The dollar gained on Friday following a suspected terrorist shooting in Paris ahead of the first round of the presidential election at the weekend that raises concerns throughout the markets, however, the euro remains close to earlier highs.
One policeman was killed and two were injured after a gunman opened fire in central Paris on Thursday night. The shooting took place just before voters head to the polls in a tightly contested presidential race.
On Thursday, the dollar was weighed by weak economic data after the Labor Department said on Thursday, that initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 244,000 for the week ended April 15, which was higher than analysts’ forecast of 242,000.
In Japan, central bank governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the country’s economy is performing well but warned that geopolitical risks including escalating tensions with North Korea were clouding the global growth outlook. When asked whether such risks could spur a spike in the safe-haven yen, Kuroda said there were cases in the past where geopolitical risks pushed up the yen and “made our monetary policy difficult.”
For Friday, retail sales and inflation data are due to be released from the UK while manufacturing, services and existing home sales data will be released from the U.S. Investors could remain on the sidelines ahead of the closely watched first round of French Presidential elections.
The euro was trading right below a three-week high against the dollar on Friday, as investors awaited this weekend’s first round of voting in France’s presidential election.
The euro was fluctuating around $1.0718 , after having reaching as high as $1.0778 on Thursday, its strongest since late March.
Security concerns have taken center stage ahead of Sunday’s vote after a French policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in central Paris on Thursday night in an attack claimed by the Islamic State militant group.
Polls have forecast that the most likely outcome of Sunday’s first round of voting is centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. The second round will take place on May 7.
On the economic calendar today, the focus is on manufacturing, services and existing home sales data from the U.S.
Pivot: 1.074Support: 1.07 1.068 1.066Resistance: 1.074 1.0775 1.079Scenario 1: short positions below 1.0740 with targets at 1.0700 & 1.0680 in extension.Scenario 2: above 1.0740 look for further upside with 1.0775 & 1.0790 as targets.Comment: Prices have validated a bearish double-top pattern. Gold
Gold fell on Friday, even though a terrorist shooting took place in Paris, right before the first round of the French presidential election where none of the candidates from the far-right, far-left or center are expected to cross the 50% needed to win outright.
Gold prices traded close to $1,282.00 with small fluctuations on Thursday, with weak economic data providing further support on the upside momentum.
After weaker than expected manufacturing and jobs data, the focus is shifted on Fridays manufacturing and services indicator and existing home sales data of a strengthening U.S. economy.
Pivot: 1276.4Support: 1276.4 1273.5 1271.5Resistance: 1283.5 1286 1289Scenario 1: long positions above 1276.40 with targets at 1283.50 & 1286.00 in extension.Scenario 2: below 1276.40 look for further downside with 1273.50 & 1271.50 as targets.Comment: even though a continuation of the consolidation cannot be ruled out, its extent should be limited. WTI Oil
Crude prices move lower on Thursday, as concerns over rising U.S. oil production offset comments from oil producers on a possible extension to the OPEC-led deal to cut global supply.
On Friday, oilfield services firm Barker Hughes will report weekly rig count data that is closely watched as the U.S. shale oil industry’s aggressive response to higher prices. Last week, Baker Hughes said the weekly U.S. rig count rose by 11 to 683, for the thirteenth straight weekly increase.
Market participants remain hopeful that OPEC members would seek to extend its current deal to cut supply at its next meeting in Vienna on May 25.
WTI Oil Chart
Pivot: 51.4Support: 50.2 50 49.75Resistance: 51.4 51.75 52.05Scenario 1: short positions below 51.40 with targets at 50.20 & 50.00 in extension.Scenario 2: above 51.40 look for further upside with 51.75 & 52.05 as targets.Comment: the RSI is capped by a bearish trend line. US 500
The main U.S. indices moved higher on Thursday, as risk-on sentiment returned after a strong batch of corporate earnings and bullish comments on tax reform from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The three main U.S. indexes remained on track to end the week in positive territory, as corporate earnings overshadowed geopolitical events and weaker than expected economic data.
The closed 0.85% higher, the added 0.78% and the closed 0.92% higher.
In other corporate earnings news, American express rival Visa Inc (NYSE:) reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat analysts’ expectations on Thursday, while shares of Verizon sank 1%, after the wireless carrier posted disappointing first quarter earnings.
A closely watched first round of the French Presidential elections is due to set the direction for the markets next week.
US 500 Chart
Pivot: 2343 Support: 2343 2336 2331 Resistance: 2360 2367 2373 Scenario 1: long positions above 2343.00 with targets at 2360.00 & 2367.00 in extension. Scenario 2: below 2343.00 look for further downside with 2336.00 & 2331.00 as targets. Comment: the RSI is mixed to bullish.