s Fed minutes.

BNZ Markets Today

Doug Steel -
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Markets moves were generally within tight ranges overnight, with a modestly pro-risk undercurrent. US equities are currently up smalls (+0.2%), following mostly positive closes across Europe. US bond yields have pushed a bit higher while oil prices nudge upwards. The USD is firmer.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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The NZD tops the leaderboard, on a day with little economic data or fresh insights. US equities continue to recover from their hit mid last week, supported by defence stocks, as President Trump signed an arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth more than $100b. The S&P500 index is up 0.5%, while the VIX index continues to fall from last week’s spike and is now down to around 11.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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It was a fairly uneventful trading session on Friday, with little data to speak of. Trump remained in the headlines, with fresh news about his conversations with Russian officials and investigators identifying a current White House Official as a “person of interest” in their probe of Russian influence on the election. After the close, former FBI Director Comey agreed to testify before a Senate Committee.

BNZ Markets Today

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Markets are in a calmer mood following the big risk-off move the previous day. After the chunky 1.8% drop in the S&P500 yesterday, it is up 0.8% for the day, while the VIX index has fallen from around 15.5 to 14.5. The USD has recovered as well. Much of the positive movement has been attributed to a Zero-Hedge report which highlighted an earlier testimony by former FBI director Comey, where he said that “he had not been pressured to close an investigation for political purposes”. This might get President Trump off the hook.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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With no top tier data to focus on this week, it was inevitable that Trump would regain the spotlight. And so it is, with the “dodgy” revelations of Trump allegedly asking FBI Director Comey to drop a probe of his former national security advisor – an impeachable offence according to some. This follows the recent firing of Comey and reports of Trump passing on secret intelligence to Russia. All this adds further distraction to Trump’s pro-growth policy agenda, which has yet to, and may never, get off the ground.

BNZ Markets Today

Doug Steel -
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Equity markets are little changed, while oil prices are marginally lower following yesterday’s jump higher. US long bond yields are down a couple of points. More movement was seen in foreign exchange markets.

BNZ Markets Today

Doug Steel -
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Oil prices jumped higher mid-afternoon yesterday after energy ministers of Saudi Arabia and Russia said they favoured extending oil production cuts by nine months to the end of Q1 2018. Major oil-producers are scheduled to meet later this month. After starting the week around US$50.80, Brent crude oil prices immediately leapt higher then extended gains overnight to above $US52.50 before settling back under $52 currently; up 1.9% on the day.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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Amidst a number of economic releases on Friday, only softer US inflation and retail sales data managed to move the market, resulting in a weaker USD and lower UST yields.

BNZ Markets Today

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US equities are down slightly with no fresh news to push them beyond their recent record level, while the VIX index has nudged up further to around 10.5. Global bond yields have shown only small changes, while in the currency market the NZD and GBP are weaker after central bank policy statements.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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Commodity currencies take out the top four places in the daily leaderboard following a strong bounce in oil prices. Other currencies show little change and bond and equity markets are quiet.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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The USD and UST yields continue to head north as the market becomes more convinced of Fed hikes ahead. There have been no top tier data releases in the US this week, but Fed speakers have been in force and the general message continues to be one of little change to the economic outlook, despite the soft Q1 GDP data. The Fed’s George saw risks from delaying gradual rate hikes. Both George and Rosengren favoured beginning the process of balance sheet normalisation this year.

BNZ Markets Today

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The week has begun with slightly improved risk sentiment, which sees the VIX index below 10, global equity markets reaching fresh highs and higher global bond yields

BNZ Markets Today

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Early reports this morning suggest that Macron has decisively beaten Le Pen by about 65-35% in the second round of the French Presidential election, as expected. This sets the scene for positive risk sentiment as the new week begins.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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This week’s theme has been weakness in commodity prices, driving down the commodity currencies, and that has continued overnight. Global commodity indices like the Bloomberg index and CRB index have made fresh lows for the year. A range of metal prices has been slammed, iron ore prices are limit down, and oil prices are down around 5%. WTI crude is flirting with USD 45, back to the level prevailing before OPEC’s supply agreement was initiated at the end of November.

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Trading activity was light ahead of the FOMC announcement this morning. Economic data had little impact on the market. The US ISM non-manufacturing composite was better than the market expected, but the USD had already main some modest gains ahead of that release and there was no further push higher. Euro area GDP growth of 0.5% q/q in Q1 was in line, confirming the robust growth picture in the region.

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Market movements have been modest ahead of tomorrow morning’s FOMC statement. Currency movements against the USD are all within +/- 0.4% for the day, while the NZD has outperformed modestly.

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With much of Europe and Asia on holiday, trading conditions have been light. US equities are up slightly, the VIX has fallen to near-historical lows and the NZD and AUD head the leaderboard.

