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FTSE 100 Drops on China Tensions, GBP/USD Breakdown

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CNH, GBP Analysis & News

  • Hong Kong Stocks Suffer Worst Drop Since 2008
  • Risk Sentiment Heads South to Close Out the Week
  • Chinese Yuan (CNH) the Key Signal to US/China Tensions

Equities: Much of the early week optimism has come to a halt with equity markets looking to close out the backend of the week in the red. US-China tensions remain in focus, particularly after China announced that it will look to place national security legislation on Hong Kong. In turn, the Hang Seng had been the notable underperformer overnight, closing lower by 5.5%, marking its worst drop since 2008 amid fears of a return to HK protests. The Risk-off sentiment has spread to European markets with the Euro Stoxx 50 falling a modest 0.8%, the FTSE 100 is the session’s laggard given its higher exposure to China/HK.

Currencies: The Chinese Yuan has been garnering attention as USD/CNH hits the March highs. A firm break above 7.16 may be the last straw that breaks the camels back for a sharper retracement in risk appetite. Alongside this, given the long weekend ahead with market holidays in both the US and UK, position squaring among market participants may see an extension of risk aversion. Elsewhere, another BoE rate setter showcased an open-minded stance to negative interest reaching the shores of the UK. In turn, the Pound is back below 1.2200. However, while negative rate chatter has been doing the rounds, this is unlikely to present a material risk in the short term, for now, the base case is for at least a £100bln increase in QE at the June meeting.

Commodities: Both WTI and Brent crude futures have conformed to the negative risk tone, however, investors will be eying the latest Baker Huges rig count for another drop in oil rigs. The precious metal complex sees gold prices pick up, albeit somewhat modest at best with gains of 0.5%.

Looking Ahead: US-China headline watch, particularly with the Senate looking to put a forward a bill that could see sanctions on China over Hong Kong.

Chart of the Day: Signal for US-China Tensions

FTSE 100 Drops on China Tensions, GBP/USD Breakdown - US Market OpenFTSE 100 Drops on China Tensions, GBP/USD Breakdown - US Market Open

Source: Refinitiv, DailyFX

WHAT’S DRIVING MARKETS TODAY

  1. Gold Outlook Brightens as Politics Turn Risk Sentiment Sour by Nick Cawley, Strategist
  2. Australian Dollar Forecast: Key AUD/USD Levels to Watch For the Week Ahead” by Justin McQueen, Analyst
  3. Bitcoin Forecast: BTC/USD Price – Coils For a Possible Downside Break by Mahmoud Alkudsi, Analyst



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Forex

USD/CAD Continues to Eye March Price Gap Ahead of Canada Employment

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Canadian Dollar Talking Points

USD/CAD holds near the monthly low (1.3468) as the Bank of Canada (BoC) keeps the benchmark interest rate at the “effective lower bound of ¼ percent” in June, but the update to Canada’s Employment report may influence the exchange rate as the economy is expected to shed 500K jobs in May.

USD/CAD Continues to Eye March Price Gap Ahead of Canada Employment

USD/CAD extends the series of lower highs and lows from the start of the month as the BoC announces that the “Bank is reducing the frequency of its term repo operations to once per week, and its program to purchase bankers’ acceptances to bi-weekly operations.”

Image of BoC interest rate

The decision suggests the BoC led by Tiff Macklem will scale back the dovish forward guidance as the central bank emphasizes that “any further policy actions would be calibrated to provide the necessary degree of monetary policy accommodation required to achieve the inflation target.

Image of DailyFX economic calendar for Canada

It remains to be seen if the update to Canada’s Employment report will influence the monetary policy outlook as the economy is expected to shed 500K jobs in May, while the jobless rate is projected to hit 15%, which would mark the highest reading since the data series began in 1976.

