From the world of hmmmmmmm, Crude Oil continues to track lower and is testing important support levels particularly with WTI (West Texas Intermediate). This as geo-politics in the Middle East and the Ukrainian/ Russian situation remain vastly unresolved. Meaning that speculators may not have the stomach to take long positions because they feel that the global economic picture remains murky at best.

The color red has prevailed among data reports this week, Japan, Europe, and the U.S. have not been able to claim great victories as they battle stagnation. Retail Sales figures on Wednesday were weaker than expected, today the States will see Consumer Sentiment readings from the University of Michigan. The results from today’s Consumer Sentiment reading should be watched carefully. While the Federal Reserves continues to maintain that GDP is adequate, investors know full well that consumers drive the American economy.

Europe printed their GDP data yesterday and the sun did not shine. Germany, France, and the broad continent’s marks were all recessionary. And while some might claim that this is blowback from the Ukrainian/ Russian situation, the fact is that not enough time has pasted for the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia to have a chaotic effect yet. Meaning that Europe was struggling well before the problems in Eastern Europe and even Germany was walking on fragile ground. Today the U.K. will produce the Second Estimate GDP figures.

FX has been relatively tame but the USD has been strong. Whether it has been diminished risk appetite or a gathering of sentiment, the Greenback has taken the Single Currency and Sterling to key support levels. The AUD did manage to gain slightly yesterday, but even the JPY has traded a bit weaker against the USD. The EUR and GBP should be watched intently going into the weekend and it seems unlikely that the short-term trend will reverse before Friday finishes.

Gold as of this morning has tracked slightly higher, the precious metal is near 1314.00 USD as of this morning.

Traders should keep in mind that volumes remain lighter in the midst of August. Equities have turned in mixed results having turned in gains on Wall Street Thursday and across Europe, but investors who have stayed behind to trade and share their opinions are not exactly showing signs of buying exuberance.