Gold Prices Fall In Asia On Profit Taking, Mild Dollar Rebound

Investing.com - Gold prices fell in Asia on Thursday in profit taking and after a mild dollar rebound overnight.

Gold futures for February delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 0.84% to $1,327.90 a troy ounce. Copper fell 0.03% to $3.191 a pound. The US dollar index rose 0.47% to 90.65.

Overnight, gold prices remained close to four-month highs on Wednesday amid expectations the precious metal would likely ‘shrug off’ rate hike worries while dollar weakness limited downside.

In a rising interest rate environment, investor appetite for gold weakens as the opportunity cost of holding the precious metal increases relative to other interest-nearing assets such as bonds.

Crude Gains In Asia As API Draw Perks Up Views, China GDP Ahead

Investing.com - Oil prices gained in Asia on Thursday as the world's top oil importer gets set to detail fourth quarter growth figures and the market stays upbeat on a larger that expected draw in US crude stocks under industry estimates.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange WTI crude futures for February delivery rose 0.31% to $64.28 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent edged up 0.03% to $69.46 a barrel.

China reports fourth quarter GDP on Thursday that is expected to show a 6.7% gain on year and a 1.6% rise on quarter. In the third quarter, GDP rose 6.8% on year and 1.7% on quarter.

As well, in China industrial production is expected to post a 6.0% gain on year in December from 6.1% in November and retail sales are seen up 10.1% on year in December, compared to 10.2% in November.

US crude oil inventories fell 5.121 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute said Wednesday, a bigger drop than expected.

Gasoline inventories rose 1.782 million barrels and distillate stocks rose by 609,000 barrels. Supplies at the oil storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, fell by 3.936 million barrels.

US crude oil inventories were expected down 3.536 million barrels last week. Gasoline stocks were seen up 3.426 million barrels and distillate inventories up by 86,000 barrels.

Official data from the Energy Information Administration is due on Thursday, a day later than normal because of a public holiday on Monday.

Later on Thursday, OPEC releases its montky production figures and on Friday the Paris-based International Energy Agency will detail global supply and deman in its monthly report.

Overnight, crude oil prices settle higher as positive commentary concerning the OPEC-led pact strengthen investor expectations that the oil cartel would continue with output cuts.

Kuwaiti energy minister Bakheet Al-Rashidi said the oil market was “very stable” and vowed that OPEC remains committed to output cuts “no matter the price.”

That eased some investor concerns that OPEC would seek to exit the agreement as the recent surge in prices is expected to lead to a ramp up in non-OPEC output, led by the U.S. shale producers.

Peru stocks lower at close of trade; S&P Lima General down 0.14%

Investing.com – Peru stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the S&P Lima Juniors, Food&Beverages and Mining sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Lima, the S&P Lima General lost 0.14%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P Lima General were Andino Investment Holding SAA (LM:AIH), which rose 1.83% or 0.030 points to trade at 1.670 at the close. Meanwhile, Aceros Arequip (LM:AREi) added 1.39% or 0.010 points to end at 0.730 and Corporacion Aceros Arequipa SA (LM:ARE) was up 1.19% or 0.010 points to 0.850 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Minsur (LM:MINi), which fell 4.50% or 0.090 points to trade at 1.910 at the close. Candente Copper (LM:DNT) declined 3.64% or 0.0040 points to end at 0.1060 and Panoro (LM:PML) was down 3.02% or 0.010 points to 0.321.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lima Stock Exchange by 24 to 10 and 6 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for February delivery was up 0.52% or 0.33 to $64.06 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in March rose 0.43% or 0.30 to hit $69.45 a barrel, while the February Gold Futures contract fell 0.65% or 8.70 to trade at $1328.40 a troy ounce.

USD/PEN was up 0.05% to 3.2105, while EUR/PEN fell 0.07% to 3.9278.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.31% at 90.51.

API Reports 5.121 Mln Barrels Weekly Draw In Crude Stocks

Investing.com - US crude oil inventories fell 5.121 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute said Wednesday, a greater drop than expected.

Gasoline inventories rose 1.782 million barrels and distillate stocks rose by 609,000 barrels. Supplies at the oil storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, fell by 3.936 million barrels.

US crude oil inventories were expected down 3.536 million barrels last week. Gasoline stocks were seen up 3.426 million barrels and distillate inventories up by 86,000 barrels.

Official data from the Energy Information Administration is due on Thursday, a day later than normal because of a public holiday on Monday.

The Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch

Investing.com - Here’s a preview of the top 3 things that could rock markets tomorrow

US Housing, Manufacturing, Labor Data

The Commerce Department home building activity for December is expected show building permits fell 1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.290 million units, while housing starts are expected to show a decline to 1.275 million.

The Labor department releases its weekly count of the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the week ended Jan 13. Economist forecast initial jobless claims to fall by 11,000 to 261,000.

Economists forecast the Philly Fed manufacturing index for January to show a reading of 25, slightly below the 27.9 reading in the previous month.

Ahead of the duo of reports the dollar, rose 0.10% against its rivals to 90.32.

Energy Information Administration Weekly Inventory Report

A fresh batch of inventory data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday is expected to show that U.S. crude stockpiles fell for the ninth-straight week.

Analysts forecast crude inventories fell by about 3.5 million barrels in the week ended Jan 12.

Crude oil futures settle higher on Wednesday amid optimism over ongoing OPEC-led output cuts and oil demand growth.

UK Manufacturing Data

China is expected to show gross domestic product grew 6.7% year on year in the fourth quarter, slightly below the 6.8% growth in the previous period. The slowdown in growth comes amid slowing investment across the economy which has been offset somewhat by solid export growth, which continued to benefit from rising global economic growth.

