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5 Top Things to know this morning - 09/01

These are the top 5 things to know for today’s trading day.


1. GBP falls to 10-week low after 'hard Brexit' comment

The British pound plunged to a session low of 1.2125 against the dollar, a level not seen since October 28. It was last at 1.2148 by 10:55GMT, down around 1.1%.

The selloff in sterling came as comments by British Prime Minister Theresa May were seen as an indication that the U.K. won’t try to negotiate continued full access to the European single market when it leaves the European Union.

In an interview with Sky News on Sunday, May warned she has no plan to keep "bits of EU membership", indicating an exit from the single market is part of her Brexit plan.


2. U.S. dollar steady, still supported by jobs data

The U.S. dollar stood tall against its major rivals on Monday, after the latest U.S. employment report pointed to strong underlying wage growth, suggesting resilience in the labor market and strengthening the case for more rate hikes in the months ahead.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.3% at 102.47 in early trade.


3. Dow to try and reach 20K again

U.S. stock markets were struggling for direction on Monday morning, with the Dow remaining within sight of the closely-watched 20,000-level.

European equities were slightly lower in choppy morning trade, while London's FTSE100 managed to eke out gains on the back of a broadly weaker pound.

In Asia, markets ended mixed, with the Shanghai Composite in China closing up 0.55%. Japan's Nikkei remained closed for a public holiday.


4. Oil prices fall as U.S. adds more rigs

Oil prices fell sharply on Monday, as indications of increased drilling activity in U.S. offset signs OPEC members are adhering to planned output cuts.

U.S. crude was down 90 cents, or about 1.6%, at $53.12 a barrel, while Brent slumped 94 cents, or 1.65%, to $56.16 a barrel.

According to oilfield services provider Baker Hughes, the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. last week increased by 4 to 529, the tenth straight weekly rise and a level not seen in more than a year.

Some analysts have warned that the recent rally in prices could be self-defeating, as it encourages U.S. shale producers to drill more, adding to concerns over a global supply glut.


5. China's yuan slides as forex reserves shrink

The yuan slumped against the U.S. dollar on Monday, with China's central bank setting a firmer fix than many had expected at 6.9262. The yuan was last at 6.9373 against the greenback, down around 0.3% following Friday's 0.5% retreat.

Data released over the weekend showed that China's foreign exchange reserves fell by $41.1 billion in December to near six-year lows of $3.01 trillion, as authorities stepped in to support the weakening yuan ahead of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration.

China has been making great efforts to stabilize its currency ahead of Trump's inauguration on January 20 and the long Lunar New Year holidays at the end of the month by taking actions that affect both onshore and offshore markets.





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