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Markets Calm as Syrian War Fears Subside; Oil Prices Decline at Start of Week

Published April 16, 2018
  • USD/CAD remains near the 1.2600 handle as markets digest news on the Syrian missile attacks, lower oil prices and this morning’s economic data, where growth in US retail sales came in higher than expected with a reading of 0.6 percent versus expectations of 0.4 percent.
  • The Trump Administration is planning to impose further economic sanctions on Russia in the coming week over the Kremlin’s support of Syrian President Bashar Assad; the move comes after last Friday’s coordinated missile strike against Syrian chemical weapon facilities by the US, UK and France.
  • These new sanctions would be the third round of measures by the Trump administration in the past four weeks; the US Treasury Department noted these sanctions are meant to send a strong message about Russia’s support of Assad, separating these sanctions from Trump’s recent trade protectionism posturing with China.
  • US stocks are poised for a higher opening this morning as markets move closer to “risk-on” mode; investors are removing caution as markets no longer expect an immediate military escalation in Syria after President Donald Trump indicated that the military campaign had accomplished its goals.
  • Oil prices started the week lower amid expectations of easing tensions in Syria and greater stability in the Middle-East region; a rise in active US oil rigs are also dragging on oil prices.