Futures Steady as Trump Tariff Stance Hardens

Stocks Rebound After Trump Tariffs Rattle Markets

US equity markets are on course to open relatively unchanged at the start of the week after bouncing back from early losses on Friday, which came as Donald Trump announced tariffs on steel and aluminium.

With the US President threatening tariffs on car imports should the EU retaliate, there is a real possibility that a trade war could unfold which doesn’t work to anyone’s benefit. The prospect of this rattled markets on Friday but this didn’t last long and US equities quickly bounced back, with the S&P 500 ending the day half a percentage point higher. European stocks have been playing catch up at the start of the week, although automakers continue to struggle after Trump’s threats.

Trumps Tariff Torpedo ?

FTSE MIB Under Pressure as Projections Show Strong Performance of Populist Parties in Election

The Italian election over the weekend likely failed to produce a majority government, with projections showing the Five Star Movement was the largest single party and the centre-right block received the most votes. Negotiations will now commence to form a government which is likely to take months and could yield a coalition of the League and Five Star Movement, which could be very problematic for Italy’s partners in the European Union.

Source – Bloomberg

While European stock indices have largely shrugged off the Italian election result, the FTSE MIB was down more than 1% in early trade as investors worry that prolonged coalition talks and the possibility of an anti-establishment majority could harm the economy. The last 12 months has seen a number of anti-establishment parties defeated in elections across the EU, which was celebrated as a victory over the populists and an endorsement for the EU project. This result suggests people aren’t as supportive as European leaders would have us believe.

EUR/USD – Euro Subdued, Shrugs Off Soft Services PMIs

Mixed PMIs Seen Across Europe

The euro has also been unaffected by the result, and trades only marginally lower on the day. The PMI data for the region won’t be helping the currency, with the final readings being revised a little lower, although they still remain comfortably in growth territory. Retail Sales data also suggested that January wasn’t a great month for the region compared with December, although gradual progress is being seen year on year.

EURUSD Daily Chart

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The UK services PMI was more encouraging though, jumping to 54.5 in February, its highest since October. The services sector is incredibly important to the UK, covering more than three quarters of total output, so movements in the PMI tend to be monitored very closely and can give a strong indication about how the economy is managing, particularly during challenging periods like this. Still to come we have US final services and ISM non-manufacturing PMIs and we’ll also hear from FOMC voter Randal Quarles.

Economic Calendar

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Currency Analyst at OANDA
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Sky News, Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.