MARKET REVIEW

Cryptos - Bitcoin Prices Slump Back Below $4000 As Relief Rally Ebbs

Investing.com - Bitcoin prices fell back below the key $4,000-level on Tuesday, as an impressive relief rally from last week's heavy losses appeared to ebb.

Bitcoin was last down about $125, or around 3%, at $3,959.60 by 9:40AM ET (1340GMT).

It rallied by more than 11% on Monday in an impressive bounce back from last week's heavy losses.

The digital currency lost more than $1,000 in value last week and dropped below $3,000 per coin for the first time in over a month, with the sell-off driven in large part by fears of China cracking down on the market as well as a warning from JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon that bitcoin was a "fraud".

Despite the recent fall, the digital currency is still enjoying a remarkable year, with prices up almost 350% since the start of the year, beating just about every other asset class.

Ethereum, Bitcoin's closest rival in terms of market cap, shed 3.3%, or $9.90, to $286.92.

Other prominent cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin Cash, Ripple and Litecoin also traded lower.

The total value of all publicly traded cryptocurrencies was approximately $136 billion.

USD/CAD Slips Lower after U.S., Canadian Data

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar slipped lower against its Canadian counterpart on Tuesday, after the release of mixed U.S. economic reports and ahead of the Federal Reserve's monthly policy meeting, while better-than-expected Canadian data lent support to the local currency.

USD/CAD was down 0.17% at 1.2277, by 09:30 a.m. ET (13:30 GMT).

The U.S. Commerce Department reported on Tuesday that the number of housing starts unexpectedly fell in August, while building permits unexpectedly jumped.

Separate reports showed that U.S. import prices posted their biggest gain in seven months in August, while the current account deficit widened more than expected in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, the Fed was widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting on Thursday. However the U.S. central bank could give indications on when it plans to begin unwinding its balance sheet, as well as on any future interest rate decisions.

In Canada, official data on Tuesday showed that manufacturing sales dropped 2.6% in July, compared to expectations for a decline of 1.6%.

Manufacturing sales slid 1.9% in June, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated 1.8% fall.

The commodity-related Canadian dollar also benefited from the recent upward trend in oil prices, helped by an overall positive outlook for global supply and demand.

The loonie was lower against the euro, with EUR/CAD up 0.12% at 1.4717.

The German Election, One Number to Keep an Eye on

Investing.com - In the upcoming German election, Chancellor Angela Merkel is all but certain to win a fourth and final term as the leader of the German people.
Her party, the Christian Democrats, leads in the polls by a wide margin over Martin Schulz's Social Democratic party of Germany.
If Merkel indeed retains her position, the far right would be largely left out of the two major powerhouses in Europe, Germany and France, after not long ago it seemed like the tide of anti-immigrants parties would wash France and Germany as well.
For the financial markets, and especially the DAX, a victory by Merkel would be welcomed with a sigh of relief. The German economy has been doing well under Merkel, with GDP growth and more taxes collected than spent by the German government.
(Dax Graph) - After losing a thousand points over the summer, the DAX has recently rallied back, signaling the belief in a Merkel victory. When Emmanuel Macron won the French Presidency in April,(CAC Graph) - the CAC 40 gained 8% in under a week. It seems likely that a Merkel victory would help push the DAX further up in its quest for 13 thousand points.

Dollar Remains Broadly Lower After Mixed U.S. Data

Investing.com - The dollar remained broadly lower on Tuesday, after the release of mixed U.S. housing sector data and as investors prepared for the Federal Reserve's policy meeting set to begin later in the day.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported on Tuesday that the number of housing starts unexpectedly fell in August, while building permits unexpectedly jumped.

Separate reports showed that U.S. import prices posted their biggest gain in seven months in August, while the current account deficit widened more than expected in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, the Fed was widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting on Thursday. However the U.S. central bank could give indications on when it plans to begin unwinding its balance sheet, as well as on any future interest rate decisions.

USD/JPY slipped 0.11% to 111.44, while with USD/CHF edged up 0.12% to trade at 0.9629.

Concerns over tensions between the U.S. and North Korea remained subdued during the session, although they were susceptible to pick up at any moment.

U.S. President Donald Trump was set to address the United Nations General Assembly for the first time on Tuesday and Pyongyang was widely expected to be on the agenda.

The White House said in a statement that President Trump plans to call for international action to confront North Korea and Iran, which he will portray as twin threats to global security.

Elsewhere, EUR/USD gained 0.24% to 1.1983, while GBP/USD rose 0.26% to 1.3533, not far from the previous session's 15-month peak of 1.3619.

The pound weakened on Monday following comments by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney saying that any pending interest rate rises over the coming months would be limited and gradual.

In the euro zone, the ZEW Centre for Economic Research earlier said its index of German economic sentiment rose to 17.0 this month from August’s reading of 10.0.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.38% at 0.7990 and with NZD/USD advancing 0.40% to 0.7287.

Also Tuesday, the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's September meeting showed that policymakers remained favorable to low interest rates, saying that they allowed the economy to continue to strengthen.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD slipped 0.15% to 1.2279.

Statistics Canada reported on Tuesday that manufacturing sales dropped 2.6% in July, compared to expectations for a decline of 1.6%.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.23% at 91.59 by 08:40 a.m. ET (12:40 GMT), just off a one-week low of 91.57 hit overnight.

U.S. housing starts and building permits beat forecasts in August

Investing.com – The number of housing starts unexpectedly fell in August, though from a higher level than initially registered in the prior month, while building permits unexpectedly jumped, official data showed Tuesday.

In a report, the U.S. Commerce Department said that housing starts decreased by 0.8% from the month before to hit a seasonally adjusted 1.180 million units last month from July’s total of 1.190 million units, which was an upward revision from the initial 1.155 million.

Analysts had expected August’s number to rise 1.7% from the prior month’s initial reading to 1.175 million.

Meanwhile, the number of building permits issued jumped by 5.7% to a seasonally adjusted 1.300 million units last month from 1.230 million the month before which was a slight upward revision from the initial 1.223 million recorded.

Economists had forecast permits to decrease 0.8% to 1.220 million units in August.

After the report, EUR/USD traded at 1.1982 compared to 1.1973 before the release, GBP/USD was at 1.3528 from 1.3523 earlier, while USD/JPY was at 111.48 from 111.47 earlier.

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, traded at 91.64, compared to 91.68 previously.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat to higher open. The blue-chip Dow futures gained 14 points, or 0.06%, the S&P 500 futures rose 2 points, or 0.06%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures traded up 4 points, or 0.06%.

Elsewhere, in the commodities market, gold futures was at $1,311.74, compared to $1,312.19 ahead of the data, while crude oil traded at $50.77 a barrel from $50.70 earlier.

