1. Oil Prices Hit Three Week Highs
Oil prices hit their highest levels in nearly three weeks on Monday morning, after comments from Saudi Arabia that it would continue to curb exports in line with the OPEC-led effort to put a lid on global supply. Specifically, Saudi Arabian oil minister Khalid al-Falih stated on Saturday that the country’s crude production in January-March would be well below output caps, supporting OPEC’s efforts to curb supply in order to maintain prices higher. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (USOIL) was up by as much as 0.3 percent, in early morning hours.*
2. Powell’s First Testimony Can Make Or Break The U.S. Markets
This week’s major highlight will be Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s first semi-annual testimony before Congress, as anxious investors seek clarity on future Fed policy. Market participants are starting to doubt whether they can count on the U.S. central bank when markets go haywire, as Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell seems reluctant to talk about the recent sharp fall in Wall Street stocks and the dollar. The spotlight will therefore be on the new Fed chair this Tuesday, when he is due to be questioned by both houses of the U.S. Congress in his semi-annual testimony.**
3. EU Data And New Nafta Talks In Focus
This week is packed with talks, data and reports that will affect the EUR, GBP and USD. On the U.S. front, Mexico and Canada aim to enter new talks on a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. It should be noted that U.S. president Donald Trump frequently has often threatened to walk away from NAFTA unless big changes are made to a pact that he blames for U.S. manufacturing job losses.
Meanwhile, U.K. prime minister is expected to set the “way forward” for the Brexit negotiations in her speech on Friday. Clear forward guidance on Brexit is expected to have a positive effect on the GBP. On the E.U. front, the focus is expected to shift to the upcoming flash CPI and inflation data this week. Stronger than expected readings could push the EUR higher. It should also be noted that ECB President Mario Draghi’s is due to testify before the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Monday. If Draghi finally signals an end to its stimulus program, the EUR is expected to see more support. The dates and times for all the aforementioned events, as well as past readings and market forecasts can be found on BDSwiss Economic Calendar.**
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**Source: ReutersSTART TRADING NOW
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