Economists forecast Chinese Industrial production rose at a 7.1% annual rate through December.

China’s economic growth is closely tracked by commodity such as gold as the far-east nation is the largest commodity consumer.

Brazil stocks higher at close of trade; Bovespa up 1.70%

Investing.com – Brazil stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Financials, Basic Materials and Consumption sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Sao Paulo, the Bovespa added 1.70% to hit a new all time high.

The best performers of the session on the Bovespa were Cia de Saneamento Basico do Estado (SA:SBSP3), which rose 5.34% or 1.82 points to trade at 35.89 at the close. Meanwhile, Cielo SA (SA:CIEL3) added 4.17% or 1.02 points to end at 25.50 and Petroleo Brasileiro SA PN (SA:PETR4) was up 4.02% or 0.71 points to 18.36 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Cia Paranaense de Energia (SA:CPLE6), which fell 2.22% or 0.52 points to trade at 22.91 at the close. Klabin Unt (SA:KLBN11) declined 2.20% or 0.38 points to end at 16.90 and CEMIG - Companhia Energetica Minas Gerais Pref (SA:CMIG4) was down 1.60% or 0.11 points to 6.76.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the BM&FBovespa Stock Exchange by 232 to 167 and 43 ended unchanged.

Shares in Cia de Saneamento Basico do Estado (SA:SBSP3) rose to 3-years highs; gaining 5.34% or 1.82 to 35.89. Shares in Petroleo Brasileiro SA PN (SA:PETR4) rose to 3-years highs; rising 4.02% or 0.71 to 18.36.

The CBOE Brazil Etf Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Bovespa options, was down 0.45% to 32.91.

Gold Futures for February delivery was down 0.61% or 8.20 to $1328.90 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 0.24% or 0.15 to hit $63.88 a barrel, while the March US coffee C contract rose 2.00% or 2.41 to trade at $123.08 .

USD/BRL was down 0.04% to 3.2239, while EUR/BRL fell 0.32% to 3.9394.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.20% at 90.41.

Colombia stocks lower at close of trade; COLCAP unchanged

Investing.com – Colombia stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as in the sectors led shares .

At the close in Colombia, the COLCAP unchanged 0.00%.

The best performers of the session on the COLCAP were Bancolombia Pf (CN:BIC_p1), which rose 3.87% or 1160.0 points to trade at 31160.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Ecopetrol SA (CN:ECO) added 3.64% or 85.0 points to end at 2420.0 and Bcolombia (CN:BIC) was up 3.24% or 980.0 points to 31260.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Grupoaval (CN:GAA), which fell 3.05% or 40.0 points to trade at 1270.0 at the close. Canacol Energy Ltd (CN:CNE) declined 2.41% or 260.0 points to end at 10520.0 and Corporacion Financiera Colombiana SA (CN:CFV) was down 1.59% or 460.0 points to 28440.0.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Colombia Stock Exchange by 1 to 0.

US coffee C for March delivery was up 2.00% or 2.41 to $123.08 . Elsewhere in commodities trading, US cocoa for delivery in March rose 3.42% or 66.00 to hit $1997.50 , while the February Gold Futures contract fell 0.68% or 9.10 to trade at $1328.00 a troy ounce.

USD/COP was down 0.68% to 2844.50, while BRL/COP fell 0.67% to 882.32.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.22% at 90.43.

Beige Book: Economic Growth 'Modest', Outlook For 2018 Optimistic

Investing.com – Economic growth continued to expand at a modest pace in recent months across the U.S. central bank’s regional districts amid moderate wage growth, a Federal Reserve survey showed.

The central bank’s Beige Book economic report, based on anecdotal information collected by the Fed’s 12 reserve banks through the end of the year, showed pricing pressures grew at a moderate pace despite ongoing tighter labor market conditions. This has confounded the Fed's expectations that tighter labor market conditions would spur a rebound inflation.

“The economy continued to expand from late November through the end of the year, with 11 Districts reporting modest to moderate gains ” according to the report, released Wednesday in Washington. “The outlook for 2018 remains optimistic for a majority of contacts across the country"

Despite the lack of pricing pressures reported across the Fed's regional districts, the most recent reading of the consumer price index showed US consumer prices posted their biggest gain in eleven-months raising 1.8% in the 12 months through December.

The uptick inflation is expected to support the Federal Reserve's case to raise rates at least three times this year amid a transitional period at the central bank as Jerome Powell prepares to replace Fed chair Janet Yellen in the coming months.

Portugal stocks higher at close of trade; PSI 20 up 0.09%

Investing.com – Portugal stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Consumer Services, Utilities and Technology sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Lisbon, the PSI 20 gained 0.09%.

The best performers of the session on the PSI 20 were Banco Comercial Portugues (LS:BCP), which rose 1.14% or 0.0033 points to trade at 0.2924 at the close. Meanwhile, J. Martins SGPS (LS:JMT) added 0.43% or 0.0750 points to end at 17.4000 and EDP Renovaveis (LS:EDPR) was up 0.42% or 0.0300 points to 7.1000 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were The Navigator Company SA (LS:NVGR), which fell 0.96% or 0.0440 points to trade at 4.5500 at the close. Mota Engil (LS:MOTA) declined 0.87% or 0.0350 points to end at 3.9850 and CTT Correios de Portugal SA (LS:CTT) was down 0.85% or 0.0300 points to 3.4900.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lisbon Stock Exchange by 19 to 13 and 7 ended unchanged.

