EUR/USD: The European currency remains under serious pressure and continues to trade within the range. According to the published macroeconomic data the PPI accelerated at 23.7% year-on-year in November, exceeding the 21.9% figure recorded a month earlier, but the main negative factor of recent months – rising natural gas prices – does not allow the Euro to strengthen its position. Due to severe cold weather and low volumes of gas in storage, European countries may soon be left without “blue fuel” at all, which will become a catalyst for a significant increase in tariffs for final consumers in the last months of winter.
AUD/USD: Last week, the AUD/USD pair lost some of its positions. The Australian currency is under pressure from weak macroeconomic data and the deteriorating epidemiological situation in the country. The Australian business activity index in the services sector recorded a decline from 55.7 to 55.1 points. Growth in the sector as a whole continues but is slowing as businesses fear new quarantine measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic caused by the new Omicron strain, and these fears are well-grounded. Officials in Victoria have already restricted the number of citizens who can visit clubs and restaurants, this is probably not over, and the trend of stricter policies in this direction will continue, which in turn will put serious pressure on the service sector and retail sales.
Brent: Brent crude oil keeps rising amid investor concerns over the disruption of fuel supplies from Kazakhstan. The situation in the country remains tense. Residents of the Mangistau region, an oil-producing region, came out for peaceful rallies against the increase in tariffs on liquefied gas, which developed into serious violations of public order. Experts fear that this could hinder the production of “black gold,” which currently stands at 1.6 million barrels per day in the country. Adjustment of “black gold” production is expected in Libya, where the pipeline is currently being repaired (output could be reduced by 200 thousand to 500 thousand barrels per day). It is also worth noting the decrease in the U.S. commercial crude oil inventories by 2.144 mln barrels, reported by the national Energy Information Agency.