United Arab Emirates stocks mixed at close of trade; DFM General down 0.15%

Investing.com – United Arab Emirates stocks were mixed after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Transport, Services and Telecoms sectors led shares higher while losses in the Consumer Staples, Real Estate&Construction and Banking sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Dubai, the DFM General fell 0.15% to hit a new 1-month high, while the ADX General index added 0.25%.

The best performers of the session on the DFM General were SHUAA Capital PSC (DU:SHUA), which rose 2.56% or 0.030 points to trade at 1.200 at the close. Meanwhile, ARAMEX PJSC (DU:ARMX) added 2.04% or 0.100 points to end at 5.000 and Amanat Holdings PJSC (DU:AMANT) was up 1.77% or 0.020 points to 1.150 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were DXB Entertainments (P.J.S.C.) (DU:DXBE), which fell 4.07% or 0.034 points to trade at 0.801 at the close. Marka Pjse (DU:MARKA) declined 1.67% or 0.01 points to end at 0.71 and Arabtec Holding PJSC (DU:ARTC) was down 1.34% or 0.040 points to 2.940.

The top performers on the ADX General were Al Khaleej Investment Co PJSC (AD:KICO) which rose 13.98% to 3.18, Abu Dhabi National Hotels Co (AD:ADNH) which was up 2.81% to settle at 2.93 and Bank Of Sharja (AD:BOS) which gained 1.67% to close at 1.220.

The worst performers were International Holding Company PJSC (AD:IHC) which was down 2.00% to 1.47 in late trade, Arkan Building Materials Co PJSC (AD:ARKN) which lost 1.49% to settle at 0.6600 and Ad Natl Energy (AD:TAQA) which was down 1.41% to 0.700 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Dubai Stock Exchange by 15 to 13 and 5 ended unchanged; on the Abu Dhabi, 10 fell and 9 advanced, while 7 ended unchanged.

Shares in Al Khaleej Investment Co PJSC (AD:KICO) rose to 52-week highs; rising 13.98% or 0.39 to 3.18. Shares in Ad Natl Energy (AD:TAQA) fell to 52-week highs; losing 1.41% or 0.010 to 0.700.

Crude oil for November delivery was up 0.73% or 0.37 to $50.72 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in November rose 0.52% or 0.29 to hit $55.77 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract rose 0.09% or 1.13 to trade at $1311.93 a troy ounce.

USD/AED was unchanged 0.00% to 3.6730, while EUR/AED rose 0.29% to 4.4037.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.17% at 91.65.

Sri Lanka stocks higher at close of trade; CSE All-Share up 0.29%

Investing.com – Sri Lanka stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Investment Trust, Footwear&Textile and Healthcare sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Colombo, the CSE All-Share rose 0.29%.

The best performers of the session on the CSE All-Share were Lanka Cement PLC (CM:LCEM), which rose 18.60% or 0.80 points to trade at 5.10 at the close. Meanwhile, Hunas Falls Hotels PLC (CM:HUNA) added 13.28% or 6.80 points to end at 58.00 and Kotmale Holdings PLC (CM:LAMB) was up 12.25% or 24.50 points to 224.50 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Indo Malay PLC (CM:INDO), which fell 22.99% or 328.60 points to trade at 1101.00 at the close. Adam Investments Ltd (CM:ADAM) declined 20.00% or 0.100 points to end at 0.400 and Agalawatte Plantations PLC (CM:AGAL) was down 11.65% or 2.90 points to 22.00.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Colombo Stock Exchange by 122 to 63 and 53 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for November delivery was up 0.85% or 0.43 to $50.78 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in November rose 0.65% or 0.36 to hit $55.84 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract rose 0.08% or 0.99 to trade at $1311.79 a troy ounce.

GBP/LKR was up 0.28% to 206.875, while USD/LKR rose 0.10% to 153.170.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.17% at 91.65.

Indonesia stocks higher at close of trade; IDX Composite Index up 0.28%

Investing.com – Indonesia stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Mining, Property and Trade sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Jakarta, the IDX Composite Index rose 0.28%.

The best performers of the session on the IDX Composite Index were Nusa Konstruksi Enjiniring Tbk (JK:DGIK), which rose 17.91% or 12 points to trade at 79 at the close. Meanwhile, Medco Energi Internasional Tbk (JK:MEDC) added 14.19% or 105 points to end at 845 and Sona Topas Tourism Industry (JK:SONA) was up 13.51% or 250 points to 2100 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Panasia Indo Resources Tbk (JK:HDTX), which fell 24.29% or 102 points to trade at 318 at the close. Asuransi Harta Aman Pratama Tbk PT (JK:AHAP) declined 17.95% or 35 points to end at 160 and Victoria Insurance Tbk PT (JK:VINS) was down 12.57% or 21 points to 146.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Jakarta Stock Exchange by 171 to 143 and 133 ended unchanged.

Shares in Panasia Indo Resources Tbk (JK:HDTX) fell to 3-years lows; down 24.29% or 102 to 318.

Crude oil for November delivery was up 0.73% or 0.37 to $50.72 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in November rose 0.40% or 0.22 to hit $55.70 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract rose 0.13% or 1.65 to trade at $1312.45 a troy ounce.

USD/IDR was up 0.03% to 13276.5, while AUD/IDR rose 0.36% to 10574.50.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.15% at 91.67.

Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Tuesday

Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Tuesday, September 19:

1. Federal Reserve kicks off 2-day policy meeting

The Fed is likely to announce a plan to start shrinking its massive $4.5 trillion balance sheet as its two-day policy meeting kicks off, but is widely expected to keep interest rates unchanged for now.

Markets will be looking for further clues on the timing of the next rate hike, with around 60% of market players expecting a move by December, according to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

Besides the Fed, today's economic calendar also includes data on housing starts and building permits at 8:30AM ET (1230GMT). At the same time, reports on import prices and the current account balance will also be released.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was a shade lower at 91.63.

2. Trump sets sights on North Korea, Iran in major UN speech

North Korea's nuclear ambitions will be center stage when U.S. President Donald Trump addresses world leaders at the United Nations at 10:30AM ET (1430GMT).

Senior White House officials said Trump would also target Iran's nuclear program, single out Venezuela for criticism and refer to Islamist militants as "losers," in his first appearance in the green-marbled U.N. General Assembly hall.

3. Global stocks mixed as caution dominates

Global stock markets were mixed in subdued trade, as investors turned cautious while awaiting fresh signals on U.S. monetary policy.

Asian shares slipped, with benchmarks in Shanghai and Seoul ending in negative territory. Japan markets were an outlier, however, soaring after reopening after a public holiday.

In Europe, shares were slightly lower in mid-morning trade, with most major bourses across the region in the red.

Meanwhile, U.S. stocks pointed to a flat open on Wall Street, as investors paused for breath following a recent run of record-highs for the Dow and S&P 500.

