Monday Morning Briefing: Pound Slips After London Attack, Gold Holds Gains

Here’s your Monday morning briefing on what’s going on around the world. 

Onlookers watch the evening sun set on the horizon beyond skyscrapers in the City of London, U.K. (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)
Onlookers watch the evening sun set on the horizon beyond skyscrapers in the City of London, U.K. (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)

The British pound slipped in Asia trading after a weekend terror attack in the heart of London killed seven people. This was the third such attack in U.K. this year.

Prime Minister Theresa May's address to the nation saw a different undertone to her previous speeches of tolerance. "Enough is enough," she said, days before the U.K. general election.

Yen and gold retained their gains, weighing on Japan’s stocks amid weaker than expected U.S. jobs data released on Friday. The precious metal traded 0.2 percent higher at $1,281.74 per ounce.

WTI crude gained 0.2 percent to $47.75 per barrel on Monday morning. This was after a two-day fall that pushed the price of oil below the $48 mark.

Mixed Signals

The U.S. Dollar index was little changed after dropping 0.7 percent last week, while Treasuries advanced after the latest jobs report offered mixed signals on the strength of the American labour market. U.S. stocks pushed to fresh records on Friday.

The U.S. labor market gave mixed signals in May, with a decline in the unemployment rate to a 16-year low contrasting with below-forecast hiring and wage growth, Labor Department figures showed Friday.

However, the latest jobs report likely won’t deter the Federal Reserve from increasing interest rates in two weeks as the economy continues to grind higher even as Washington shows few signs of moving forward with tax and spending reforms.

The World Bank expects a modest rise in global growth despite uncertainty regarding the U.S. monetary policy and bond traders' concerns of dwindling inflation.

Former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director james Comey is expected to testify before Congress after he was suddenly fired from the position by U.S. President Donald Trump.

The council's main purpose is to try to determine whether Trump was actively trying to obstruct a federal investigation into his relationship with Russia during his campaign.

Nifty Set For Positive Start?

The SGX Nifty Index, an early indicator of of Nifty 50 performance in India, traded 0.2 percent higher at 9,669.

The Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council declared the tax rates for the remaining goods such as gold, footwear, beedis (type of a local cigarette), apparel and so on, in a meeting on Saturday.

Also Read: GST Council Increases Tax Slabs To Six To Accommodate Gold & Diamonds

Reliance Communications Ltd. will remain in focus for the day after Anil Ambani said said that the debt-laden company has been given a breather of seven months to service its debt.

Also Read: The Story Behind Reliance Communications’ SDR