• USD makes further gains as JOLTS beats forecasts
  • SEK gains on Riksbank minutes
  • US stocks a little lower after recent gains
  • Crypto markets fall lower
  • Trump set to make Iranian announcement this evening

The US dollar has extended its recent gains today with the buck rising against all of its peers apart from the SEK (which has received a boost from the latest Riksbank minutes). There’s not really been a catalyst for today’s gains although they certainly haven’t been hindered by the only real economic release of note this afternoon, which has shown more pleasing data for the labour market.

The only currency enjoying a better day than the is the Swedish Krona, with SEK rising after the latest Riksbank minutes.  Although the minutes revealed from the April’s Riksbank meeting did not offer too much with regard to the future monetary policy settings, on balance, there was a bit more hawkish tone.

US stocks were trading lower on the Wall Street open but they have since recovered to be little changed after European bourses ended their cash session on the front foot.  One of the biggest drivers in the latest gains for the index has been Apple, with the tech giant seeing its stock soar after announcing a its latest results, which beat forecasts and also included an increase to the dividend and plans for a $100b share repurchase programme. 

There’s been declines seen across the cryptocurrency space today, with Bitcoin retreating from the 10,000 level and threatening to fall back below the 9,000 mark. We wrote about Warren Buffett’s harsh comments regarding Bitcoin yesterday, and today we are going to mention another prominent businessman’s comments – Bill Gates. Microsoft co-founder said in an interview with CNBC on Monday that he would bet against Bitcoin if there would be an easy way to do so underlining his sceptical approach to virtual currencies.

Looking ahead there’s a potentially major event for oil traders on the horizon with US president Trump set to announce whether or not they will withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal. Conflicting reports from CNN (saying that he won’t) and the New York Times (saying that he will) have caused dramatic swings in the Oil price in the last hour, with the market plummeting on the CNN news and then recovering on the NYT story. The official announcement is expected at 2pm ET.