Apr 2, 2019, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
Even with a trimmed-down list of options to choose from, members of Parliament failed again yesterday to find an another way forward for Brexit. Prime Minister Theresa May is holding meetings with her cabinet this morning with an eye to either bringing her much-defeated withdrawal agreement back for one more vote, or asking the EU for a long extension to the process – a move that would be politically very unpopular. Despite the current Brexit date being only ten days away, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predict a resolution soon, and an opportunity for a rally in the pound.
Even after starting the year with its best quarter since 2009, crude continues to push higher. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate for May delivery added to yesterday’s gains to trade at $62.01 by 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time. OPEC continues to keep the squeeze on production, with a survey showing March production falling to 295,000 barrels a day, as the cartel ignores President Donald Trump’s pleas for more supply to cap prices. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said yesterday that OPEC and its allies could extend production cuts beyond the current June deadline without difficulty.
After months of relatively subdued trading, Bitcoin roared back to life in the past 24 hours, trading at $4,795.13 at 5:45 a.m. after briefly rising above $5,000 during Asia hours. There seems to be no obvious catalyst for the surge in the digital token, even as the move lifted other major cryptocurrencies such as Ether, XRP and Litecoin. Traders even suggested that some of the move could have been driven by an April Fool’s joke on an obscure website which said the Securities and Exchange Commission had approved Bitcoin ETFs.
Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index was broadly unchanged while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.3 percent lower as the yen climbed against the dollar. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was also unchanged at 5:45 a.m. as investors await Brexit developments and other macro data this week to decide on their next move. S&P 500 futures pointed to almost no move at all at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.472 percent and even gold was doing nothing.
At 8:30 a.m. U.S. durable goods orders for February is published, with economists expecting a 1.8 percent drop from January in the headline data, and a small increase in the ex-autos number. Speaking of autos, car sales numbers for March are published throughout the morning. Oil market watchers will be keeping an eye on the API inventory report at 4:30 p.m. Walgreen’s Boots Alliance Inc. reports earnings today.