In forex today, markets have ground to a near-halt heading into the New Year’s shutdown to round out the holidays, and although the latter half of this week could see an influx of fresh volumes into the broader markets, the forex marketspace remains tepid as investors take a step back and reassess their bets heading into 2019.
Major pairs remain firmly planted within recent ranges as Monday’s action sees major pairs hobbled on thin volumes. EUR/USD remains trapped in last week’s range near 1.1430 and threatening to head lower to kick off 2019, while GBP/USD continues to splash around well below of 1.2700, a key technical level that has seen the Pound restrained since Brexit proceedings seized up in early December. USD/JPY remains trapped under 110.50 as dollar holds near last week’s low points, and a fresh round of capital to come later in the week could see a rebound for the pair, depending on how investors plan to grapple with US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s off-the-cuff approach to handling FOMC statements through 2019.
Oil prices climbed on Monday, mirroring gains in stock markets as broader markets head into the New Year’s shutdown. WTI has stabilized over the 45.00 handle, but the latter half of this week is primed for a fresh resurgence of swinging investor sentiment. While a gentle recovery is expected for prices in the first quarter 2019, the market might remain under pressure from swelling production in the United States, which has emerged as the world’s biggest crude producer this year. OPEC+ has promised to begin cutting production by over a million barrels per day beginning in January, with Russia announcing an excess production cutback, but barrel traders will be waiting to see if the production limits will be able to influence the wave of WTI pouring out of the US into global supplies.
Widely seen as a safe-haven asset, gold is often used by investors as a hedge against political and financial uncertainty. As a result, gold prices edged down on Monday as U.S. President Donald Trump sent positive signals to ease U.S.-China tensions, undermining the appeal of the safe-haven asset. Despite a small drop, gold prices hovered near a six-month high, closed to the $1,280 level, amid uncertainty over U.S.-China trade relations, concerns over an economic slowdown, and a partial government shutdown in the U.S.