Stocks Decline Despite Encouraging Initial Jobless Claims Report

U.S. has just released Initial Jobless Claims and Continuing Jobless Claims reports. Initial Jobless Claims report indicated that 310,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits in a week compared to analyst consensus of 335,000. Continuing Jobless Claims decreased from 2.81 million (revised from 2.75 million) to 2.78 million compared to analyst consensus of 2.74 million.

Initial Jobless Claims declined to pandemic lows but S&P 500 futures are losing some ground in premarket trading as traders remain cautious due to the potential reduction of Fed’s asset purchase program and the spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus.

WTI Oil Moves Higher As Damage From Hurricane Ida Exceeds Expectations
WTI oil moved closer to the $70 level as it turned out that Hurricane Ida did more damage to U.S. oil production than expected while production was recovering at a slow pace.

Yesterday, traders had a chance to take a look at API Crude Oil Stock Change report which indicated that crude inventories declined by 2.88 million barrels compared to analyst consensus of 3.83 million barrels.

While the report failed to meet analyst expectations, traders focused on production problems in U.S. and pushed oil towards the psychologically important $70 level. In case WTI oil manages to settle above this level, it will gain additional upside momentum which will be bullish for oil-related stocks.

ECB Decided To Slow The Pace Of Asset Purchases
European Central Bank has recently announced its Interest Rate Decision and provided updates on its asset purchase programme (APP) and pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP).

The interest rate was left unchanged at 0.0%, in line with analyst expectations. The pace of purchases under the APP was left intact at 20 billion euros per month. However, ECB decided to decrease the pace of net asset purchases under the PEPP compared to the previous two quarters.

This move provided support to euro and put some pressure on the U.S. dollar, which was bullish for precious metals. Gold moved back to the $1800 level while silver made an attempt to settle above the resistance at $24.20.

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