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Dollar outlook for the week: more sales ahead of the NFP


On Monday, the dollar index struggles to maintain support at 90 points. The attempt to go up on the inflation report failed miserably on Friday:

 DXY-RUS.png

Annual inflation in the US in April was the highest in several decades - +3.1%. At the peak of the previous expansion, in 2006, it was 2.9%. Despite the fact that market forecasts underestimated inflation (2.9% consensus), the debt market received the news rather coolly. The yield of the 10-year Treasuries barely flickered on the report. It would seem that the risk of accelerated inflation rates in the US increased after the report, because of which investors should have demanded an increased yield on long-term Treasuries, but contrary to expectations, the yield fell from 1.61% to 1.59% at the close.

Strong inflation readings in April-May can be explained by the low base effect - in the same month last year the US lockdown was in full swing, which dragged inflation down. Compared to that month, things are looking very good now. The second potential explanation is that investors in the Treasury market believed the Fed's words that inflation was caused by temporary drivers and would soon begin to slow down. Therefore, there is no reason to dump long-term bonds.

However, if we see another increase in inflation rate in May, there will be some kind of trend, so anxiety, most likely, cannot be avoided. Therefore, bear in mind that the markets will most likely start to worry about increased inflation in the coming months.

Important statistics were also released for Asia. China released a manufacturing activity index for May, while South Korea reported factory output. Key findings - costs are growing (cost of raw materials + labor), and the growth of export orders is slowly slowing down. For example, the index of the cost of raw materials rose to 72.8 points (50 is neutral) - this is the maximum since 2010. At the same time, the index of new orders fell to 48.3 points, that is, it became worse than in April. Together, these dynamics tell us that if pickup of commodity prices continue, it will likely be much slower. Rather, stabilization in the market awaits us.

It should also be noted that small firms in China have probably passed the peak of growth rates - their margins are squeezed by rising commodity prices and difficulties in transferring this inflation to the consumer. The index of activity of small firms in China fell from 50.8 immediately to 48.8 points.

The May Non-Farm Payrolls report is also due this week. Weak job growth in April exacerbated the negative trend in the dollar, as the chances of a Fed rate hike diminished. All May because of this, the dollar was under pressure:

 
Screenshot-2021-05-31-at-16-20-15.png
It is highly probable that the foreign exchange market will unravel the consequences of the May report throughout June. The thing is that in April the labor supply lagged behind the demand for labor, so few new jobs were created. Preliminary data for May (jobless claims, hiring indices in PMI reports) shows little change. Therefore, the report may again fall short of expectations. The Fed will have more time to delay with low rates, since their goal is jobs. The dollar could suffer again.

On the technical side, we are using the setup from last Friday. USD index failed to settle above the upper border of the channel on Friday, so the control, I believe, rests with the sellers. Closer to the NFP release, the pressure on the dollar is likely to mount, and we will see a retest of support at 89.65.


Disclaimer: The material provided is for information purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice. The views, information, or opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual or company.

High Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% and 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Tickmill UK Ltd and Tickmill Europe Ltd respectively. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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Oil breakout sets the stage for the rally towards $75 mark


Trading on FX was calm and uninteresting on Monday as UK and US markets were closed due to holidays. On Tuesday, we saw a weak attempt by the greenback to recover after the currency tumbled against majors yesterday. In the economic calendar, reports on the US economy stand out, the closest of which is the ISM index in the US manufacturing. Markets will look for confirmation that supply bottlenecks continue and costs are on the rise, particularly labor costs. The latter effect could hamper job creation, so it could negatively affect expectations ahead of Non-Farm Payrolls release on Friday.

However, if the data can influence the Fed's policy, it will likely do it in the way that it increases chances that there will be no premature tightening of credit conditions. For the dollar, this will have a negative effect, as other central banks are pursuing quite a hawkish policy, increasing interest in local assets. This leads to rebalancing of investment portfolios, causing USD outflows. 

The economic recovery is increasingly difficult to deny, so OPEC is thinking about a new increase in production quotas. The agency updated forecasts to even more bullish however there is still some uncertainty about production hike which markets used to stage breakout in prices. In addition, the rally was facilitated by the data that OPEC did not fully "use" the May increase in production while return of Iran to the market turned out to be more modest than expected.