4. Oil prices push higher as focus shifts to API report

Crude oil prices rose back towards last week's multi-month highs, as investors looked ahead to weekly data from the U.S. on stockpiles of crude and refined products to weigh what the impact of recent storm activity was on supply and demand.

Industry group the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report at 4:30PM ET (2030GMT), amid expectations for an oil-stock gain of around 2.9 million barrels, which would mark the third weekly increase in a row.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures tacked on 28 cents, or around 0.6%, to $50.63 a barrel, not far from a five-month high of $50.88 touched last Thursday.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., was up 22 cents, or 0.4%, to $55.70 a barrel. It traded as high as $55.99 intraday Thursday, a level last seen since April.

5. German investor confidence surges as euro fears subside

German investor confidence rose for the first time in four months in September, a survey showed, suggesting that concern over the risk to growth from the strengthening euro is subsiding.

The ZEW research institute said its monthly survey showed its economic sentiment index jumped to 17.0. Economists had forecast a reading of 12.5, up from 10.0 points in the previous month.

The euro was up around 0.3% against the dollar to 1.1990, moving back within sight of a 2-1/2 year high near 1.2090 hit in early September.

Japan stocks higher at close of trade; Nikkei 225 up 1.96%

Investing.com – Japan stocks were higher after the close on Tuesday, as gains in the Precision Instruments, Glass and Shipbuilding sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 added 1.96% to hit a new 1-month high.

The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were NKSJ Holdings, Inc. (T:8630), which rose 4.67% or 202.0 points to trade at 4529.0 at the close. Meanwhile, J.Front Retailing Co., Ltd. (T:3086) added 4.61% or 66.0 points to end at 1497.0 and Yamato Holdings Co., Ltd. (T:9064) was up 4.11% or 91.5 points to 2316.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. (T:5201), which fell 1.54% or 65.0 points to trade at 4165.0 at the close. Toshiba Corp. (T:6502) declined 1.25% or 4.0 points to end at 315.5 and The Japan Steel Works, Ltd. (T:5631) was down 0.49% or 13.0 points to 2615.0.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 2702 to 615 and 176 ended unchanged.

Shares in NKSJ Holdings, Inc. (T:8630) rose to 52-week highs; up 4.67% or 202.0 to 4529.0.

The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was up 1.51% to 14.09.

Crude oil for November delivery was up 0.34% or 0.17 to $50.52 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in November rose 0.07% or 0.04 to hit $55.52 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract rose 0.10% or 1.29 to trade at $1312.09 a troy ounce.

USD/JPY was up 0.12% to 111.69, while EUR/JPY rose 0.36% to 133.85.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.12% at 91.70.

Taiwan stocks lower at close of trade; Taiwan Weighted down 0.52%

Investing.com – Taiwan stocks were lower after the close on Tuesday, as losses in the , Other Electronic and Paper&Pulp sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Taiwan, the Taiwan Weighted lost 0.52% to hit a new all time high.

The best performers of the session on the Taiwan Weighted were Walsin Technology Corp (TW:2492), which rose 9.77% or 7.30 points to trade at 82.00 at the close. Meanwhile, AOPEN Inc (TW:3046) added 6.37% or 0.24 points to end at 4.01 and Merida Industry Co Ltd (TW:9914) was up 6.30% or 8.00 points to 135.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Genius Electronic Optical Co Ltd (TW:3406), which fell 9.95% or 47.00 points to trade at 425.50 at the close. Qisda Corp (TW:2352) declined 5.91% or 1.40 points to end at 22.30 and Jung Shing Wire Co Ltd (TW:1617) was down 5.69% or 0.85 points to 14.10.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Taiwan Stock Exchange by 519 to 245 and 108 ended unchanged.

Shares in Walsin Technology Corp (TW:2492) rose to all time highs; up 9.77% or 7.30 to 82.00.

Crude oil for November delivery was up 0.14% or 0.07 to $50.42 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in November rose 0.07% or 0.04 to hit $55.52 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract rose 0.07% or 0.92 to trade at $1311.72 a troy ounce.

USD/TWD was up 0.14% to 30.147, while TWD/CNY rose 0.55% to 0.2195.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.21% at 91.62.

Commodities - Gold Dips In Asia As Investors Grow Cautious Ahead Of Fed Views

Investing.com - Gold prices dipped in Asia as markets grow cautious ahead of Wednesday's Fed policy statements with the details on the pace of unwinding its balance sheet awaited.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.14% to $1,312.70 a troy ounce.

Overnight, gold prices fell on Monday as fading tensions on the Korean Peninsula suppressed safe-haven demand while a sharp uptick in the dollar curbed sentiment on the precious metal ahead of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting slated for Tuesday.

Fresh on the heels of a two-week losing streak, gold prices started the week on the back foot as investors appeared to unwind some of their long positions in the precious metal following strong gains in both the greenback and treasury yields.

Treasury yields rose sharply, pushing the dollar higher, amid expectations the Federal Reserve will announce that it will begin unwinding its $4.5tn bond portfolio and reaffirm its outlook that an additional rate hike remains appropriate this year, when it concludes its two-day meeting policy meeting on Wednesday.

“What is more, bond yields in the U.S. have increased significantly of late, which makes gold less attractive as an alternative investment,” Commerzbank (DE:DE:CBKG) says. “Presumably this is also why Friday saw the second consecutive daily outflow from gold ETFs [exchange-traded funds].”

Gold is sensitive to moves higher in both bond yields and the U.S. dollar – A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency while a rise in U.S. rates, lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

Meanwhile, geopolitical uncertainty eased, reducing demand for safe-haven gold as investors downplayed U.S-North Korea tensions and piled into risker assets such as equities.

“Investors have been programmed to more or less ignore stuff with Korea. The last two or three times this kind of thing occurred we went down a little, only to turn back higher. We’ve learned to buy on the dips,” said Terry Morris, senior vice president and senior equity manager for National Penn Investors Trust Company.

Reserve Bank Of Australia Minutes Repeat Steady Policy Outlook

Investing.com - The Reserve Bank of Australia repeated that monetary policy is expected steady for "some time" in the minutes of its September rate review released Tuesday, and at which it held steady at a record low 1.50%.

Please see below for the full text of the minutes.

Minutes of the Monetary Policy Meeting of the Reserve Bank Board

Sydney – 5 September 2017

Members Present

Philip Lowe (Governor and Chair), Guy Debelle (Deputy Governor), Mark Barnaba AM, Kathryn Fagg, John Fraser (Secretary to the Treasury), Ian Harper, Allan Moss AO, Catherine Tanna

Members granted leave of absence to Carol Schwartz AM in terms of section 18A of the Reserve Bank Act 1959.

