Risk flows continue to drive the action in financial markets mid-week with US stock index futures trading decisively higher in the European morning. Following a two-day slide, the US Dollar Index clings to modest recovery gains and the 10-year US T-bond yield continues to fluctuate above 3.5%. The US economic docket will feature Pending Home Sales in the American session.
Wall Street’s main indexes traded mixed on Tuesday as the sharp decline seen in the technology stocks offset the upbeat performance of energy stocks. In the absence of high-impact macroeconomic data releases, market participants are likely to continue to pay close attention to risk perception. Earlier in the day, major equity indices in Asian rose sharply on news that e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings was planning to split its business into six units and have them list publicly. At the time of press, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was on track to end the day with a gain of nearly 2%.
On a negative note, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office threatened retaliation over Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s visit to the US on Wednesday. This headline, however, doesn’t seem to be having an impact on risk sentiment.
During the Asian trading hours, the data from Australia revealed that the Monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) declined to 6.8% on a yearly basis in February from 7.4% in January. This reading came in below the market expectation of 7.1% and revived expectations for the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to pause its tightening cycle at next week’s policy meeting. In turn, AUD/USD turned south and was last seen losing 0.5% on the day at 0.6675.
EUR/USD stages a technical correction early Wednesday but holds comfortably above 1.0800. The Gfk Consumer Confidence Index in Germany declined to -29.5 for April from -30.6 but this reading failed to trigger a noticeable market reaction.
GBP/USD registered strong gains for the second straight day on Tuesday before going into a consolidation phase slightly above 1.2300 on Wednesday. The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee will release its quarterly report later in the session.
USD/JPY gathered bullish momentum and advanced toward 132.00 early Wednesday. Bank of Japan (BoJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Wednesday, that Japan is “closer than before to sustainably hit the 2% inflation target.”
Following Tuesday’s rebound, Gold price lost its traction and declined to the $1,960 area on Wednesday. Easing fears over a global financial crisis and recovering yields make it difficult for XAU/USD to keep its footing.
Bitcoin regained its traction early Wednesday and was last seen rising nearly 3% slightly above $28,000. Ethereum rose more than 3% on Tuesday and continued to push higher on Wednesday. ETH/USD was last seen gaining 2% on the day at $1,810.