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The dollar traded overall weaker against other major and emerging market currencies. While for example the USD/MXN pair traded over the past day relatively unchanged, the USD/RUB pair again crossed below 72.0, falling by 0.86% on Thursday, while the USD/ZAR pair touched on a new two-weeks low.
The USD/TRY pair however continues to move gradually higher reaching new all-time records throughout this week. The lira was said to have been once again impacted by the actions of the Turkish president who once again made the decision to replace multiple central bank policymakers – this time three people were dismissed, two of whom were likely to oppose lower interest rates. With inflation still being a key concern and the September figures showing still significant monthly and annualised inflation at 1.25% and 19.58% respectively any sensible policy would unlikely include significant rate cuts from the current rate of 18%, if no significantly negative real rates are sought by the decision makers.
While gold prices finally touched on the $1,800-mark for the first time in four weeks, compared to the significant move up on Wednesday, prices for gold and silver remained close to unchanged. Among precious metals platinum (+3.58%) prices rose significantly for the second day in a row and broke out once again out of the range seen over the past week.
On Friday U.S. data on retail sales can be expected as well as business inventory numbers for August and import and export price levels for September. Also on Friday the Empire State General Business Conditions survey and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey will be released.
After stabilising around the 1.16-mark on Thursday the EUR/USD pair was once again trading higher by Friday morning bringing it on track to close the week in the green for the first time in six weeks. The development comes as the dollar continues to trade overall lower against other major currencies as seen in the performance of the USDX, while the euro was trading at the same time also weaker against many other majors over the past days including in pairs like the EUR/CAD, EUR/AUD and EUR/GBP, while given the weakness of the yen the EUR/JPY pair was up by more than two per cent on a weekly basis.
The French consumer price index (CPI) was up slightly in September, reaching the level of 2.2% (annualised) up from 2.1% in the previous month. Also on Friday the CPI and trade balance of Italy will be published as well as the trade balance of the EU.
Bitcoin prices broke out higher over the course of Friday night, for the first time since April touching on to the $60k mark. Some altcoins like Ethereum also traded with a strong upside allowing for the total crypto market cap to around $2.55 trillion, which is not too far from the previous record somewhere above $2.6 trillion seen during the market peak in May.
Sentiment in the market turned positive after it was reported that the SEC would likely go ahead and allow for the first time the launch of a Bitcoin futures based ETF.
Weekly data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) confirmed the previous numbers from the American Petroleum Institute of a significant build in crude oil stockpiles, estimated at 6.1 million barrels over the past reporting week. At the same time a moderate two million barrel draw from gasoline stockpiles has been reported.
Oil prices were seemingly affected by this disclosure but the impact lasted only for a short while with prices for oil and gasoline at the end of the day once again closing higher with Brent crude and gasoline futures prices at a new local high, while WTI crude was trading by Friday morning close to the recent high from Monday. Natural gas prices meanwhile traded at the end of the day only marginally lower unable to hold on to the intraday gains where prices were at a one-week high.
On Friday the U.S. Baker Hughes Oil Rig Count statistic will be published.
Sentiment in the U.S. stock markets continued improving with especially the US Tech 100 index performing rather strong gaining more than 1.8% on Thursday. The strong performance also observed in other indices like the US 500 moved them on track to reach a new high for this month. With these positive developments among equity indices the Volatility Index VIX plummeted to the lowest level since August. One of the drivers for this could have been the reported jobless claims falling for the first time since the start of the pandemic below 300 thousand in a week.
One of the best-performing sectors on Thursday was the chip sector (US Semiconductors ETF +2.96%) with the relevant sector ETF breaking with the ongoing downtrend and closing at the highest level in more than a week. After the consolidation seen over the past days the US Energy ETF (+1.28%) managed to close also higher, trading not far from the all-time high from Monday.
Walgreen Boots (+7.15%) was one of the best-performing stocks that day with revenue and earnings clearly outpacing expected results for the quarter. The company attributed its success among other factors also to it providing twice as many COVID vaccines compared to expectations and increased revenue from customers buying different products including COVID tests for home application, vitamin and other OTC products.
For Friday quarterly results from Goldman Sachs and Prologis can be expected. Then on Tuesday next week Halliburton, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and others are publishing their results.
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