Brent oil for March delivery was up 0.27% or 0.19 to $69.34 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 0.39% or 0.25 to hit $63.98 a barrel, while the February Gold Futures contract fell 0.15% or 2.00 to trade at $1335.10 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.19% to 1.2238, while EUR/GBP fell 0.47% to 0.8846.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.09% at 90.31.

Finland stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Helsinki 25 up 0.22%

Investing.com – Finland stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Healthcare, Financials and Oil&Gas sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Helsinki, the OMX Helsinki 25 rose 0.22%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Helsinki 25 were Orion Oyj B (HE:ORNBV), which rose 3.50% or 1.10 points to trade at 32.50 at the close. Meanwhile, Sampo Oyj A (HE:SAMPO) added 1.89% or 0.88 points to end at 47.55 and Wartsila Oyj Abp (HE:WRT1V) was up 1.41% or 0.76 points to 54.58 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were UPM-Kymmene Oyj (HE:UPM), which fell 1.44% or 0.39 points to trade at 26.72 at the close. KONE Oyj (HE:KNEBV) declined 1.31% or 0.59 points to end at 44.30 and Metsa Board Oyj B (HE:METSB) was down 1.17% or 0.090 points to 7.580.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Helsinki Stock Exchange by 90 to 57 and 10 ended unchanged.

Shares in Sampo Oyj A (HE:SAMPO) rose to 52-week highs; up 1.89% or 0.88 to 47.55.

Brent oil for March delivery was up 0.01% or 0.01 to $69.16 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 0.20% or 0.13 to hit $63.86 a barrel, while the February Gold Futures contract fell 0.14% or 1.90 to trade at $1335.20 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.21% to 1.2235, while EUR/GBP fell 0.46% to 0.8847.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.11% at 90.33.

France stocks lower at close of trade; CAC 40 down 0.36%

Investing.com – France stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Consumer Services, Oil&Gas and Healthcare sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 lost 0.36%, while the SBF 120 index lost 0.27%.

The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were Veolia Environnement VE SA (PA:VIE), which rose 0.81% or 0.170 points to trade at 21.090 at the close. Meanwhile, Peugeot SA (PA:PEUP) added 0.58% or 0.10 points to end at 18.27 and Danone SA (PA:DANO) was up 0.54% or 0.37 points to 69.12 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Publicis Groupe SA (PA:PUBP), which fell 2.29% or 1.34 points to trade at 57.14 at the close. Carrefour SA (PA:CARR) declined 1.75% or 0.32 points to end at 17.68 and Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) was down 1.74% or 0.80 points to 45.28.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were Europcar Groupe SA (PA:EUCAR) which rose 4.05% to 10.40, Alstom SA (PA:ALSO) which was up 2.54% to settle at 36.72 and Eramet (PA:ERMT) which gained 2.19% to close at 121.30.

The worst performers were Groupe FNAC (PA:FNAC) which was down 5.52% to 94.950 in late trade, Casino Guichard (PA:CASP) which lost 5.20% to settle at 48.10 and Technicolor (PA:TCH) which was down 4.45% to 3.138 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 332 to 268 and 91 ended unchanged.

Shares in Alstom SA (PA:ALSO) rose to 5-year highs; up 2.54% or 0.91 to 36.72. Shares in Eramet (PA:ERMT) rose to 5-year highs; up 2.19% or 2.60 to 121.30.

The CAC 40 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was up 6.76% to 11.25.

Gold Futures for February delivery was down 0.13% or 1.70 to $1335.40 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 0.22% or 0.14 to hit $63.87 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract rose 0.03% or 0.02 to trade at $69.17 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.21% to 1.2235, while EUR/GBP fell 0.46% to 0.8847.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.11% at 90.33.

Belgium stocks lower at close of trade; BEL 20 down 0.37%

Investing.com – Belgium stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Basic Materials, Telecoms and Utilities sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Brussels, the BEL 20 declined 0.37%.

The best performers of the session on the BEL 20 were UCB (BR:UCB), which rose 1.17% or 0.80 points to trade at 69.10 at the close. Meanwhile, bpost NV (BR:BPOST) added 0.74% or 0.20 points to end at 27.40 and Ackermans V.Haaren (BR:ACKB) was up 0.53% or 0.80 points to 151.50 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Ontex Group (BR:ONTEX), which fell 1.86% or 0.50 points to trade at 26.38 at the close. Galapagos NV (AS:GLPG) declined 1.85% or 1.700 points to end at 90.020 and Umicore SA (BR:UMI) was down 1.76% or 0.77 points to 43.20.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Brussels Stock Exchange by 70 to 45 and 14 ended unchanged.

Shares in Ontex Group (BR:ONTEX) fell to 52-week lows; losing 1.86% or 0.50 to 26.38. Shares in bpost NV (BR:BPOST) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 0.74% or 0.20 to 27.40.

Gold Futures for February delivery was down 0.13% or 1.70 to $1335.40 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 0.35% or 0.22 to hit $63.95 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract rose 0.19% or 0.13 to trade at $69.28 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.19% to 1.2238, while EUR/GBP fell 0.47% to 0.8846.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.10% at 90.32.

Poland stocks higher at close of trade; WIG30 up 0.58%

Investing.com – Poland stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Chemicals, Food and Energy sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Warsaw, the WIG30 rose 0.58% to hit a new all time high.

