With the impending election RAKBANK today confirm that Sterling has fallen, the dollar remains at a 6.5 month low and the MSCI dropped slightly following Trump’s advice that he is not remaining in talks on climate change
Sterling retreated on Thursday on fears that Prime Minister Theresa May could lose control of parliament in Britain’s June 8 election, while conflicting signals on the health of China’s manufacturing sector kept most Asian stock markets in check. President Donald Trump said he would announce today his decision whether to keep the United States in a global pact to fight climate change, as a source close to the matter said he was preparing to pull out of the Paris accord. A powerful bomb hidden in a sewage tanker exploded in the morning rush hour in the centre of Kabul on Wednesday, killing at least 80 people, wounding hundreds more and damaging embassy buildings in the Afghan capital’s unofficial “Green Zone”.
The dollar languished near a recent 6-1/2 month low against a basket of major currencies on Thursday. The euro eased 0.1% to $1.1236 On Wednesday, the euro had risen 0.5%, bringing it back near last week’s 6-1/2 month high of $1.1268. The dollar index, which measures the greenback’s value against a basket of six major currencies, last traded at 97.035, not very far from its May 22 trough of 96.797, which was the lowest since Nov. 9. In May, the dollar index fell 2.1%, its biggest monthly drop since January. The dollar edged up 0.1% against the yen to 110.95. The Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday as a drop in oil prices offset data showing strength in the domestic economy. The rand weakened 0.4% to 13.1875 per dollar, sliding back from a brief run to a session best 13.06 as a third consecutive trade surplus, albeit smaller than expected, failed to lift the cloud of political uncertainty.
Long-dated U.S. Treasury yields touched their lowest in more than five weeks and benchmark yields their lowest in nearly two weeks on month-end buying and U.S. housing data that fanned doubts that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates again in 2017 beyond June. U.S. 30-year yields touched 2.856%, their lowest since April 20, and benchmark 10-year yields touched their lowest in 13 days at 2.196%Yields on Treasuries maturing between three and seven years also touched their lowest in 13 days, with three-year yields hitting 1.427%. U.S. two-year yields hit their lowest in eight days at 1.278%. Short-dated yields are considered more susceptible to Fed rate hikes.
Gold held steady on Thursday after hitting a five-week high in the previous session on geopolitical tensions, but expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will hike interest rates next month weighed on prices. Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,267.32 per ounce. On Wednesday, it touched a session high of $1,273.74 an ounce, its strongest since April 25. U.S. gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,266.50. Oil futures rose on
Thursday after slumping to a three-week low in the previous session, buoyed by a report from an industry body that showed U.S. crude stockpiles had fallen more than expected. Brent crude futures for July were up 40 cents at $51.16 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 38 cents at $48.71 a barrel.
MSCI‘s global equity index, which tracks 45 stock markets, dipped 0.1%, paring its month-to-date gain to 1.8%. The index booked seven months of increases, which would be its longest monthly winning streak in over a decade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 22.39 points, or 0.11%, at 21,007.08, the S&P 500 finished 1.12 points, or 0.05%, lower at 2,411.79 and the Nasdaq Composite closed down 4.67 points, or 0.08%, at 6,198.52. Europe’s broad FTSEurofirst 300 index ended 0.1% lower, at 1,532.14. It gained 0.8% in May. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat after four sessions of losses as investors took profits after stocks hit a two-year high last week and as economic and geopolitical concerns continued to weigh on sentiment. Chinese shares fell as much as 0.4% after a private survey showed the country’s manufacturing activity contracted in May for the first time in 11 months, contrasting with official data on Wednesday which suggested growth remained steady. Japan’s Nikkei advanced 1% after data showed recurring first-quarter corporate profits were the highest on record for the January to March period.
A sharp drop in property developer Ezdan Holding rippled across Qatar’s stock market on Wednesday while profit-taking in blue chips dragged Abu Dhabi lower, although Dana Gas jumped on hopes for payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government. The Dubai index was almost flat as 12 shares gained ground and 19 declined. Small and mid-sized companies generally outperformed again, with Islamic Arab Insurance jumping 6.0%. In Egypt, constituents of the MSCI emerging market index buoyed the local blue chip index, which climbed 0.8%. Commercial International Bank advanced 3.9% and Global Telecom Holding rose 1.4%.