Following the two Koreas first summit in over a decade and the historic agreement to end hostilities and work toward “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula, small steps towards reconciliation are taken. For instance, South Korea removes the loudspeakers that blared propaganda across the border. In return, North Korea decided to shift its clocks to align with South Korea.
North Korea’s leader plans to invite U.S. and South Korea experts and journalists for nuclear site shutdown in May. At the same time, Trump presses for full denuclearization ahead their meeting.
French President Macron and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani agreed to work on saving 2015 Iran nuclear deal under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions as Britain, France and Germany have agreed that the nuclear deal may need to be broadened to cover “three additional, indispensable subjects”, i.e. Tehran’s ballistic missile programs, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 and “the main regional crises” in the Middle East.
Us President Trump repeatedly threatened to tear up the agreement. Further, Washington seeks new economic sanctions against Iran unless the allies fix the deal flaws.
Sterling was hit early in Asia when Britain’s interior minister resigned following immigration scandal; The Pound fell 0.9 percent on Friday, its biggest one-day drop in about two months, when BoE released economic growth data which were disappointing; Such soft data lowered expectations the Bank of England will raise interest rates in May.
The U.S. dollar was slightly changed after retreating on Friday, having pulled back from a 3-1/2-month peak after a decline in the benchmark U.S. 10-year. Further, USDJPY is on track for its best monthly performance since 2016. The dollar has risen nearly 2.6 percent against the yen in April.
Events and data coming up this week include consumer spending report later in the day, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s May 1-2 policy meeting. The central bank is likely to keep interest rates unchanged.
The euro also did not make any progress at $1.2125, having recovered from a 3-1/2-month low of $1.2055 set on Friday. EURUSD was slipping 0.14% to 1.2113, holding above Friday’s three-and-a-half month lows, as the pair broke down below the vital 1.21 level during the trading session on Friday.
Oil prices pulled back from recent highs. Oil prices edged lower on Monday as a rising rig count in the United States pointed to higher production, but prices held near more than three-year highs and were on track to rise for a second consecutive month. Brent prices have gained nearly 6 percent this month, as expectations that the United States will renew sanctions on Iran boosted oil prices.
Gold fell on Monday, pulling back towards last week’s more than one-month low as easing tensions on the Korean peninsula boosted appetite for assets seen as higher risk and lifted the dollar while silver fell 0.6 percent at $16.40 an ounce, off an earlier three-week low of $16.37.
Sources: Reuters, Investing.com, CNBC
PLEASE NOTE The information above is not investment advice.