Commodities stole the show overnight led by WTI which soared to a three year on the DOE report while industrial metals catapulted higher on the likelihood that an extension of Russian sanctions will hit like a sledgehammer at the heart of the nation’s mining complex. But not to be outdone, Gold shot up in glittering fashion on haven demand while catching a fillip from the underlying move in commodity prices. Earnings will remain the key this week so even with the energy sector surging; investors are still looking for specific evidence of strong corporate performance.
In currency markets, the U.S. dollar remained range bound with its index a fraction firmer. The euro hovered at $1.2384, within striking distance of the week’s top of $1.2413. The Australian dollar took a brief knock after jobs data proved unexpectedly soft in March, with employment rising by a meagre 4,900. The Sterling Bulls got summarily smacked on the disappointing CPI miss overnight. But with trader positions, much more balanced and CPI considered an infamously lagging indicator, Sterling at this critical support level would likely attract some buying interest. The UK economic activity does warrant a rate hike in May, and despite the market getting spooked, we could see calmer head prevail over the near term and another push higher. Data out on New Zealand on Thursday showed annual inflation there had slowed to just 1.1 percent in the first quarter, underlining expectations that interest rates would remain at record lows for many more months to come.