0745hrs UK EU ECB’s Villeroy and Cleveland Fed’s Loretta Mester speak in Paris
0930hrs UK EU Bank of Portugal Governor Carlos Costa speaks in Lisbon
1100hrs UK EU ECB’s Yves Mersch speaks in Bodrum, Turkey
1115hrs UK EU ECB executive board member Sabine Lautenschlager speaks in Copenhagen
1245hrs UK EU ECB executive board member Peter Praet speaks in London
1440hrs UK US St Louis Fed President James Bullard speaks at a crypto conference in New York
1600hrs UK EU ECB’s Lautenschlager speaks in Copenhagen
1715hrs UK EU ECB’s Praet speaks in London
1845hrs UK EU ECB’s Benoit Coeure speaks in Geneva
No earnings from front line US companies today
In the UK, Lonmin, Victrex & Diploma release half year earnings statements while Dignity & Centrica release Q1 trading statements
STOCKS: The S&P500 rose on Friday helped by healthcare stocks after President Trump blasted high drugs prices but avoided taking aggressive measures to cut them. Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer rose over 1% while Merck jumped nearly 3% after Trump said in a speech that foreign governments extort unreasonably low prices from US drug makers. The S&P healthcare sector ended 1.47% higher whilst the Nasdaq Biotech index ended 2.68% higher. Tech stocks slipped as Apple eased after a 9 day winning streak saw the iPhone maker knocking on the door of a $1trln market cap. Also weighing on techs was Nvidia which dropped 2.15% on concerns the short term demand for graphics chips from crypto miners could undermine (no pun intended!) their core gaming business. The S&P500 ended the week at 2727.72, the Dow at 24831.17, and the Nasdaq100 at 6952.563
Asia-Pacific stocks started off the week on the front foot with gains seen across the board. The Hang Seng led the charge, up over 1.5% mid morning before easing a touch to add to the 5-day winning streak seen last week. IT and real estate contributed the bulk of the gains while utilities represented the only down sector on the day. The mainland`s Shanghai Composite didn’t fare quite so well, posting gains of 0.64% before seeing most of the gains eroded, currently just 5 points up on the day The Nikkei traded mixed in early trade, before embarking on a steady climb through the day to close just off the highs, 107.38 points higher although this masked a 2.6% rally in the real estate sector and a 2.2% gain for consumer staples. Australia`s ASX 200 gained another 0.27% by mid morning before bouncing along close to the highs for the rest of the session, continuing its rip higher from the beginning of April which has seen the index rise 7% to test its January highs. Gains were broad-based but led by energy and materials, although telcos shed 3.2% on the day. US index futures also chalked up sizeable gains with the e-mini S&P adding 8 points and the mini-Dow adding 100 points.
FOREX: Forex markets have been calm in Asian trading amid light news flow, with the DXY is holding its Friday lows at 92.37, currently trading at 92.41, 0.14% weaker on the day. - The yen strengthened early on but has since given back gains and is roughly
flat on the day. - The AUD has been an outperformer on the day, albeit only rising 0.18% but continuing its rally against the kiwi which continues to trade within Friday's tight range, slightly hindered by the release of a weak services PMI. - Focus will likely shift to upcoming speeches by various Fed and ECB officials,
with dollar bulls looking for a resumption of more hawkish statements following Bullard`s dovish comments on Friday.
GOLD: Gold has risen slightly in Asian trading but remains shy of Friday's $1,324 highs after giving back some gains. The metal is currently trading at $1,320.1.
OIL: Friday`s weakness in oil prices followed through into the Asian session with WTI down 0.11% at $70.46 and Brent down 0.39% near session lows at $76.74. A relentless rise in US drilling activity pointed to increased output, while resistance emerged in Europe and Asia to US sanctions against Iran, both helping stem the recent rise.
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