EU MID-SESSION UPDATE: European equities trade steady with focus on German politics and any potential enhancement to the UK’s Brexit divorce bill
European bourses have traded with little in the way of firm direction thus far (Eurostoxx 50 -0.1%) with prices unable to follow on from their Asia-Pac counterparts overnight. Risks continue to linger across the continent with the possibility of German elections looking increasingly more likely with German Chancellor Merkel suggesting that this might be the best course of action for Germany. However, such an outcome of further elections is very much an unknown. In terms of sector specific moves, Energy names have shown some modest outperformance alongside the recent uptick in energy prices with all other sectors trading broadly in-line with the market. In terms of stock specific moves, easyJet (+5%) tops the FTSE 100 after a stellar earnings report.
In FX markets, price action has been relatively contained thus far. The USD index is firmer around the 94.000 handle in thin holiday-impacted trade, with the USD gaining ground vs most major counterparts on a generally more risk-on mood. EUR has been resilient in the face of Germany’s struggles to form a new Government and the threat of another election. EUR/USD continues to find support ahead of stops around 1.1720 and bids at 1.1700, with reported fixing demand in Asia propping the pair, but the 100 DMA around 1.1745-50 capping recovery gains. Elsewhere, AUD has rebounded from overnight lows post-RBA minutes, as Governor Lowe underlined that the next move in rates will be up, although the lead time to any tightening remains lengthy. Meanwhile, GBP was unreactive to the latest public borrowing data as markets look to see whether or not PM May will get the green-light for an enhanced divorce bill offer to the EU.
Bunds are taking another look at 163.00+ levels having faded rallies above the big figure on several occasions recently. The bullish fundamentals and flow/positioning motives are well known and documented, but chart-wise market contacts note that support around 162.86 (rising trendline and Monday’s late Eurex base) held on the downside, prompting some intraday buying for a bounce to 163.06 resistance initially and then 163.16 (yesterday’s session peak) vs a high so far at 163.15. Beyond that, 163.22 needs to be breached to expose 163.40 and this month’s 163.63 peak. However, another retreat and failure to retain grasp of the 163.00 handle will bring 162.82 back into play as support (Monday’s actual intraday low), and on a break those short term longs not booking profit at 163.06 are expected to bail. Turning to Gilts, more upside also seen and a return to the 125-plus zone, at 125.29 for a 33 tick gain on the day vs 12 tick loss at one stage, before easing back slightly on larger than forecast UK PSNB shortfalls.
In the commodities complex, WTI and Brent crude futures have continued to climb through the European session with energy related newsflow on the light-side as prices retrace some of the declines seen in the early stages of yesterday’s session. Energy markets are looking ahead to next week’s OPEC meeting, however, markets are firmly expecting an extension to existing production cuts in lieu of recent rhetoric from the cartel. In metals markets, gold only managed to nurse some of yesterday’s losses overnight as a broad positive risk tone kept safe-haven demand subdued. Copper maintained most of the prior session’s gains with prices supported by the risk appetite and amid gains in Chinese steel and iron ore prices on optimism for increased demand following the winter season.
21 Nov 2017 - 09:47- Important- Source: RANsquawk
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