Most Asian stocks declined on Thursday as concern simmered about an escalation of trade tensions between the U.S. and China. The dollar strengthened as Treasury yields ticked higher. Japan’s Nikkei share average rose on Thursday morning as investor jitters over trade issues that hit markets early this week appeared to recede, while technology stocks rallied on the Nasdaq strong performance overnight. Worries about fresh volatility stemming from developments on trade linger after a tumultuous start to the week triggered by a ratcheting up of skirmishes by U.S. President Donald Trump with China.
President Donald Trump is planning to meet with Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, during Trump’s visit to Europe next month. Two possibilities for the meeting are either before the NATO summit in Brussels on July 11 or after Trump’s visit to Britain on July 13.
In currencies, the GBPUSD has been in an established downtrend since peaking near 1.4400 back in mid-April. After a brief countertrend bounce off 1.3200, rates have rolled over once again to hit a fresh 7-month low below that level ahead of today’s BOE meeting. If Carney and company strike a more hawkish tone, GBP/USD could see a relief rally back toward 1.3300 or even 1.3400.
In Commodities, Gold prices fell on a stronger dollar on Thursday, hovering close to a six-month low as the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair confirmed an outlook for higher interest rates in the United States.
Oil prices eased a touch as nerves grew ahead of Friday’s meeting between OPEC and other big producers, including Russia. Saudi Arabia is trying to convince fellow OPEC members of the need to raise oil output, according to sources familiar with the talks. Iran on Thursday signalled it could be won over to a small rise in output, potentially paving the way for a deal.
For today important economic releases include SNB Monetary Policy Assessment, SNB Press Conference, and affecting as priority the GBP the MPC Official Bank Rate Votes, Monetary Policy Summary, Official Bank Rate and the anticipated BOE Governor Carney Speech.