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The U.S. dollar noticeably weakened on Thursday with many major and emerging market pairs further reversing after the recent dollar-rally. While the USD/TRY pair also moved a bit lower, on a weekly basis by Friday morning it was still up by around three per cent as the currency pair remained close to its recent year-to-date high around 16.0.
Major cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum started to recover in the late morning hours on Thursday with Bitcoin eventually surpassing the $30k mark, while Ethereum traded above $2k. With this recovery the cryptos are trading almost unchanged compared to the bigging of the week after prices have been on a more or less steady decline over the past six weeks.
Major stock market indices like the US Tech 100 or the US 500 traded very moderately higher on Thursday, while European markets like the Germany 40 and Europe 50 settled somewhat lower at a time when the euro appreciated against the greenback.
On Friday morning retail sales data will be published in the United Kingdom, while from Germany producer price index (PPI) data is to be expected.
As the dollar continued again significantly weakened the EUR/USD pair is on course to close a week higher for the first time since late-March. The euro itself traded relatively stable compared to other majors with the EUR/CHF pair closing once again clearly lower, while the EUR/JPY was up following the recent dip.
On Friday German producer price index (PPI) data is set to be released. After a rate of inflation amounting to 30.9% y/y was reported for March, analysts are not very hopeful that the rate of inflation should reduce in the now scheduled release for April.
After trading fairly stable during the first half of this week, gold prices started appreciating by Thursday morning around the same time as the dollar began to weaken significantly against other major currencies. Silver prices also moved to the upside and are now trading at a new ten day high, while platinum also recovered from its recent losses.
On Friday the U.S. CFTC publishes weekly Commitment of Traders (COT) data which also includes statistics on speculate net positions by traders on U.S. futures. Gold futures net speculative positions have been dropping for the past five weeks, while silver futures positions last week were at a year-to-date low.
With oil prices recovering from the dip on Wednesday, on a weekly basis the downside in WTI crude oil prices was significantly reduced though at the current market rates the contract might settle on a weekly basis for the first time in four weeks lower.
While the European Union is still discussing the possible implementation of sanctions against Russian oil exports to the economic bloc, Bloomberg reports that China and Russian government officials are discussing the delivery of additional oil shipments to China which would be used to replenish the country’s strategic petroleum reserves. Since the implementation of sanctions against Russia, it has been selling crude oil oftentimes with very significant discounts compared to open market prices.
As usual on Friday the U.S. Baker Hughes Oil Rig Count will be published. The number of operating oil rigs has been steadily rising over the past eight weeks with a new post-covid record of 563 rigs in operation reported last week.
While intraday the US 500 index touched on a new one week low at the end of the day the index stood marginally higher with a further move up seen by Friday morning. Still, given the steep drop in valuation on Wednesday the index is well on track to end a week for the seventh time in a row in the red.
Performance was quite mixed with chip stocks (US Semiconductors ETF +0.22%) performing fairly stable and an outperformance seen among biotech companies (US Biotech ETF +1.47%), while other tech (US Technology ETF -0.97%) stocks were under pressure.
Cisco Systems (-13.78%) was one of the worst performing equities that day following the highly disappointing earnings released on Wednesday after markets closed. During the session on Thursday the stock dipped even a bit more than during the extended session immediately after the earnings release.
Lucid (+10.95%) was one of the best-performers that day. The company recently announced that it would go ahead with the plan to build a factory in Saudi Arabia that could produce 155 thousand cars per year. The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund is one key shareholder of the company.
Next week on Monday quarterly results will be released by XPeng and Zoom Video Communications and on Tuesday Best Buy and Agilent Technologies release their respective numbers.
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