Markets Cautiously Higher as the Stakes Remain High on the Middle Eastern Front [Video]


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Safe-haven currencies pulled back from their three-month high versus the dollar this morning but sentiment remained fragile due to the increasing worries about a possible armed conflict between the United States and Iran. Following the U.S. drone strike that killed Iran’s most prominent military commander, tensions in the Middle East are simmering with the US sending more troops to the region and denying the withdrawal of soldiers. 

 

Global Bourses Edge Higher

Meanwhile, risk appetite has come back to the table and markets in Asia followed with a fresh round of risk appetite with stock prices paring earlier losses as also the tensions around Iran have not further escalated for now.

 

Oil Prices Dip

Oil has retraced again, as the tensions still remain but crude continues to be produced in the region with no immediate threat of supply cuts. Prices surged during the previous two sessions, with Brent reaching its highest since September while WTI rose to the most since April

 

More Upside for Gold?

Gold prices steadied after a brief dip on profit-taking on the previous session’s near seven-year high. Gold has hit fresh highs this week and could climb further. Thought in overbought territory the precious metal has risen past major resistance last week with much more room to the upside. XAU/USD was last seen trading near the $1570 level and we could see a further push higher should we have any worrisome updates on the US/Iran front. 

 

Forex Focus: All Eyes on the GBP

Today, the UK parliament will return to work starting a three-day debate on Johnson's Brexit deal. The main task will be to find agreements and a trade deal with the EU, as the business sector has suffered over the past 3.5 year period. Any positive news could further spark demand in the GBP, which had traded lower over the recent weeks as a hard Brexit might still happen.

 

XRP Up 10%+ On a Fresh Crypto Rally

Cryptocurrencies continue to behave as safe-havens in times of uncertainty, or - in the least - an alternative investment route, with the US/Iran tensions seemingly creating another rally in digital currencies. Specifically, Ripple's XRP, currently the world's third-biggest cryptocurrency by market value, has suddenly soared—jumping by around 10% and prompting an uptick in most other major cryptocurrencies.

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