• Sluggish trading on the financial markets on the back of US investors absence

  • SEK and NOK outperform other majors

  • GBP gets boosted by the services PMI reading

  • Declines on the industrial metals market

  • FOMC minutes and NFP report in the spotlight for the remainder of the week

As US investors take a day off for the Independence Day holiday smaller trading volumes are visible across financial markets. In a thin trading European equities accounted a mixed session. The German and UK indices closed in red while shares in France and Portugal inched higher. Do notice stellar performance of the Spanish and Polish benchmarks as both IBEX 35 and WIG 20 posted 1% gains. On the commodity market we are observing broad declines of industrial metals. Despite news of potential strike in Chilean mine being in theory positive to the copper prices investors played down this threat and added to their short positions. On the FX front we are observing Scandinavian currencies as leaders among majors. The Swedish krone is adding to its recent gains on the back of some hawkish comments from Riksbank members. Investors’ attention now turns to the two major events of the week – FOMC minutes (Thursday, 7:00 pm BST) and NFP report (Friday, 1:30 pm BST)

While the Norwegian krone has been one of the best majors YTD against both EUR and USD (losing only to JPY) the same cannot be said about the Swedish currency. SEK has been unquestionably the weakest currency in the G10 basket in the first half of 2018 losing 8.5% against the US dollar and almost 6% against the common currency.

Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, decided to halt trading with all the coins it had in offer in response to “abnormal transactions” connected to the SYS token.Namely, unusual transactions on SYS order book caused some wild and unreasonable price swings. Binance admitted that there was one transaction where a single SYS was sold for… 96 Bitcoins.

The UK services sectors expanded in June at the fastest pace in eight months according to the Markit survey. It boosts odds for a rate hike in August and enhances a view that the second quarter growth will exceed the pace seen in the first three months. As a result of the release the pound is trading slightly higher against the dollar, and the technical backdrop seems to bode well.

Both AUD and NZD are the strongest major currencies in the morning, and it may have something to do with strong readings of retail sales as well as services PMI from the Australian economy. In turn, the NZ dollar is higher mainly on the back of a slightly increased demand for riskier assets in general.