Eclipse Day Begins With S&P Futures Flat While Industrial Metals Soar

Monday, August 21, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.comAug 21, 2017

As the US awaits its first full solar eclipse since 1918, S&P500 futures, together with Asian and European stocks started off the week off fractionally in the red after the cash index fell to its lowest level in five weeks on Friday, with the “Bannon rally” fading on growing concerns about the US political situation, while tensions ratcheted up again as the US and South Korea began massive military drills and North Korea responded, threatening a “merciless strike” on the US. Markets are looking ahead to this week’s Jackson Hole symposium where Mario Draghi may or may not pre-announce the start of ECB balance sheet tapering.

With overnight markets doing little of note, a quick preview of today’s main event: the full solar eclipse which is the first such event to cross the contiguous United States since 1918. Of the main financial centres there will be a partial eclipse in New York (c70%), Boston (c63%), Chicago (c86%) and LA (c61%). To celebrate, Royal Caribbean’s week long “total-eclipse” cruise offers passengers get the best opportunity to see the event at sea, while Bonnie Tyler has been hired to perform her 1983 classic “Total Eclipse of the Heart” while the skies darken.

Meanwhile, as the US waits to fade to darkness, world stocks struggled at a five and a half week low on Monday, though metals surged in Chinese trading with zinc at its highest in a decade, copper hitting a nearly three-year high and iron ore’s gains in the last two sessions stretching to 5 percent.

The dollar was little changed after rising from a four-month low against the yen Friday, as speculation the currency will get a boost from the Steve Bannon’s exit from the White House was offset by concern about the joint military drill in South Korea. The USD/JPY dipped in European trade, holding above a four- month low reached on Friday. Trading was muted and bids for the dollar were limited amid concerns about a new North Korean escalation/provocation/retaliation and as traders await the start of Jackson Hole, which begins Thursday.

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