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Gold hits record, equities mixed
Gold hits record, equities mixed
Equities traded mixed in Asia as concerns regarding the mounting US – China tensions and pandemic worries kept stock investors on the sidelines while driving capital to safe haven assets.
Gains in Sydney (+0.26%) and Shanghai (+0.09%) were timid, as the Hang Seng (-0.09%) and Nikkei (-0.26%) edged lower. Mining and energy stocks led losses in Tokyo, even though the Bank of Japan (BoJ) summary of opinions pointed at a moderate pickup in economic activity from the second half of 2020.
Activity in FTSE (+0.20%) and DAX futures (+0.30%) hint at a positive start following losses on Friday, but the sentiment remains fragile with mounting discomfort after the UK imposed two-week quarantine for travelers from Spain. Tourism and summer activities will certainly remain a risk to be considered for European investors if mild measures, such as social distancing and the obligation to wear masks, do not prevent cases from rising. Investors fear renewed lockdowns, although any confinement measures in the close future are expected to be selective rather than a general halt in economic activity.
US futures point at a positive start on Monday as investors continue watching the second quarter earnings. Alphabet, Apple, Pfizer and McDonalds are among the big names due to release earnings this week.
Gold soared to $1944 an ounce, a record high, as capital continued pouring into the precious metal on the back of an uncertain appetite for risk and waning trust regarding the strength and the viability of gains in global equities. Low US yields remain supportive of a further attempt on the $2000 mark, even though the RSI index near 85% warns that the precious metal has been bought too fast in a too short period of time and a downside correction should be healthy at the current levels. There is a mounting risk of rapid profit taking and a sharp downside correction, provided the decent amount of long speculative positions in gold.
Oil remained little changed near $41 per barrel. The OPEC decision to start reversing the production cuts to 7.7 billion barrel per day starting from August weighs on investor sentiment and could send the price of a barrel below the $40 mark should the global risk appetite worsen.
In the FX, the US dollar fell to the lowest in a year. The Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting on Wednesday should bring no major changes to the actual monetary policy.
The EURUSD surged to 1.1725 on the back of a broadly softer US dollar. Solid expectation of European outperformance in post-Covid recovery, combined with the agreement on the 750-billion-euro historical fiscal aid package last week, fuels confidence in the single currency. The latest CFTC data confirmed investors increased their long speculative positions in euro last week. Given the overbought market conditions, the EURUSD could retrace a part of its recent gains, but price retreats could be interesting dip buying opportunities for the euro bulls betting on a further positive stretch in the single currency.
Cable surfed on the weak US dollar wave as well and extended gains to 1.2858. While the latest news gives little hope that the EU and Britain will reach a free-trade deal by the end of this year, investors seem willing to postpone their worries and to deal with no-deal Brexit risks after summer. The pound is set to extend gains toward the 1.30 mark against the greenback, but solid resistance will likely come in play near this level.