Japanese Yen breached a 111.00 level in Asian session on Monday. The currency erased gains from the surprising move of the Bank of Japan, which decided to abandon a round of QE at the end of April.
USD/JPY was as high as 111.45, receding to a nearly 111.00 mark. Positive retail sales reports released on Monday signalled consumption in Japan recovers.
Precious metals were also hit by greenback strengthening as investors damp low-yield assets chasing for higher gains. A losing streak on Gold was held up on a $1,201 level as the steep decline triggered a strong backlash from the bulls near the four-month low. The bullion bounced to $1,210 remaining under a threat of further selloff.
Palladium, Platinum and Silver also declined to the lows of April 8-10.
Yellen speech in Harvard last Friday didn’t have any news for markets, though cleared doubts on whether the Fed chair is in line with other board members about prospects of the US growth. Yellen reiterated that the rate hike in the coming month could be appropriate. USD index has soared to 95.00 after the speech but bounced off to 94.71 on Monday. Despite firming confidence in the possible rate hike in June, the probability of it decreased to 28.1%, reflecting low expectations of the rate hike priced on the markets.
Oil sticks to a 49.00 zone, though attempts to repeat the hike above the $50 mark are in vain. According to COT reports, Oil short wagers have contracted from 200K peak in February to only 60K in May, showing that pessimism in growth outlook is rapidly shrinking. The prospects of reaching output cap agreement are unclear, as stances of Iran and Saudi Arabia remain mixed on this matter. There were statements from Iran’s oil officials that the country is interested in orderly market, while Saudi Arabia heats competition refusing to curb the pace of drilling.
In the first quarter, France GDP (YoY) rose 1.4% vs. 1.3% projected improving outlook of the EU on the fight with deflation. European indices remain nearly unchanged and trade with reduced volatility due to bank holidays in the UK and US. Asian equities advance on weakening Yen helping exporters to boost profits as well as PBOC loosening its fixing of USD/CNY rate by 0.45%. Nikkei +1.39%, TOPIX +1.19%, Hang Seng +0.26%, CSI 300 +0.14%.