Market Overview 2017-12-19
Once again the main USA equity markets rallied on Monday to set new record highs. The dissent and disagreement amongst Republican politicians over the tax plan, appears to have been solved and the expectation is that a vote could now take place as early as midweek, with the prediction of a win in the House of Representatives and the Senate for Trump and his Republican Party. The U.S. dollar index was down circa 0.4% on the day and fell versus its major peers; GBP, EUR and JPY. Economic calendar news relating to the USA was thin on the ground, the only release of any significance came in the form of the latest NAHB index, which is based on a monthly survey of NAHB members designed to analyse the single family housing market.
The survey asks respondents to rate market conditions for the sale of new homes now and over the next six months, combined with the traffic of prospective buyers of new homes. The reading came in at 74, beating the forecast of 70, revealing that optimism is high amongst U.S. house builders for the coming year, suggesting that consumers feel confident in taking on new housing debt.
Gold rose for the first time in approximately a week, reaching a daily high of 1264, just short of the 200 DMA, sited at 1268. Since reaching a recent low of circa 1236 on December 12th XAU/USD has made a sizeable recovery. Brexit news concerned E.U. officials (once again) reminding the U.K. of the only various exit options available to them, but each time they remind the prime minister May of her route forward, she appears to deliberately conflate and confuse what was either previously agreed, or the clear instructions from the E.U. on how to proceed. Sterling made modest gains versus certain peers, closing out the day up circa 0.2% versus the U.S. dollar and 0.3% versus the Canadian dollar. Positive economic calendar news for the U.K. came in the form of the latest CBI selling prices and orders metrics, both beating forecasts.