Monday finds US index futures plus the Dax and FTSE treading water trading flat to up 0.3%. Asia Pacific markets were a bit more active with the Hang Seng rising 0.4%, the Nikkei climbing 0.7%, but Shanghai falling 0.6%. The US 10-year treasury note yield is steady between 1.45% and 1.50%. Commodities are mixed with WTI and Brent crude oil both up about 0.7% while copper is down 0.6%.
In alternative currency action, Gold and silver are both down 1.4% while cryptos are bouncing back a bit, particularly Bitcoin which is up 4.4% and trading back above $39,000. Over the weekend Elon Musk suggested Tesla may resume accepting bitcoin payments in the future if miners’ use of clean energy improves.
Although today is quiet for corporate and economic news, there are a number of significant announcements scheduled for this week including US retail sales and industrial production Tuesday morning, followed by Chinese retail sales and industrial production Tuesday night.
Tuesday’s US numbers will be the last significant reports before Wednesday’s FOMC decision, statement and member projections. No changes to US monetary policy are expected at this time but investors may look to the statement for hints about the state of the US recovery, whether/how much the Fed is concerned about inflation and to the forecasts for any changes in member sentiment, particularly around the timing of future interest rate increases. Later in the week, the Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank are also holding meetings. After this week, most of the pre-summer central bank meetings will be finished. The monetary calendar usually goes relative quiet over the summer, then picks up again at the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole conference in August.
On the political front, the G-7 meeting has come and gone with leaders agreeing to work together in several areas including taxation, infrastructure and vaccine production/distribution. Today US President Biden meets with NATO leaders ahead of Wednesday’s summit meeting between Biden and Russian President Putin.