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FTSE tests 7100p, as Cable eyes 1.30
MPs voted 522 to 13 to approve the UK’s snap general election that will take place on June 8th. According to YouGov/Times poll, the UK conservatives would comfortably lead the election by 48%, versus 24% for the opposing Labour Party. Given that a stronger support for Theresa May is interpreted as an eventually ‘softer Brexit’, the early polls are supportive of the GBP-bulls.

The Bank of England (BoE) Governor Mark Carney is due to speak in Washington later in the day. He is not expected to comment on the latest political developments, yet if he does, he could give a shake to the pound before Friday’s retail sales data. Given that a smoother Brexit would have a lighter impact on the UK’s economy, the BoE could be in a position to concentrate on the UK’s rising inflation sooner rather than later. The latter reasoning would be GBP-positive.

Although the GBPUSD corrected on the downside, partially due to the swinging mood in the USD, it could be just a matter of time before the pair challenges the 1.30 mark. The next critical target stands at 1.3043, the major 38.2% retrace on post-Brexit sell-off, if surpassed, would suggest a mid-term bullish reversal for the pound. The short-term support to the actual positive trend is eyed at 1.2717 and 1.2600 (minor 23.6% and major 38.2% retrace on March – April surge).

Sharp appreciation in the pound has taken its toll on the FTSE stocks. The FTSE 100 shortly fell below the 7100p at Thursday’s open. The 100-day moving average (7200p) has been broken for the first time since December. The next key support is eyed at 7088p (major 38.2% retracement). Below this level, the mid-term trend should reverse to bearish and the negative reversal could encourage a further slide to the 7000p mark.

Finally, the stronger bearish momentum in the EURGBP suggest that the cross could test the 0.8232 (major 61.8% retracement on post-Brexit surge) on the downside. Whether the move could extend toward the 0.80 mark will depend on the first tour of the French election due on April 23rd. A renewed euro appetite on Monday could compromise a further advance to 0.80 in the short-term.

Rosengren says Fed should shrink portfolio ‘relatively soon’ with little impact on rate hikes

The US dollar swung higher again, as Federal Reserve’s (Fed) Rosengren said that the Fed should start shrinking its balance sheet ‘earlier’, yet gradually and without interfering with the rate normalization process.

The impact on the US yields have been limited so far, the US 10-year yields sit on the 2.20% support, while the probability of a June rate hike remained below 50% (currently at 47%).

The greenback failed to extend gains in Asia and traded under a rising selling pressure at the European open.

The US Secretary of Treasury Mnuchin is due to speak today. Last week, Mnuchin walked against Donald Trump’s view on the ‘US dollar getting too strong’, stated that the strong US dollar is good in the long-term and warned that Donald Trump’s ‘phenomenal’ fiscal expansion plans could be ‘unrealistic’. Hence, his speech could temporarily halt the weakness in the US dollar.

Blackrock’s Fink warns of 5-10% write-off in stock prices

BlackRock CEO Fink warned that if the US companies’ revenues fail to justify the high price-to-earnings ratio, the unwind in the Trump-reflation trade could shed 5 to 10% off the stock values.

The Dow Jones gave back 3.8% since it traded at its all-time high of $21’169.11 on March 1st. The downside prevails as the delay in Donald Trump’s fiscal plans raise many questions about the feasibility of his earlier promises.

From a technical perspective, the minor support on the Wall Street daily rolling index stands at the 23.6% retracement on November – March rally, $20’291, if broken, could pave the way toward $20’265 (100-day moving average), $20’000 (psychological support) and the critical $19’755 (major 38.2% retracement). The topside offers trail below $20’700 (50-day moving average).

Yen-bears discouraged pre-110.00 by safe haven inflows, softer US yields

In Japan, the trade surplus shrank to 614.7 billion yen in March from 813.4 billion printed a month earlier, slightly better than 608.0 billion expected by analysts. Numbers told us that nearly 5% appreciation in yen against the US dollar didn’t affect the Japanese exports, which unexpectedly advanced from 11.3% to 12.0% (vs. 6.2% expected) in March. However, the surge in imports from 1.2% to 15.8% erased 216.7 billion yen off the trade terms.

The deterioration in the global risk appetite also held Japanese investors back from investing in foreign assets. Japanese sold 796.2 billion yen of bonds and 231.7 billion yen of stocks on the week to April 14th. Despite the stronger yen and lower rates, foreign investors bought 410.5 billion yen worth of Japanese bonds and 415.2 billion yen worth of Japanese stocks.

Although the current cash flows and the soft US yields are not in favour of a significantly softer yen against the US dollar, the USDJPY tested the 109.00-offers in Tokyo. Nikkei (-0.01%) and Topix (+0.09%) were better bid on softer yen and encouraging trade data, yet gave back the daily gains into the session’s close. Solid USDJPY resistance is eyed pre-110.00 mark.

AUD to resume slide on cheaper iron ore

ASX 200 (+0.30%) gained after three consecutive sessions of losses. The AUDUSD extended losses to 0.7492. The negative trend and momentum indicators suggest that the pair could further fall to 0.7454 (50% level on December – March rise) along with cheapening iron ore prices.

Tata steel, one of India’s leading steelmakers, stated that the sharp fall in iron prices have in fact brought the market to a ‘more realistic’ long-term range of $60 - $70 a ton.