Markets awoke to the startling news of an explosion in Manhattan, although the reaction was largely muted. Gold prices opened flat on Monday at $1,248 per ounce, remaining stuck near its lowest in nearly five months. Spot silver lost 7¢ (-0.4%) to fall toward $15.75/oz.
Platinum traded slightly lower to $885/oz, the first time the precious metals has remained below $900/oz for any extended period of time all year. Palladium was also 0.2% lower to $995/oz.
The reports of a possible suicide bombing attempt at the New York City Port Authority bus terminal were just making the rounds when markets opened. A suspect in the incident is in custody, but few other details are publicly known yet. Meanwhile, wildfires continued to spread through California, causing a number of residential areas to evacuate.
Stocks opened flat on Wall St while the U.S. dollar held steady around 93.86 on the DXY index. The pound sterling slipped to $1.337 as at least one British official walked back the U.K.’s commitment to the Brexit terms it just negotiated last week. Every time the two sides seem to get close to an understanding, the talks have invariably fallen apart. The euro was up slightly, trading just shy of $1.18.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rallied 0.6% to its highest in a quarter-century in overnight trading in Asia. The yen was mostly steady at ¥113.4 per dollar. European bonds saw fresh demand, as did U.S. Treasurys. The 10-year T-note yield fell to 2.35%. Despite news that Russia and some OPEC member states may begin to increase oil production, crude prices were steady on Monday. WTI crude held at $57.40/bbl while Brent crude traded at $63.50/bbl.
Perhaps the biggest market news was that bitcoin futures began trading last night. While many see the development as a shot in the arm for the credibility of cryptocurrencies, there are still clear risks posed by this nascent market. Volatility was high, and a circuit breaker that halted trading was triggered after bitcoin prices jumped as much as 26%.
In geopolitics, there’s been some controversy over the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Up to now, peace talks between the U.S. ally and its neighbor Palestine have focused on sharing the city, which is a sacred site within each of the Abrahamic religions.
Central banks will be busy this week, beginning with the Fed meeting that concludes on Wednesday. The FOMC is expected to raise interest rates for the third time this year. On Thursday, the European Central Bank (ECB), Swiss National Bank (SNB), and the Bank of England (BOE) will all hold policy meetings, as well.
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