As political black clouds swirl the EUR continues to do well and maintain its higher values. As Russia and the Ukraine keep the global powers focused on the turmoil developing within their sphere global bourses have certainly turned cautious too. Asia has put in losses today and early equity trading in Europe is negative, but prices have not dropped off of the table. The Spanish Manufacturing PMI and the Italian reading have both been released with disappointing results already today.
The GBP has also continued to keep its pace, but has traded slightly lower on the opening today. The JPY has gotten stronger against the USD recently and it will serve as barometer for risk appetite in this rather nervous environment. Asian traders have developed a reputation for seeking preservation when political tension is heightened and the results from Japan, China, and Korea should be monitored.
Gold has jumped in value this morning as traders have flocked to its speculative ground. The precious metal is near 1347.00 USD as of this writing. Commodity prices may see volatility sweep across their helm today if the broad markets stay nervous. Ranges will certainly be tested short-term.
The U.K. will release their Manufacturing PMI along with Net Lending to Individuals data shortly. The U.S. will follow with the ISM Manufacturing PMI numbers later. Global data continues to be a mixed bag, Friday’s Pending Home Sales figures from the States were negative and this capped off a poor finish to bad housing data last week. Also the American GDP numbers were weaker than estimated. While officials of Central Banks try their best to comfort their citizens with rosy forecasts it is becoming apparent that real growth remains a challenging prospect and that deflation remains a concern.
Traders should keep in mind that the Non-Farm Employment Change statistics will be released this coming Friday. Until then it is likely that the broad markets will stay rather cautious. Many media pundits are pointing to the ‘good results’ that were seen on Wall Street in February, but it should be noted that January was a ‘bad’ month and that this week should provide some interesting signposts for what will take place in March.
Investors will have plenty of tasks on their plates this week to consider. It remains unclear what direction the crisis between Russia and the Ukraine will take and the risk of the unknown is a danger. However, for the moment this political upheaval is likely to remain contained and unlikely to expand to other geographical spheres. Meaning that FX and particularly Eastern European currencies may find themselves facing plenty of price action in the coming days.