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United States of America
USD weakens against GBP, strengthens against JPY and moves horizontally against EUR.
American investors are focused on the statistics of retail sales and the conflict between the United States and China. The July US retail sales data released today was stronger than market expectations. The index grew by 0.7% instead of the expected 0.3%, which supported the dollar. The US-China trade conflict continues to escalate. On the eve, President Trump linked the conclusion of a trade deal with the «humane» actions of the Chinese authorities against the protesting population of Hong Kong. Beijing will probably take this statement as interference in internal affairs, which could lead to new complications in the negotiations. Today, the Ministry of Finance of the PRC announced that the new US tariffs would complicate the negotiation process, and promised to take the necessary countermeasures but did not announce specific actions.
During the day, the market is waiting for the publication of July data on industrial production in the United States. It is predicted that the index will increase by 0.1%, which may additionally support USD.
EUR is moving horizontally against USD, is strengthening against JPY, and weakening against GBP.
Due to a lack of significant European economic releases, EUR is trading under the influence of external factors. Investors are worried about the possibility of starting a recession in the US economy, as evidenced by the decrease in the yield of ten-year US bonds to two-year ones. Also, the EU market fears the threats, voiced today by the Chinese Ministry of Finance. Representatives of the Chinese government accused the United States of violating the agreements between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump and said that China would respond with countermeasures to the introduction of new US duties. The specific actions have not yet been voiced but China certainly has leverage over the situation. So, China can suspend the supply of rare earth minerals to the United States; continue to depreciate CNY and so on.
GBP today is strengthening against its main competitors – EUR, JPY, and USD.
British investors are focused on the July data on retail sales in the UK, which were generally positive. On a monthly basis, sales increased by 0.2% instead of the expected decline of 0.2%, and on an annualized basis, its volume increased by 3.3% instead of the expected 2.6%. Thus, British consumers ignored the uncertainty over Brexit and the difficult state of the country's economy. Online retail trade increased the most, on a monthly basis it rose by 6.9%, and on an annualized basis it grew by 12.7%.
JPY is weakening against its main competitors – EUR, GBP, and USD.
The June data on the volume of Japanese industrial production published today turned out to be better than market expectations but still recorded a decrease in the volume of manufactured goods. In June, industrial production decreased by another 3.3%, which is a consequence of the aggravation of US-Chinese and Japanese-Korean trade conflicts that negatively affect global demand.
AUD is strengthening against EUR, JPY, and USD but moves horizontally against GBP.
AUD is supported by the publication of strong July data from the country's labor market. For the fourth month in a row, unemployment has remained unchanged at 5.2%, and the employment rate has significantly exceeded market expectations, having increased by 41.1K people, 34.5K of which are full-time, and the rest are part-time. An improvement in the key indicators of the labor market for the RBA along with inflation growth (by 1.6% in the second quarter) may make the regulator take a more restrained approach to decrease the rates. However, most investors still rely on two more monetary easing this year, as the risk of a global economic downturn remains. Guy Debelle, deputy head of the RBA, recalled it today, who noted that the US-Chinese conflict leads to uncertainty and lower investment in new projects, which could exacerbate the global economic downturn. However, according to Debelle, Australia will suffer less, since it mainly deals with the supply of raw materials to the market, rather than finished products.
Today, oil quotes are being corrected downwards.
The prices are under pressure of various factors. First of all, investors are afraid of the beginning of a recession in the United States of America, the sign of which is an inverted yield curve of ten-year and two-year US bonds. Traders also continue to be frightened by the aggravation of tension in the US-China trade dispute. Today, the Ministry of Finance of China said that the new US tariffs, which should affect Chinese exports in the amount of $300 billion, will complicate the negotiations, and promised to take the necessary countermeasures but did not voice specific actions. Finally, the EIA report instead of the expected decline recorded an increase in US oil reserves of 1.580 million barrels. However, gasoline inventories decreased by 1.412 million barrels, and distillate inventories decreased by 1.938 million barrels. The restraining factor for the fall of quotations of "black gold" is instability in the Middle East. Today, the Gibraltar court was supposed to release the previously detained Iranian tanker Grace 1 but so far this has not happened due to the appeal of the US Department of Justice, seeking to prevent the release of the vessel.
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