From the technical point of view, the sharp upward movement of oil on Tuesday looked like a breakout from the range, in which the quotes were held about a month:

 
ENG-OIL.png


In order for the rally to gain traction, it is desirable to see a consolidation above $69.70 - $70 per barrel for Brent and, of course, lack of aggressive plans of OPEC to close output gap (i.e., increase production fast). A correction after the breakout will probably follow the decision of OPEC and the communique, however, given the latest demand forecasts, the market should be able to absorb this increase in supply. If OPEC decides not to rush to increase production, in July we can easily see a rally to $75 per barrel in Brent.

Before the ECB meeting, it is important to know what is happening with inflation in the European economy and today's CPI report came in handy. Inflation in May turned out to be slightly better than forecasted, which supported the European currency, as there are expectations that the ECB may start cutting QE earlier, but for this there should be a signal in the data. Unemployment also dropped to a new low after the pandemic - 8%. The meeting of the European regulator will take place on June 10 and the foreign exchange market is now inclined price in positive data updates by gaining more exposure to the euro.

Technically, EURUSD breakdown ended unsuccessfully last Friday, and the new week was marked by continuation of the rally:


Screenshot-2021-06-01-at-14-32-19.png
  


A short-term correction to the area of 1.22100 to the lower border of the ascending channel is possible before the movement towards the target 1.23 will resume.

Disclaimer: The material provided is for information purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice. The views, information, or opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual or company.

High Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% and 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Tickmill UK Ltd and Tickmill Europe Ltd respectively. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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May NFP could fuel USD rally all next week

The odds of the Fed departing from the policy of cheap money earlier than previously expected rose sharply on Thursday after release of the ADP report. The private research agency made highly upbeat assessment of labor market growth in May, estimating job growth at 978K which was significantly above the consensus (~600K). The dollar and long-dated US government bonds were apparently surprised by the labor market rebound:

 Screenshot-2021-06-04-at-13-11-34.png

After the April NFP report, which was a big miss as jobs growth was three times lower than consensus, there was a great deal of uncertainty about the direction of the US economy. The market basically split into two camps - some believed that the sharp slowdown in job growth in April was a turning point in the post-pandemic recovery trend, others that it was an outlier, and therefore more data is needed to verify the onset of slowdown. The Fed, by the way, belonged to the second camp. In a sense, the May report should have judged this dispute. Given that the ADP figure correlates with NFP estimate, there was no need to wait for NFP to know whom to believe - the strong positive surprise in the ADP data convinced that the US economic recovery is in full swing and the April data was likely a quirk.
As a result, the real interest rate and market inflation expectations in the US resumed growth again after the data. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes rose from 1.59% to 1.62% and the dollar index soared to 90.50. Since the Fed seeks to ensure maximum employment in the economy (in accordance with the new policy concept) by keeping rates low, strong job growth is quickly moving it closer to this goal, therefore, market interpretation of the report could be a rising risk of an early policy tightening. In the context of the current stimulus setting, this may mean that the Fed will start talking about QE tapering already at its meeting on June 16, which is close at hand.
Technically, the dollar index broke the bearish trend it had been in since April after several attempts to break the support at 89.65 failed. If the NFP report beats estimates coming significantly above the 600K consensus today (for example, 900-950K growth), one should expect USD to extend its rally towards 91 points on the index:

Screenshot-2021-06-04-at-14-31-15.png


The reading of 700-800K is probably priced in based on the ADP data. If the NFP reading disappoints posting growth of 600K or lower (an unlikely scenario), the dollar can be expected to fall as fast as yesterday's growth.
In EURUSD there is a risk of going down to 1.2050 on a strong NFP. Next week, attention will be focused on the ECB meeting, which may provide support to the euro, given that data on the European economy also give reason to expect a tightening of ECB policy.
As for the GBPUSD, the revision of the composite PMI towards strengthening did not help the pound to resist the dollar onslaught. A positive NFP surprise today will allow testing 1.4050 today, however the Bank of England maintains a more hawkish policy than the ECB or in the future the Fed, so the weakening of GBPUSD is likely to be less strong than EURUSD.

Disclaimer: The material provided is for information purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice. The views, information, or opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual or company.

High Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% and 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Tickmill UK Ltd and Tickmill Europe Ltd respectively. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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US inflation report may cause a major move in USD. Here is why.


