Forex – Sterling higher after UK jobs, wage data-SapForex24

The pound rose to the days highs against the dollar on Wednesday after the latest UK jobs report showed that the unemployment rate fell to its lowest since 1975 while wage growth ticked up.

GBP/USD touched a high of 1.2904 and was at 1.2892 by 05.31 a.m. ET (09.31 a.m. GMT).

The unemployment rate in the three months to June fell to 4.4% the Office for National Statistics said, against forecasts for it to remain unchanged at 4.5%.

Average weekly earnings rose by 2.1% year on year in the three months to June, better than economists forecast for an increase of 1.8% and up from 1.9% in the three months to May.

Excluding bonuses, earnings also rose by 2.1%, slightly better than forecasts of 2.0%.
The report came a day after figures showing that the annual rate of inflation in the UK unexpectedly held steady at 2.6% in July.

With inflation continuing to outstrip wage growth households are facing a squeeze on living standards.

The steep drop in sterling since last year’s Brexit vote has made imports more expensive.
In its latest assessment of the economy released last week, the Bank of England said it expected inflation to peak at 3% in October and cut its forecast for wage growth.

BoE Governor Mark Carney warned that “an element of Brexit uncertainty” was preventing firms from awarding bigger wage increases.

Elsewhere, sterling was higher against the euro, with EUR/GBP down 0.16% at 0.9102.

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Gold prices hold steady ahead of U.S. jobs data -SapForex24

Gold prices held steady on Friday, as investors awaited the release of highly-anticipated U.S. employment data due later in the day, although recent data and ongoing political tensions in the U.S. continued to weigh on the greenback
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery were down steady at $1,268.66, very close to Tuesday’s seven-week highs of $1.273,30.

The August contract ended Thursday’s session 0.13% higher at $1,266.40 an ounce.
Futures were likely to find support at $1,256.60, Thursday’s low and resistance at $1,273.30, Tuesday’s high.

The dollar remained under pressure after the Institute for Supply Management on Thursday said its index of non-manufacturing activity fell to 53.9 from 57.4 in June. Economists had forecast a reading of 57.0.

Forex and Comex Market News Today-SapForex24

A separate report showed that U.S. initial jobless claims decreased by 5,000 to 240,000 last week, compared to expectations for a 3,000 fall to 242,000.

Investors were now looking ahead to the nonfarm payrolls report for July, due later Friday, to gauge whether the U.S. economy is strong enough for the Fed to stick to its planned tightening path.

The greenback has been under pressure recently amid worries over political turmoil in Washington and recent lackluster economic reports, which have raised doubts over whether the Federal Reserve will raise rates again this year.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.11% at 92.60, just off Wednesday’s 15-month low of 92.39.

Gold is sensitive to moves higher in both U.S. rates and the dollar. A weaker dollar makes gold less expensive for holders of foreign currency, while a rise in U.S. rates lifts the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver futures for September delivery gained 0.54% to $16.724 a troy ounce, while copper futures for September delivery advanced 0.42% to $2.890 a pound.

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Forex – Dollar hovers at 15-month lows vs. rivals, U.S. data on tap-SapForex24

The dollar continued to hover at 15-month lows against the other major currencies on Wednesday, as ongoing tensions in Washington and caution ahead of a highly-anticipated U.S. employment report weighed.

The dollar remained under pressure after the White House on Tuesday confirmed that U.S. President Donald Trump played a role in drafting a statement about his son’s meeting with a Russian lawyer during last year’s election campaign, which was later shown to be misleading.

The fresh revelations added to investors’ fears that the ongoing controversies embroiling the Trump administration will make it more difficult to make progress on the president’s economic agenda.

Recent lackluster U.S. economic reports, which have raised doubts over the future pace of policy tightening by the Federal Reserve, have also weighed on the greenback.

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Investors were looking ahead to the upcoming ADP jobs report due later in the day, as well as Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report for July for fresh indications on the possible direction of Fed policy.

EUR/USD gained 0.42% to 1.1850, just off a 32-month peak of 1.1868 hit overnight.
The single currency has been largely supported in recent weeks, after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signaled in June that it could soon start tapering its stimulus program.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD rose 0.23% to 1.3238, as investors began to prepare for the Bank of England’s monthly policy statement, due on Thursday.

Markets shrugged off a report by research group Markit on Wednesday saying that its U.K. construction purchasing managers’ index fell to 51.9 last month from June’s reading of 54.8.

Economists had expected the index to drop to only 54.5 in July.
USD/JPY advanced 0.38% to 110.778, while USD/CHF added 0.19% to trade at 0.9673.

The Australian dollar was steady, with AUD/USD at 0.7964, while NZD/USD dropped 0.567% to 0.7427.

Earlier Wednesday, Statistics New Zealand reported that the number of employed people fell by 0.2% in the second quarter, disappointing expectations for a 0.7% rise and after an increase of 1.2% in the three months to March.

However, the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.8% in the last quarter from 4.9% in the first quarter of 2017, in line with expectations.

In Australia, data showed that building approvals climbed 10.9% in June, blowing past expectations for a 1.5% rise.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD edged up 0.19% to trade at 1.2564, after hitting a five-week low of 1.2412 on Tuesday.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.16% at 92.77, just off the previous session’s 15-month low of 92.64.

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Forex – Euro slips to day’s lows after euro zone GDP data-SapForex24

The euro slid to the day’s lows against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday despite data showing that economic growth in the euro zone continued to expand in the second quarter.

