A ceasefire agreement for Ukraine raised optimism, which was reflected accordingly in market trends Thursday.

After a strong rally from mid-January, thanks in part to the actions of the European Central Bank, the FTSE is now consolidating near the multi-year resistance hurdle of 6900. The consolidation near this 6900 barrier does not surprise us; after all, this is not the first time we have seen the market hesitate here.

The U.S. Comex gold futures fell 1.51% in 2014 but surged close to 10% year-to-date, exceeding $1,300 again, a level last seen in August last year.

The Euro/Swiss franc was the epicenter of the turmoil after the Swiss National Bank surprisingly pulled the rug from under the bulls’ feet on Thursday and let the dormant currency pair plummet to below parity from 1.20.
The U.S. stock markets bounced back strongly in mid-week after a poor start to the year, though on Friday the major indices eased back once again despite the release of another strong U.S. jobs report.

U.S. stocks advanced with the dollar, extending gains to a second day as the Federal Reserve signaled caution on rates even as growth shows signs of accelerating.

U.S. stocks have managed to make back most of their losses this week, setting the stage for a “Santa rally” as the year-end approaches.