Others Present

Luci Ellis (Assistant Governor, Economic), Christopher Kent (Assistant Governor, Financial Markets), Ivan Roberts (Head of Asian Economies Research Unit, Economic Research Department)

Anthony Dickman (Secretary), Andrea Brischetto (Deputy Secretary)

Domestic Economic Conditions

Members commenced their discussion of the domestic economy by noting that labour market conditions had continued to improve, although spare capacity remains. Employment had risen further in July, the participation rate had edged higher and the unemployment rate had remained steady at 5.6 per cent. Full-time employment had risen strongly over the preceding year (even though it had declined in July) and had outpaced the growth in part-time employment over that period. Members noted that the improvement in the labour market since late 2016 had been broadly based across the states. Forward indicators suggested that the improvement in labour market conditions was likely to continue. Members discussed current influences on the participation rate, noting in particular the rise in participation by older female workers as they delayed their retirement.

While unemployment rates in Queensland and Western Australia had remained high relative to earlier periods, employment growth in those states had risen, suggesting that the labour market adjustment to the earlier decline in the terms of trade and falling mining investment was progressing. In the context of a broader discussion of economic developments in Queensland, members observed that economic conditions in the state had generally strengthened over recent quarters, reflecting continued growth in consumption and, increasingly, a pick-up in business investment and public demand. Strength in tourism and other service industries had supported growth in aggregate demand in Queensland. In contrast, population growth had been below average, reflecting lower net overseas and interstate migration.

Members discussed the broad trends in activity by industry across the eastern states over the preceding decade or so. The cycle in mining activity and commodity prices, the spillover to related industries and the sustained strength in construction had dominated developments in Queensland. Members noted the increasing contribution to growth from the education and training sectors, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria, which had been supported by demand from overseas. The trend decline in manufacturing was evident across all states on the eastern seaboard.

The wage price index data for the June quarter confirmed that wage growth had remained stable at a low rate. Other data showed that wage increases in new enterprise bargaining agreements had remained below the average of current agreements. Members noted that these data were consistent with the Bank's forecast for growth in wages to remain low for some time, before picking up gradually in response to the strengthening labour market. The pattern of growth in wages across industries had broadly mirrored the pattern of employment growth, with higher outcomes in the healthcare and education sectors and lower wage increases in the mining and retail sectors.

Members were briefed on developments in the housing market. For Australia as a whole, after population growth had outpaced growth in the number of dwellings for much of the decade from the mid 2000s, the converse had been true in recent years. Although dwelling investment remained at a high level, members noted that building approvals had stepped down and the pipeline of residential construction work appeared to have passed its peak. In Western Australia, dwelling investment had declined significantly, while in Queensland it had declined from very high levels and the stock of work in the pipeline was being worked down gradually. Although a further substantial increase in dwelling investment was not expected, the large amount of work remaining in the pipeline in New South Wales and Victoria suggested that dwelling investment was likely to stay at a high level in the subsequent couple of years. In the eastern capital cities, a considerable number of new apartments was scheduled to be completed in the period ahead.

In the established housing market, a number of indicators suggested that conditions had eased in Sydney, but to a lesser extent in Melbourne. Housing price growth had slowed over 2017 in Sydney, but had remained strong in Melbourne. A similar pattern was evident in auction clearance rates, which had declined by more in Sydney than in Melbourne. Auction volumes had also remained relatively low in Sydney. Rent increases had remained low in most cities and rents had continued to decline in Perth.

Members noted that the national accounts for the June quarter would be released the day after the meeting and that an increase in the quarterly growth rate of GDP was likely. Solid growth in retail sales suggested that household consumption growth was likely to have risen in the June quarter. However, retailers had discounted prices to achieve sales, which meant that growth in nominal retail sales had been more modest.

Non-mining business investment was expected to have increased in the June quarter, based on recent data. Forward-looking indicators such as capacity utilisation and investment intentions from business surveys suggested a further pick-up was in prospect, consistent with the Bank's forecast for growth in non-mining investment to strengthen gradually. Non-residential building approvals had picked up strongly over preceding months and non-mining investment intentions for 2017/18 reported in the ABS capital expenditure survey had been revised upwards. The data still pointed to modest growth at best, but the survey covers only around half of non-mining investment; growth in investment in the other parts of the non-mining sector, such as education and health, had been stronger.

Mining investment was expected to have declined in the June quarter and the capital expenditure survey pointed to a further, but moderate, fall in 2017/18 as expected. Members noted that strength in public investment was expected in the subsequent couple of years, driven by the program of current and planned infrastructure projects.

Members also noted that profits in the mining sector had remained high, in line with commodity prices, despite a decline in the June quarter, and that profits in the non-mining sector had strengthened over the year to the June quarter, following earlier weakness.

International Economic Conditions

Turning to global economic developments, members noted that conditions in the world economy had remained positive, although inflation pressures remained subdued.

Members noted that GDP growth in the three largest advanced economies had picked up in the June quarter, driven by faster growth in business investment and continued strong consumption growth. Accommodative policy settings had helped sustain growth above estimates of potential for several years. The outlook for business investment had improved for all three economies and the outlook for growth in consumption remained positive in light of continued improvements in labour markets. Unemployment rates in the United States and Japan remained below estimates of full employment. Although spare capacity remained in the euro area labour market, unemployment rates had fallen in most countries and GDP per capita had been growing. Nevertheless, growth in wages had not increased materially in any of the major economies and core inflation remained low. In recent months, core inflation had been declining in the United States and Japan. Headline inflation rates had also declined, largely because of the earlier decline in oil prices.

In China, GDP growth had been a little stronger than expected over the first half of 2017, supported by generally accommodative policy settings. Strong growth in infrastructure investment had continued in July, and further sharp increases in crude steel production and electricity generation had continued to support imports of coal and iron ore from Australia. In the rest of east Asia, a pick-up in export growth as global demand strengthened had underpinned stronger domestic demand.

Members discussed the influence of China on the global iron ore and steel markets more generally. They noted that China was by far the largest consumer and importer of iron ore globally. This reflected the fact that China, with the world's largest population, had reached a similar level of steel production per capita to that of industrialised economies. Iron ore prices had been supported at higher levels because of sustained strong demand for steel in China. However, prices were expected to fall in the period ahead because of the ongoing expansion of global iron ore supply following an extended period of strong investment. Members also noted that Chinese steel production per capita was likely to be close to its peak and that growth in Chinese steel production would not add much to global demand for iron ore in the future. Members observed that, in the longer run, there was potential for India to have a noticeable effect on commodity markets as investment in residential construction and transport infrastructure increased.

