Crude oil slides to 81 in European morning as USD resumes rally. As we do not have much industry-specific data today, except API's inventory estimates after market close, oil price will be determined by macroeconomic development.
Currently trading at 1.3478, the euro remains under pressure as it's unlikely that Greece will get a credible solution for its heavy debts. The pound tumbles to 1.498 after a government report shows UK's CPI eased to +3% y/y (consensus: +3.1%) in February, following a strong expansion to +3.5% in the previous month. Core inflation, excluding costs of energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, slowed to +2.9% percent in February, from +3.1% in January. Despite the moderation, inflation in the UK stayed in the upper end of the BOE's 2-3% target. The UK's CBI Distributive Trades Index dropped to 13 in March from 23 a month ago. The market had anticipated a slowdown to 18 only.
European stock market surged initially but then gains were pared due to profit-taking. UK's FTSE 100 Index rose to 5697, the highest level since June 2009 as Legal & General announced to increase dividend payout by +33% while Cairn Energy reported rise in profits. The stocks rallied +5.2% and +3.2% respectively. Germany's DAX index advanced for a second day, also on encouraging earnings announcements.
Gold continues hovering around 1110 level but near-term risk is to the downside. Sovereign crisis in Greece is weighing on the euro and the gold. Chancellor Angela Merkel's comment last week raised worries about some countries may be leaving the Eurozone. Merkel said last week that countries that do not 'fulfill the conditions again and again in the long-term' should be 'ejected' from the 16-nation region Eurozone. This indicates a lack of credibility in the 16-nation region and the single currency.
PGMs also decline in tandem with other commodities. Platinum slips for the 4th day to 1589 while palladium plunges to 449.3. The latter has dropped more than -7% from the decade-high at 483.6. We believe corrections in PGMs are temporary as strong fundamentals should drive prices higher form current levels.