Euro steady ahead of ECB meeting minutes

Overview

The euro is 0.06% stronger as investors turn their attention to the minutes of the latest European Central Bank meeting, released later today. Investors are hoping for clues on when the central bank will start to reduce its quantitative easing programme.

However, the single currency is hovering at a six-week low thanks to brewing tensions in Catalonia. Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos noted that Catalan banks have expressed concern over the independence referendum and threatened to leave the region in favour of other parts of Spain if the push for sovereignty continues. The minister condemned Catania’s separationist politicians and that independence from Spain was out of the question.

Catalan president Carles Puigdemont will likely officially call for independence early next week, a move that would be quite bearish for the euro.

Meanwhile, the greenback is 0.01% stronger, against a basket of its peers, as US investors await the highly-anticipated non-farm payrolls, taking place on Friday. However, the results of the jobs report will likely have little impact on the direction of monetary policy as the shift will be put down to the devastating effects of the recent hurricanes.

Stocks

European equities are shrugging off the contentious relations between Catalonia and Spain. The IBEX 35, Spain’s proxy, has added 1.3%, rebounding from its dramatic fall in the wake of the referendum result.

France’s CAC 40 is 0.08% higher while Germany’s DAX 30 is 0.01% weaker. There’s a definite sense of caution in equity markets.

US equities are slightly higher. The S&P 500, Wall Street’s proxy, has added 0.03%, while the Dow Jones is 0.01% higher. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 has gained 0.04%.

Commodities

Expectations that Saudi Arabia and Russia will increase the length of oil cuts has stimulated prices. Russian President Vladimir Putin said this week that the cartel could extend the cuts to the end of 2018.

Oil is set for its worst week since early July as investors began to take-profits after three months of gains.

Crude oil inventories decreased significantly this week, providing a bullish narrative for oil traders and diverting attention away from the increasing output from both the US and OPEC.

Brent oil has climbed 0.65%, trading at $56.13. The US benchmark, crude oil has advanced by 0.32% after trading below the $50 mark overnight.

Coming Up

Time (GMT+1) Currency News
13:30 USD Trade Balance
13:30 USD Unemployment Claims
13:30 USD Trade Balance
14:10 USD FOMC Member Powell Speaks
15:30 USD Natural Gas Storage