Members discussed the challenges facing the Chinese authorities as they balance their commitment to short-term growth targets with their efforts to address medium-term risks arising from high and rising levels of debt in the Chinese economy. Members also discussed the Chinese authorities' progress in implementing structural reforms announced in 2013 at the Third Plenum. There had been progress on a number of fronts, including a broadened value added tax, some deregulation of interest rates and the relaxation of the one-child policy. However, the authorities' goal of allowing the market to play a ‘decisive role’ in allocating resources was still some way from being realised. In particular, state-owned enterprise reform had been focused on strengthening these firms and increasing the oversight of their activities by the Chinese Communist Party, rather than reducing the influence of state-owned firms in the economy. Members noted that the outcome of the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in mid October would affect the pace and focus of further reforms, and influence how the authorities address the tension between achieving short-term growth aims and managing the build-up of risks to financial stability associated with rising debt levels.

Financial Markets

Members commenced their discussion of developments in financial markets by noting that there had been a muted response in markets to rising tensions on the Korean peninsula. Overall conditions in financial markets had remained very accommodative and volatility had remained low over the preceding month.

Long-term government bond yields in the major financial markets had generally declined over the preceding month. US Treasury bond yields had reached the lowest level since the US election, in part reflecting continued uncertainty about the implementation of the administration’s policy agenda and lower-than-expected inflation data. While the Federal Reserve was widely expected to commence its balance sheet reduction later in 2017, market pricing indicated that the federal funds rate was not expected to be increased until the second half of 2018. Members noted that yields on US government bills that mature in early October had increased, reflecting concerns that US legislators might not raise the US debt ceiling in time to meet funding requirements.

The yield on Australian 10-year government bonds had changed little over the preceding month. The spread of Australian 10-year government bonds to US Treasuries had widened over recent months, which was also the case for spreads to US Treasuries of a number of other sovereign bonds.

Major share markets had declined a little over the preceding month, in part reflecting rising geopolitical tension.

Major market corporate bond spreads to sovereign bonds were around their lowest levels since the onset of the global financial crisis and overall funding conditions for companies remained favourable.

In foreign exchange markets, the US dollar had depreciated a little further in trade-weighted terms over the preceding month to be lower than before the US election. However, it was still well above levels at the end of the period of expansion of the Federal Reserve's balance sheet in 2014. In trade-weighted terms, the Japanese yen and the euro had been little changed over August, with the latter having appreciated over preceding months to be around late-2014 levels. The Australian dollar was little changed over August, in both US dollar and trade-weighted terms. The appreciation of the Australian dollar over the course of 2017 had, in large part, reflected a broadly based depreciation of the US dollar.

In China, tighter enforcement of capital controls by the authorities had contributed to a reduction in capital outflows in 2017 and had been accompanied by an appreciation of the renminbi against the US dollar. Bond yields had also increased since the end of 2016 in line with some tightening in financial conditions. Members observed that financial market conditions in China nevertheless remained accommodative overall.

In Australia, growth in housing credit had remained steady during 2017; slower growth in lending to investors had been offset by stronger growth in lending to owner-occupiers. Members observed that, while growth in housing lending by the major banks had slowed over 2017, growth in housing lending by smaller lenders had increased. This partly reflected the response of the major banks to the measures introduced by the Australian Prudential (LON:PRU) Regulation Authority (APRA) earlier in the year in relation to interest-only lending, which makes up a larger share of lending by major banks than by other lenders. Members also noted that loan approvals for new dwellings had continued to increase over 2017.

Average lending rates were estimated to have increased slightly over 2017, reflecting higher interest rates for investors and borrowers with interest-only loans. Members noted that the average interest rate on new variable-rate loans was estimated to be around 30 basis points below that on outstanding loans.

Overall, major banks' funding costs were estimated to have declined gradually over 2017. Combined with the increase in average lending rates, the implied spread between the average outstanding lending and funding rates for banks was estimated to have edged higher over 2017. Also, spreads for Australian residential mortgage-backed securities had declined over the prior year and issuance had been strong relative to the average of the post-financial crisis period.

Profits reported by Australian listed companies in August had generally increased compared with a year earlier, although they had been somewhat below expectations. Share prices across the major sectors were higher than a year earlier, particularly for resource companies, reflecting higher commodity prices.

Financial market pricing had continued to indicate that the cash rate was expected to remain unchanged throughout 2017, with some expectation of an increase in the cash rate by mid 2018.

Considerations for Monetary Policy

In considering the stance of monetary policy, members noted that the data received over the prior month confirmed that global economic conditions had strengthened since 2016. Labour markets had continued to tighten and above-trend growth was expected in a number of advanced economies. Growth in wages and inflation had generally remained subdued and core inflation had eased a little. In China, continued strong growth in infrastructure investment had supported demand for commodities, although medium-term risks associated with high and rising debt levels remained.

Conditions in global financial markets had generally remained very accommodative; long-term bond yields in the major financial markets had declined and volatility had been low. No further monetary easing was expected in the major economies and the US Federal Reserve was expected to raise the federal funds rate further in the period ahead.

Members noted that the Australian economy had grown at a below-trend rate over 2016/17. The data on domestic activity received over the prior month had, on balance, been positive and consistent with a gradual pick-up in growth as forecast. Members noted that conditions had been conducive to a pick-up in non-mining investment for some time and the latest data on investment expectations pointed to this occurring, which was a welcome development. The decline in mining investment was diminishing and strength in public infrastructure investment was expected. Residential investment appeared to have passed its peak, but was expected to remain at a high level for some time.

Employment growth had been broadly based across the states, suggesting that the adjustment to the end of the mining investment boom was nearing completion. Solid growth in employment was expected to continue, which would support household incomes and thus spending in the period ahead. Members acknowledged the risks to this scenario from growth in housing debt having outpaced the slow growth in household incomes over the preceding few years. Growth in wages and inflation had remained low but stable. This was expected to remain the case for some time. Nevertheless, a gradual increase in growth in wages and inflation was expected as the spare capacity in the labour market was reduced and the economy continued to strengthen, supported by the low level of interest rates.

The appreciation of the Australian dollar over recent months, driven in part by a broad depreciation of the US dollar, was weighing on domestic growth and contributing to subdued inflationary pressure. A further appreciation of the Australian dollar would be expected to result in a slower pick-up in growth and inflation.

Members noted that conditions in established housing markets had continued to vary considerably. There had been clearer signs of an easing in conditions in the Sydney market but less so in Melbourne, where prices had continued to grow strongly. Borrowing for housing had continued to outpace growth in incomes, although the composition had shifted towards owner-occupiers, with higher interest rates for investors in housing reflecting the ongoing effects of APRA’s recent measures to strengthen lending standards in this area.

Taking into account all of the available information, and the need to balance the risks associated with high household debt in a low-inflation environment, the Board judged that holding the stance of monetary policy unchanged would be consistent with sustainable growth in the economy and achieving the inflation target over time.

