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All-Time Highs on thin holiday markets

Thin markets today have been good for the Risk-On trades. It all started with the Japanese GDP figure last night beating growth expectations which translated to the Nikkei hitting 30-year highs. This was following on from Friday's close where the US indices also hit higher highs and, in some cases, closed at All-Time highs. Other news out of Japan was good as Industrial Output was better than expected even though there was still a contraction.

The UK FTSE traded to 4-week highs at the close of regular hours trading today.

GBPUSD is closing in on the 1.4000 handle and has made higher prices today whilst the ActivTrader sentiment guide is showing that 78% of traders on the platform are bearish Cable. The last week of Januarys’ low was a clear sign that traders were rejecting lower prices and today's price action is adding on to last week’s extremely bullish close. There may be some supply left from the 2018 highs, but a test above is looking more likely while the US dollar is trading lower and the UK government is hitting vaccination targets.

The vaccine-fuelled bull run in risk markets has been amped up today with more good news surrounding several vaccine makers. The World Health Organization approved the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccination for emergency use. The EU is looking to Moderna to see if they can organise an additional 150mln doses of their vaccine. And the UK’s drug regulator has started the process of auditing the manufacturing process of the Indian-based Serum Institute, which could manufacture the AstraZeneca vaccine and ship it from India back to the UK.

In the commodity space, Oil and copper rallied as tightening supplies of both commodities and signs of a global recovery appear, supporting higher prices. Copper hit 8-year highs on the LME copper futures contract, printing $3.82 as all of the positive talks around vaccines buoyed the prospects of Industrial demand growth of the metals. The safe-haven appeal of Gold meant that with the risk-on environment the yellow metal has lost its luster with traders who favour the ever-increasing yields found elsewhere. Yemen Houthis had reportedly sent 10 drones towards Saudi Arabia which had given oil traders cause for concern. Though the drones were intercepted and destroyed, thoughts towards the attacks on the Saudi Aramco oil processing facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais, back in September 2019, are still at the forefront of traders’ minds.

Commodity pairs like the Kiwi and Aussie have been risers in this market as they are tied to the in-demand raw materials but are also crossed with a falling US dollar. All is not well within Australia though, as data today showed that New Home Sales had declined 69.4% m-o-m and were unable to build upon the Decembers surge. Overnight we have the meeting minutes from the last RBA meeting.

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