The ongoing deterioration in the labor market may put pressure on the BoC to further support the economy as “the level of real GDP in the second quarter will likely show a further decline of 10-20 percent,” but Governor Macklem and Co. may carry out a wait-and-see approach over the coming months as “the Bank expects the economy to resume growth in the third quarter.

In turn, the BoC may continue to rule out a negative interest rate policy as “the Bank’s programs to improve market function are having their intended effect,” and the central bank may alter the forward guidance at the next meeting on July 15 as the “decisive and targeted fiscal actions, combined with lower interest rates, are buffering the impact of the shutdown.”

With that said, the Canadian Dollar may continue to outperform its US counterpart as the Federal Reserveprepares to have the Municipal Liquidity Facility along with the Main Street Lending Program up and running in June, and the pullback from the yearly high (1.4667) may continue to evolve as USD/CAD snaps the range bound price action from April.

The Relative Strength Index (RSI) highlights a similar dynamic as the indicator tracks the downward trend from May, but the bearish momentum may abate over the coming days as the oscillator struggles to push into oversold territory.

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USD/CAD Rate Daily Chart

Image of USD/CAD rate daily chart

Source: Trading View

  • Keep in mind, the near-term rally in USD/CAD emerged following the failed attempt to break/close belowthe Fibonacci overlap around 1.2950 (78.6% expansion) to 1.2980 (61.8% retracement), with the yearly opening range highlighting a similar dynamic as the exchange rate failed to test the 2019 low (1.2952) during the first full week of January.
  • The shift in USD/CAD behavior may persist in 2020 as the exchange rate breaks out of the range bound price action from the fourth quarter of 2019 and clears the October high (1.3383).
  • However, recent price action suggests the pullback from the yearly high (1.4667) will continue to evolve as USD/CAD takes out the April low (1.3850),and the exchange rate may continue to exhibit a bearish behavior in June as the Relative Strength Index (RSI) extends the downward trend from the previous month.
  • Will keep a close eye on the RSI as it flirts with oversold territory, but the bearish momentum may abate over the coming days if the oscillator fails to hold below 30.
  • Need a break/close below the Fibonacci overlap around 1.3440 (23.6% expansion) to 1.3460 (61.8% retracement) to fill the price gap from March, with the next area of interest coming in around 1.3290 (61.8% expansion) to 1.3320 (78.6% retracement).

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— Written by David Song, Currency Strategist

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What is Fueling the Rally?

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Dow Jones, Nasdaq 100, S&P 500 Price Outlook:

  • The S&P 500 reclaimed the psychologically significant 3,000 mark last week
  • Meanwhile, the Nasdaq 100 continues to edge closer to the all-time highs it saw in February
  • The Dow Jones remains a laggard but has posted gains of its own in recent weeks

Dow Jones, Nasdaq 100, S&P 500 Forecasts: What is Fueling the Rally?

The Dow Jones, Nasdaq and S&P 500 have continued to melt higher in recent days even as bullish catalysts seem to sputter out. Following the initial crash in February and early March, gains were quickly established in what many believed to be a “bear market rally” as governments and central banks offered aid in many shapes and sizes.

Nasdaq 100 Price Chart: 4 – Hour Time Frame (February – June)

Nasdaq 100 price chart

In the weeks that followed, market pundits attributed the continuation rally to slowing coronavirus cases and the efficacy of quarantine procedures. Now the three equity indices are approaching prior levels, but more than 40 million Americans are unemployed, bankruptcies have been declared, supply chains have been disrupted and other fundamental concerns have been ignited. Still, the Dow Jones, Nasdaq and S&P climb. So what exactly is fueling this recovery rally?

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Well, to be sure, not every market move has to have a single and easily identifiable catalyst. Similarly, markets can stay irrational for extended periods of time, so gains can be built even when the underlying fundamental landscape may suggest otherwise. This phenomenon could be seen, at least to some degree, in late January and early February when it was becoming more apparent the coronavirus would become a global ordeal.