The Decision

The Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.5 per cent.

PBOC Sets Yuan Parity At 6.5530 Vs Dollar

Investing.com - The People's Bank of China set the yuan mid-point at 6.5530 against the dollar on Tuesday, compared to the previous close of 6.5761.

The China Foreign Exchange Trade System sets the weighted average of prices given by market makers. The highest and lowest offers are excluded from the calculation. The central bank allows the dollar/yuan rate to move no more than 2% above or below the central parity rate.

Market watchers see a yuan level of 7 against the dollar, USD/CNY, as a key touchstone for sentiment in the near term.

Aussie Ticks Higher Ahead Of Central Bank Minutes

Investing.com - The Aussie ticked higher in early Asia on Tuesday ahead of central bank minutes with investors also focused on the start of a two-day Fed meeting in the U.S.

AUD/USD traded at 0.7961, up 0.03%, while USD/JPY changed hands at 111.55, down 0.01%.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted up 0.17% to 91.81.

In Asia, Australia reports its house price index for the second quarter with a 1.1% gain seen, while the RBA meeting minutes from September are due.

Overnight, the dollar rose against a basket of major currencies on Monday, following strong gains in U.S. treasury yields amid rising expectations that the Federal Reserve will reaffirm its plan to hike rates at least once this year when it concludes its two-day policy meeting which gets underway on Tuesday.

In what was a slow day on the economic calendar for top-tier data, investors turned attention to the two-day Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting for fresh insight into the central bank’s thinking on monetary policy.

U.S. treasury yields jumped, underpinning a move higher in the greenback, as investors expect the central bank to announce that it will begin unwinding its $4.5 trillion bond portfolio and reaffirm its outlook that an additional rate hike this year remains appropriate.

As well as plans for balance sheet unwinding, the Fed’s Summary of Economic Projections and dot-plot are expected garner much of the attention, as investors are keen to assess whether the slowing pace of inflation has altered the central bank’s longer-term view on interest rates.

“Away from the balance sheet, investors should focus on the Summary of Economic Projections and the well known dot-plot.” Analysts at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:NYSE:MS) said in a note. “We see the biggest risk to our economist's call for status quo as a lower median longer run dot - possibly falling to 2.75% from 3.00%.”

Brazil stocks higher at close of trade; Bovespa up 0.31%

Investing.com – Brazil stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Basic Materials, Financials and Public Utilities sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Sao Paulo, the Bovespa rose 0.31% to hit a new all time high.

The best performers of the session on the Bovespa were Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais (SA:USIM5), which rose 7.14% or 0.62 points to trade at 9.30 at the close. Meanwhile, Companhia Brasileira deDistribuicao (SA:PCAR4) added 4.11% or 3.09 points to end at 78.30 and Cia Siderurgica Nacional SA (SA:CSNA3) was up 3.41% or 0.37 points to 11.22 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were JBS SA (SA:JBSS3), which fell 3.95% or 0.35 points to trade at 8.50 at the close. Multiplan SA (SA:MULT3) declined 2.36% or 1.87 points to end at 77.26 and Estacio Participacoes SA (SA:ESTC3) was down 2.21% or 0.63 points to 27.87.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange by 249 to 162 and 37 ended unchanged.

Shares in Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais (SA:USIM5) rose to 3-years highs; rising 7.14% or 0.62 to 9.30. Shares in Companhia Brasileira deDistribuicao (SA:PCAR4) rose to 52-week highs; rising 4.11% or 3.09 to 78.30. Shares in Estacio Participacoes SA (SA:ESTC3) fell to 52-week highs; down 2.21% or 0.63 to 27.87.

The CBOE Brazil Etf Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Bovespa options, was down 2.08% to 28.28.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 1.01% or 13.32 to $1311.88 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November fell 0.16% or 0.08 to hit $50.36 a barrel, while the December US coffee C contract fell 0.69% or 0.98 to trade at $140.32 .

USD/BRL was up 0.90% to 3.1364, while EUR/BRL rose 0.90% to 3.7504.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.15% at 91.79.

Stocks - Steecase Rallies on Earnings Beat

Investing.com - Steelcase Inc (NYSE:SCS) shares were climbing during Monday’s post-bell session following the company’s release of is second quarter results, which surpassed expectations.

The provider of furniture settings, user-centered technologies, and interior architectural products earned 31 cents per share on revenue of $775.6 million. Analysts forecast earnings of 23 cents per share on revenue of $757.4 million.

While the second quarter results surpassed expectations, the company guided for third-quarter earnings below analyst estimates. Steelcase is looking for earnings of 21 cents to 25 cents per share. The company’s revenue expectation is for $785 million to $810 million, bracketing the analyst estimate of $798.7 million.

Steelcase shares climbed 4.5% in after-hours trade.

Canada stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/TSX Composite up 0.42%

Investing.com – Canada stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Consumer Discretionary, Energy and Industrials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite gained 0.42%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/TSX Composite were Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Corp (TO:LIF), which rose 8.95% or 1.76 points to trade at 21.43 at the close. Meanwhile, Semafo Inc . (TO:SMF) added 7.03% or 0.23 points to end at 3.42 and Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. (TO:IVN) was up 5.68% or 0.230 points to 4.280 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Guyana Goldfields Inc . (TO:GUY), which fell 6.56% or 0.280 points to trade at 3.990 at the close. Pretium Resources Inc. (TO:PVG) declined 5.49% or 0.58 points to end at 9.98 and Kinross Gold Corporation (TO:K) was down 5.27% or 0.31 points to 5.57.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Toronto Stock Exchange by 601 to 480 and 139 ended unchanged.

Shares in Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Corp (TO:LIF) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 8.95% or 1.76 to 21.43. Shares in Guyana Goldfields Inc. (TO:GUY) fell to 52-week lows; down 6.56% or 0.280 to 3.990.

The S&P/TSX 60 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/TSX Composite options, was up 16.15% to 12.73.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 1.03% or 13.65 to $1311.55 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November fell 0.26% or 0.13 to hit $50.31 a barrel, while the November Brent oil contract fell 0.31% or 0.17 to trade at $55.45 a barrel.

CAD/USD was down 0.87% to 0.8132, while CAD/EUR fell 0.89% to 0.6802.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.17% at 91.81.

Colombia stocks higher at close of trade; COLCAP up 0.31%

Investing.com – Colombia stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Financials, Investment and Industrials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Colombia, the COLCAP rose 0.31%.

