1330hrs UK US St Louis Fed President James Bullard speaks in Springfield Missouri
1330hrs UK CA Canadian Unemployment (est 18.94K / 5.8% vs previous 32.3K / 5.8%)
1330hrs UK US Import Price Index (est 0.56% vs previous 0.0%)
1400hrs UK CA Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins speaks in Toronto
1415hrs UK EU The ECB’s Mario Draghi speaks at the EU State of The Union Conference in Florence
1500hrs UK US University of Michigan Sentiment Index (est 98.27 vs previous 98.8)
No earnings from front line US companies today
STOCKS: Wall Street shares jumped yesterday and Apple edged ever closer to a $1trillion market value as lukewarm inflation data eased investor concerns of fast paced US interest rate hikes this year. Fuelled by a $100bln buy-back plan unveiled last week, Apple rose 1.43% to a record close of $190.04, providing a bigger boost to the S&P500 than any other name. The iPhone maker is now just 7% shy of becoming the first company to ever have a market cap of $1trln. The US Labor Dept consumer price index increased a less than expected 0.2% in April whilst the Core CPI (ex food & energy) went up by 0.1%, slower than the previous 2 months. This did little to stem expectations of a Fed rate hike in June, but eased concerns over a series of aggressive moves. Gains were broad based with 11 S&P sectors printing positive. The Dow added 196.99 to close at 24739.53 after earlier knocking on the door of 24800, the S&P500 ended 25.28 to the good at 2723.07, taking us back to levels not seen since early March, whilst the Nasdaq100 closed 70.333 higher at 6963.548
Asia-Pacific stocks have rounded off a largely positive week on the front foot as the USD's run higher abated to a degree. A strong open set the tone for the Nikkei 225 adding just under 1.0% in the morning session. Telecoms led the way higher, while the energy sector was the only major sector trading lower. The Hang Seng added over 1.5% as Hong Kong also saw a strong open, although the afternoon session has seen the gains eroding, as consumer discretionary names led the rally, while energy once again lagged. Chinese mainland shares were the overall laggard with the Shanghai Composite printing modest losses after hovering around the unchanged level for much of the day. The ASX 200 added 0.36% also seeing a strong open with the highs printing within the first hour, although the sector performance was a little more mixed and gains were steadily eroded as the day carried on, with the close just slightly in negative territory. US Index futures trading mixed, with the e-mini S&P 1.5 points lower, while the mini-Dow currently trading just 4 points higher.
US TSYS: US T-Note futures stuck to a tight 2+ tick range during the Asia-Pacific session, with a lack of fundamental news flow apparent, following on from Thursday's curve flattening. Focus continues to fall on US trade negotiations with China, the EU & its NAFTA counterparts, as well as the slightly softer than expected suite of US CPI data. - Thursday saw a strong 30-Year auction which stopped through screens, and promoted further curve flattening. The white & red Eurodollar contracts edged ever so slightly higher, last trading 1.0-1.5 ticks better off.
OIL: The major crude benchmarks edged a tad lower over night, but were broadly stable, WTI last trades at $71.30 down just 6 cents, while Brent trades 17c lower at $77.30.
GOLD: The yellow metal has stuck to a tight range, last trading $1320/oz.
FOREX: A bout of modest USD weakness ensued around the Tokyo fix, with JPY demand apparent, which pushed USDJPY to fresh session lows of 109.20, but has since unwound. - Elsewhere the NZD benefitted briefly benefitted from a stronger than expected NZ Manufacturing PMI release but eased after RBNZ Governor Orr noted that the move lower in NZD after Thursday's MPS is in his view "a good thing." - The majors are largely unchanged at the greenback as we head into European hours.
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