Asian stocks finished higher today in a quiet session after a four-day Easter break, as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced: “that as of May 2, the State Department will no longer grant sanctions waivers to any country that is currently importing Iranian crude or condensate.” The Nikkei225 main index added 0,17 percent to 22,255, the Hang Seng benchmark in Hong Kong finished 0.20 percent higher at 30,028. Chinese stocks also finished higher, with Shanghai Composite finishing 0.27 percent higher at 3,223. But in Singapore, the FTSE Straits Times index finished 0.12 percent lower at 3,353.
Australian equities have kicked off the holiday-shortened week in green territory, helped by a rally in the energy sector and strong gains in financial, retail and IT stocks. The ASX200 closed up 59 points or 1% to 6,319, breaking through the 6,300 mark for the first time since early September.
European session started mixed with investors focus on a steady stream of corporate results from US corporate heavyweights, including Coca Cola, Procter & Gamble and after the close of markets in Wall Street, E-Bay. DAX30 is 0.06 percent lower to 12,213, CAC40 is 0.16 percent lower at 5,571 while FTSE100 in London is 0.17 percent higher at 7,473 and the FTSE MIB in Milan is trading 0.12 percent lower at 21,929.
In commodities markets, crude oil continues to a five-month high at 65.91 boosted by 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. The near-term upside target that we have at the 65.00 figure has materialized, and now the $67 area is the next target as the bullish momentum builds up. Brent oil also started the week strong to $74,45 per barrel. Gold bearish momentum is still intact with the precious metal trading at $1274 figure. XAUUSD technical picture is negative, and now the support stands at the 200-day moving average down to $1249, which if broken can accelerate the downward move to 1200 as sellers are in full control. Strong resistance stands at the $1300 round figure and then at the 50-day moving average around $1305.
In cryptocurrencies market, Bitcoin (BTCUSD) whose market capitalization accounts for more than half of all other cryptocurrencies combined, continues with another leg up breaking the key 200-day moving average convincingly at $5,134, and trades at $5,529 at a five-month high, making the daily low at 5,347 and daily high at 5,628. BTCUSD’s immediate support stands at the 200-day moving average at 5,130 while next strong support stands at the $5,000 level. Ethereum (ETHUSD) also trades higher at 173, holding nicely above the 100-day moving average, facing the immediate resistance at 193, the 200-day moving average, while Litecoin (LTCUSD) trades adds 2 dollars at 77.87. The cryptocurrencies market cap holds above $160.0B.
On the Lookout: European Central Bank (ECB) Governing Council member Benoit Coeure in an interview noted that economic slowdown in Germany is stronger than expected.
Traders are closely watching the news around oil as US announced that all importers of Iranian crude will have to end their purchases shortly or be ready to face US sanctions, according to Washington Post. The article boosted crude prices to levels we haven’t seen since November last year. The Singapore Consumer Price Index (YoY) registered at 0.6 above expectations (0.3) in March.
The Bank of Japan decision will come this week, and most analysts expect they will stay on hold, though many believe easing will be the next move.
In the macro calendar from the Americas today, we have the Canadian wholesale sales data slated for release at 12:30GMT, followed by the US new homes sales report and Eurozone consumer confidence data due at 14:00GMT. Later, commodities traders will carefully eye the API weekly fuel stocks data at 20:30GMT for fresh direction on the black gold.
Trading Perspective: In Forex markets, the US dollar holds above the 71 figure, while AUDUSD retreats to 0.7118 as Fitch Ratings confirmed the Aussie sovereign rating at AAA with a Stable outlook. The pair needs to break convincingly above the 200-day moving average at 0.7190 to establish a long term positive momentum. Kiwi underperforms for one more day and trades lower at 0.6664.
GBPUSD The pair continues the consolidation in a narrow trading range for one more day as the volatility remains at monthly low. Currently, the pair is at 1.2979 making the low at 1.2974 and the high at 1.2989. On the downside, major support will be found at 1.2965 at the 200-day moving average while solid protection can be found at the 100-day moving average around 1.2942. On the flipside, immediate resistance stands at 1.3195 the high from the previous week session, and from there, major resistance can be found at 1.3232. While 1.3382, the yearly high, will be met with strong supply.
EURUSD trades at 1.1247 at two week low. The pair made the Asian high at 1.1260 and the low at 1.1244 amid low volumes. Immediate support can be found at the horizontal support line at 1.1235, and further bids will emerge at the 1.1200 zone.
EURO remains in negative mood following recent poor figures in Eurozone. In fact, recent disappointing readings in the region somehow confirm that the slowdown in the bloc and the ‘patient-for-longer’ stance from the ECB could be among us for longer than expected.
USDJPY is trading just below the 112 zone, having hit the low at 111.64 and the high at 111.96. Major support for the pair stands at 111.51, the 200-day moving average, and then at 111 round figure if the pair manages to break below the 100-day simple moving average at 111.10. Immediate resistance for the pair stands at 112.10, the March 2019 high.
USDCAD: Canadian dollar started strong as higher oil prices pressure the pair down to 1.3360. The pair will find immediate support at the 200-day moving average around 1.3318 while extra support stands at 1.32 and the 200-day moving average which if breached will drive prices down to 1.31 key support. On the upside, immediate resistance stands at 1.34 a break of which can escalate the rebound towards 1.3430.