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Oil: WTI hits 8-week highs near $50

Crude oil prices were rising on Friday. The West Texas Intermediate was rising more than 1% and reached at $49.70, the highest level since late June. WTI eyes $50 Price is up for the fifth day in a row. Since the beginning of the week, it rose 8.60%. A decline of the US dollar, inventories data and slowing shale output in the US offered support to the rally. Economic data released today weakened the US dollar. Data showed that US growth during Q2 increased to 2.6% from 1.2%.

Japan and Europe are racing to agree a big free trade deal

getting on with business.Negotiators from the European Union and Japan say they're close to striking a major free trade agreement that could jump-start talks for other potential deals. "An ambitious EU-Japan deal would send a powerful signal to the rest of the world that two of the largest economies are resisting protectionism, in favor of openness, of trade and investment," Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU's top trade official, said this week.

Gold surges to fresh multi-week tops after US GDP report

Gold finally broke out of the European session consolidation phase and surged to fresh six week tops, near $1265-66 region following the release of US growth numbers. According to the advance estimates, the US economy is expected to have expanded at an annualized rate of 2.6% during the second quarter of 2017, broadly in-line with consensus estimates. The disappointment, however, came from a downward revision to Q1 figures, now showing a growth of 1.2% as compared to 1.4% reported earlier.

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Crude sags in Asia

On Friday, crude prices went down in Asia following information that another tropical storm dubbed Nate is currently on its way to becoming a full hurricane as it comes up to the Gulf of Mexico with several offshore output sites already shut, which is also true for refineries. In New York, November delivery crude futures sank 0.10% being worth $50.74 a barrel. In London, Brent futures went down 0.16% trading at $56.91 a barrel.Overnight, oil managed to settle higher because worries over an uptick in American as well as Libyan production were compensated by negotiations of an extension to the OPEC-led deal to reduce crude output. Crude revived from a 1% dip sustained from last trading session because Saudi King Salman’s visit to Moscow drove hopes that the two nations would negotiate a probable extension to the global pact to tame output.

Market Review: dollar rallies as US tax reforms head to Senate

A stream of upbeat US economic data, as well as the approval of the 2018 fiscal budget in the US on Thursday, boosted the dollar to a 7-week high on Friday ahead of the widely expected nonfarm payrolls due later today. Meanwhile, the pound stretched its downtrend as concerns over May’s leadership continued to weigh on the currency.Late on Thursday, the Republican-led US House of Representatives gave the green light to the 2018 fiscal spending to set the stage for a tax overhaul which is expected to pass easily in Senate with a simple majority, as Republicans hold 52 out of 100 seats. Although tax cuts could boost household consumption and corporate investments, Fed officials were reluctant on tax change’s future effects, with the San Francisco Fed President, John Williams, saying that gains from tax cuts could be short-lived, increasing indebtedness and feeding an “unsustainable” growth.The dollar index flew to a 7-week high of 94.08, finding additional support from better than expected economic evidence. Next on the day, investors will eye nonfarm payrolls, which are expected to slow down given the negative impacts from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Dollar/yen was 0.20% up on the day at 113.01, while labour ministry data out of Japan showed that wage growth turned positive in August.

GBP/USD drops more than 300 pips, worst week in a year

The pound was among the worst performers in the market during the week and GBP/USD suffered the biggest weekly decline in a year. The pair lost more than 300 pips during the week. The main driver was Pound’s weakness but it was also affected by a stronger US dollar. The economic calendar looks light for next week, with industrial and construction data and the NIESR GDP Q3 estimate to be released on Tuesday.The pair opened on Monday at 1.3370 and on Friday bottomed at 1.3026, the lowest in a month. Near the end of the week, it was hovering around 1.3050, consolidating a weekly loss of 2.40%. Cable dropped back toward the 20-week moving average that offered support at 1.3030/40.

US stocks mildly weaker, Amazon weigh on Nasdaq

On the last trading day of the week, US stocks witnessed a slightly weaker opening and extended a sharp retracement that started midday on Thursday. Amazon's profit miss took a toll on technology shares, with tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index underperforming the broader indices and losing 0.3%, or 20-points to 6,362. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost around 17-points to 21,779 and the S&P 500 Index retreated over 4-points to 2,471

USD/JPY refreshes 6-week lows on N. Korea headlines

The USD/JPY pair continues to push lower in the last session of the week amid escalating geopolitical tensions in Asia. Having refreshed its lowest level since mid-June at 110.56, the pair is now trading at 110.60, losing 0.58%, or 65 pips, on the day.

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