Forexlive Americas FX news wrap: The JPY closes the year as the strongest for the day/year


Forex news for trading on December 31, 2018.

In other markets as the year comes to an end:

  • Crude oil futures settled the year at $45.41. That was down 24% from the 2017 closing level.  (see post here)
  • Spot gold is trading up $1.20 or 0.10% at $1282.35. The high today reached $1284.23. The low fell to $1277.49.  For the year, the price is ending modestly lower. At the end of 2017, the price settled at $1302.80. Today’s near closing level is just down $20 or -1.5% for the year, but well off the August low at $1160 (up 10.5% from the low), and also lower than the $1366 January 2018 high (-6.14% from the high).   The gains seen over the last few months have been helped by flows into the safety of gold and some modest dollar selling. Technically, the price moved above the 200 day MA for the first times since May in December which helped to swing the technical bias to the upside. 

  • Bitcoin is ending 2018 down -148 at $3671.  For the year, the price is down from a 2017 closing level of $14389 or -10,718. That is a -74.48 haircut for the bitcoin “investor).  Since early September, the price has been trading below its 100 day MA which is up at $5251 currently (blue line).  It was the year the bubble burst for the digital currency (the high for the year reached $17714 in January. 

In the stocks, the market has some decent gains with the UK FTSE the only major indice that did not close in the red. There was a move higher into the close in the US which pushed the Dow and the S&P near the session highs for the day. The Nasdaq had a 0.77% gain which was lower than the other two indices but still a good ending to what was a bad year for stock investors in 2018 (see post here).

In the forex market, today the JPY was the strongest. The CAD was the weakest.   The Dallas Fed index came in weaker than expected at -5.1 vs 15.0 expected. That helped contribute to the flight into the safety of the JPY and perhaps out of the rise currencies like the CAD, NZD and AUD (all three were mostly lower). 

The moves today, mirrored the moves for the month of December. In the month, the stock declines for December were the worst since 1931. There was no December to remember rally this year. That led to the flight into the JPY (JPY crosses got hammered) with the dogs being the AUD, CAD and NZD (see charts below).

The markets (including oil, gold, stocks and forex) will all head into the New Year wondering if the change of the calendar leads to more of the same seen in December, or do we calm down and get more good news with regard to government shutdown, US/China, Brexit?  Time will tell.

Look for more choppy trading to finish the week with hopefully, a new rhythm starting sometime next week.


Let me take this time, to wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to you and your family.  Also, thank you for your support of Forexlive.  I am grateful to be able to share ideas about trading with you. My hope, is that because of it (and we all feel this way), you have become a better trader. 


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