S&P 500, Crude Oil and Copper Daily Price Chart (August 2019 – January 2020)

Dow Jones, Nasdaq 100, S&P 500 Forecasts: What is Fueling the Rally?

Chart created with TradingView. Taken from Twitter.

While other equity markets, risk-sensitive currencies and commodities like crude oil plummeted, the three US indices trudged higher still. At the time, I noted the relationship between crude oil and the S&P 500, highlighting the infrequency of such a divergence.

At present, the catalysts for a continuation rally beyond all-time highs seem few and far between. Further still, domestic unrest will likely dent coronavirus recovery efforts and US-China tensions have soared. When taken together, it seems unlikely the Dow Jones, Nasdaq and S&P 500 will reach new heights, but other risk sensitive assets like the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Dollars have rallied, exhibiting widespread risk appetite.

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Thus, it can be argued US equity prices have become detached from their underlying fundamentals, but shorter-term trading involves price, not necessarily economic principles, and weeks of gains would suggest the current trend is higher still, however unfounded it may seem.

While I am of the opinion that some of these gains will have to be forfeited eventually, attempting to call the top at each leg higher is presumptuous. With that in mind, it may be prudent to wait on the sidelines until a catalyst can spark selling that is met with conviction if you possess a bearish bias, because it seems that none of the current threats have sparked such a move yet. In the meantime, follow @PeterHanksFX on Twitter for updates and keep close tabs on the price action in the days to come.

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–Written by Peter Hanks, Analyst for DailyFX.com

Contact and follow Peter on Twitter @PeterHanksFX



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Index Surges Through Price Gap, Can it Continue?

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FTSE 100 Price Outlook:

FTSE 100 Forecast: Index Surges Through Price Gap, Can it Continue?

The FTSE 100 surged to its highest level since early June on Wednesday after the equity index pierced a longstanding technical barrier around 6,200. The zone marked confluent Fibonacci levels and had worked to stall bullish attempts higher in the past, notably coinciding with the swing-high in late April. All in all, the ascending channel with which the FTSE 100 trades remains intact and passing through resistance allowed for bulls to capitalize on open air above.

FTSE 100 Price Chart: 4 – Hour Time Frame (March – June)

FTSE 100 price chart

With a price gap ranging from roughly 6,200 to 6,400, the bullish break above resistance at 6,200 opened the door to a quick continuation – due to the nature of price gaps – and the FTSE must now negotiate secondary resistance around 6,400. 6,400 aligns not only with the top of the gap, but also another Fibonacci level. With that said, the spot is likely to influence price, at least to some degree, in the days ahead.

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If sentiment shifts and risk appetite diminishes, the FTSE 100 may retreat from resistance at 6,400 and fall back into the 6,400 to 6,200 range. Since the gap was filled, price movement should be met with more resistance – regardless of direction. Either way, the FTSE 100 should now enjoy support from prior resistance at 6,200, and due to the level’s influence in the past, it may prove to be a vital staging ground for bullish attempts down the road.

FTSE 100
BEARISH

Data provided by



of clients are net long.



of clients are net short.

Change in Longs Shorts OI
Daily 7% -1% 3%
Weekly 14% -5% 3%

With the ascending channel intact and a series of higher-highs and higher-lows, FTSE 100 price action suggests further strength may be on the horizon. Coupled with IG Client Sentiment Data which reveals retail clients are net-short, it seems as though the shorter-term trend is leaning toward a continuation higher.

That being said, I have my reservations about current stock market activity and suspect the risk-reward relationship for many indices is currently skewed to the downside – a topic discussed at length in my webinar. Nevertheless, price is unemotional and unfeeling and recent price action is hardly a harbinger of bearish reversals so price may continue higher in the shorter-term regardless of the underlying fundamentals. In the meantime, follow @PeterHanksFX on Twitter for updates.

–Written by Peter Hanks, Analyst for DailyFX.com

Contact and follow Peter on Twitter @PeterHanksFX



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