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.

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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 – 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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Dollar index edges higher ahead of FOMC statement-SapForex24

The dollar edged higher against the other major currencies on Wednesday, as investors were awaiting the Federal Reserve’s policy decision due later in the day.

Investors were hoping that the Fed’s rate statement, due later Wednesday, will reveal more about policy plans for the second half of the year, with markets paying close attention to details of when and how the Fed will start reducing its $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

Doubts over the Feds plans for a third rate hike this year have recently weighed on the greenback.

Investors also remained focused on the investigation into alleged links between U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration and Russia in last year’s election.

On Monday, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, told Senate investigators he had met with Russian officials four times last year but said he did not collude with Moscow.

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Investors fear the persistent political turmoil will derail the Trump administration’s pro-growth economic agenda of tax cuts and infrastructure spending, which helped propel the dollar to 14-year peaks after the November election.

EUR/USD slipped 0.19% to 1.1624, the lowest since July 20.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD edged down 0.10% to 1.3014 even qs the U.K. Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product rose by 0.3% in the three months to June, from 0.2% growth in the first three months of the year. Economists had forecast growth of 0.3%.

On a year-over-year basis the economy expanded by 1.7% from 2.0% in the first quarter, also in line with forecasts.

USD/JPY was little changed at 111.87, while USD/CHF rose 0.28% to trade at 0.9552.

The Australian dollar was weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.45% at 0.7900, while NZD/USD held steady at 0.7423.

Earlier Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said its consumer price index rose 0.2% in the second quarter, disappointing expectations for an increase of 0.4%.

Year-on-year, consumer prices increased by 1.9%, compared to expectations for a 2.2% climb.

At the same time. Statistics New Zealand said the trade surplus grew to NZ$242 million last month from a revised surplus of NZ$74 million in May. Analysts had expected the trade surplus to hit NZ$100 million in June.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD was almost unchanged at 1.2513, just off the previous session’s 14-month low of 1.2481.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.15% at 94.06, pulling away from Tuesday’s 13-month low of 93.46.

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Forex – Sterling sheds day’s gains as UK inflation slows-SapForex24

The pound fell to the day’s lows on Tuesday, shedding early gains after data showing that the annual rate of inflation in Britain fell for the first time since October last month.

GBP/USD was down 0.25% to 1.3024 , off an earlier high of 1.3125.

The Office for National Statistics said consumer prices rose 2.6% in June, down from an almost four-year high of 2.9% in May.

Economists had expected the inflation rate to remain unchanged.
It was the largest decline in inflation since February 2015, easing pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates.

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Inflation has accelerated sharply since last year’s Brexit vote as the steep fall in sterling pushed up import prices, leading to fears over a squeeze on living standards with wages lagging rising prices.

The BoE is to hold its next policy meeting on August 3. At the bank’s June meeting three policymakers voted in favor of hiking rates, although one of those officials has since left.

Sterling was at the day’s lows against the euro, with EUR/USD advancing 0.66% to 0.8850.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar was at 10-month lows against a basket of the other major currencies, after an attempt to pass healthcare reform collapsed and investors remained doubtful over the Federal Reserve’s rate hike plans.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.33% to 94.61.
The index touched an overnight low of 94.50, the lowest trough since September 9, 2016.

A second attempt by Republicans to replace Obamacare collapsed late Monday, delivering a major policy blow to the Trump administration.

Around half of the cuts in health-care spending were earmarked to finance proposed tax cuts. The failure to deliver healthcare reform added to disappointment over the progress of President Donald Trump’s economic agenda.

The dollar was already on the defensive after Friday’s weak U.S. inflation and retail sales data added to doubts that the Fed will be able to raise interest rates again this year.

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Oil rises above $48 as API reports drop in U.S. fuel stocks | SapForex24

Oil rose above $48 a barrel on Wednesday in response to a fall in U.S. fuel inventories and a cut in the U.S. government’s forecast for crude output next year which raised hopes that a supply glut is easing.

U.S. crude inventories fell by 8.1 million barrels, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday, much more than the forecast.
Official inventory data from the Energy Information Administration is due at 1430 GMT.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was up 86 cents, at $48.38 a barrel by 0824 GMT. U.S. crude gained 93 cents to $45.97.

“While further upside could be expected in the short term amid the speculations of a cut in U.S production, gains may be limited by the firm oversupply dynamics of the markets,” FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga said.

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The U.S. crude stocks drop will raise hopes that a long-awaited market rebalancing is under way. A supply glut has stuck around for three years, despite an OPEC-led output cut in 2017, keeping oil at less than half its price of mid-2014.

Also supporting prices, the EIA said on Tuesday it expected U.S. crude oil production to rise by less than previously forecast next year due to a lower price outlook.

The lower 2018 forecast of 9.9 million barrels per day will ease concerns that the OPEC-led supply cut will lead to a flood of competing U.S. shale supplies, swamping the OPEC effort.

Still, output of 9.9 million bpd would be a record for U.S. production.
The supply cut led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has lent prices some support, but in recent weeks rising output from Libya and Nigeria – OPEC members exempt from the deal – has pushed supply higher.

OPEC production has risen in June by more than 300,000 barrels per day, (bpd) according to figures seen by Reuters that the exporter group uses to monitor its supply, as more oil from the exempt countries countered high compliance by many others.

Top exporter Saudi Arabia plans to export less. A Saudi industry source said on Wednesday Riyadh planned to cut shipments in August by more than 600,000 bpd, taking exports for that month to their lowest level this year, to balance a seasonal rise in domestic use.

The latest OPEC monthly report, containing June production figures, is scheduled to be published later on Wednesday.

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Forex – Dollar at 2-month highs vs. yen after U.S. jobs report-SapForex24

The dollar was trading at two-month highs against the yen on Monday after a stronger-than-forecast U.S. jobs report indicated that the Federal Reserve would stick to plans for a third rate hike this year.

The U.S. economy added 222,000 jobs last month the Labor Department reported on Friday, more than the 179,000 new jobs expected by economists.

The rapid pace of jobs growth reassured investors that the economy is on a strong enough footing to justify the Fed’s plans to raise interest rates once more this year.

The Fed hiked rates at its June meeting and stuck to its forecast for one more rate hike this year, but concerns over subdued inflation outlook had raised doubts over whether officials would be able to stick to their planned tightening path.

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In Japan, data on Monday showed that core machinery orders unexpectedly fell for the first time in eight months in May, raising doubts that the economic recovery is losing momentum.

Meanwhile, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda in a speech overnight reiterated that the bank is resolved to keep its stimulus program in place until inflation is in line with its 2% target.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 95.77.

The euro was little changed against the dollar, with EUR/USD at 1.1403.
The single currency rose to 17-month highs against the yen, with EUR/JPY climbing 0.31% at 130.29.

Sterling was steady against the dollar, with GBP/USD at 1.2897, not far from Friday’s low of 1.2866.

Elsewhere, the Canadian dollar eased, but remained within striking distance of Friday’s 10-month highs, with USD/CAD at 1.2890.

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