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(Wallace Refiners) – Heading into the EU open gold (0.09%) and silver (-0.70%) are pretty mixed. There were no such problems in the indices as the Nikkei 225 (1.60%), ASX (1.59%) and Shanghai Composite (0.71%) all closed higher. In the FX space, there was a small recovery in the dollar as GBP/USD moved 0.24% lower and USD/JPY pushed 0.32% higher.
The main story after the EU close yesterday came from the US. There was a massive protest in Washington DC and the participants manage to storm Capitol Hill and enter the Senate building. There was an armed standoff and one protester was shot and reports have suggested she may have died in hospital overnight. At the time US equities took a dive and gold did push higher but not enough to pare the losses from earlier in the session.
Earlier in the session, the Democrats managed to gain control of the Senate by willing two elections in Georgia. This makes Joe Biden’s first 100 days much easier than both Obama and Trump’s when they first took charge as either party did not have control of both (their parties) the Senate and the House when they were elected.
Last nights FOMC minutes were not too interesting I am afraid as there was not much new information on any imminent changes to Fed policy. The minutes stated that some of the post-pandemic goals had been achieved and a gradual taper could begin at some stage. Having said that, some participants noted there could be some changes to policy in the future if needed including increasing the speed and duration of the asset purchases.
In the UK, there were some reports that the UK’s hospitals are at breaking point and could hit capacity in just 2 weeks. Sticking with COVID-19 headlines, the Australian PM said the COVID-19 vaccination program is set to begin in “mid to late February”.
Looking ahead to today’s session highlights include UK construction PMI, EU CPI, EU retail sales, ECB policy statement, US weekly initial jobless claims, US ISM non-manufacturing PMI, Canadain Ivey PMI and comments from Fed’s Evans, Bullard and Harker.
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