The best performers of the session on the COLCAP were Grupo Argos SA (CN:ARG), which rose 2.02% or 420.0 points to trade at 21200.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Pfgrupoarg (CN:ARG_p) added 1.48% or 280.0 points to end at 19240.0 and Empresa de Energia de Bogota SA ESP (CN:EEB) was up 1.28% or 25.0 points to 1975.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Avianca Holdings Pf (CN:AVT_p), which fell 2.65% or 80.0 points to trade at 2935.0 at the close. Cementos Argos Pf (CN:CCB_p) declined 1.70% or 180.0 points to end at 10380.0 and Bolsa De Valores De Colombia (CN:BVC) was down 1.14% or 0.3 points to 26.1.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Colombia Stock Exchange by 15 to 15 and 2 ended unchanged.

Shares in Bolsa De Valores De Colombia (CN:BVC) fell to 3-years highs; down 1.14% or 0.3 to 26.1.

US coffee C for December delivery was down 0.69% or 0.98 to $140.32 . Elsewhere in commodities trading, US cocoa for delivery in December fell 1.65% or 33.00 to hit $1969.00 , while the December Gold Futures contract fell 1.01% or 13.35 to trade at $1311.85 a troy ounce.

USD/COP was up 0.44% to 2908.63, while BRL/COP fell 0.36% to 928.15.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.18% at 91.82.

Cryptos - Bitcoin below $4,000 but post-China-ban recovery on track

Investing.com – Bitcoin retreated from session highs on Monday but its post-China-ban recovery remained on track as investors continued to pile into the popular digital currency in the wake of the recent slump which saw prices dip below $3,000.

On the U.S.-based Bitfinex exchange, bitcoin rose to $3978, up $311, or 8.48%. Bitcoin is about 30% below its recent peak of $4,969, boasting a market cap slightly above $60 billion.

Less than a week after Bitcoin suffered one its worst crashes in its nine-year history after Chinese authorities ordered all local cryptocurrency exchanges to cease trading, the popular cryptocurrency is well on its way to paring losses.

The sharp recovery in Bitcoin comes as investors downplayed the fallout of the China ‘ban’ on global bitcoin trading activity. The Chinese bitcoin exchange market only accounted for approximately 10-13% percent of global bitcoin trading activity so far this year.

In the aftermath of the ban, Japan has become the largest Bitcoin exchange market with 50.75% of the global Bitcoin exchange market. Japan's role on the global Bitcoin stage could yet strengthen as OKCoin and Huobi, the two largest exchanges in China, were granted leeway to operate until Oct. 30, as they have not been involved in any initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the past.

Bitcoin Cash rose 7.61% to $470.26, while Ethereum gained 12.69% to $289.21.

Stocks - Caterpillar Touches New Record After Bullish Analyst Expectations

Investing.com - Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT) shares touched a new record high on Monday, boosted by UBS’s bullish take on the stock.

UBS analyst Steven Fisher upgraded the mining and farming equipment maker to Buy, after holding a Neutral rating on the stock for at least years. At the same time, the stock price target was raised to $140 from $116. As a reason for the upgrade, Fisher cited a growing cash position and signs suggesting the earnings upcycle will continue.

Fisher added that UBS's latest analysis of private non-residential construction suggests a re-acceleration in activity in the fourth quarter, with mid-single-digit percentage growth into 2018. Fischer expects Caterpillar will generate nearly $10 billion in cash flow between 2018 and 2020 after capital expenditures and dividends which can be returned to shareholders.

Caterpillar's shares climbed as high as $124.43 on Monday, a record high.

Stocks - US Banks Higher as Treasury Yield Climbs

Investing.com - The major U.S. banks were leading sector gains on Monday, getting a boost after the 10-year Treasury yield climbed three basis points to reach 2.23%. Just about two weeks ago the yield headed below 2%.

Higher yields are good news for lenders. Looking forward, this week the Federal Open Markets Committee has its two-day policy setting meeting, but no rate hike is expected. Investors are currently pricing in a December rate hike and the interest in the meeting will likely be to garner more clues into that rate hike.

Bank stocks higher on Monday included Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS).

Commodities - Gold Prices Fall as Yields Make Strong Gains

Investing.com – Gold prices fell on Monday as fading tensions on the Korean Peninsula suppressed safe-haven demand while a sharp uptick in the dollar curbed sentiment on the precious metal ahead of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting slated for Tuesday.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by $13.67, or 1.03%, to $1,311.51 a troy ounce.

Fresh on the heels of a two-week losing streak, gold prices started the week on the back foot as investors appeared to unwind some of their long positions in the precious metal following strong gains in both the greenback and treasury yields.

Treasury yields rose sharply, pushing the dollar higher, amid expectations the Federal Reserve will announce that it will begin unwinding its $4.5tn bond portfolio and reaffirm its outlook that an additional rate hike remains appropriate this year, when it concludes its two-day meeting policy meeting on Wednesday.

“What is more, bond yields in the U.S. have increased significantly of late, which makes gold less attractive as an alternative investment,” Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) says. “Presumably this is also why Friday saw the second consecutive daily outflow from gold ETFs [exchange-traded funds].”

Gold is sensitive to moves higher in both bond yields and the U.S. dollar – A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency while a rise in U.S. rates, lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

Meanwhile, geopolitical uncertainty eased, reducing demand for safe-haven gold as investors downplayed U.S-North Korea tensions and piled into risker assets such as equities.

“Investors have been programmed to more or less ignore stuff with Korea. The last two or three times this kind of thing occurred we went down a little, only to turn back higher. We’ve learned to buy on the dips,” said Terry Morris, senior vice president and senior equity manager for National Penn Investors Trust Company.

The uptick in the greenback weighed on commodities across the board, as silver futures fell 2.93% to $17.18 a troy ounce while platinum futures lost 1.03% to $961.75.

Copper traded at $2.97, up 0.64%, while natural gas rose by 4.33% to $3.155.

Stocks- Aarons Slumps Following Bearish Analyst Rating

Investing.com - Aarons Inc 's (NYSE:AAN) shares plunged on Monday as investors reacted to a bearish assessment of the company’s stock by Off Wall Street.

Off Wall Street put a Sell rating on the retailer and a price target of $30.

Aaron's shares were down 9.5% at $38.80 Monday afternoon.

Stocks - Aviation Sector Boosted as Northrop-Orbital Deal Could Spark More Mergers

Investing.com - The aviation sector is responding positively to Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC)s purchase of Orbital ATK Inc (NYSE:OA) for $7.8 billion. The all-cash deal will expand Northrop’s missile defense systems and space rockets, and give it access to valuable government contracts.

Northrup’s shares were up over 2% Monday afternoon, and the aviation sector was climbing, likely on the sentiment that there will be more mergers.The likes of Loral Space and Communications Inc (NASDAQ:LORL), Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc (NYSE:AJRD), Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) and General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD) were also higher.

Dollar Higher as Investors Expect Fed to Stick to plans for year-end hike

Investing.com – The dollar rose against a basket of major currencies on Monday, following strong gains in U.S. treasury yields amid rising expectations that the Federal Reserve will reaffirm its plan to hike rates at least once this year when it concludes its two-day policy meeting which gets underway on Tuesday.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.26% to 91.89.

