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Dollar firms while oil remains under pressure

11th July | Dubai

Written by Lukman Otunuga, Research Analyst at FXTM

It appears that equity markets have taken inspiration from the performance on Wall Street at the conclusion of last week, with Asian stocks trading broadly higher and European shares looking positive at the time of writing. The “Goldilocks” US jobs report seems to have acted as a catalyst to help risk sentiment, with the mixed nature of the June jobs report providing a platform of a support for the USD, while exciting equity bulls as strong job growth is a characteristic of a healthy economy, with the tepid wage growths suggesting a slower pace of monetary changes from the Federal Reserve.


With both the Asian and European markets marching into the new trading week on solid footing and investors appearing optimistic over the current outlook for the global economy, Wall Street could be in line to trade higher this afternoon.


OPEC turns to Nigeria and Libya


It’s quite remarkable how the supply cut exemptions from some OPEC members have come back to punish the cartel, as production in June climbed to the highest level so far in 2017. With the increasing output from Nigeria and Libya threatening to disrupt the efforts made by the rest of the group to rebalance the markets and not being something that was priced in, the price of oil could remain under pressure. There are reports circulating over the possibility that OPEC will request both Nigeria and Libya to cut production and while these might read as desperate, increased production from both nations was likely not factored into consideration when OPEC agreed to extend its production cut. With the oversupply dynamics still weighing heavily on the mind of investors, the price of oil remains under pressure as oversupply remains the name of the game when it comes to price fluctuations.


Dollar regains its footing


The Greenback stood tall during Monday’s trading session as investors digested June’s mixed employment report. While the impressive NFP headline number of 222k boosted sentiment towards the US economy and supported expectations of the Federal Reserve raising rates, the tepid wage growth fanned concerns over inflation lagging for prolonged periods. Although June’s “Goldilocks” report may inspire Dollar bullish investors, the upside could still face headwinds as the lower inflation levels suggest a slower pace of monetary changes from the Federal Reserve. With the economic calendar fairly light today, price action may dictate where the Dollar Index trades with bulls eyeing 96.40.


Investors will be paying very close attention to Janet Yellen’s testimony on Wednesday and Thursday for clues on when the central bank plans to unwind its balance sheet and raise US interest rates in the second half of 2017. It will be interesting to hear Yellen’s thoughts on the latest jobs and inflation data and if she maintains her hawkish tone.


Commodity spotlight – Gold


Gold was under renewed selling pressure on Monday as the combination of Dollar strength and rising prospects of tighter global monetary policies punished the zero-yielding metal. With June’s mixed jobs report supporting expectations of the Federal Reserve taking action this year, bears seem to be back. It will be interesting to see how prices react to the $1200 support and if buyers use this opportunity to propel the metal higher. From a technical standpoint, the yellow metal is coming under increasing selling pressure on the daily charts. The breakdown below $1214 may encourage a further decline towards $1200.


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