- Havens Rally as Risk Events Stack Up; Oil Swings
Caution reigned across markets in a week loaded with risk events, from former FBI chief James Comey’s congressional testimony to the ECB’s policy meeting and Britain’s increasingly uncertain election. Havens including gold, the yen and Treasuries gained while stocks retreated.
Gold and the yen both rose to the strongest in more than a month, and 10-year Treasury yields fell to near the lowest since November. The dollar traded at an eight-month low and U.S. stock futures slipped. Europe’s benchmark share index dropped the most in a week led by Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche Holding AG after one of its drug studies disappointed. Miners were among the biggest losers again as Bloomberg’s commodities index declined a sixth day.
With all three major events — Comey, the ECB meet and British election — on Thursday, investors’ risk-off mood this week is understandable. It’s been compounded by a diplomatic spat among energy producing nations in the Middle East and a terror attack in London.
“There is not much scheduled today that could potentially inspire the markets as the main focus this week is on ‘Super Thursday,”’ Piotr Matys, a London-based currency strategist at Rabobank, wrote in a client note. “Essentially, we brace for a volatile session on Thursday and Friday as at least one of those crucial events could trigger sharp moves in the markets.”
Here are details on some of the important coming events:
- The European Central Bank’s policy decision probably won’t surprise, but the bank may drop the reference to “downside” risks to growth, while reiterating a weak inflation outlook. As a bonus, you get Mario Draghi speaking afterwards.
- Will she, won’t she? Voters will decide on Thursday whether U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will extend her majority. Or lose it completely.
- Comey’s testimony will be parsed for clues to how the probe into the Trump campaign’s contact with Russian officials could impact the administration.
- The EIA releases its short-term energy outlook today.