The best performers of the session on the WIG30 were CD Projekt SA (WA:CDR), which rose 7.11% or 7.90 points to trade at 119.00 at the close. Meanwhile, Alior Bank SA (WA:ALRR) added 5.38% or 4.30 points to end at 84.30 and Kruk SA (WA:KRU) was up 2.80% or 6.00 points to 220.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Asseco Poland SA (WA:ACPP), which fell 3.81% or 1.82 points to trade at 46.00 at the close. Grupa Lotos SA (WA:LTSP) declined 1.95% or 1.12 points to end at 56.38 and Jastrzebska Spotka Weglowa SA (WA:JSW) was down 1.85% or 2.00 points to 106.00.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Warsaw Stock Exchange by 272 to 199 and 208 ended unchanged.

Shares in Alior Bank SA (WA:ALRR) rose to 3-years highs; rising 5.38% or 4.30 to 84.30.

Crude oil for February delivery was up 0.30% or 0.19 to $63.92 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in March rose 0.22% or 0.15 to hit $69.30 a barrel, while the February Gold Futures contract fell 0.15% or 2.00 to trade at $1335.10 a troy ounce.

EUR/PLN was down 0.03% to 4.1700, while USD/PLN rose 0.21% to 3.4092.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.13% at 90.35.

Norway stocks lower at close of trade; Oslo OBX down 0.52%

Investing.com – Norway stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Pharma Biotech&Life Sciences, Food, Beverages&Tobacco and Materials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Oslo, the Oslo OBX fell 0.52%.

The best performers of the session on the Oslo OBX were TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA (OL:TGS), which rose 0.82% or 1.7 points to trade at 209.5 at the close. Meanwhile, Telenor ASA (OL:TEL) added 0.79% or 1.5 points to end at 191.0 and Norsk Hydro ASA (OL:NHY) was up 0.46% or 0.28 points to 60.94 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Marine Harvest ASA (OL:MHG), which fell 3.73% or 5.15 points to trade at 132.80 at the close. Grieg Seafood (OL:GSFO) declined 3.46% or 2.45 points to end at 68.30 and Yara International ASA (OL:YAR) was down 2.99% or 11.6 points to 376.5.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Oslo Stock Exchange by 122 to 55 and 24 ended unchanged.

Shares in TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA (OL:TGS) rose to 3-years highs; up 0.82% or 1.7 to 209.5. Shares in Telenor ASA (OL:TEL) rose to all time highs; up 0.79% or 1.5 to 191.0.

Crude oil for February delivery was up 0.35% or 0.22 to $63.95 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in March rose 0.25% or 0.17 to hit $69.32 a barrel, while the February Gold Futures contract fell 0.21% or 2.80 to trade at $1334.30 a troy ounce.

EUR/NOK was down 0.44% to 9.6123, while USD/NOK fell 0.21% to 7.8581.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.14% at 90.36.

Crypto-crash Triggers Panic among Investors

Investing.com - Cryptocurrencies continued to selloff on Wednesday amid one of the most severe routs of recent years sparked by fears of a regulatory crackdown.
Bitcoin was down as much as 12% at $10,000 on Wednesday. It had traded as high as $14,394 on Monday.
Ethereum plummeted from a high of $1,401 on Sunday to $977.53 on Wednesday.
Ripple dropped from $2.02 to $1.17 over the same period.
The painful declines in prices sparked concern amid investors.
The mood across online boards where enthusiasts discuss cryptocurrencies was a mixture of resilience and despair.
To be in bitcoin and cryptocurrency, is to be in the wild wild west. Only the strong survive. Don’t think in the short term, always think long term,” said one user on Reddit.
Other users posted to the Bitconnect subreddit that they had invested large sums and had taken a heavy financial blow due to the steep price declines.
Cryptocurrency prices have come under pressure following reports that South Korea may be preparing to ban trading of virtual currencies on domestic exchanges. The country is one is one of the largest markets for major coins like bitcoin and ethereum.

Turkey stocks higher at close of trade; BIST 100 up 1.90%

Investing.com – Turkey stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Telecoms, Banking and Leasing&Factoring sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Istanbul, the BIST 100 rose 1.90%.

The best performers of the session on the BIST 100 were Gozde Girisim Sermayesi Yatirim Ortakligi AS (IS:GOZDE), which rose 8.91% or 0.480 points to trade at 5.870 at the close. Meanwhile, Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS ORD (IS:TCELL) added 4.81% or 0.69 points to end at 15.05 and Turkiye Garanti Bankasi (IS:GARAN) was up 4.52% or 0.49 points to 11.32 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Anadolu Cam Sanayi AS (IS:ANACM), which fell 2.76% or 0.090 points to trade at 3.170 at the close. Karsan Otomotiv Sanayi ve Ticaret AS (IS:KARSN) declined 2.69% or 0.060 points to end at 2.170 and Tesco Kipa Kitle Pazarlama Ticaret Lojistik ve Gida Sanayi AS (IS:KIPA) was down 2.17% or 0.060 points to 2.710.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Istanbul Stock Exchange by 217 to 125 and 63 ended unchanged.

Shares in Gozde Girisim Sermayesi Yatirim Ortakligi AS (IS:GOZDE) rose to all time highs; rising 8.91% or 0.480 to 5.870. Shares in Turkiye Garanti Bankasi (IS:GARAN) rose to all time highs; up 4.52% or 0.49 to 11.32.

Gold Futures for February delivery was down 0.09% or 1.20 to $1335.90 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February fell 0.05% or 0.03 to hit $63.70 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract fell 0.09% or 0.06 to trade at $69.09 a barrel.

USD/TRY was up 0.20% to 3.8038, while EUR/TRY rose 0.05% to 4.6563.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.13% at 90.35.

Canadian Dollar Falls after Dovish BoC Rate Hike

Investing.com - The Canadian dollar fell against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday after the Bank of Canada hiked interest rates, but cautioned that uncertainty over the North American Free Trade Agreement is clouding the economic outlook.