Last week, the struggle between USD bulls and bears was unusually evident: the dollar index jumped from 90 to 90.50 points following release of the ADP labor market report, however bullish bets were dialed back completely as the NFP report came out: 

 Screenshot-2021-06-07-at-14-58-50.png

This unusual for FX move was caused by really contrasting assessments of labor market situation in the ADP and the NFP. The former reported that the US economy gained more than 900K jobs in May, while the latter failed to meet even modest forecast of 600K.  The progress in employment, as USD volatility showed last week, is a direct indicator of the chances of early tightening by the Fed, which in turn generates demand for dollar fixed-income assets and ultimately the dollar.


This week, US inflation report will determine the fate of the bearish USD trend. The data is due on Thursday. The rise in US consumer prices can easily beat forecasts, but it is unlikely to cause a big surprise: inflation hit the bottom in April-May last year (0 - 0.1%), so it will be easy to attribute acceleration to the low base effect:

Screenshot-2021-06-07-at-14-27-22.png
 
By the way, inflation overshoot last month (forecast 3.6%, actual reading 4.2%) was quickly absorbed by the market, which can be seen from the USD reaction:

 Screenshot-2021-06-07-at-15-00-43.png

Having jumped up, the dollar returned to the downward track in a few days. This gives a rough understanding of what the market's reaction might be if the data show strong inflation in May.
The real surprise will be if May inflation drops below forecast. There will be a good opportunity to short the dollar, as the Fed will have a serious reason to think about whether it is too early to move on to policy tightening. We already saw last Friday that anything that signals about deceleration of recovery boosts chances for the Fed “lower-for-longer” stance, crushing USD. May inflation report, in its possible impact, is most likely no exception.


By the way, also on Thursday the ECB holds a policy meeting and the central bank chief Christine Lagarde speaks. More certainty on tapering of the current main asset purchase program, PEPP, should be a clear-cut signal for EURUSD rally. However, there should be little urge to move with tapering as long-term German bond yields retreated from highs of this year, signaling about subdued inflation concerns. That’s why the ECB may prefer to focus on talking down Euro to support local exports. 


Technically, EURUSD's brisk rebound from 1.211 up last Friday showed that EURUSD weakened on expectations that the NFP would confirm the ADP data, which surprisingly did not happen. If we don't see anything extraordinary about US inflation on Thursday, EURUSD will tend to keep moving up.


Disclaimer: The material provided is for information purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice. The views, information, or opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual or company.

High Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% and 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Tickmill UK Ltd and Tickmill Europe Ltd respectively. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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Only strong US inflation in May can save USD

The dollar holds its ground on Tuesday counting on a strong positive surprise in the US May inflation report. The release is due on Thursday. Yellen's comments that high interest rates will be a plus for the economy went unnoticed by investors, since the rhetoric of the US Treasury head has no immediate consequences.

The ZEW report on the business climate in Germany for June fell short of expectations, but assessment of the current conditions beat forecasts. The mixed report deprived EURUSD of the opportunity to re-break the 1.22 level, as there is no over-optimism in the German economy and there are not so many reasons for the ECB to rush to tighten policy.

It is also worth paying attention to the NFIB report on small business in the United States. If it confirms that the reason for the weak May Non-Farm Payrolls was a lack of labor supply (as was the case in April), expectations for inflation in the United States in May will also have to be revised towards higher growth, since it is obvious that employers have to raise wages and these costs will translate into an increase in final prices. Recall that according to the Non-Farm Payrolls report, monthly wage growth was 0.5% (0.2% forecast), which indicates increased risks of accelerated US inflation in May.

Nevertheless, the Fed continues to believe and tries to convince market participants that the increased inflation rate will not last long, as it is caused by temporary drivers and technical factors such as the low base effect. Last year, in April and May, inflation reached a local minimum, after which it turned into growth. Compared to those months, inflation in April and May of this year can easily show high growth rates.

US trade statistics may also be in focus. The consensus on the data is reduction of the US trade deficit to $70 billion. However, the news that the US trade deficit has reached its peak is unlikely to help the dollar. In addition, the Fed is entering a blackout period - the Central Bank officials are silent for a whole week in front of the Fed meeting, so the dollar can only be supported by a strong inflation report. 

On Thursday, the ECB will meet and, in this light, mixed data on sentiment in Germany indicate that it doesn’t make sense for the bank to rush to slow down asset purchases. The ECB will likely prefer to focus on supporting a weak euro, and will also point to the risks of new virus strains and slow vaccinations as key risks which justify low rates and QE.

