• AUD surges on the back of good retail sales report

  • European equities try to recover after yesterday’s sell-off

  • NFP report in the spotlight

The first half of the European trading session can be named upbeat as we have witnessed gains across major stock indices from the region. Swedish and Italian stocks outperform other companies from the Old Continent while Portuguese and Russian shares post minor declines. On the FX market we are observing stellar performance of AUD as it was boosted by the strong retail sales report. On the other hand, USD is trading lower against all the other majors after PBoC decided to increase reserve requirements for FX forwards. Commodities trade broadly higher on the back of the greenback weakening. Industrial metals, especially zinc and copper, can be named the top performing commodity group. Investors stay focused and await the release of the NFP report (1:30 pm BST).

The Friday’s trading on cryptocurrencies has not been rosy so far as a majority of them is extending losses. Ethereum is fluctuating a notch above the key $400 level whereas Bitcoin has broken below $7300 for a while. The capitalization of the whole market stands above the $260 billion mark while the Bitcoin market cap sits a notch below $130 billion.

The pound was bruised on Thursday despite the interest rate hike delivered by the Bank of England as well as the widespread strength of the US dollar. After taking in a double whammy yesterday the British currency was hit again on Friday following the unexpectedly substantial decrease in services PMI.

The exceptionally hot summer season is rising concerns among European farmers, especially in Northern Europe. Due to drought the crops on the Old Continent are expected to be lowest in at least five years. To ease the pain of the region’s farmers European Union decided to relax some environmental rules in 8 countries two weeks ago.

The last trading day in Europe is beginning with the continued strength of the greenback, albeit taking into account the employment report scheduled for the afternoon one may suppose that USD bulls might decide to cash in on their recent positions at least to some extent.