USD/CAD was up 0.42% to 1.2486 by 10:09 AM ET (15:10 GMT) from around 1.2412 earlier.

The BoC hiked its overnight cash rate to 1.25% from 1.0%, in a widely anticipated decision.

The bank said recent economic data has been strong, inflation is close to target, and the economy is operating roughly at capacity, but warned that uncertainty over the future of NAFTA is clouding the economic outlook.

The bank gave an upbeat outlook of the global economy, forecasting growth of 3.5% on average and indicated that there were particularly signs of increasing momentum in the U.S. economy, which it expects to be boosted by recent tax reforms.

“While the economic outlook is expected to warrant higher interest rates over time, some continued monetary policy accommodation will likely be needed to keep the economy operating close to potential and inflation on target,” the bank’s statement said.

The bank reiterated that it would remain cautious in considering future policy adjustments and would be guided by incoming economic data.

Natural Gas Futures Bounce Back on Bets for Hefty Storage Withdrawal

Investing.com - Natural gas futures bounced back on Wednesday, re-approaching their highest level in around two months as investors speculated this week’s supply report will show another hefty drop as cold weather boosts demand.

Front-month U.S. natural gas futures rose 3.7 cents, or around 1.2%, to $3.164 per million British thermal units (btu) by 10:10AM ET (1510GMT). It touched its best level since Nov. 15 at $3.224 last Friday.

U.S. gas futures lost 2.2% on Tuesday as updated weather forecasts showed a return to seasonal temperatures after an extreme cold spell in the eastern U.S.

Below freezing temperatures will continue to linger across most parts of the Northeast through Jan. 20, with light snow expected throughout the region.

However, Northeast temperatures were expected to return to seasonal levels from Jan. 21-to-28, with mild conditions dominating during the period, according to updated weather forecasting models.

Market participants looked ahead to this week's storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a draw of 201 billion cubic feet (bcf) in the week ended Jan. 12.

That compares with a whopping decline of 359 bcf in the preceding week, which was the highest on record, a fall of 243 bcf a year earlier and a five-year average drop of 203 bcf.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.767 trillion cubic feet (tcf), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That figure is 415 bcf, or around 13.0%, lower than levels at this time a year ago and 382 bcf, or roughly 12.1%, below the five-year average for this time of year.

Bank of Canada Hikes Rates as Expected to 1.25%, Despite NAFTA concerns

Investing.com – The Bank of Canada (BoC) decided on Wednesday to raise its benchmark interest rate.

As expected, the BoC said it was increasing its overnight cash rate by 25 basis points to 1.25%.

The Canadian monetary authority also noted that the Bank Rate is correspondingly 1.5% and the deposit rate is 1%.

“Recent data have been strong, inflation is close to target, and the economy is operating roughly at capacity,” the BOC said in the statement.

“However, uncertainty surrounding the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is clouding the economic outlook,” the Bank of Canada warned.

Furthermore, the BoC gave an upbeat outlook of the global economy, forecasting growth of 3.5% on average and indicated that there were particularly signs of increasing momentum in the U.S. economy which it expects to be boosted by the recent U.S. tax reform.

“While the economic outlook is expected to warrant higher interest rates over time, some continued monetary policy accommodation will likely be needed to keep the economy operating close to potential and inflation on target,” the BoC concluded.

BoC governor Stephen Poloz will comment on the decision at a press conference at 11:15AM ET (16:15GMT).

Following the press release, the loonie strengthened. USD/CAD was trading at 1.2483 from around 1.2412 ahead of the announcement, while EUR/CAD moved at 1.5261, compared to 1.5169 prior to the news.

Crude Oil Prices Remain Under Pressure Ahead of U.S. Supply Data

Investing.com - Crude oil prices remained under pressure on Wednesday, although they were still hovering within close distance of recent multi-year highs, as investors remained cautious ahead of the weekly U.S. supply report due on Thursday.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude February contract was down 15 cents or about 0.27% at $63.56 a barrel by 10:00 a.m. ET (14:00 GMT), close to the previous session's three-year peak of $64.89.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for March delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London lost 21 cents or about 0.30% to $68.93 a barrel, not far from Monday's three-year peak of $70.37.

The American Petroleum Institute was set to release its weekly report at 4:30 p.m. ET (21:30 GMT). Official data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Thursday, amid forecasts for an oil-stock drop of around 3.6 million barrels, which would mark the ninth-straight fall.

The reports come out one day later than usual due to the Martin Luther King Day holiday on Monday.

Oil prices slipped at the beginning of the week as the market contended with rising U.S. drilling activity against ongoing efforts by major producers to cut output to reduce a global glut.

Analysts and traders have recently warned that U.S. shale oil producers could ramp up production in the coming weeks as they look to take advantage of higher prices, potentially derailing an OPEC-led effort to curb excess supply.

The deal to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels a day (bpd) was adopted last winter by OPEC, Russia and nine other global producers. The agreement was due to end in March 2018, having already been extended once.

Market participants are also looking ahead to monthly reports from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties and the International Energy Agency due later this week to assess global oil supply and demand levels.

Elsewhere, gasoline futures climbed 0.52% to $1.852 a gallon, while natural gas futures advanced 1.21% to $3.167 per million British thermal units.

Euro Pulls Back after Hitting Three-Year Highs

Investing.com - The euro slid lower on Wednesday after rallying to a three-year high above the 1.23 level earlier amid growing expectations that the European Central Bank will start to unwind its massive monetary stimulus program this year.

