- French election poses weekend risk for the euro
- Japan moves to ban Russian coal imports
- EU formally adopts new sanctions against Russia, includes coal import ban
- Bank of Russia brings down key rate by 300 bps to 17%
- USD leads, NZD lags on the day
- European equities higher; S&P 500 futures up 0.4%
- US 10-year yields up 2.5 bps to 2.679%
- Gold flat at $1,932.30
- WTI up 0.3% to $95.75
- Bitcoin down 0.4% to $43,350
It was a quiet session for the most part but the dollar is continuing its recent good form as it firms slightly across the board.
There were few notable headlines in European morning trade, with the Russian central bank moving to cut its key interest rate from 20% to 17% being arguably the highlight. That comes after the ruble has made a strong recovery in the past few weeks after a massive plunge during the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Equities are looking to end the week on a more positive note after the gains in Wall Street yesterday. European indices are up over 1% while US futures are posting slight gains ahead of the open later. But the advance today comes after a tough week for stocks in general.
Meanwhile, the bond market selloff is continuing to play out as Treasury yields climb further on the day. 2-year yield are back up above 2.50% and 10-year yields on approach to 2.70% soon enough. The latter is now approach its 200-month moving average @ 2.67% so that is a key level to be wary about.
In the FX space, the dollar is seen firming with EUR/USD easing to fresh one-month lows around 1.0850-60 levels. The euro itself has some weekend risk to consider with the French presidential election on the cards on Sunday.
GBP/USD is also weighed down as sellers start to take aim at the 1.3000 level. USD/JPY is looking perky as it tries to keep above 124.00 now with buyers hoping to try and retest 125.00 in the bigger picture.
Elsewhere, commodity currencies aren't faring too well either with AUD/USD down near the lows around 0.7460 and NZD/USD down 0.6% to 0.6850 levels. Both the aussie and kiwi are struggling for momentum after a bit of exhaustion following the post-RBA surge earlier in the week.