So what do the markets say about all that is happening in the world? RAKBANK explain all…
The dollar traded near a one-month high against a basket of currencies on Thursday, underpinned by hopes that U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration may be making progress on fiscal reforms. The dollar’s index against a basket of six major currencies last traded at 93.414. The dollar index reached a high of 93.607 on Wednesday, its strongest level since Aug. 23 and has gained about 1.3% so far this week. The euro held steady at $1.1748, having fallen to as low as $1.1717 on Wednesday, its lowest level in more than a month. The New Zealand dollar last stood at $0.7228. It slipped briefly to levels below $0.7200 after the central bank statement but later regained its footing. Sterling touched a 10-week high against the euro on Wednesday, lifted by data showing British retail sales growth hit a two-year peak during the first part of this month, which bolstered bets on a Bank of England rate hike in November.
U.S. Treasury yields rose to months- and years-long highs on Wednesday after a better-than-expected reading on U.S. durable goods orders that suggested inflation may be picking up and the Federal Reserve may be taking a stronger path of rate increases than currently priced into the market. Yields on the 2-year note, the most sensitive to expectations of rate increases by the Fed, rose to 1.483%, the highest since November 2008. The yield on 30-year bonds rose to 2.87%, the highest since Aug. 15, and the largest one-day yield rise since March 1.
Gold rose on Thursday after falling to one-month lows on expectations of a rise in U.S. interest rates this year, while platinum fell to a discount against palladium for the first time since 2001 on waning demand for diesel cars. Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,284.36 per ounce after it revisited the previous session’s low of $1,280.72 an ounce, the lowest since Aug. 25 U.S. gold futures for December delivery fell 0.1% to $1,287.00 per ounce. Palladium hit price parity with its better-known sister metal platinum on Wednesday for the first time since 2001, as demand expectations for the two assets diverge.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 56.39 points, or 0.25%, to 22,340.71, the S&P 500 gained 10.2 points, or 0.41%, to 2,507.04 and the Nasdaq Composite added 73.10 points, or 1.15%, to 6,453.26. Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.3%, taking cues from gains on Wall Street. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.40% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.17%. European banks rose 2% and hit their highest in seven weeks. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan 0.4% to one-month lows.
Shares of car insurance and rental companies rallied on the Saudi Arabian stock market on Wednesday after news that women would be allowed to drive, although the broader market was flat. The main Saudi stock index, however, edged down 0.1% as investors worried that index compiler FTSE might issue a negative decision when it determines whether to upgrade Riyadh to emerging market status at the end of this month. In Doha, the index dropped 1.7% as all but one of the 20 most valuable shares fell; concrete and cement maker Qatari Investors Group lost 6.0%. Dubai’s index was almost flat as 12 shares rose while 19 others declined. The Abu Dhabi index edged down 0.2%. Egypt’s index added 0.3% as 17 of the 30 large-caps rose. Local and Arab investors were net buyers, bourse data showed.