Crude oil price rises after IRG seizes foreign-owned oil tanker
The price of crude oil rose today after the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRG) seized a foreign tanker near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The guard released a statement saying they had seized the vessel, which has a capacity to carry 2 million barrels - for carrying smuggled fuel. This came a few weeks after Iran tried to stop the passage of a British tanker owned by BP. In May and June, four tankers were attacked in the region. The news came two days after Iran announced that it was ready to negotiate with the United States to resolve the ongoing tensions.
Sterling rose today after the UK released its retail sales data for the month of June. The headline retail sales rose by 3.8%, which was higher than the consensus estimate of 2.6%. In May, the sales had increased by 2.2%. On a MoM basis, the retail sales rose by 1.0%, which was higher than the consensus estimates of -0.3%. The core retail sales, rose by an annualized rate of 3.6%, which was better than the expected 2.7%. And on a monthly basis, core retail sales increased by 0.9%, also better than the expected decline of -0.2%.
In Japan, data from the ministry of trade showed that exports declined by -6.7% in June, which was worse than the consensus estimate of -5.6%. Imports declined by -5.2%, which was lower than the consensus estimate of -0.4%. In total, the trade surplus rose to Y589 billion. In Australia, the unemployment and participation rate remained unchanged at 5.2% and 66% respectively. The employment change in June increased by 21.1k.
In the United States, the initial jobless claims rose by 216k as expected. The continuing jobless claims declined to 1,686k, which was better than the expected 1,700k. Data from Philadelphia Fed showed that the index rose to 21.8 from the previous 0.3. These numbers came as investors continued to focus on corporate earnings. Yesterday, Netflix reported that it had lost more than 130k subscribers from the United States. In addition, investors are focused on the break down in the talks between China and the United States. China has called for the US to stop labelling Huawei a security threat.
The XBR/USD pair rose to a high of $64.05 after the IRG captured an oil tanker. On the four-hour chart, the price is between the lower and the middle line of the Bollinger Bands. The RSI has started moving higher while the price is slightly below the 25-day and 50-day moving averages. The pair could continue moving higher as investors worry about the tensions in the Strait of Hormuz.
The GBP/USD pair moved higher after positive retail sales data. The pair is now trading at 1.2480, which is slightly lower than the day’s high of 1.2495. On the four-hour chart below, the price is slightly above the middle line of the Bollinger Bands while the RSI has moved from the oversold level of 30 to the current level of 52. The pair will likely continue moving higher, to test the important resistance level of 1.2570.
The EUR/USD pair dropped sharply after the US released the better-than-expected jobless claims data. The pair reached a low of 1.1200. On the hourly chart, the pair is trading along the lower line of the Bollinger Bands while the RSI has dropped sharply. The signal and main line of the Stochastics Indicator has declined sharply to almost the oversold level. The pair will likely remain along the current level in the American session.