SHANGHAI, Jan 4 (SMM) — This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.
The dollar was ending 2020 in a downward spiral on Thursday with investors wagering a global economic recovery will suck money into riskier assets even as the yawning U.S. twin deficits argue for an ever cheaper currency.
The euro steamed ahead to $1.2281, having hit its highest since April 2018 with a gain of almost 10% for the year. The next stops for the bull train are $1.2413 and $1.2476, on the way to the 2018 peak at $1.2555.
The dollar also dropped to 103.07 yen, but stopped just short of the December low at 102.86. Trade was thin in Asia with Japan and South Korea on holiday.
Sterling jumped as lawmakers approved a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union. The pound stretched as far as $1.3647, levels not seen since May 2018.
On Wall Street, US stock futures opened along the flatline on Sunday night ahead of the first session of 2021 following a volatile year of trading.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down just 37 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped marginally.
Both the Dow and S&P 500 closed at record highs on Thursday, the final trading day of 2020, to wrap up a year of surprisingly strong gains.
The 30-stock Dow ended last year with an advance of 7.3%, and the S&P 500 rose 16.3% in that time. At one point in 2020, the two market benchmarks were down more than 30% as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the global economy.
Global crude prices advanced on Thursday, but lost more than a fifth of their value in volatile trade in 2020, as lockdowns to combat the novel coronavirus depressed economic activity and slammed fuel demand.
Still, Brent and U.S. crude benchmarks have more than doubled from April’s decade lows. The start of coronavirus vaccinations bolstered demand in the fourth quarter, and prices recovered to the highest in about 10 months.
On the last trading day of 2020, Brent fell 49 cents, or 1%, to $51.14 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude settled 12 cents, or 0.25%, higher at $48.52 per barrel. Brent was on track to fall 22.5% for the year, with WTI due to drop 21.4%.
Prices for 2020 bottomed in April as fuel demand collapsed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a price war between oil giants Saudi Arabia and Russia. WTI plummeted to a record low negative-$40.32 per barrel, while Brent fell to $15.98 barrel, the lowest since 1999.
Gold prices were little changed in holiday-thinned trade on Thursday, but the yellow metal was en route to register its best annual performance in a decade.
Spot gold was almost flat at $1,893.84 per ounce, but was up more than 24% for the year, its best since 2010. U.S. gold futures were up 0.3% to $1,898.70.
“With reduced market participants activity on the last day of the year, I expect gold to move in a narrow range. Some modest support is coming from a slightly weaker U.S. dollar and modestly lower U.S. real rates,” said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo.
“We look for a move towards $1,950 in the first quarter of 2021, with the expansionary monetary and fiscal policy pushing inflation expectations up and with U.S. real rates falling further.”
The dollar index fell to a more than two-year trough, making gold cheaper for other currency holders.
Key economic data slated for release today include final value of Germany Manufacturing PMI for December, final value of Euro Zone Manufacturing PMI for December, final value of US Markit Manufacturing PMI for December and monthly rate of US Construction Spending for November