EUR/USD was down 0.46% to 1.2207 by 08:30 AM ET (13:30 GMT) after rising as high as 1.2323 overnight, which was the strongest level since December 2014.

The single currency has strengthened broadly since last week's minutes of the ECB’s December meeting showed that officials were considering a gradual shift in policy guidance from early this year.

Any changes to the bank's guidance would likely been seen by investors as an indication that policymakers are preparing to winding down their bond buying stimulus program.

The euro declined after policymaker Ewald Nowotny that the euro's recent strength against the U.S. dollar is "not helpful," reflecting unease among officials over the currency’s strong gains.

The weaker euro lent support to the dollar, sending the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, up 0.24% to 90.44 after plumbing a three year low of 89.98 overnight.

The dollar has been pressured lower by the view that the global economic recovery will outpace U.S. growth and prompt other major central banks, including the ECB to begin unwinding loose monetary policy at a faster pace.

The dollar moved higher against the yen, with USD/JPY rising 0.22% to 110.69, pulling away from the four-month low of 110.18 reached overnight.

Sterling was little changed against the firmer dollar, with GBP/USD last at 1.3793 after rising as high as 1.3835 overnight, the highest level since Britain’s vote to exit the European Union in June 2016.

The Canadian dollar was steady against the greenback, with USD/CAD at 1.2429 ahead of the Bank of Canada’s monetary policy decision later in the day.

The BoC was widely expected to raise rates to 1.25% from 1.0% in what analysts expected to be the first of three rate hikes this year.

Bank of America Reports Beat on Earnings, Excluding Tax Charge

Investing.com - Bank of America reported fourth quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations ahead of the opening bell on Wednesday.

The firm reported adjusted fourth quarter earnings per share of $0.47 on adjusted revenue of $21.4 billion.

This compares to the year-ago quarter when the bank earned 40 cents per share on $20.22 billion in revenue.

Analysts had expected EPS of $0.44 on revenue of $21.53 billion.

The bank posted a charge of $2.9 billion related to the new tax law, meaning that revenue fell short of expectations.

The bank reported fixed income trading revenues fell 13% in the fourth quarter.

Bank of America shares slid 0.13% in premarket trade following the report.

Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Wednesday

Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, January 17:

1. U.S. stocks await Goldman and Bank of America near record highs

Though all three major benchmarks briefly hit new all-time highs on Tuesday, stocks failed to hold the gains and ended lower. But traders looked set to take another shot on Wednesday while waiting for fourth quarter results from Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC).

Goldman is forecast to report earnings per share (EPS) of $4.91 on revenue of $7.61 billion at 7:30AM ET (13:30GMT), while analyst are looking for Bank of America to post an EPS of $0.44 on revenue of $21.53 billion at 6:45AM ET (11:45GMT).

At 5:55AM ET (10:55GMT) Wednesday, the blue-chip Dow futures rose 113 points, or 0.44%, S&P 500 futures advanced 7 points, or 0.25%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures gained 22 points, or 0.32%.

Elsewhere, world shares pulled back from record highs on Wednesday, set for only their second day of losses in 2018 as lower commodity prices and a string of downbeat updates from companies dampened the mood in global markets.

2. Dollar stages recovery ahead of industrial production, Fed references

The dollar moved higher against major rivals on Wednesday, rising for the first time in six days as investors had shunned the greenback on speculation that the global economic recovery will outpace U.S. growth and prompt other major central banks, particularly the European Central Bank, to begin unwinding loose monetary policy at a faster pace.

Still ahead on Wednesday, traders will focus on December industrial and manufacturing production and the publication of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book that gives insight into the economic situation in the 12 Fed districts.

Market participants will also keep an eye on comments from several policymakers for hints on future moves in monetary policy. Chicago Fed president Charles Evans, Dallas Fed chief Robert Kaplan and Cleveland Fed president Loretta Mester will all be making appearances on Wednesday.

3. Cryptocurrency selloff continues at Bitconnect shuts down platform

The price of digital currency bitcoin along with other cryptocurrencies extended a broad-based selloff into a second day on Wednesday amid fears of a wider trading crackdown initially triggered by the threat of a trading ban in South Korea.

Grabbing headlines in the cryptocurrency world, Bitconnect announced on Tuesday that it was closing its lending and exchange platform.

BitConnect has been accused of constituting a Ponzi scheme with its own cryptocurrency Bitconnect coin, and several figures in the space, including the founder of ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, have levied criticisms against it in recent months.

The company blamed several factors for the closure including bad press, DDoS attacks and, most notably, the receipt of cease-and-desist letters from regulators Texas State Securities Board and the North Carolina Secretary of State Securities Division.

The news appeared to cause waves in other cryptocurrencies with double-digit losses being registered across the major players.

Bitcoin was trading at $9,899.9 by 5:56AM ET (10:56GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange, down 11% from its previous close, after losing 18% on Tuesday.

Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was last at $870.00 on the Bitfinex exchange, off 14%, after falling 19% the previous day.

Meanwhile, Ripple's XRP token was trading at $0.9828 on the Poloniex exchange, down around 18% for the day.

4. Oil pulls back from 3-year highs as attention focuses on U.S. inventories

Oil prices registered modest losses on Wednesday, pulling back from its highest levels since the end of 2014, as investors looked ahead to weekly data from the U.S. on stockpiles of crude and refined products to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest energy consumer.

Industry group the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report at 4:30PM ET (2130GMT). Official data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Thursday, amid forecasts for an oil-stock drop of around 3.6 million barrels, which would mark the ninth-straight fall.

The reports come out one day later than usual due to the Martin Luther King Day holiday on Monday.

