Sterling, Yen And WTI In Focus

Financial markets were mellow during trading on Tuesday with most major arena’s lacking direction as the holiday-season liquidity kicked in. Asian shares wobbled between losses and gains following the tragic events in Germany and Turkey which sparked instances of risk aversion.

In Europe, although stocks were uplifted by utilities and telecoms, gains could be limited if Asia’s bearish contagion encourages investors to scatter from riskier assets. With just a few trading days left until the New Year and Christmas around the corner, Wall Street like other major markets could remain range bound till 2017.

Sterling stumbles lower

Sterling has received a pummeling from the Brexit woes this year and is on target to being the second-worst performer among major currency as uncertainty haunts investor attraction. This year’s ongoing battle of words between financial heavyweights on the Brexit topic has added to the anxiety while hard Brexit concerns continue to encourage sellers to incessantly offload the pound. With the lack of direction in the UK government’s Brexit stance compounding to the uncertainty, sterling could be poised for steeper declines moving forward.

While there have been discussions on the Bank of England adopting a hawkish stance amid the rising inflation, the elevated concerns over the impacts Brexit could have on the UK economy could force the central bank to maintain a cautious approach.

As the year slowly comes to an end, sterling looks quite vulnerable and a rising dollar could trigger a sharp selloff on the GBP/USD. From a technical standpoint, the 1.2500 resistance has acted as a strong foundation for bears to send prices lower towards 1.2300.

BoJ ends year upbeat Global markets received a pleasant surprise on Tuesday following the Bank of Japan’s more upbeat view of its economy which reinforced expectations of a potential interest rate increase in the New Year. The yen’s persistent weakness could boost inflation in Japan by elevating import costs and such remains supportive for overall economic growth. Although the BoJ has ended the year on a positive note, the lurking fears of inflation which is still under the golden 2% target may be a cause for concern in 2017.

Technical traders who have been observing the USD/JPY can see the pair is heavily bullish on the daily timeframe. The consistently higher highs and higher lows fulfill the prerequisites of a bullish trend while lagging indicators such as the MACD and 20 moving averages all point to the upside. A decisive breakout above 118.50 could open a path towards 120.00.

Commodity spotlight – WTI

Oil markets were serene on Tuesday with WTI balancing above $53 as investors started to unwind positions ahead of the Christmas holidays. With the economic calendar thin as the year comes to an end, price action could dictate where oil prices trade this week. Technical traders may be observing how WTI crude oil reacts to the $54 resistance level which if broken above could open a path towards $55.

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