EUR/USD was down 0.22% to 1.1811 by 05.11 a.m. ET (09.11 a.m. GMT), after touching a two-and-a-half year high of 1.1845 overnight.

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said gross domestic product in the euro area rose 0.6% quarter-on-quarter in the three months to July and by 2.1% year-on-year, up from 1.9% in the first quarter.

Economists had forecast growth of 0.6% in the quarter and 2.4% year-on-year.
The solid data did little to alter expectations that the European Central Bank will decide to begin scaling back its asset purchase program in the autumn.

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The data came a day after figures showing that headline inflation in the euro zone rose in line with forecasts in July, but underlying inflation rose to the highest in four years.

The annual rate of inflation rose by 1.3% in July, according to a preliminary reading from Eurostat.

Core inflation, which strips out volatile components and is seen as a more reliable gauge of inflationary pressures, rose to 1.2%. It was the highest reading since August 2013.

The euro was lower against sterling, with EUR/GBP down 0.32% to 0.8931.
The pound was boosted after data showing that UK factory growth rebounded in July on the back of a surge in new exports.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar was wallowing near 14-month lows against a currency basket after falling for a fifth consecutive month in July in what is its longest losing streak since 2011.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last at 92.78, after falling as low as 92.64 on Monday, the weakest since May 2016.

The index fell 2.88% in July, its fifth straight monthly decline and its largest monthly percentage decline since March 2016.

Deepening political turmoil in Washington and diminished expectations for a third rate hike by the Federal Reserve this year have pressured the dollar lower.

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Oil hits two-month high on tighter U.S. market, Venezuela sanctions risk-SapForex24

Oil prices hit a two-month high on Monday, lifted by a tightening U.S. crude market and the threat of sanctions against OPEC-member Venezuela.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures briefly jumped over $50 per barrel on Monday and were at $49.97 per barrel at 0654 GMT, still up 25 cents, or 0.5 percent from their last close. That means that virtually the entire WTI curve has moved over $50 per barrel.

Brent crude futures were at $52.85 per barrel, up 33 cents or 0.6 percent. Prices hit $52.90 per barrel earlier in the day, their highest since May 25.
The price rises put both crude benchmarks on track for a sixth consecutive session of gains.

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Prices have risen around 10 percent since the last meeting of leading members by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major producers, including Russia, when the group discussed potential measures to further tighten oil markets.

“U.S. inventories are showing massive drawdowns, Saudi Arabia seems intent on playing its role as the world’s swing producer (and) impending sanctions on Venezuela by the U.S. will almost certainly be oil price-supportive,” said Jeffrey Halley, analyst at futures brokerage OANDA.

The United States is considering imposing sanctions on Venezuela’s vital oil sector in response to Sunday’s election of a constitutional super-body that Washington has denounced as a “sham” vote.

But traders said the biggest price supporter was currently a tightening U.S. oil market.

“Strong increases in the price of oil … (were) fueled in large part by the substantial drawdowns in U.S. inventories over the past several weeks,” said William O’Loughlin, analyst at Rivkin Securities.

U.S. crude inventories have fallen by 10 percent from their March peaks to 483.4 million barrels.

In production, U.S. output dipped by 0.2 percent to 9.41 million barrels per day (bpd) in the week to July 21, after rising by more than 10 percent since mid-2016.

Drilling for new U.S. production is also slowing, with just 10 rigs added in July, the fewest since May 2016.

The tighter market was also visible in the price curve, which shows backwardation in the front end.

Backwardation is a market condition in which prices for immediate delivery of a product are higher than those later on.

Brent prices for delivery in September are currently around 35 cents above those for October.

Despite the signs of a tighter market in the United States, supplies in China remain plentiful.

China’s June crude inventories rose to the highest level since September 2016, marking the third month of gain, data from the official Xinhua News Agency showed.

Crude stocks rose 4 percent to 30.57 million tonnes (around 224 million barrels), while total oil products stockpiles inched up to 18.1 million tonnes.

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Gold prices stabilize amid profit-taking, U.S. data on tap-SapForex24

Gold prices held steady on Friday, as investors locked in profits from the precious metal’s rally to six-week highs on Thursday and as markets awaited the release of U.S. second-growth data due later in the day.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery were little changed at $1,259.28, off the previous session’s six-week high of 1,265.00.

The August contract ended Thursday’s session 0.85% higher at $1,260.00 an ounce.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,243.20, Wednesday’s low and resistance at $1,265.00, Thursday’s high.

                Forex News Today-SapForex24

The dollar remained under pressure after the Fed said on Wednesday that inflation remains below its 2% target even as near-term risks to the economic outlook appear “roughly balanced.” In the past, the Fed judged that weakness in inflation was transitory.

The central bank’s cautious tone on inflation sparked fresh uncertainty over the possibility of a third rate hike this year.

The Fed also said it expected to start shrinking its balance sheet “relatively soon”, prompting expectations for an announcement in September.

The greenback was also weakened by data on Thursday showing that initial jobless claims rose by 10,000 to 244,000 last week. Analysts expected jobless claims to rise by 7,000 to 241,000 last week.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.15% at 93.64, not far from Thursday’s 13-month low of 93.00.

Gold is sensitive to moves higher in both U.S. rates and the dollar. A weaker dollar makes gold less expensive for holders of foreign currency, while a rise in U.S. rates lifts the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver futures for September delivery slipped 0.23% to $16.533 a troy ounce, while copper futures for September delivery declined 0.54% to $2.862 a pound.

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