Gold edges lower even as market awaits rate hike cues

Posted July 12, 2017

US job growth surged more than expected in June and employers increased hours for workers, suggesting the Fed could stick to its plan for its third interest rate hike this year and begin to reduce its balance sheet despite sluggish wage gains and tepid inflation. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.8%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed by 0.6%.

European stock markets followed Asia higher, with blue-chip stock markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt up 0.2 to 0.5 per cent in early Monday trade.

The FX markets are clearly on pause ahead of Janet Yellen testimony in front of Congress tomorrow, as well as news from BOC which holds its monthly policy meeting tomorrow as well.

The dollar rose against the basket of currencies used to measure its broader strength, hitting a four-month high against the yen on the past fortnight's 25-basis-point rise in 10-year USA government bond yields.

"So while it may not be coordinated communication, I do think there's been a change in rhetoric from central banks across the world - though the ECB is the central bank to watch in the second half of the year".

The dollar increased by almost 0.4% against the yen which was a high of two months.

Markets expect the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates on Wednesday.

One strategist specializing in foreign exchange said that the strong jobs report gave more reason to believe that the Fed would announce it is prepared to begin trimming its large balance sheet.

Bank of Japan is not taking any steps to make Yen stronger, experts say!

Euro was down against the dollar and reached $1.1404 EUR but was up against Japanese Yen.

International Container Terminal Services was among the biggest gainers on the index, climbing as much as 2.6 percent, after signing an agreement with a dredging company to deepen the Congo River in Africa, a move that would realise cost savings for the terminal operator from 2018.

Based on the minutes of the last Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released on July 5, Yellen may testify that the Fed will seek to reduce the central bank's Treasury bond holdings and mortgage-backed securities by August, effectively tightening the supply of USA dollars.

The 10-year US Treasury yield was steady near a two-month high of 2.398 per cent hit on Friday.

USDJPY remains well supported in the aftermath of Friday's better than expected jobs report and any hawkish testimony by Yellen tomorrow will likely push the pair through the key 115 barrier which it has not seen since March of this year.

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