Asian markets closed higher today in thin volumes as investors are awaiting the key US jobs figures. The Hang Seng benchmark in Hong Kong finished 0.29 percent higher at 30,027. The Shanghai Composite added 0.52 percent higher at 3,078, while in Singapore, the FTSE Straits Times index finished 0.02 percent higher at 3,393. Australian equities finished off a choppy week in negative territory, with losses in the Financial, Energy, and Materials sectors outweighing gains in retail, telco and industrials stocks. The ASX200 slipped 2 points to 6,335. Over the week, the index fell by 0.8%.
European session started on positive tones with traders focus today on US job figures. DAX30 is 0.20 percent higher to 12,369, CAC40 is 0.22 percent higher at 5,551 while FTSE100 in London is 0.39 percent higher at 7,380, and the FTSE MIB in Milan is trading 0.24 percent higher at 21,751.
In commodities markets, crude oil lost over 2 dollars, and as of writing, the black gold is trading at 61.72 as the correction from the five-month high continues and markets digest the US additional sanctions on Iran. Oil industry analysts expect that the sanctions could potentially remove up to 1.2 million barrels of oil per day from international markets. Brent oil also gives up a dollar at $70,45 per barrel. Gold holds around 1270 after yesterdays heavy losses. XAUUSD technical picture is negative, and now the support stands at 200-day moving average down to $1251, which if broken can accelerate the downward move to 1200 as sellers will take full control. Strong resistance stands at 1291 and the 100-day moving average, and then the $1300 round figure.
In cryptocurrencies market, Bitcoin (BTCUSD) whose market capitalization accounts for more than half of all other cryptocurrencies combined trades higher for the second day at 5,534 mark enhancing the bullish outlook. The daily low for BTC was at 5,348 and the daily high at 5,563. BTCUSD immediate support stands at the 200-day moving average at 5,093 while next strong support stands at the $5,000 level and then at the recent low at 4,937. On the upside, strong resistance stands at 5600 the recent high. Ethereum (ETHUSD) is adding one dollar at 159 holding above the 50-day moving average at 138, and facing the immediate resistance at 185 the 200-day moving average, while Litecoin (LTCUSD) trades higher at 73.54. The cryptocurrencies market cap holds above $170.0B.
On the Lookout: In Australia, the residential building approvals fell by 15.5% in March (consensus -12%) to be down by 27.3% over the year. Elsewhere, new vehicle sales fell 8.9% in April to 75,550 – the weakest monthly sales in 8 years.
The focus on the US macro front will be the US payrolls, and average hourly earnings data will be reported at 12:30GMT, followed by the ISM non-manufacturing PMI at 14:00GMT. Also, oil and USDCAD traders await the US Baker Hughes oil rigs count data due at 17:00GMT.
Trading Perspective: In FX markets, the US dollar adds 35 cents to 97,65 as traders digest the comments from Fed Chairman Powel after the FOMC meeting. A stronger US dollar will likely increase the US trade deficit, adding risk that Trump administration continues to target those nations with a significant trade surplus with the US (China – Germany – Europe). The Aussie dollar trades lower at 0.6997 at fresh 4-month lows after disappointing macro data, and the cash rate futures now see a 71.0% probability of a rate cut in next RBA meeting. Kiwi mirrors Aussie dollar lower and trades at 0.6618 as traders renewed RBNZ rate cut bets following New Zealand’s jobs data disappointment and weaker oil prices.
GBPUSD retreats from tops at 1.3080 amid Greenback strength and trades at 1.3020. On the downside, major support will be found at 1.2967 where the 200 and 100-day moving averages cross and then at 1.2830 the support line from February. On the upside, immediate resistance stands at 1.3104 the 50-day moving average.
EURUSD trades lost the 1.12 figure and moved fast down to 1.1160 area after the dovish comments from the Fed. The pair made the Asian high at 1.1177 and the low at 1.1157. Immediate support can be found at 1.1154, the low from Asian session, while more solid support can be found at the yearly low at 1.1115. On the upside, the immediate resistance stands at 1.1236 the bottom of horizontal resistance line from the three-month trading range, while more offers will emerge at 1.1275 at the 50-day moving average
USDJPY trades flat at 111.52 as yesterday tested the 50-day moving average, a level which if breached can drive prices down to 110.73 the 100-day moving average. Today the pair hit the low at 111.40 and the high at 111.53. Immediate resistance for the pair stands 111.68 the 50-hour moving average and then at 112.18 the April 2019 high.
USDCAD continues the rebound for the second day above 1.3460 as lower prices in crude oil seem to have added further weakness in the Canadian Dollar (CAD). The pair will find immediate support at the 100-day moving average around 1.3335 while extra support stands at 1.3300 round figure. On the upside, immediate resistance stands at 1.3469, the high from the previous week, while a break above can escalate the rebound towards 1.35 round figure.