Crude oil rises as US attacks Syria and Iraq
The price of crude oil rose after the United States carried out major strikes against an Iranian-backed Shiite militia group in Iraq and Syria. This was the Trump administration’s most forceful response to Iranian activities in the region. The attack targeted three of Kataib Hezbollah militia’s locations in Syria and Iraq. More than 25 of the group’s members were killed and at least 20 were wounded. The group warned of retaliation. The attacks led to a sharp increase in the price of crude oil. Brent and WTI have rallied by more than 10% in the past 30 days.
The sterling rose today as the market reacted to some positive data from the UK. The numbers showed that mortgages approved by British banks rose in November. Banks in the country approved 43,715 mortgages in November. This was higher than the previous 41,312 in October. It was the highest level since January 2017. Meanwhile, consumer credit increased by an annualized rate of 4.0% in November. This was the smallest rate of growth since April. The sterling has been moving upwards against the USD since last Tuesday.
European stocks declined today as investors closed their books for the year. The markets in some European countries like Germany and Denmark will be closed tomorrow. Others in the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands will close early tomorrow. European investors have made positive returns this year. In France, the CAC40 index has risen by 28.4% while the DAX index has risen by 25%. In the UK, the FTSE has risen by 13%. Meanwhile, American stocks rose today, with the Dow and S&P gaining 25 and 5 points in early trading.
The EUR/USD pair declined slightly today in the final trading day for most European traders this year. The pair reached a low of 1.1185 from the previous high of 1.1210. This was the first decline in the past week. The pair is trading slightly below the 14-day moving averages and slightly above the 28-day moving averages. The RSI has moved from the overbought level of 89 to the current 53. The pair may continue moving lower as the year comes to a close.
The XBR/USD pair rose after the US launched airstrikes in the Middle East. The pair rose to a high of 67.40. This was the highest level since September 18. The price is above the 14-day and 28-day moving averages. The price has remained above the overbought level of 70. It is also along the upper line of the Bollinger Bands. The pair may continue moving higher ahead of the new year.
The GBP/USD pair rose to a high of 1.3115. The pair has been on an upward trend since last Tuesday, when it was trading at 1.2905. On the hourly chart, the price is above the 14-day and 28-day moving averages. The price is also above the Ichimoku cloud while the RSI has been moving upwards. This is a signal that the price will continue moving higher.