- US equity indices turned pause into decline Tuesday, but this didn’t seem a wide risk move on events like North Korea fears
- Dollar posted a strong rally alongside the charge in 10-year Treasury yields to 7-year highs but key levels are still ahead
- Pound and Euro face Brexit and Italian dissent, but it is the Kiwi and Swiss franc that still present the appealing setups
Risk Trends Sour but it is US Equities Leading the Way
Speculative sentiment started off the week on shakey ground, but it started to genuinely slip through Tuesday’s session. Taking their position as symbolic leader of risk trends seriously once again, the US equity indices were opened this past session with sizable gaps down on the the open. The selling pressure gained a little more traction through the active trading hours without tipping into a full-tilt bear trend. The S&P 500 curbed its bullish breakout bid, the Nasdaq 100 is starting to form a right shoulder through a head-and-shoulders pattern, and the Dow broke its longest streak of daily gains (8) in 12 months. The damage done in altitude loss may be modest, but the impact on already flimsy conviction can prove more crippling than many appreciate. Looking further afield on the risk spectrum, there isn’t evidence of a full buy-in. Europen equities were steady, Yen crosses didn’t commit but emerging markets certainly felt the pain. Currencies like the Brazilian real, Turkish lira and Indian rupee suffered mightily to the US dollar.
Dollar: Not Ready to Capitulate Just Yet
The fundamental drive behind the Greenback may be an uneven mix of half stabile drivers, but it is nevertheless keeping the currency buoyant. Facing a recent slip, the DXY Index staged an impressive rebound Tuesday to plug the hole it had sprung following a month-long recovery effort. The currency’s rally earned a noteable break for USD/JPY above 110 with a long-term trend break for the battered NZD/USD, but the progress was far less ‘critical’ elsewhere. For EUR/USD, a return to the 2018 low was as good as it would get. The jump for GBP/USD, USD/CHF and AUD/USD would simply build a little favorable pressure in recently established ranges. If you were looking for the signal for Dollar bidding in the docket or headlines, you wouldn’t find much. Aside from housing data that offers little regular market moving, the Fed speak on tap struke familiar chords. The testimony of two Fed candidates – Clarida and Bowman – raises the potential of a heavier hawkish skew in the Board, but that hardly seems a relaible ladder rung. A moderate risk appetite, monetary policy advantage, speculative bid and counterpart pain can combine to gains moving forward; but it is not an easy mix to keep.
Key Fundamentals without Key Move: Pound, Euro and Yuan
We have registered some remarkable fundamental developments for key currencies this past session that resulted in very unimpressive market moves. A run of Chinese data offering a miss on Chinese retail sales and industrial production along with the new offer of the country’s jobless rate resulted in little tangible USD/CNH response as we would expect from a managed exchange rate. A little more surprising was the limited response from the Sterling to the UK data. The jobless claims change jumped more than three times the forecast with an uptick in the claimant count rate. Add to that the Scottish Parliament offering more trouble for Britains withdrawal proposal and news that a Brexit white paper will come out next month, and it is impressive that GBP/USD would take out its range low with the Dollar’s performance. From the Euro, a concerning headline of demands from Italy’s Five Star and League didn’t gain much rotation amid updates like North Korea’s threat to cancel the summit with President Trump. Demands that 250 billion euros in ECB purchased Italian debt be forgiven, reform of European treaties and making easier to exit the EU are troubling. Yet, the Euro didn’t seem too troubled looking around at the broad performance beyond EUR/USD.
Impressive Moves with Less Fundamental Source
In contrast to the heavy-news-light-action mix above; the Kiwi dollar, Swiss franc and gold were doing much more with less. The docket was essentially open for the New Zealand currency, and yet the pain continued with a critical extension on NZD/USD. This is not a free to roam bear run however as GBP/NZD, EUR/NZD and NZD/JPY are near the boarders of critical technical levels. If the pain continues, these are pairs that should be watched closely – but even if it makes a bid for recovery, these are still strong opportunities. From the Swiss franc, we don’t expect a traditional fundamental response; but it is clear that EUR/CHF exerts particular influence. The pair made a more threatening correction this past session and pairs like CAD/CHF pose impressive opportunity. Even gold put in for an impressive day. Certainly the strength for the Dollar and 10-year Treasury yield contributed to the metal’s problems, but the break from a month’s-long range was still a surprise. Looking to retail speculative interest, traders are confident range conditions will kick back in with extreme net long interest on virtually no short exposure. Beware extreme conviction as it can prove to be delusion. We discuss all of this and more in today’s Trading Video.
US Sanctions Against Iran May Spark 1970s-Style Oil Crisis Fears
TALKING POINTS – Iran, Sanctions, CRUDE Oil, Trump, Emerging markets
- US oil export sanctions against Iran will be enforced on November 4th
- Net-importers in emerging markets likely to suffer from higher prices
- 1970’s oil crisis, embargo may haunt markets as Trump buckles down
The Trump administration’s trade wars and economic nationalism have caused severe volatility for most of 2018. The White House also withdrew from the 2015 multilateral Iran nuclear deal – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – in May, and has re-imposed sanctions. The most devastating will be an oil embargo that is scheduled to be take effect on November 4th.
In the 1970’s, the US imposed an oil embargo against Iran that led to a surge in prices. The jump in energy costs radically affected markets. The US – which at the time was coming on the heels of massive public spending programs– had its inflationary pressure skyrocket.
The administration’s public spending agenda, coupled with the sanctions against Iran, echo a dangerously similar narrative the world saw 39 years ago.
