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OnTheRadar: Fed Speakers, US Data Eyed Next Week

--North Korea Jitters Put Damper on Risk Sentiment
By Vicki Schmelzer
     NEW YORK (MNI) - North Korean jitters put a damper on risk sentiment
Friday, but while U.S. and other global yields were off this week's highs, they
remained well above recent lows. 
     Similarly, there was modest profit-taking in U.S. stocks, but equities held
not far from the life-time highs posted recently.
     Ten-year U.S. Treasury yields were last near 2.261%, after trading in a
2.239% to 2.276% range. The Sept. 20 yield high of 2.287% was the highest since
August 8, when yields peaked near 2.289%. Ten-year yields last closed above
2.30% on July 27. 
     The Sept. 8 yield low near 2.016% was the lowest since Nov. 10, when yields
saw a wide range of 1.991% to 2.145% two-days after the U.S. election. 
     After a larger yield sell-off in June, U.S. yields subsequently recovered,
and 10-year yields rose to 2.396% July 7, the highest since mid-May. 
     As background, U.S. Treasury yields posted highs near 2.421% on May 11,
which was the highest yield since March 31, when the 10-year yield peaked at
     On March 14, ahead of the Fed decision, 10-year U.S. yields topped out at
     As a reminder, 10-year U.S. yields rallied from lows near 1.720% Nov. 9,
the day after the U.S. election, to highs near 2.639% on Dec. 15, 2016, which
was the highest since the Sept. 19, 2014, peak near 2.655%.
     Ten-year German Bund yields closed near 0.447% Friday, after trading in a
0.443% to 0.469% range. Thursday's yield high of 0.484% was the highest since
August 7, when Bund yields peaked near 0.491%. 
     The low of 0.292%, seen Sept. 8, was the lowest Bund yield since June 27,
when yields troughed at 0.238%. The June 14 low of 0.225% was the lowest since
April 20, when yields bottomed at 0.192%.
     The July 12 yield high of 0.619% was the highest since Jan. 4, 2016, when
Bund yields peaked at 0.627%, the 2016 high. The next level of resistance would
be 0.651%, the Dec. 30, 2015 high. 
     As background, Bund yields fell to a low near -0.161% Sept. 27, 2016,
versus the life-time low around -0.2059% seen July 6, 2016.
     Ten-year Japanese government bond yields closed around 0.024%. When U.S.
and other global yields were at recent lows earlier in September, JGB yields
flirted with negative territory and tested the lowest yields since mid November.
     JGB yields hit highs near 0.108% July 7, which prompted the Bank of Japan
to step in buying bonds, offering to buy 10-year JGBs in unlimited amounts at
     Current low JGB yields compared to the Feb. 3 highs near 0.150%, which were
the highest since the BOJ introduced negative interest rate policy back on Jan.
29, 2016. 
     Ten-year UK Gilt yields closed around 1.355%, after trading in a 1.337% to
1.379% range.  
     The Sept. 8 low of 0.951% was the lowest since June 15, when yields tested
lows near 0.938% and Thursday's high of 1.392%was the highest since Feb. 3, when
UK yields hit 1.420%.
     The June 14 low of 0.923% was the lowest since Oct. 7, when Gilt yields
bottomed near 0.905%.
     On Jan. 26, 2017, 10-year UK yields saw highs near 1.530%, which was the
highest yield since Dec. 15, when yields hit 1.536%, the highest since May 5,
2016, when Gilt yields saw a high near 1.538%.
     In currencies, the euro held near $1.1947 late Friday, in the middle of a
$1.1937 to $1.2004 range. 
     The pair bottomed Sept. 14 near $1.1838, and stalled ahead of the August 31
lows near $1.1823, seen as initial support. 
     Only last month, on August 17, the euro bottomed near $1.1662, the lowest
level since July 27, when the pair bottomed near $1.1650. As the dollar slipped
and ECB expectations changed, the euro recovered. 
     The Sept. 8 high of $1.2092, seen at the peak of dollar selling, was the
highest euro level since Jan. 2, 2015, when the pair topped out at $1.2108. The
2015 high was $1.2109, seen Jan. 1. 
     In other pairs, dollar-yen held near Y112.03, in the middle of a Y111.65 to
Y112.56 range. Thursday's high of Y112.72 was the highest since July 17, when
the pair peaked near Y112.87, which will be the next topside hurdle. 
     Market players were watching to see if dollar-yen will close the week above
the 200-day moving average, currently at Y112.17. A sustained break higher will
target the July 11 highs near Y114.49. 
     Cable held around $1.3532 midafternoon Friday, on the high side of a
$1.3488 to $1.3596 range. 
     The Sept. 20 high near 1.3657 was the highest since early June 24, the day
after Brexit, when the pair traded in a wide $1.3229 to $1.5018 range. 
     In commodities, spot gold held near $1,296.35 per ounce, after trading in a
$1,289.79 to $1,298.79 range. 
     Gold bottomed at $1,288.20 Thursday and stalled ahead of the 55-day moving
average, currently around $1,283. 
     A decisive break of $1,290 will target the August 25 lows near $1,276.36. 
     The $1,357.61 gold high, seen Sept. 8 at the peak of U.S. dollar sales and
risk aversion, was the highest since August 16, 2016, when the precious metal
peaked at $1,358.21. 
     NYMEX November light sweet crude oil futures were last trading at $50.67
per barrel, after trading in a $50.29 to $50.78 range. The front contract topped
out at $50.81 Thursday. 
     The 200-day moving average, currently at $49.55, will act as initial
support, if the psychological $50 mark gives way. 
     As background, West Texas Intermediate posted a high of $52.00 May 25,
before the announcement of a nine-month extension of the OPEC/non-OPEC
production cuts, and that will be the next larger topside price target. 
     This extension was largely priced in and oil fell to $42.05 on June 21.
Rumors continue to swirl that OPEC may extend the current agreement, set to
expire in March 2018, until the end of next year. 
     In U.S. stocks, the S&P 500 was trading down 0.04% at 2,500, after trading
in a 2,496.54 to 2,501.28 range. The index posted a record intraday high of
2,508.85 September 20. 
     At Thursday's close, the S&P 500 was up 11.7% year-to-date. 
     Market players were also monitoring the Russell 2000 index, which often
leads larger stock swings.
     The Russell 2000 was last near 1,451. The earlier high of 1,451.43 was the
highest level since late July, but still below the 1,452.091 life-time high
posted July 25. 
     Last month, the index bottomed at 1,349.354 on August 18, the lowest level
since April 17, when the Russell 2000 bottomed at 1,345.363.
     On risk appetite, the CBOE's volatility index or VIX was last at 9.95, on
the low side of a 9.74 to 10.20 range. The index remained well below its 200-day
moving average, at 11.48, which has been falling lately. 
     The VIX high of 17.28, seen August 11, was the highest since Nov. 9, the
day after the U.S. election, when the VIX peaked at 21.48. The high for this
month has been 14.06, seen Sept. 5. 
     The July 26 low of 8.84 was a new life-time intraday VIX low (prior
life-time intraday low was 8.89, seen Dec. 27, 1993). 
     Looking ahead, on the U.S. front, along with several Fed speakers, the
market is keen to see next week's economic data releases, which include August
durable goods, personal income and spending, advanced goods trade, and the third
estimate of Q2 GDP.
     --follow MNIEyeonFX on --
--MNI New York Bureau; tel: +1 212-669-6438; email:

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