EURUSD pulls back today after the 1.22 test on Monday amid lack of optimism in economic data. If the uptick in US inflation in May does not meet expectations, the baseline scenario for EURUSD is continued rise in the second half of the week to the June high (1.225):

Screenshot-2021-06-08-at-17-54-16.png


Disclaimer: The material provided is for information purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice. The views, information, or opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual or company.

High Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% and 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Tickmill UK Ltd and Tickmill Europe Ltd respectively. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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Taper or not to taper early? US May inflation report should help the Fed to make up its mind

Oil prices rose on Tuesday continuing to develop modest upside momentum on Wednesday. WTI has broken the $70 per barrel mark for the first time since October 2018. The API data indicated a 2.11 million barrels cut in US oil inventories on the reporting week, raising the chances of a positive EIA report on inventories, which is slated for release today. Optimism about demand continues to drive price increases, which is partly justified by the fact that the pandemic is receding. The daily increase in the number of new cases of Covid-19 continues to decline while some health officials, like the head of the Ministry of Health of Norway, make extremely optimistic claims that the pandemic is nearly over.

OPEC acts as a counter-argument for the current oil rally, or rather, the cartel's excess production capacity of 6 million b/d. It is clear that these capacities will be gradually put into operation and if this is done in a weak market or coincides with the deterioration of the demand background (as was the case in March) prices may repeat the correction. Now OPEC production caps are factored in prices, however signals of improvement in demand continue to come. Prices will come under serious pressure closer to the next OPEC meeting.

Another important indicator of the market movement towards the reduction of excess oil reserves was the narrowing of the Brent-WTI spread. Now the WTI discount is only $ 2.3 per barrel, this is the lowest since November 2020 and indicates a faster expansion in the United States.

A short-term oil forecast from the EIA published yesterday showed that forecasts for the recovery of shale production in the United States for 2021 and 2022 have not changed much. This also supported prices, as it was the recovery in US production that prevented OPEC from effectively exercising control over the market.

The mix of the fresh upside leg in oil, declining chances an early QE tapering by the Fed and a flight of inflation to the Russian Federation in May sharply boosted appeal of carry trade, since the chances that the Central Bank of Russia will sharply raise the rate (for example, by 50 bp), thus expanding the differential rates, have gone up. The CBR meeting will take place on Friday and USDRUB is likely to continue to decline rapidly on positive expectations:

ENG-USDRUB-copy.png

The major currency pairs remain in narrow ranges today in anticipation of the key US inflation report for May for this week, as well as the meeting of the European Central Bank. China released inflation data that pointed to an unpleasant trend of contraction in production margins (CPI falls, PPI rises), forcing the authorities to announce price controls. The key takeaway from the data is that inflationary pressures in the world continue to build up, so tomorrow we may well see an unexpected very strong rise in US inflation. However, due to the fact that last May inflation was very low (near zero), YoY gains should be attributed to a good extent to the low base effect, so the market's tolerance to higher inflation rate may be high. A surprise for the market is likely to be core CPI values above 3.7% or above 5% of broad CPI. If the data fails to meet expectations, we can expect a resumption of the downtrend in the dollar, since prolonged pause of the Fed in QE tightening, will lead to rotation into high-yielding currencies away from the USD, since other major Central Banks have clearly more hawkish policy stance. 


Disclaimer: The material provided is for information purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice. The views, information, or opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual or company.

High Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% and 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Tickmill UK Ltd and Tickmill Europe Ltd respectively. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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EIA data was a surprise for the market, casting doubts on US demand strength

Oil prices came under pressure on Wednesday, WTI struggled to stay above the $70 mark. The catalyst for the decline was bearish EIA report on commercial oil and refined products inventories in the United States. The report is now having a bigger impact on the market than usual, as it presents one of the major uncertainties on supply side. OPEC pumps oil in accordance with established quotas, and therefore supply from the cartel is more or less predictable.
The EIA report was a bit ambiguous as it contained both positive and negative information for the market. Stocks of crude oil decreased by 5.24 million barrels in the reporting week, confirming the API inventories data (which also indicated a reduction in reserves), nevertheless, refined products - gasoline, distillates and propane reserves jumped 20.71 million barrels which was a kind of a shock for the market:

Screenshot-2021-06-10-at-14-24-11.png

The growth of finished products may indicate that the demand for them has decreased (i.e., fuel consumption in the United States has decreased) or supply has increased, or there was a combination of these factors.
In search of an answer to the question of what caused the increase in inventories, it is worth paying attention to the capacity utilization of refineries. The report showed that it rose 2.6% to 91.3%, the highest since January last year:

