Animal Spirits Start The Weekend Early

Overview: Profit-taking weighs on equity markets, and the dollar is trading higher ahead of the weekend. Most Asia Pacific markets are still closed for the holiday, but Victoria's snap lockdown dragged Australian shares lower. Japan and Indian markets were narrowly mixed, but the selling pressure is clearer in Europe, where the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 has had a heavier bias. US shares are also trading off, though coming into today, the S&P 500 was up about 0.75% for the week. US markets are closed on Monday. The dollar is snapping back after key levels held ($1.2150 in the euro and JPY104.40). The JP Morgan Emerging Market Currency Index is snapping a five-day advance but is likely to finish the week higher for only the second time this year. Gold continues to retreat after being turned by the 200-day moving average (~$1855.50) in the middle of the week. It is closer now to the low set at the start of the week, a little below $1808. Oil prices ended an eight-day rally yesterday and are seeing follow-through selling today. March WTI peaked on Wednesday shy of $59 and is pushing below $57.50 today. A break of $57 could spur a move toward $55 in the coming days.  

Asia Pacific

In an unscientific sampling of the covering of China's decision to pull the BBC broadcasts, most seem to see it as yet another example of censorship. Beijing appears to have stepped up its harassment of the foreign press, which includes arresting reporters and denying others credentials. Few understand it as retaliation for the UK's decision to stop China's state-owned broadcaster CGTN broadcasts over licensing issues. As CGTN sought to correct the situation (transfer license to another company, the UK rejected it due to missing information.The UK poked a bully and feigns surprise when the bully strikes back. Separately, it is revealing that Hong Kong has also denied the BBC access to its public network. It is another sign of the Sino-ificiation of Hong Kong.  

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Read more by Marc on his site Marc to Market.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are solely of the author’s, based on current ...

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