Financial markets daily

In the currency market

EUR: The euro fell for a second day in a row against the dollar to close at 1.2221, down 0.40% and down 0.03% for the week. Technically, initial upside resistance stands at 1.2349, further resistance at 1.2413, key resistance at 1.2554; Initial downside support at 1.2210, further support at 1.2129 and more critical support at 1.2000.

GBP: Sterling rose for the first time in three days against the dollar to close at 1.3560, up 0.01% and down 0.73% on the week. Technically, initial upside resistance stands at 1.3620, further resistance at 1.3705, key resistance at 1.3810; Initial downside support at 1.3530, further support at 1.3420 and more critical support at 1.3300.

JPY: USDJPY rose for a third day in a row to close at 103.95, up 0.20%, and up 0.66% on the week. Technically, initial upside resistance stands at 104.30, further resistance at 104.55, key resistance at 105.00; Initial downside support stands at 103.10, further support at 102.80 and more critical support at 102.00.

The stock market

The Standard & Poor’s 500 and Nasdaq stock indexes edged through peaks early on Friday after Democrats seized control of both houses of Congress and markets looked forward to more stimulus measures once President-elect Joe Biden takes office. However, the non-farm payrolls data unexpectedly fell sharply and investors remained cautious about entering the market, with both the Dow and the S&P performing repeatedly. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 56.80 points, or 0.18 percent, at 31,097.97. The S&P 500 closed up 20.90 points, or 0.55 percent, at 3824.68. The Nasdaq closed up 134.50 points, or 1.03 percent, at 13,201.98. For the week, the Dow and the S&P 500 are up 1.1% and 1.3%, respectively, while the Nasdaq is up 1.8%.

European stocks extended this week’s gains on Friday as more good news about the new vaccine and global investors anticipated more financial support from the Democratic-controlled U.S. government. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed up 2.68 points, or 0.66 percent, at 411.17. Technology stocks led the way with a 2.4% gain, while auto stocks bucked the trend with a 0.6% decline. Germany’s DAX30 index closed up 81.29 points, or 0.58%, at 14,049.53. Britain’s FTSE 100 index closed up 16.30 points, or 0.24%, at 6,873.26. France’s CAC-40 index ended up 37.03 points, or 0.65%, at 5,706.88. The Euro Stoxx 50 index ended up 21.93 points, or 0.61%, at 3,644.35. Spain’s IBEX35 index closed up 18.20 points, or 0.22 percent, at 8,404.00. Italy’s FTSE MIB index closed up 47.86 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 22,793.94.

Commodity markets

Spot gold settled at $1,848.86 an ounce, down $64.95, or 2.39 percent, from an intraday low of $1,828.09, down nearly $90 from a session low of $1,917.41. For the week, spot gold fell $49.42, or 2.60 percent, its worst week since November.

U.S. gold futures fell 4.1 percent to settle at $1,835.40 an ounce.

Oil markets are expected to remain upbeat until February on the back of Saudi Arabia’s surprise pledge to cut production, with two major crude futures extending this week’s gains on Friday. But concerns about slowing demand for gasoline and other fuels in the United States and elsewhere in the world could limit the upside because of broader restrictions aimed at containing the new pandemic. At press time, U.S. WTI crude for February delivery ended up $1.41, or 2.77%, at $52.24 a barrel, the highest since February last year and up 7.66% for the week. Brent crude for March delivery ended up $1.61, or 2.96 percent, at $55.99 a barrel. The two major crude oil futures have risen in nine of the past 10 weeks.

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