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.”
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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.
Here are the main moves in markets:
- Japan’s Topix index fell 0.8 percent after the yen strengthened. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 tumbled 1.5 percent, the most in more than two months and reaching the lowest since February.
- The Aussie dollar swung between gains and losses after the central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged.
- The yen rose 0.7 percent to 109.70 per dollar as of 10:07 a.m. in London, reaching the strongest level since April 21.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1 percent, trading at the lowest since October.
- The euro was little changed at $1.1254 and the British pound rose 0.2 percent to $1.2923.
- The Mexican peso retreated 0.2 percent after jumping 1.8 percent on Monday. President Enrique Pena Nieto’s party forged ahead in the election for governor of Mexico’s largest state.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.4 percent and the FTSE 100 fell 0.2 percent.
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index dropped 0.1 percent after the underlying gauge slid 0.1 percent Monday.
- Qatari stocks steadied after plunging the most since 2009 on Monday. Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries severed most diplomatic and economic ties to the country.
- Gold climbed 0.7 percent to $1,289.04 an ounce, advancing for a third day to the highest since April 18.
- WTI crude edged lower by 0.2 percent to $47.33 a barrel, after dropping as much as 1 percent and rising as much as 0.7 percent earlier.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined three basis points to 2.16 percent, after climbing two basis points in the previous session.
- Ten-year yields in France fell three basis points while those in Germany and the U.K. dropped two basis points.