Gold Prices Hold Steady In Cautious Trade

Gold held steady on Friday, but remained on track to post its third straight weekly gain as investors grapple with a plethora of issues affecting global growth.

Spot gold rose marginally to $1,227.15 an ounce and was on track to post a 0.7 percent gain for the week. U.S. gold futures were virtually unchanged at $1,230.10 an ounce.

Data showed earlier in the day that China’s GDP climbed an annual 6.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018- shy of estimates for 6.6 percent and down from 6.7 percent in the previous three months.

The numbers reflect the effects of Beijing’s mounting debt as well as trade disputes with the United States.

Asian stock markets clawed back losses to end mixed today as Chinese shares rose sharply despite weaker-than-expected GDP figures.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index jumped as much as 2.58 percent to end at 2,550.46 after regulators stepped in to bolster investor confidence.

European stocks fell in early trade after Italian government bond yields hit four-year highs on concerns over the country’s controversial budget plans.

The Italian government has until Monday to respond to the European Commission’s letter that the nation’s significantly higher deficit targets represented a deviation “unprecedented in the history” of EU budget rules.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com

Oil Prices Rebound As Iran Sanctions Loom

Oil prices recovered some lost ground on Friday as investors shifted their focus back to the impending U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, which will come into force on November 4.

Global benchmark Brent crude oil climbed 83 cents or 1.05 percent to $80.12 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 46 cents or 0.67 percent at $69.11a barrel.

As analysts debate the impact of Iran sanctions, U.S. politicians have spoken of sanctioning Saudi officials found culpable in the killing of U.S. journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The kingdom already said that if it receives any action, it would respond with greater action.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday, he presumes Khashoggi had likely been killed and that the U.S. response to Saudi Arabia will likely be “very severe”.

Meanwhile, China’s refinery crude throughput rose an annual 4.9 percent to a record high of 12.54 million barrels per day in September, despite the country’s economy expanding at its slowest pace in nine years in the third quarter, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com

Hong Kong Unemployment Rate Steady At 20-year Low

Hong Kong’s unemployment rate was unchanged for a fifth straight month in September at its lowest level for two decades, preliminary data from the Census and Statistics Department showed on Friday.

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 2.8 percent in the three months to September, in line with economists’ expectations. The rate has been at this level since April.

On a not-seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rate edged up to 3 percent in September from 2.9 percent in each of the previous two months.

The number of unemployed persons in July – September was 117,800, roughly the same as in the three months to August.

Total employment decreased by around 7,800 from 3.88 million in the three months to August to 3.87 million in September.

“Overall labor market conditions will likely remain favorable in the near term,” the Secretary for Labor and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said.

“Nonetheless, the Government will continue to monitor closely how the increasing external headwinds will affect the local labor market going forward.”

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com

Euro Weakens After EC Warns Italy Over Budget Plan

The euro declined against its major counterparts in the early European session on Friday, after the European Commission said Italy’s 2019 budget draft is in serious breach of EU budget rules.

In a letter to the Italian government, Commissioners Valdis Dombrovskis and Pierre Moscovici wrote that the government’s budget plans represent “an obvious significant deviation” from recommendations adopted by the Council for 2019.

“With Italy’s government debt standing at around 130% of GDP, our preliminary assessment also indicates that Italy’s plans would not ensure compliance with the debt reduction benchmark agreed by all Member States,” the letter stated.

Sentiment faded as Chinese growth figures missed expectations, suggesting that there was downward pressure on the world’s second-largest economy due to the ongoing Sino-U.S. trade war.

China’s GDP climbed an annual 6.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018- shy of estimates for 6.6 percent and down from 6.7 percent in the previous three months.

Industrial production climbed 5.8 percent year-on-year in September, shy of forecasts for 6.0 percent and down from 6.1 percent in August.

However, retail sales climbed an annual 9.2 percent and fixed asset investment gained 5.4 percent to beat forecasts.

