SHANGHAI, Jul 22 (SMM) — This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.
The safe-haven dollar on Wednesday pulled back from more than three-month highs as risk appetite made a comeback with stocks higher, although investors remained cautious amid inflation fears and concerns about the highly-contagious coronavirus variant.
Another safe haven, the Japanese yen, was also down against the dollar, as risk aversion eased.
The Delta variant of the coronavirus, which has caused a surge in infections worldwide, rose to the top of investor concerns along with inflation this week, prompting global stocks to drop sharply on Monday. European equity markets though picked up on Wednesday and Wall Street shares rose as well.
In afternoon New York trading, the dollar index, a measure of its value against six major currencies fell 0.2% to 92.755. On Tuesday, the index hit a more than three-month high.
Market participants though remained bullish on the dollar's outlook, at least over the next few months.
On Wall Street, US stock index futures were flat in overnight trading on Wednesday, after the major averages advanced during regular trading to turn positive for the week.
Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 27 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures were marginally higher.
During the session the Dow gained 286 points, or 0.83%, while the S&P climbed 0.82%. The Nasdaq Composite was the relative outperformer, rising 0.92%. Energy was the top-performing S&P group, advancing 3.5% as oil prices rebounded.
Wednesday's gains built on Tuesday's strong session, and the major averages have now erased the losses from Monday's sell-off. The Dow dropped more than 700 points to start the week as rising Covid cases worldwide hit sentiment. The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped to a five month low of 1.17% at the beginning of the week, which also caused investors to offload equities. On Wednesday the yield on the 10-year rose 8 basis points to 1.29%.
Oil prices rose more than 4% Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session as improved risk appetite provided support despite data showing an unexpected rise in US oil inventories.
Brent crude futures rose 4.15% to settle at $72.23 per barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 4.61% to settle at $70.30 per barrel.
Futures are rebounding after dropping around 7% on Monday, following a deal by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, together known as OPEC+, to boost supply by 400,000 barrels per day from August through December.
The sell-off was exacerbated by fears that a rise in cases of the Delta variant of the coronavirus in major markets like the United States, Britain and Japan would affect demand.
The price gains on Wednesday also come despite a rise in U.S. crude stockpiles for the first time since May. Crude inventories rose unexpectedly by 2.1 million barrels last week to 439.7 million barrels, US Energy Information Administration data showed. Analysts had expected a 4.5 million-barrel drop.
Gold dropped for a second straight session to its lowest in more than a week on Wednesday, as risk appetite resumed with equities and bond yields rebounding to curb safe-haven bullion bids.
Spot gold fell 0.4% to $1,803.41 per ounce by 12:27 p.m. ET, having hit a low since July 12 of $1,793.59. US gold futures dropped 0.4% to $1,804.60.
Surging Delta variant COVID-19 infections, which raised fears over a stalling global economic recovery, had weighed on risk sentiment and sparked an equities sell-off on Monday, but stocks and bond yields have since recovered, dimming safe-haven bullion’s appeal.
“There's a sigh of relief in equities and Treasuries and oil are back up again. These are signs of the reflation trade, which is not good for gold,” said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago.
But Streible said a reflationary environment with higher economic growth and rising inflation were positive for silver, platinum and palladium which also have industrial applications.
Key economic data slated for release today include the main refinancing rate of the European Central Bank in July in the Eurozone, the number of initial jobless claims in the US as of July 17, total annualized existing home sales in the US in June and Eurozone Consumer Confidence Index for July.