The US and the UK share markets were closed on Monday due to the public holidays. Overall, major equity indices ended in positive territory as investors assessed the reopening of economies and the backdrop of the brewing tensions between Beijing and Washington.
European bourses finished the day with gains above 2%. After a mixed start, stocks in the Asian and Pacific markets also ended in the green. The Hang Seng index pared losses linked with the controversial security law and the protests in Hong Kong to edge marginally higher by 0.1%.
In the Australian share market, the ASX200 started the week on a strong note and snapped two consecutive days of losses to advance by 118 points or 2.2% to 5,616 points. Travel stocks rallied following rising expectations of further assistance from the government for the tourism industry. After the Treasury announced the $60 billion accounting error, the government now has more funds to put in use and might be able to help those sectors in greatest need.
In the FX space, it was a relatively subdued day given the public holidays. Major currencies were stronger against the US dollar in the European and US session despite the escalating geopolitical risks.
Amid a lack of economic drivers and tensions with China, the Antipodeans held ground and are consolidating in a tight range. The downside risks for the Antipodeans have eased with the relaxing of lockdown measures and a slightly upbeat tone towards economic recovery. However, the tensions between the US and China are capping gains. Market participants were also unfazed about the earthquake of a magnitude of 5.6 in New Zealand.
As of writing, both the AUDUSD and NZDUSD pairs remained in familiar levels at 0.65 and 0.60 respectively.
On the economic front, Germany’s GDP and IFO surveys were among the main economic data. Better-than-expected IFO surveys helped the EURUSD pair to hover around the 1.0900 level. The Franco-German emergency aid proposal and Europe’s frugal four counter-proposal are likely to keep a lid on gains.
Demand and supply fundamentals are improving which is helping the oil market to recover from the coronavirus plunge. A combination of production cuts, buoyant inventory reports and prospects of increasing oil demand continues to provide some support to crude oil prices.
However, geopolitical risks are weighing on the oil market. Crude oil prices seesawed, unable to find a firm upside direction. As of writing, WTI Crude oil (Nymex) is currently trading 0.6% higher at $33.86 while Brent Crude (ICE) is trading at $35.53, up by 0.4%.
An environment of caution despite the risk-on sentiment is keeping the precious metal above the $1,700 mark. After surging to more than 7-year high last week, the XAUUSD pair is currently trading in a tight range around $1,726.
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