U.S. crude oil futures fell 0.50% to $63.41 at 5:59AM ET (10:59GMT), while Brent oil lost 0.69% to $68.67.

5. BoC expected to hike rates to levels not seen since 2009

The Bank of Canada's latest interest rate decision is due at 10:00AM ET (15:00GMT) on Wednesday, with most experts expecting the central bank to raise its benchmark rate by 25 basis points to 1.25%.

If confirmed, it would be the third rate hike over the past six months to its highest level since 2009, as recent data has painted a robust picture of the Canadian economy.

However, despite markets pricing in odds of about 90% for the tightening, some experts warn that Wednesday’s decision could then mark a pause for the tightening cycle.

The central bank raised rates in July and September for the first time in seven years but has since worried about a number of uncertainties that could have an impact on the country’s economy, including renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The next round of NAFTA talks will kick off on January 23.

The loonie was holding steady ahead of the announcement. At 6:00AM ET (11:00GMT), USD/CAD inched up 0.05% to 1.2440.

India stocks higher at close of trade; Nifty 50 up 0.82%

Investing.com – India stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Capital Goods, Banking and Public Sector Undertakings sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NSE, the Nifty 50 gained 0.82% to hit a new all time high, while the BSE Sensex 30 index climbed 0.89%.

The best performers of the session on the Nifty 50 were AXIS Bank Ltd (NS:AXBK), which rose 4.37% or 24.60 points to trade at 585.20 at the close. Meanwhile, State Bank Of India (NS:SBI) added 4.04% or 11.95 points to end at 307.10 and ICICI Bank Ltd (NS:ICBK) was up 2.77% or 9.25 points to 343.25 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (NS:ZEE), which fell 3.47% or 21.30 points to trade at 593.10 at the close. Wipro Ltd (NS:WIPR) declined 1.81% or 6.00 points to end at 325.70 and Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (NS:HLL) was down 0.45% or 6.15 points to 1371.20.

The top performers on the BSE Sensex 30 were AXIS Bank Ltd. (BO:AXBK) which rose 4.65% to 584.75, State Bank Of India (BO:SBI) which was up 3.44% to settle at 306.35 and ICICI Bank Ltd (BO:ICBK) which gained 2.68% to close at 343.10.

The worst performers were Wipro Ltd (BO:WIPR) which was down 1.85% to 325.75 in late trade, HDFC Bank Ltd (BO:HDBK) which lost 0.88% to settle at 1887.00 and Hero MotoCorp Ltd (BO:HROM) which was down 0.80% to 3566.05 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the India National Stock Exchange by 807 to 802 and 33 ended unchanged; on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1422 rose and 1403 declined, while 138 ended unchanged.

Shares in AXIS Bank Ltd (NS:AXBK) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 4.37% or 24.60 to 585.20. Shares in ICICI Bank Ltd (NS:ICBK) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 2.77% or 9.25 to 343.25. Shares in AXIS Bank Ltd. (BO:AXBK) rose to 52-week highs; rising 4.65% or 26.00 to 584.75. Shares in ICICI Bank Ltd (BO:ICBK) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 2.68% or 8.95 to 343.10.

The India VIX, which measures the implied volatility of Nifty 50 options, was down 1.60% to 13.8600.

Gold Futures for February delivery was up 0.13% or 1.80 to $1338.90 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February fell 0.53% or 0.34 to hit $63.39 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract fell 0.71% or 0.49 to trade at $68.66 a barrel.

USD/INR was down 0.20% to 63.875, while EUR/INR fell 0.37% to 78.1981.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.14% at 90.36.

Dollar Holds Onto Modest Gains Just Off 3-Year Trough

Investing.com - The dollar held onto modest gains against other major currencies on Wednesday, just off a three-year low as the euro finally gave back some strength, although U.S. political concerns were expected to limit gains.

Market participants were focusing on the risk of a potential U.S. government shutdown on Saturday.

Fresh political tensions in Washington surfaced after comments by President Donald Trump on immigration dampened the prospects that a broad spending and immigration deal can be reached by the end of the week, raising the possibility of a government shutdown.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.12% at 90.34 by 05:15 a.m. ET (09:15 GMT), after hitting a fresh three-year trough of 89.98 overnight.

The euro was lower, with EUR/USD down 0.15% at 1.2241, off Monday's three-year peak of 1.2296, while GBP/USD held steady at 1.3799.

The dollar has been pressured lower by concerns the global economic recovery will outpace U.S. growth and prompt other major central banks, led by the European Central Bank to begin unwinding loose monetary policy at a faster pace than expected.

Expectations that the ECB could soon start to scale back its monetary stimulus program received a boost on Monday after ECB Governing Council member Ardo Hansson said bond purchases could end in one step in September if the economy and inflation develop as expected.

Earlier Wednesday, revised data showed that euro zone inflation eased in line with expectations in December.

The yen and the Swiss franc were weaker, with USD/JPY up 0.25% at 110.74 and with USD/CHF gaining 0.32% to 0.9626.

Elsewhere, the Australian dollar was higher, with AUD/USD up 0.25% at 0.7981, while NZD/USD was little changed at 0.7272.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD edged up 0.09% to 1.2445, as traders were awaiting the Bank of Canada's interest rate decision due later in the day.

Euro Zone December Inflation in Line with Expectations

Investing.com - Euro zone inflation eased in line with expectations in December, according to a revision released by Eurostat on Friday

The European Union's statistics office said the consumer price index rose at an annual rate of 1.4% in December, from 1.5% in November.

The rates were in line with expectations but below the ECB target inflation rate of 2%, supporting the central bank’s approach to gradually increasing interest rates.