 Screenshot-2021-06-10-at-14-23-03.png

Taking into account the change in the activity of refineries, the change in demand for finished oil products turned out to be negative and amounted to -1.43 mln bpd. However, it should be borne in mind that we are approaching the travel season in the United States, which is a seasonal factor of increase in fuel demand.
On the supply side, the bulk of the negative news for the market comes from Iran. The country has ambitious supply growth targets, from 2.4 million bpd to 3.3 million bpd in the first six months to 4 million bpd. over the next six months, provided that the United States lifts the sanctions.
Iran's supply is expected to rise, however any news indicating progress in the nuclear deal could trigger a correction in the market, which, however, should short-lived as the demand side situation improves.
Later today, OPEC is to publish a monthly bulletin that will report on the cartel's production in May, as well as provide updated forecasts by the end of the year. On Friday, the IEA will release a report, which will also provide its views on the market. Both reports could cause increased price volatility, especially if the outlook changes for the worse, as the market remains fragile after recent gains.

Disclaimer: The material provided is for information purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice. The views, information, or opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual or company.

High Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% and 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Tickmill UK Ltd and Tickmill Europe Ltd respectively. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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Fed meeting impact will likely to be short-lived and here is why

Greenback holds position on Monday after the short-squeeze last Friday. Gold resumed its plunge while nominal yield on long-dated US debt (Treasuries) remained subdued – in overall this suggests that expectations of inflation overheating somewhat retreated. This could happen for two reasons - either markets feel that US growth rate cools down or they expect some updates on the Fed credit tightening. Considering that the FOMC meeting is around the corner, the reason is most likely the second.

The reaction in USD, gold and Treasuries suggest that asset prices factored in a possible change in the policy at the meeting on June 16. Interest rate and bond-buying pace are expected to remain at current levels; however, the Fed may start to talk about when it intends to scale back massive bond purchases. Even this slight policy tweak should have an impact, given that other central banks have taken the first step towards exiting the anti-crisis policy. Therefore, if there is a comment, a la "we start to discuss the timeframe of QE tapering", it is unlikely that this will cause a long-lasting surprise in the market.

But the Fed is hardly ready for anything more. There is actually no need for that. The comfortable US economic situation (aka “Goldilocks economy”) and looming summer calm in the markets are two key reasons for the Fed to be cautious and extend the wait-and-see stance. In addition, rising demand for long-term Treasuries since the beginning of June suggests that the Fed has managed to convince market participants that high inflation in April-May is temporary. So, there is no market pressure on the Fed to tell something about QE tapering. If the Fed rushes now with hints about reduction of asset purchases, it can sow doubts that inflation is completely under control. This is certainly not in the best interest of the Fed officials.

As a result, the emerging trend of this summer – search for yield amid subdued volatility - is likely to remain intact. Already on Friday, we saw strengthening of 10-year Russian bonds by 11 bp after Bank of Russia hiked key rate by 50 bp. The yields on «second-rate» Eurozone bonds - Italy and Greece - also declined, their spread to 10-year German Bunds dropped below 100 bp., indicating that investors are willing to take risk in exchange of returns. This week, investors to EM will likely pay attention to Brazilian Central Bank, which is supposed to raise interest rate by 75 bp. In general, there are clear signals that demand for risk is on the rise.

As one of the main funding currencies, greenback has inverse relationship with demand for risk, therefore, it’s likely that recent USD strengthening can be attributed purely to the FOMC even risk. The index may reverse in the area of 90.80-91.00 in the second half of the week:


 Screenshot-2021-06-14-at-16-26-13.png


Meetings of the Norwegian Central Bank and the Bank of Switzerland will also be held this week. The Central Bank of Norway gave a signal that it will tighten credit conditions, and the SNB, on the contrary, that it will not rush in this matter. Therefore, EURNOK and EURCHF may tend to move in different directions this week - the first is down and the second is up.

For EURUSD, the situation largely reflects the alignment of the dollar index: a potential downward movement on the FOMC will probably not go beyond 1.2075 from where a rebound can be expected:


Screenshot-2021-06-14-at-17-13-50.png

Disclaimer: The material provided is for information purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice. The views, information, or opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual or company.

High Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% and 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Tickmill UK Ltd and Tickmill Europe Ltd respectively. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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