Choppy start to the week

It’s been a choppy start to the week, with investors still clearly torn between wanting to capitalise on dips and unease over rising rates and risks.

I expect this kind of behaviour to continue into the end of the year as we continue to judge just how significant those downside risks turn out to be which should result in more two-way price action, in theory at least. Investors have an incredible ability to see the bullish case in most scenarios so I can’t write off the possibility of them doing so once more.

The paring back of pandemic era stimulus and rate hikes at a time of sluggish growth and high inflation should make investors think twice – and arguably has over the last couple of months – but there’s never a guarantee that will continue.

And the longer we go without any major correction in stock markets, the more I expect investors will succumb to their desire to scratch the itch and pile back in on stocks. Interest rates may be rising which perhaps offers some opportunity elsewhere but they won’t rise significantly unless inflation gets completely out of control, which should keep the TINA trade alive and well in the long run.

It’s interesting that in the UK, we already appear to be seeing signs that investors anticipate a policy mistake from the Bank of England, with rates seen rising to 1.2% by the end of next year before reversing course. This doesn’t bode well for growth over the medium term and will probably correct itself as the central bank becomes more comfortable with the inflation outlook.

But it’s the fear of this kind of outcome, or something worse, that may keep a lid on equity markets over the coming months. It will also keep plenty of focus on the inflation data and any indication that supply-side pressures will increase or current rises will become more ingrained, overriding current beliefs that it is largely transitory.

In the interim, earnings season will give investors an idea of how companies perceive the various risks when it comes to their earnings outlooks. Earnings season is off to a good start which probably supported sentiment into the end of last week but there’s a long way to go and the outlooks, as ever, will be heavily in focus.

Bitcoin nears highs as ProShares ETF starts trading

Bitcoin is seeing some support after the launch of the ProShares ETF on the NYSE, hitting USD 63,000 shortly after the start and now within a whisker of new all-time highs. The question now is whether the event will be the catalyst for the next surge in prices or a profit-taking opportunity; a classic buy the rumour, sell the fact situation.

Either could be the trigger for some pretty wild price action in the cryptocurrency space, something everyone will be braced for in the coming hours. The launch coinciding with near-record highs is no coincidence but this is a market that has made extraordinary gains on the back of hype and this could be just that kind of event. A big move in either direction wouldn’t surprise me at this point but either way, it should be an exciting watch over the coming sessions.

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
Craig Erlam

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