Meanwhile inflation rose by 0.4% month-over-month in December, compared to a previous reading of 0.1%.

Core inflation, which excludes energy and food prices and is closely watched by the ECB, rose by an annualized 0.9%, the same as last month.

After the report, EUR/USD was trading at 1.2243 compared to 1.2236 prior.

High Hopes for Fourth-Quarter Earnings


Investing.com - Even before Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and other U.S. companies beat earnings estimates for the fourth quarter, there was reason for optimism.Earnings for the quarter are forecast to increase 10.5%, according to Fact Set, the best performance since the first quarter of 2017.What's more, all 11 sectors in the S&P 500 are expected to show gains. Leading the pack will be energy, The weakest sector will be be telecoms. One key element to look for is one-time tax charges, resulting from the massive tax cut package signed into law late last year. Under the plan, U.S. companies will pay a one-time tax of 15.5% on profits held overseas..Chase, for one, elected to take advantage of the change, taking a $2.4 billion charge in its fourth quarter.Other companies, such as Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and biotech giant Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), have said they plan to do so

Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies Extend Selloff into Second Day

Investing.com - The price of digital currency bitcoin along with other cryptocurrencies extended a broad based selloff into a second day on Wednesday amid fears of a wider trading crackdown triggered by the threat of a trading ban in South Korea.

Bitcoin was trading at $10,460 by 03:31 AM ET (08:31 AM GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange, down 13% from its previous close, after losing 18% on Tuesday.

Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was last at $946.40 on the Bitfinex exchange after falling 19% the previous day.

Meanwhile, Ripple's XRP token was trading at $1.08 on the Poloniex exchange, down around 24% for the day.

That pushed ethereum’s market capitalization down to $96 billion and lowered ripple’s value to $45 billion. Bitcoin remained the largest cryptocurrency by market cap with a value of $184 billion.

Cryptocurrencies have experienced a volatile start to 2018 after a massive rally last year as worries over increased regulatory scrutiny hit investor sentiment.

Reports that South Korea and China could ban cryptocurrency trading have sparked fears of a wider crackdown by regulators.

Cryptocurrency prices plunged late last week following reports that South Korea may be preparing to ban trading of virtual currencies on domestic exchanges.

The country is one is one of the largest markets for major coins like bitcoin and ethereum.

South Korea’s Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said Tuesday that banning trading in digital currencies was “a live option”.

Cryptocurrency trading in South Korea is highly speculative and digital currencies are often traded at a premium, meaning that they are priced significantly higher in the country's exchanges than elsewhere in the world.

South Korea’s unease over cryptocurrency trading follows drastic moves taken by China, which shuttered cryptocurrency exchanges last year.

Gold Prices Back Off 4-Month Highs as Dollar Rebounds

Investing.com - Gold prices edged lower in early dealings on Wednesday, backing off its strongest level in around four months as the U.S. dollar moved higher against a currency basket.

A stronger U.S. dollar usually weighs on gold, as it dampens the metal's appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Comex gold futures were at $1,335.50 a troy ounce by 3:25AM ET (0825GMT), down around $2.00, or 0.1%, from the last session's closing price. It hit the best level since Sept. 8 at $1,345.00 a day earlier.

Meanwhile, silver futures were little changed at $17.19 a troy ounce. It reached a three-month high of $17.42 on Monday.

The dollar index, which gauges the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, inched up from a more than three-year low. It was last at 90.38, after dropping as low as 89.98 on Tuesday, its deepest nadir since December 2014.

The greenback has been on the backfoot since last week on rising expectations that central banks in Japan and the euro zone could pare their monetary stimulus.

Markets will remain focused on the chances of a government shutdown stateside this week in the scenario Congress fails to pass a spending bill by Friday.

In other metals action, palladium prices tacked on 0.7% to $1,096.60 an ounce. It marked a record-high of $1,133 on Monday thanks to soaring demand for the auto industry.

Sister metal platinum meanwhile inched up 0.2% to $1,006.40 an ounce, after touching its strongest since Sept. 8 at $1,012.50 in overnight trade.

March copper dipped 0.6% to $3.201 a pound.

Japan stocks lower at close of trade; Nikkei 225 down 0.43%

Investing.com – Japan stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Banking, Steel and Transport sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.43%.

The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were TDK Corp. (T:6762), which rose 3.94% or 390.0 points to trade at 10290.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Advantest Corp. (T:6857) added 2.95% or 65.0 points to end at 2267.0 and Mitsubishi Electric Corp (T:6503) was up 2.92% or 59.5 points to 2096.3 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Fanuc Corp. (T:6954), which fell 3.44% or 1150.0 points to trade at 32300.0 at the close. Showa Denko K.K. (T:4004) declined 2.65% or 140.0 points to end at 5150.0 and JX Holdings, Inc. (T:5020) was down 2.63% or 20.5 points to 757.9.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 2336 to 1100 and 137 ended unchanged.

Shares in TDK Corp. (T:6762) rose to 5-year highs; gaining 3.94% or 390.0 to 10290.0. Shares in Mitsubishi Electric Corp (T:6503) rose to all time highs; gaining 2.92% or 59.5 to 2096.3.

The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was down 1.14% to 14.74.

Crude oil for February delivery was unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to $63.73 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in March fell 0.06% or 0.04 to hit $69.11 a barrel, while the February Gold Futures contract fell 0.19% or 2.50 to trade at $1334.60 a troy ounce.

USD/JPY was up 0.29% to 110.78, while EUR/JPY fell 0.12% to 135.28.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.32% at 90.52.

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