Wear your mask, but it's not COVID. New York City is facing the worst air pollution in the world as smoke from Canadian wildfires blankets the area, prompting hazardous air quality conditions. The city's schools have suspended outdoor activities, flights to LaGuardia Airport have been halted, and major sporting events, including MLB games and a performance of the musical "Hamilton," have been postponed. The smoke, containing fine particulate matter, poses health risks, especially for vulnerable populations, and the situation is expected to persist for the next few days. In some areas, the air quality even reached "hazardous" levels but subsided to a "very unhealthy" level today.
Wall Street is mixed this week, with a decline in the Nasdaq and a small gain in the Dow Jones. Market participants anticipate the Fed's release of the results of its stress test on major banks and a potential tightening of capital standards. Additionally, attention is focused on the consumer price index for May and the possibility of profit-taking in big tech and growth stocks following a recent rally. CNN reported that the needle is now pointing towards extreme greed in the market, followed by a 42-month low VIX.
Gold prices declined on Wednesday as U.S. yields rose following the Bank of Canada's surprise decision to resume tightening. The prospect of the Federal Reserve employing a similar strategy and maintaining a restrictive monetary policy for longer could further impact precious metals. Analysts at Blackrock expect gold to be prospective as the Fed's pause will benefit the commodity.
Oil prices were stable in early Asian trade as investors assessed the impact of a global economic slowdown on demand and the tightening in supply due to Saudi output cuts. Although there is a slight decline in US fuel stocks, weak Chinese export data limited price gains, and analysts voiced scepticism about the effectiveness of OPEC+ output cuts in boosting prices amid uncertain demand growth.
The dollar was mixed, while the Canadian dollar surged after a surprise hike by the Bank of Canada. Traders are anticipating a rate pause from the Fed next week, but futures traders are pricing in an additional rate hike in July. The U.S. dollar also faced pressure from widening trade deficits and persistent inflation. Additionally, the Chinese yuan weakened against the dollar due to disappointing export and import data from China.