The trading action in financial markets remains subdued amid thin volumes on Black Friday. Following the Thanksgiving Day holiday, bond and stock markets will close early and the economic calendar won’t be offering any high-impact macroeconomic data releases. Profit-taking ahead of the weekend could ramp up the volatility in the second half of the day and cause irregular movements in major currency pairs. Meanwhile, US stock index futures edge higher in the early European morning, pointing to a slightly upbeat market mood.
During the Asian trading hours, China reported 32,695 coronavirus cases, setting a daily record of infections for the second straight day. Chinese officials ordered mass testing and decided to tighten restrictions in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Nevertheless, the Shanghai Composite Index clings to modest daily gains and the Hang Seng Index is down only 0.3% toward the end of the week.
On energy-related news, Saudi and Iraqi energy ministers issued a statement early Friday, saying that they will introduce additional measures to ensure stability in the oil market. After falling nearly 5% on Wednesday, crude oil prices started to inch higher in the second half of the week and the barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was last seen gaining 0.5% on the day at $78.30.
EUR/USD failed to make a decisive move in either direction on Thursday and closed the day flat. The pair continues to fluctuate in a narrow range at around 1.0400 early Friday.
GBP/USD touched its highest level in three months at 1.2155 on Thursday but lost its bullish momentum. At the time of press, the pair was moving sideways near 1.2100. Nonetheless, GBP/USD remains on track to end the third week in positive territory.
USD/JPY fluctuates in a narrow range below 139.00 early Friday. The data from Japan showed the annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Tokyo climbed to 3.8% from 3.5% in October. This reading came in higher than the market expectation of 3.6% but failed to trigger a noticeable market reaction.
Statistics New Zealand announced earlier in the day that Retail Sales expanded by 0.3% on a quarterly basis in the third quarter, compared to analysts’ estimate for a contraction of 3.4%. Despite the better-than-forecast data, NZD/USD struggled to gather bullish momentum and was last seen trading at around 0.6250.
Gold price registered small daily gains and closed above $1,750 on Thursday. XAU/USD advanced beyond $1,760 in the Asian session but retreated to $1,755 in the European morning.
Following a two-day rally, Bitcoin closed flat on Thursday but lost its traction on Friday. BTC/USD was last seen losing more than 1% on the day at $16,400. Ethereum is down nearly 2% on the day, trading below $1,200.