US futures are pointing to a higher open again on Wall Street, a day after the S&P and Dow closed at new record highs as indices continue to receive a boost from a cooling dollar and gains in commodities.
The US dollar has torn higher in recent weeks, spurred on by the prospect of more fiscal stimulus and the inflationary pressures – and therefore additional rate hikes – that could accompany it. Having hit 13 and a half year highs and with markets now having almost entirely priced in a hike next month, we’re now seeing a little profit taking in the dollar which is helping to support commodities, which typically benefit when the greenback weakens.
There are also other factors helping drive commodities higher at the moment, which in turn is triggering similar moves in equity markets. Ahead of the OPEC meeting next week, the noises coming from those close to the talks would at least lead us to believe that a deal is close to being agreed. The outline of the deal was previously agreed when members met in Algeria but the finer details still needed to be ironed out.
It’s these details that has generated a lot of scepticism around the deal over the last couple of months but it would appear that optimism from within the camp is high and traders are once again buying into it. I will be surprised if a deal is agreed next week that will play a significant role in rebalancing the market and more surprised again if any deal proceeds smoothly. For now though, the only important question is whether any deal will be enough to satisfy traders because we’ve been here before. Only a couple of months ago markets rallied in anticipation of a deal but it didn’t live up to expectations and oil fell almost 20% in the month that followed.
The rest of the day is looking a little quiet for economic events, albeit ahead of a potentially big day tomorrow. We’ll get existing home sales and Richmond manufacturing data from the US shortly after the open, as well as consumer confidence data from the eurozone, but I imagine focus will remain on the dollar and commodity markets as the main driver for now.
For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.
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