• Polish blue chips outperform their European peers

  • Nickel and aluminium continue their crazy rally

  • GBP has found himself under pressure over disappointing data

In general major European stock benchmarks advance moderately on Thursday with DAX lagging a bit behind both, CAC 40 and FTSE 100. Aluminium and nickel trade significantly higher on the day (2.2% and 3.1% respectively). This is also the case for oil as both Brent and WTI advance more than 1%. New Zealand dollar along with Japanese yen are the biggest underperformers from the G10 basket while Scandinavian currencies are on the rise.

Markets in April have been completely dominated by politics and it’s no different these days. Even as a trade spat between the US and China calmed down a bit, tense relations between the US and Russia in the aftermath of a chemical attack in Syria cause major disruptions on commodity markets with nickel and aluminium prices soaring.

The UK retail sales report did not dispel doubts with regard to an expected rate hike in May offering more input for the Bank of England to digest before it decides to change monetary policy settings next month. As a result, the pound weakened to some extent even as the House of Lords voted in favour of keeping open the option of staying in the EU customs union.

The past days on Bitcoin were remarkably hectic which was reflected by price movements coming out of the blue. Some blame big Bitcoin holders known as ’whales’ which throughout selling or buying notable amounts of the cryptocurrency sparked quite bizarre price swings.

Management shuffle in the German’s biggest lender is still on a roll. Yesterday Deutsche Bank released a statement saying that its Chief Operating Officer Kim Hammonds will leave her post by the 24th of May. Earlier that day the company informed its employees that John Andrews, who was responsible for the investor relations during last five years, is also leaving.

This Asian session was dominated by two crucial macroeconomic readings which could matter for both AUD and NZD going forward. Let us just notice that Wall Street closed Wednesday’s trading little changed, but the SP500 futures are trading a bit higher at the time of writing of this analysis.

As Thursday’s calendar looks empty especially with the most important reading (UK retail sales) already behind us investors may want to pay closer attention to the weekly data from the US labour market and speeches of Fed members.