ECONOMIC CALENDAR SEES LIGHT RELEASE SCHEDULE AFTER HOLIDAY
Investors can expect very little in the way of economic data on Wednesday, signalling a continuation of low-volume trade following Christmas.
UBS kicks things off at 07:00 GMT with its Swiss consumption indicator for the month of November. The monthly gauge provides a snapshot of private consumption trends in Switzerland.
One hour later, the Spanish government will report on November retail sales. Receipts at retail stores are forecast to rise 0.6%, following a 0.1% drop the previous month.
At 09:00 GMT, the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) will publish its monthly business survey covering the Swiss economy. The report provides a snapshot of business conditions, employment and other elements impacting the domestic economy.
Shifting gears to the United Kingdom, the British Bankers Association (BBA) will report on mortgage approvals at 09:30 GMT. Mortgage approvals are forecast to dip slightly in November to 40,472 from 40,488 the previous month.
The North American calendar will be headlined by the US pending home sales index courtesy of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The monthly gauge, which is seen as a proxy for future sales, is expected to drop 0.5% for November. Pending home sales jumped 3.5% the month before.
Commodity traders will also be keeping close tabs on weekly oil stock data courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute (API). Last week, the industry association reported a 5.2 million-barrel drop in crude supplies.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release official inventory data on Thursday morning.
Trade volumes on the major exchanges have been lighter in recent sessions, with many market participants remaining on holiday. Low volume trading is expected to characterize the rest of the week leading up to the new year.
In currencies, the US dollar index (DXY) was little changed on Tuesday, eventually settling at 93.26. The greenback is on track for a nearly 9% drop this year.
The euro gained traction on Tuesday but failed to sustain its rally. The EUR/USD exchange rate touched a session high of 1.1876 on Tuesday before paring gains later in the session. At last check, it was trading steadily at 1.1860. Trade activity is expected to remain subdued amid a dearth of economic data this week.
The Cable had a relatively active Tuesday, as value fluctuated between 1.3346 and 1.3376. At last check, the GBP/USD exchange rate was trading at 1.3373. The pair faces immediate support at 1.3340. On the opposite side of the ledger, immediate resistance is seen at 1.3385.
US crude prices briefly traded above $60 a barrel on Tuesday for the first time in two-and-a-half years amid news of major supply disruptions in Libya. US crude prices were last seen trading around $59.70 a barrel, with further upside in store.