Market Watch: JPY150 was tested

Financial and commodity markets analytics

Gold and oil prices fell on the news that Israel has delayed its ground assault against Gaza while hostage talks continue, but tensions remain high.
Gold reached a peak near $1997 just before the weekend, and then fell to around $1964 before stabilizing.
December WTI reached a peak of about $90 per barrel last week and has since fallen to around $86.85. However, it is also stabilizing.
The dollar is stronger against G10 currencies.

Asia Pacific
The LDP lost both upper and lower chamber seats in Japan's two recent by-elections. Kishia, the Prime Minister, spoke to the Parliament today. He continues to tout tax cuts despite the waning support of his cabinet. Subsidies on gasoline, household gas and electricity that had been previously extended to the end of the year have now been extended through Q1. Existing subsidies have reduced the CPI by more than 1 percentage point. The BOJ may be tempted to end its unconventional monetary policy, but the elimination of subsidies could increase inflation.

The dollar is continuing to push JPY150. In the early Asia Pacific markets, there was a brief push that brought the dollar up to JPY150.10. Since then, it has stayed mostly below JPY149.95 but the market still isn't done.

The Australian dollar has been pinned in its trough. The attempt to reach $0.6400 last week was rejected and the Australian dollar returned to $0.6300.

The euro has traded mainly in the $1.05 to $1.640 range for the past two week. October 13 was the only exception. It is important to determine whether price action is consolidating ahead of another leg down or if a base is being formed. The key events of the week (US Q3 GDP, and ECB Meeting) will not take place until Thursday. Since October 11, the euro hasn't closed above $1.0615. The euro is currently a little above the $1.0615 high from last Thursday, but has not yet surpassed it.

Sterling reached session highs just before the weekend. However, since last Monday's high of $1.2220 sterling has made lower highs. Today, it broke that streak by rising to around $1.2185.

The financial conditions have tightened significantly over the last month, and they are now back to what they were in April of last year. The financial sector is the weak point, even though the economy and labor market appear resilient to higher rates. Even though the economy grew in Q3, it is still alarming to see financial conditions tightening so dramatically.

Also the dollar's inability to rise in light of increased geopolitical tensions and the increase in long-term interest rates, as well as the higher US two-year rate premium, is also noteworthy.