Essentially one year to the date that European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said that he and his officials would do everything in their power to stabilize the E.U. financial sphere and safeguard the EUR he has accomplished his job. While we love to needle most central banks and their inability to deliver on promises, what Draghi did was stabilize a European bond market that was beginning to crack.
However, Mr. Draghi is being criticized in some corners for not doing enough to spur on growth in the E.U, but to be fair it really isn’t his job. Politicians from the nations of Europe are the ones mandated by their populations to manage their economies – at least that is how it is supposed to work in theory. The ECB as an entity is supposed to integrate the national policies and manage the Single Currency, keep bond markets tame, while watching over inflation and the health of financial institutions that operate on the continent. Mr. Draghi’s job is not to be a populist, though his responsibility now seems to be to manage the populist politicians surrounding him on occasion.
As of this morning the EUR continues to trend higher and is testing resistance. There is a complete lack of hard data today from Europe. The GBP also is testing highs. Only the Revised University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment reading will come from the States today and carries an estimate of 84.0.
Asian bourses finished out their week with steep declines on the Nikkei and pressure on the Shanghai index. The JPY gained against the USD during the Asian trading sessions too. While many pointed to some disappointing corporate earnings from Japanese companies it needs to be pointed out that the Nikkei has been gaining back lost ground the past couple of weeks in a rapid fashion, putting itself in a position to test high water marks again. Thus some of the selling today occurring in Tokyo may have had more to do with booking profits and closing out positions before the weekend.
Quarterly earnings will continue their parade in the U.S. today and will play into Wall Street sentiment. All three major indexes gained yesterday in the States and continue to press forward as investors climb on the bandwagon. Gold as of this writing has turned in slight gains and is near 1333.00 USD. The precious metal is showing signs of consolidating and this may lead to some volatility in the coming sessions. Gold has put in gains the past week climbing back from lows. But its rollercoaster ride is not likely over. Crude Oil has also traded within a fairly tight range this week and before going into the weekend WTI may find participants who try to catch short-term gyrations.
Their will be plenty of important data next week as July ends and August opens. Pending Home Sales, the CB Consumer Confidence marks, and the Advance GDP will be delivered through the first few days from the States. This will be followed up by the Non-Farm Employment Change numbers to end the week. On top of that Europe will present PMI data from Spain and Italy and the ECB is scheduled for their monthly monetary policy meeting and news conference.
Forex, commodities, and equities should close out the week on a fairly tranquil note today. The broad markets are enjoying clear skies and there aren’t many storm clouds on the horizon short-term. Enjoy the calm for now.
- Robert Petrucci