The currency was higher against its major counterparts in the Asian session, with the exception of the pound.

The euro retreated to 1.1402 against the Swiss franc, not far from an 8-day low of 1.1398 hit at 5:00 pm ET. The next possible support for the euro is seen around the 1.12 level.

The euro weakened to 1.1433 against the greenback, its lowest since October 9. This may be compared to a high of 1.1470 hit at 2:05 am ET. If the euro falls further, it may find support around the 1.13 area.

Pulling away from a high of 0.8803 hit at 2:00 am ET, the euro reversed direction and declined to 0.8778 against the pound. On the downside, 0.86 is possibly seen as the next support level for the euro.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the UK budget deficit reached its lowest September level in 11 years.

Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks was GBP 4.1 billion, which was GBP 0.8 billion less than in September 2017. This was the lowest September deficit since 2007.

The single currency slipped to a 9-day low of 1.4938 against the loonie, compared to 1.4984 hit late New York Thursday. The euro is seen finding support around the 1.47 mark.

The euro declined to near a 2-month low of 1.7398 against the kiwi and more than a 2-week low of 1.6090 against the aussie, off its early highs of 1.7557 and 1.6157, respectively. The euro is likely to find support around 1.71 against the kiwi and 1.58 against the aussie.

The euro pared gains to 128.56 against the yen, from a high of 129.03 hit at 2:00 am ET. The euro is poised to target support around the 127.00 level.

Data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication showed that Japan consumer inflation fell 1.2 percent on year in September.

That was shy of expectations for an increase of 1.3 percent, which would have been unchanged from the August reading.

Looking ahead, Canada retail sales for August and consumer inflation for September, as well as U.S. existing home sales for the same month are set for release in the New York session.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will speak at the Economic Club of New York at 11:30 am ET.

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic speaks about the economic outlook in Georgia at 12:00 pm ET.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com

Eurozone Current Account Surplus Rises In August

Euro area current account surplus increased in August from the previous month, preliminary data from the European Central Bank showed on Friday.

The current account surplus rose to EUR 24 billion from EUR 19 billion in July. A year ago, the surplus was EUR 39 billion.

The visible trade surplus increased to EUR 22 billion from EUR 19 billion in the previous month, while the surplus in services trade decreased to EUR 9 billion from EUR 10 billion.

The balance in the primary income account grew to EUR 7 billion from EUR 9 billion, while the shortfall in the second income account narrowed to EUR 13 billion from EUR 14 billion.

In the 12 months to August, the current account surplus was EUR 379 billion, or 3.3 percent of Eurozone GDP, versus EUR 330 billion or 3.0 percent in the previous 12-month period.

This rise was due mainly to an increase in the surplus for services from EUR 71 billion to EUR 117 billion and a narrowing in the deficit for secondary income from EUR 149 billion to EUR 141 billion.

These were partly offset by a decline in the surplus for primary income from EUR 81 billion to EUR 77 billion. Meanwhile, the surplus for goods remained stable at EUR 327 billion.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com

UK Sep Budget Deficit Lowest Since 2007

The UK budget deficit reached its lowest September level in 11 years, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday.

Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks was GBP 4.1 billion, which was GBP 0.8 billion less than in September 2017. This was the lowest September deficit since 2007.

Further, data showed that borrowing in the current financial year-to-date was GBP 19.9 billion, that was GBP 10.7 billion less than in the same period in 2017. This was the lowest year-to-date for 16 years.

At the end of September, public sector net debt excluding public sector banks increased by GBP 3.4 billion to GBP 1,789.5 billion or 84.3 percent of gross domestic product in September.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com

Pound Little Changed After U.K. Public Sector Finance Data

At 4.30 am ET Friday, the Office for National Statistics has published public sector finance data. Following the data, the pound changed little against its major rivals.

The pound was trading at 1.3028 against the greenback, 146.41 against the yen, 0.8782 against the euro and 1.2990 against the franc around 4:32 am ET.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com