European open – Trade war, Brexit, NFP, gold, oil

Brexit and Trade War Back in Focus

Last week was a reminder to investors that data can still cause quite a stir in the markets but this week, normal business resumes as attention shifts back to trade wars and Brexit.

Source – Thomson Reuters Eikon

It’s impossible to look past the big macro stories at the moment, especially with another Brexit deadline looming and Washington preparing to host Chinese officials for further trade talks. I wouldn’t say the mood in either case is particularly optimistic but they should be interesting, none-the-less.

Especially in light of last week’s data, with ISM releasing some very worrying confidence surveys. Friday’s labour market report was a mixed bag, with fewer jobs being added but unemployment falling to a 50-year low so it’s not all bad. Still, the cold that the US has given to the rest of the world may be making its way back across the Atlantic.

With trade talks occurring later in the week, there will be some hope that progress can be made towards ending the trade war that has weakened the global economy. It’s probably far more likely that a deal is as far away as it is now and a no-deal Brexit remains the most likely outcome.

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Powell comments eyed as gold pulls back

All the risk aversion last week was clearly good for gold, as it made a comeback almost immediately after breaking through $1,480 support. That rebound only took it so far though and, as things stand, it’s still in correction territory which means the initial breakout remains significant.

The difficulty with this is that market sentiment is fragile after last week and, given the excuse, investors could easily flee for the safe haven’s again, forcing gold through last week’s highs and back into bullish territory. It’s a quiet start to the week on the data side though, which means much hangs on Jerome Powell’s comments over the next few days.

Gold Daily Chart

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Oil near lows on growth fears

Oil caught a bit of a bounce towards the end of the week just as it was set to test its 2019 lows. The Saudi attacks have quickly been forgotten about and global growth is back to being the main driver of oil markets. Such complacency could come back to bite oil traders as another aggressive spike will likely accompany any further escalation in the region.

For now though, attention is on the data and, in the latter part of the week, trade talks in Washington. A resolution of the trade war – no matter how unlikely it seems now – is the most sustainable bullish catalyst for crude, if only it was a realistic possibility in the near-term.

Brent Daily Chart

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 Market Analyst, UK & EMEA at OANDA
Based in London, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a market analyst. With many years of experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while producing macroeconomic commentary. His views have been published in the Financial Times, Reuters, The Telegraph and the International Business Times, and he also appears as a regular guest commentator on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business and SKY News. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and is recognised as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.
Craig Erlam