1979 OIL CRISIS
In 1979 – amid the turmoil of the Iranian Revolution – political radicals stormed the US Embassy and took 52 Americans hostage. In response, US President Jimmy Carter froze billions of dollars’ worth of Iranian assets in the United States and enforced an oil embargo.
The decrease in oil exports – adding to growing fears of further disruptions – caused prices to climb. Adjusted for inflation, the price per barrel stood at around $55 in 1978. In 1979, the cost skyrocketed to $97 and peaked at $122 in 1980. In 1981, the hostages were released and the price began to fall.
See our full interactive history of trade wars here.
Some economists and historians argue that “precautionary demand” was an influential contributing factor to the increased cost of oil. This same fear may be rearing its ugly ahead again today.
2018 OIL EMBARGO ON IRAN
After unilaterally pulling out of the nuclear deal – due to allegations that Iran was not cooperating with the International Atomic Agency – the Trump administration hit Tehran with two waves of sanctions. The first included a ban on any transactions involving the US Dollar, gold, precious metals, aluminum, steel, commercial passenger aircraft and coal. The White House has also banned imports of Iranian carpets and foodstuffs.
The second wave will be the oil embargo. Trump warned that anybody who conducted business in the Iranian market would face “severe consequences”. The ban requires that all importers have to immediately cut off their supply from Iran by November 4th. Any countries that violate the ban face the possibility of sanctions. The EU responded by pledging to protect European firms by activating a blocking statute established in 1996. It allows European businesses to operate under US sanctions without incurring any penalties.
The EU’s defiance to the US adds to the growing tension between allies amid the escalating trade wars. The sanctions also empower hardliners in the Iranian government. This makes the possibility of repairing relations and easing international tension much more difficult.
EFFECT ON MARKETS
If the US imposes sanctions or tariffs against the EU for conducting business with Iran, they will almost certainly retaliate. In that event, sentiment-linked assets are likely to suffer and anti-risk currencies like the Japanese Yen or Swiss Franc will probably rise.
Euro Falling on Trump’s Iran Sanctions Announcement
Crude oil has reached a four-year high, with the Brent benchmark trading at around $84/barrel. Rising prices are damaging for net importers in emerging markets. If Trump digs his heels in and commits to limiting Iran’s oil exports, emerging markets are likely to suffer.
Indonesian Rupiah and South African Rand vs the Dollar and Rising Oil Prices
— Written by Dimitri Zabelin, Jr Currency Analyst for DailyFX.com
To contact Dimitri, use the comments section below or @ZabelinDimitrion Twitter
GBP/USD Gaps Lower on Brexit Stall, Eyes CPI and Carney Speech
- GBP gapped lower versus USD, responding to Theresa May’s rejecting of an exit deal
- GBP/USD’s downside momentum continues dominant downtrend for majority of 2018
- Key economic data and BOE Gov. Carney’s speech may further influence the British Pound
Find out what retail traders’ British Pound buy and sell decisions say about the coming price trend!
The British Pound fell against the US Dollar during weekend trading as Brexit negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union hit an impasse. UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and EU Chief Negotiation Michael Barnier were unable to reach an agreement on a draft treaty, leading PM May to label the deal a “non-starter”. Barnier later mentioned that some key issues remain open, including the Irish backstop.
GBP/USD 1-Hour Chart
This is the latest in ongoing Brexit turmoil, and could possibly bode ill for the Sterling’s recent upside momentum. If a deal is not reached, the United Kingdom would exit the EU and be subject to World Trade Organization rules, potentially causing declines in GBP. Furthermore, longstanding political uncertainty and tensions regarding Brexit have caused the GBP to weaken for the majority of this year. Furthermore, an increasingly hawkish Federal Reserve and haven demand amidst EM contagion fears and trade wars have caused the greenback to strengthen, intensifying the currency pair’s bearish action since April 2018.
GBP/USD Daily Chart
Looking ahead, this is a week of high economic activity for the British Pound. On Wednesday, the UK Statistics Office will release consumer inflation data for the month of September. In addition, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is set to give a speech on Thursday, with forward guidance possibly dictating next moves for the Pound. However, ongoing Brexit negotiations will continue to take center stage and overshadow economic data’s influence on the Sterling. Developments upcoming summit of European Union leaders focusing on Brexit could cause volatility shocks to the currency pair.
GBP/USD Trading Resources
— Written by Megha Torpunuri, DailyFX Research Team
Unsteady Risk Trends Increase Scrutiny on China, Italy and Brexit
Market participants will return with caution this week. Following the rout in speculative assets from shares to emerging markets to Yen crosses, there is an understandable tension amongst investors. In this environment troubling news in trade wars, Chinese growth, Euro-area stability or any number of key themes can readily find traction.
Fresh developments coming out of the U.S. economy may curb the recent selloff in USD/JPY as Federal Reserve officials see a risk for above-neutral interest rates.
After trading to four year highs to open the month, Crude has come off the highs along with risk sentiment, but you crude appears to have fundamental support that could keep bulls confident.
It may be uncomfortable but sitting on the fence is the best place to be ahead of next week’s Brexit updates and EU Summit
Gold was the beneficiary of safe haven demand this week after the Dow lost over 1,300 points in just two days.
The Australian Dollar held up quite well to the intensification of one or two factors which have stymied it this year. Don’t rely on that continuing
China’s weak economic growth could add more bearish momentum to the Yuan; at the same time, Chinese regulators may try to avoid extreme volatility.
See what live coverage is scheduled to cover key event risk for the FX and capital markets on the DailyFX Webinar Calendar.
See how retail traders are positioning in the majors using the IG Client Sentiment readings on the sentiment page.
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