In what was a slow day on the economic calendar for top-tier data, investors turned attention to the two-day Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting for fresh insight into the central bank’s thinking on monetary policy.

U.S. treasury yields jumped, underpinning a move higher in the greenback, as investors expect the central bank to announce that it will begin unwinding its $4.5tn bond portfolio and reaffirm its outlook that an additional rate hike this year remains appropriate.

As well as plans for balance sheet unwinding, the Fed’s Summary of Economic Projections and dot-plot are expected garner much of the attention, as investors are keen to assess whether the slowing pace of inflation has altered the central bank’s longer-term view on interest rates.

“Away from the balance sheet, investors should focus on the Summary of Economic Projections and the well known dot-plot.” Analysts at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) said in a note. “We see the biggest risk to our economist's call for status quo as a lower median longer run dot - possibly falling to 2.75% from 3.00%.”

The rise in the dollar weighed on sterling which turned negative following a surge to fifteen-month highs on Monday, despite Bank of England governor Mark Carney reiterating that an interest rate hike is on the agenda in the coming months.

GBP/USD rose to $1.3488, down 0.78% while USD/CAD gained 0.33% to C$1.2231.

EUR/USD fell 0.05% to $1.1934 while EUR/GBP added 0.68% to £0.8850.

USD/JPY rose 0.64% to Y111.53.

Portugal stocks higher at close of trade; PSI 20 up 1.56%

Investing.com – Portugal stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Financials, Basic Materials and Telecoms sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Lisbon, the PSI 20 added 1.56% to hit a new 1-month high.

The best performers of the session on the PSI 20 were Banco Comercial Portugues (LS:BCP), which rose 5.59% or 0.0120 points to trade at 0.2265 at the close. Meanwhile, The Navigator Company SA (LS:NVGR) added 4.51% or 0.1710 points to end at 3.9600 and Pharol SGPS SA (LS:PHRA) was up 3.98% or 0.0130 points to 0.3400 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were EDP (LS:EDP), which fell 2.52% or 0.0850 points to trade at 3.2890 at the close. REN (LS:RENE) added 0.18% or 0.0050 points to end at 2.7950 and Novabase SGPS (LS:NBA) was up 0.35% or 0.011 points to 3.191.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Lisbon Stock Exchange by 30 to 3 and 3 ended unchanged.

Brent oil for November delivery was down 0.49% or 0.27 to $55.35 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November fell 0.50% or 0.25 to hit $50.19 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract fell 1.11% or 14.66 to trade at $1310.54 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.10% to 1.1928, while EUR/GBP rose 0.65% to 0.8848.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.27% at 91.90.

Spain stocks higher at close of trade; IBEX 35 up 0.20%

Investing.com – Spain stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Telecoms&IT, Financial Services&Real Estate and Building&Construction sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Madrid, the IBEX 35 rose 0.20%.

The best performers of the session on the IBEX 35 were Indra A (MC:IDR), which rose 3.62% or 0.475 points to trade at 13.590 at the close. Meanwhile, Aena Aeropuertos SA (MC:AENA) added 1.57% or 2.45 points to end at 158.45 and ArcelorMittal SA (MC:MTS) was up 1.41% or 0.315 points to 22.730 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Mediaset ESP (MC:TL5), which fell 1.25% or 0.119 points to trade at 9.415 at the close. Caixabank SA (MC:CABK) declined 1.20% or 0.052 points to end at 4.270 and Inmobiliaria Colonial SA (MC:COL) was down 0.93% or 0.08 points to 8.524.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Madrid Stock Exchange by 84 to 84 and 22 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 1.06% or 14.00 to $1311.20 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November fell 0.44% or 0.22 to hit $50.22 a barrel, while the November Brent oil contract fell 0.43% or 0.24 to trade at $55.38 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.09% to 1.1929, while EUR/GBP rose 0.67% to 0.8850.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.27% at 91.90.

Netherlands stocks higher at close of trade; AEX up 0.48%

Investing.com – Netherlands stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Technology, Industrials and Basic Materials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Amsterdam, the AEX added 0.48% to hit a new 1-month high.

The best performers of the session on the AEX were ASML Holding NV (AS:ASML), which rose 2.32% or 3.15 points to trade at 139.00 at the close. Meanwhile, Aegon NV (AS:AEGN) added 1.73% or 0.083 points to end at 4.869 and ABN AMRO Group NV (AS:ABNd) was up 1.30% or 0.31 points to 24.10 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Altice NV (AS:ATCA), which fell 1.49% or 0.28 points to trade at 18.21 at the close. Galapagos NV (AS:GLPG) declined 1.44% or 1.220 points to end at 83.560 and Unibail Rodamco SE (AS:UNBP) was down 0.77% or 1.60 points to 206.70.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by 69 to 58 and 10 ended unchanged.

Shares in ASML Holding NV (AS:ASML) rose to all time highs; rising 2.32% or 3.15 to 139.00.

The AEX Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of AEX options, was up 0.21% to 9.97.

Crude oil for November delivery was down 0.40% or 0.20 to $50.24 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in November fell 0.38% or 0.21 to hit $55.41 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract fell 1.07% or 14.12 to trade at $1311.08 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.08% to 1.1930, while EUR/GBP rose 0.67% to 0.8850.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.26% at 91.89.

Russia stocks higher at close of trade; MICEX up 0.26%

Investing.com – Russia stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Manufacturing, Oil&Gas and Power sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Moscow, the MICEX added 0.26% to hit a new 3-months high.

The best performers of the session on the MICEX were NMTP (MCX:NMTP), which rose 3.54% or 0.2800 points to trade at 8.2000 at the close. Meanwhile, MosEnrg (MCX:MSNG) added 3.50% or 0.1030 points to end at 3.0495 and Tatneft OAO Pref (MCX:TATN_p) was up 3.33% or 9.20 points to 285.20 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Unipro (MCX:UPRO), which fell 2.24% or 0.0560 points to trade at 2.4420 at the close. AFK Sistema (MCX:AFKS) declined 2.17% or 0.305 points to end at 13.745 and Inter rao ees (MCX:IRAO) was down 2.02% or 0.0795 points to 3.8605.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Moscow Stock Exchange by 120 to 108 and 15 ended unchanged.

The Russian VIX, which measures the implied volatility of MICEX options, was down 1.43% to 18.660.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 1.06% or 14.10 to $1311.10 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November fell 0.44% or 0.22 to hit $50.22 a barrel, while the November Brent oil contract fell 0.43% or 0.24 to trade at $55.38 a barrel.

USD/RUB was up 0.71% to 58.0445, while EUR/RUB rose 0.53% to 69.2330.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.27% at 91.90.