Losing steam

21 December, 2016

Equities appear to be struggling into the end of the year as yesterday’s obsession, whether the Dow could hit 20,000 not coming to fruition. That will no doubt continue today, but the upward momentum is likely to struggle as liquidity ebbs away from markets during the last few trading days of the year. Equities in Asia were mixed, firmer in China but softer in Japan. As for currencies, the dollar peaked in the middle of the European session before softening into the close and overnight. Given the gains seen over recent weeks, then a softer dollar into year-end also looks warranted. The single currency is just off the lows and hangs around the 1.04 level, whilst USDJPY stands just below 118.00. It appear unlikely (especially for the euro) that the next major levels will be tested before the year is out. The data calendar is relatively thin today, with UK borrowing data seen at 09:30 GMT, with US consumer confidence data following at 15:00 GMT. Elsewhere, moves to put together some sort of rescue package for the Italian banking sector continue, with the finance minister due to speak later today. At present, this looks to be a combination of government money, complemented with equity raising from other lenders.


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