Markets in Asia began the week cautiously and US equity futures marginally retraced lower from record highs with participants on edge ahead of further earnings updates this week, and as Covid-19 uncertainty lingered after the number of global updates this week increased by over 5.2mln, which was a record despite the ongoing vaccination drive.
Last week, the RBNZ maintained the OCR at 0.25% whilst keeping the funding for lending programme unchanged as expected. The bank continued to reiterate their commitment to lowering the cash rate if required as they continue to monitor inflation and employment objectives over the course of the year. Labour market figures in Australia beat expectations as the unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 % from 5.8%. The Australian Dollar benefited from the weaker greenback as the major pair went on to breach the 0.7700 handle whilst GBP/AUD dropped by over 0.5%.
Equity markets continued to extend higher as market participants digested the start of earnings season whilst continuing to price in the effect of an economic recovery.
The vaccination drive Stateside has been strong with over 131mln individuals having received at least one vaccine dose. Heading into the week, NIH’s Dr Fauci outlined that the decision to resume administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could come as early as Friday after it was paused last week.
Cryptoassets took a hit over the weekend with Bitcoin suffering its worst weekend slump in months. The asset declined by some 20% before rebounding above the $56,000 level after initially reaching all-time highs during the week. The move was seen across most large cap and medium cap Cryptoassets as Ethereum also briefly tested round number support at $2,000. The move comes following on from the direct listing of Coinbase last week.
WTI gained last week and broke out of its 3-week range to hold above the $62.00/bbl. level. Heading into the week, the commodity remains somewhat cautious amid the ongoing Covid-19 concerns after last week’s record increase in global cases. Gold was lifted last week after capitalising on flows out of the greenback; the commodity climbed up to 7-week highs and at the time of writing closes in on a bearish weekly trend line.
Here is a breakdown of the High impact data releases this week.
23:45 CPI q/q. Markets to watch: NZD Crosses
15:00 BOC Monetary Policy Report, Rate Statement & Press Conference. Markets to watch: CAD Crosses
12:45 Monetary Policy Statement. Markets to watch: EUR Crosses
13:30 ECB Press Conference. Markets to watch: EUR Crosses
08:15 French Flash Services PMI. Markets to watch: EUR Crosses
08:30 German Flash Manufacturing/Services PMI: EUR Crosses
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