Sentiment got a lift form news that the foreign ministers of the US and Russia will meet next week, although the situation remains tense, while hopes of an agreement on Iran's nuclear problem are also a factor.
US Secretary of State Blinken has accepted invitation to meet Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Europe next week, provided there is no further Russian invasion of Ukraine. 
Speaking at the United Nations yesterday, Mr Blinken called the Security Council to "address what Russia is doing right now to Ukraine", while noting that "We do not see that happening on the ground" in regards to Russia's announced withdrawal of troops. 
On Thursday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concern that "Russia is trying to stage as a pretext for an armed attack against Ukraine". 
On the monetary policy front, Fed's Bullard (voter, hawk) reiterated his view for 100 basis points of rate increases by July 1, speaking on CNN yesterday. That would require at least one 50 basis points hike. 
One thing that we won't have to worry about for now, is the funding of the US government, as the US Senate approved a bill to fund the government through March 11 - averting a government shutdown just a day ahead of the deadline (February 18). 
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released yesterday its updated Notorious Markets List, including in it for the first time, China-based AliExpress and the WeChat. The USTR said that these firms, which are operated by Alibaba Group and Tencent respectively, reportedly facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting. 
UK Retail Sales just came in, showing a rise of 1.9% month-over-month in January, from -4% prior (revised from -3.7%).
Main Asia-Pacific stock markets were mostly down, whereas European futures are in a better mood and US10YR Yields rebound.
Safe-haven Japanese Yen retreats, the US Dollar is lackluster, and main Commodity Currencies (CAD, AUD, NZD) are upbeat against both.
EUR/USD consolidates above 1.1350.
GBP/USD is inconclusive above 1.3600 after a three-day advance.
USD/JPY trades above 115.00, rebounding from yesterday's slump.
USD/CAD retreats below 1.2700.
AUD/USD is on the offensive, blasting through 0.7200.
NZD/USD gains around 0.5% and retakes 0.6700.
GER30 is upbeat above 15,200.
US30 recovers from its worst day of the year, testing 34,500.
USOIL is soft, trying to defend $91.00/barrel.
XAU/USD moves to negative territory and probes 1,890, after clinching fresh multi-month high earlier (1,902).
Economic Calendar Picks (GMT)
The calendar is rather light today, with Canada's Retail Sales standing out at 13:30 GMT.
The US stock markets are heading towards a long weekend, as they will be closed on Monday.
See the economic calendar here.
Senior Market Specialist
Nikos Tzabouras is a graduate of the Department of International & European Economic Studies at the Athens University of Economics and Business. He has a long time presence at FXCM, as he joined the company in 2011. He has served from multiple positions, but specializes in financial market analysis and commentary.
With his educational background in international relations, he emphasizes not only on Technical Analysis but also in Fundamental Analysis and Geopolitics – which have been having increasing impact on financial markets. He has longtime experience in market analysis and as a host of educational trading courses via online and in-person sessions and conferences.
Retrieved 18 Feb 2022 https://twitter.com/StateDeptSpox/status/1494485800494542870
Retrieved 18 Feb 2022 https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_191847.htm
Retrieved 18 Feb 2022 https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/6617