Tuesday, 16 January, 2018

ECB's Constancio Echoes Draghi In Being Persistent With Policy Efforts

BELGIUM-EU-ECB-ECONOMY Mario Draghi president of the European Central Bank spoke to students in Portugal
Kenny Thornton | 28 June, 2017, 21:46

Gold prices firmed on Wednesday on lower equities and a weaker USA dollar after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi hinted the ECB could trim its stimulus this year.

The yield on U.S. Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes last stood at 2.22 percent, well up from Monday's 2.14 percent levels.

Speaking to a conference in Portugal, ECB President Mario Draghi said the ECB could adjust its policy tools of sub-zero interest rates and massive bond purchases as economic prospects improve in Europe.

The day's gyrations show how focused investors have become on when central banks will withdraw the stimulus that has shaped markets for so many years.

Traders took the comments as a signal the European Central Bank was gearing up to wind down the programme as early as January, an outcome that officials said had yet to be discussed and will ultimately depend on inflation and other economic data in the coming months.

The currency is now trading with a 0.2 percent gain to 1.1360 after Tuesday's 10-month high of 1.4 percent to 1.1349 against the United States dollar. Yields move inversely to prices, which were depressed as investors moved money out of bonds.

In Asia overnight, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.4 percent as it pulled back from a two-year high hit on Monday. He cited European Central Bank research showing a broader measure of joblessness, including those who want to work more hours but can't, could be as high as 18 percent, nearly twice as high as the official rate. "The U.S. equity market also hovers at a high level, but its performance is spotty with high-tech shares falling", said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief forex strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

Utah wildfire grows to largest active fire in US
Authorities believe the fire was started over a week ago by someone using a weed torch in bone dry conditions. The blaze was burning in the southeastern area of Santa Clarita, a city of some 181,500 residents.

It was spooked after the U.S. Senate delayed voting on a healthcare reform bill, rekindling worries about the timeline of Donald Trump's business-friendly policies.

Oil prices rose about 1 percent but concerns remained that a three-year supply glut is far from over.

Copper rose 0.38 percent to $5,880.00 a tonne.

The dollar pushed lower to a fresh eight-month trough against the other major currencies in quiet trade on Wednesday, as a delay in a highly-anticipated US healthcare vote continued to weigh heavily on the greenback.

Stronger euro means weak inflation?

San Francisco Fed head John Williams said investors may be getting overly complacent about risks and that "the stock market seems to be running pretty much on fumes". It was at $1.1324 recently, down 0.1% on the day. The contract gained 86 cents, or 2 percent, to settle at $44.24 per barrel on Tuesday.

It went as high as US$0.7624 on Tuesday but once again failed to breach key chart resistance of US$0.7636. Brent, the global standard, was up 50 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $46.54 per barrel in London.

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