Jobs and Powell the ideal tonic for investors
An extraordinary equity market rally on Friday is carrying some positive momentum into the open on Monday, with Europe eyeing a higher open as investor anxiety eases, for now.
The combination of a very strong – and completely unexpected – jobs report and rather dovish comments from Jerome Powell proved the ideal tonic for investors at a time of such angst. The labour market figures far exceeded market expectations, the only downside being the increase in the unemployment rate, but even this came as a result of the rise in participation which is ultimately a good thing.
Powell following this by stressing that the Fed will be patient and will shift if necessary was the icing on the cake. With markets at such depressed levels compared to the start of the fourth quarter, there was plenty of motivation for investors to pile back in. Whether they’ll stay in is another question because this is only one risk factor – albeit an important one – and am openness to shift is not a change in itself.
Gold eyeing $1,300 and USD softens on Powell comments
The reaction in the dollar was interesting on Friday, with the currency rallying strongly in response to the jobs report before reversing course following Powell’s comments. Given that markets had completely priced out a hike this year prior to the release, this isn’t necessarily a surprise but it could keep the pressure on the greenback in the near future.
Gold Daily Chart
This initially saw gold come under some pressure as the dollar rallied but once it started to come off, the yellow metal was heading back towards $1,300 which remains a key resistance level to the upside. The risk environment may have temporarily returned, taking some of the shine off gold, but I don’t think this will stop it if the dollar continues to weaken, as currently looks likely.
Oil bounces as risk appetite improves
Oil has also become closely linked to the risk environment lately, with a global slowdown being an obvious downside risk for prices. The rally on Friday, with another looking on the cards today, is proving supportive for Brent and WTI although the EIA report last week did take some of the edge off the recovery.
Inventories were relatively flat last week, which was above expectations of a drawdown, weighing a little on prices. This could be a reflection of slower demand, hence the drop in price, or suggest that Saudi Arabia’s attempts to manipulate the data and lift prices aren’t working as hoped.
For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.
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