BNZ Markets Today

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A plethora of data was released on Friday, but there was little sustained market reaction to any of it. Currencies, equities and bond yields all showed little movement for the day. Markets have become immune to President Trump’s jingoistic outbursts, seeing them as a negotiating tool than given any serious credence. On Friday, Trump commented that the US could have a “major, major conflict with North Korea” if diplomacy didn’t work, but the market didn’t take much notice. Early Saturday, reports came through of another failed test missile launch by North Korea.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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There has been a mountain of policy announcements and data to wade through over the past 24 hours but the net result has been modest currency movements, and small changes in equity prices and bond yields.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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US politics has dominated the overnight trading session, with a focus on Trump’s “massive” tax cuts. This has seen broad USD strength, while the NZD and AUD continue to underperform.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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Locals will return from the ANZAC day holiday to see markets still in a risk-on mode, buoyant from a market-friendly French Presidential election result, but that mood hasn’t followed through into the commodity currencies, which have languished.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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As the new week begins, the results of the French Presidential election are streaming in. A number of exit polls give centrist Macro and far-right Le Pen the nod to make the second round run-off on 7 May. This is the market-friendly outcome that the polls pointed to but there was always the chance of a rogue result. Macron should defeat Le Pen convincingly in the second round, as the other mainstream parties rally against Le Pen and offer their support for Macron.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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There have been various currency movements with different factors in play but the net result has been modest changes for the session. US equities are higher following some better corporate earnings results while UST yields are also higher.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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In a slow news day there has been a modest reversal of recent trends, with the USD and UST yields both higher. The VIX index is flat around 14½, and the S&P500 is flat after some mixed earnings results.

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Jason Wong -
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The big news last night was the surprise call for an early UK election by PM May. This has seen GBP rocket ahead. The USD remains soft, while UST yields fall to fresh lows.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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Since our last daily report there has been much to digest. Ahead of the Easter break, markets were in a risk-off mode and we’ve seen that unwind as the new week begins, with no sign of war in Korea (yet) and strong China data yesterday supporting sentiment. The S&P500 is up 0.6% while the VIX index has slipped from above 16 to below 15. European markets were closed overnight.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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There is not a lot of news to report and trading volumes are light ahead of the Easter holidays. US-Russia relations remain in the spotlight as US Secretary of State Tillerson met with Russian officials in Moscow, with seemingly no agreement over Syria and a general lack of trust about each other’s intentions. Before the meeting President Putin said that relations with the US had worsened under Trump. North Korea also remains a focus, with President Xi and Trump conversing via the phone after Trump stepped up his aggressive tone towards North Korea.

BNZ Markets Today

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Geopolitical risks remain centre-stage, which sees softer equity markets, the VIX index up to its highest level since the US Presidential election in November, and the yen outperforming.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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With few data releases, geo-political risks have taken centre-stage which has seen a mild risk-off tone develop, with a higher VIX (trading within 13-14 after reaching as low as 11 last week) and lower global bond yields. US equities are up modestly, helped by a boost in energy stocks on higher oil prices.

BNZ Markets Today

Jason Wong -
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The US attack on a Syrian airfield and the US employment report were the key drivers of markets on Friday. The latter proved to be the more enduring theme, resulting in a stronger USD and higher UST yields.

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As we went to print yesterday the market was still digesting the FOMC minutes and the end result was a tumble in US equities (about 1%), lower UST yields and a weaker USD.

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A risk-on environment overnight sees US equities up 0.4% (paring gains after the FOMC minutes), and a lower the VIX index, but the NZD remains out of favour and is down on most of the crosses, although currency movements overall have been modest.

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Jason Wong -
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There have been a few bits and pieces of news, but the markets have traded in a fairly random fashion. There has been talk of Trump resurrecting his healthcare bill in a way to placate his fellow Republican renegades which, if successful, would be a win and get his policy agenda back on track. The Fed’s Lacker, an FOMC non-voting member this year, resigned over a confidentiality breach of some five years ago. The economic data that have been released have largely been ignored.

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Jason Wong -
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The first trading day of the second quarter shows a classic risk-off tone, with falls in equity markets, falls in global bond yields, commodity currencies underperforming and the yen heading the leaderboard.

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Jason Wong -
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There was plenty of news flow on Friday to drive markets, but actual market movements were fairly modest, ending the first quarter on a fairly uneventful note.

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The USD is showing further signs of consolidation after its mid-month tumble, rising by about 0.3% on the key indices, while equity markets and US Treasury yields are slightly higher.

BNZ Markets Today

Doug Steel -

It has been a relatively quiet night in markets, despite a lot of talk around Brexit but reasonably limited market moves. US equities are little changed while US yields are lower despite a push higher in oil prices.