Off to a bad start

There’s been a lot of economic data to digest so far on Thursday and yet nothing has really changed as far as markets are concerned, with September kicking off as August ended.

We’ve rapidly transitioned from pivot-induced euphoria to recession anxiety. All because central bank policymakers have repeated messages that their colleagues delivered prior to Jackson Hole but were then ignored. It’s all rather strange.

With the US jobs data to come tomorrow, investors may remain cautious and risk-averse for now as the tightness of the labour market is unlikely to produce the kind of report that the Fed wants to see and that will ease the nerves. Of course, when it comes to investors, nothing will surprise me at this point.

Recession looking more likely amid poor PMIs

The PMIs this morning haven’t helped lift spirits, with the European surveys offering little hope that the bloc will avoid a recession later this year. And that’s before winter even starts and energy bills go through the roof. It’s going to be a long, hard six months for Europe and it can’t rely on the ECB to provide any relief; quite the opposite actually.

The PMIs from China don’t make for better reading and that’s compounded by the latest lockdowns in Chengdu and restrictions elsewhere. Power shortages due to the droughts further dampened sentiment last month and contributed to the weaker readings. All considered though, things aren’t likely to dramatically improve, with the Chinese economy continuing to face severe headwinds for the rest of the year and into the next.

Markets testing Saudi threats

The pessimism in the markets is filtering through to oil where prices have fallen 2% again on Thursday. I’m not sure Saudi Arabia expected markets to test their nerve so quickly but it seems the suggestion that a reduction next week won’t be considered has removed the production cut risk for now.

It will be interesting to see how much traders decide to test the alliance, something that may invite more verbal intervention and perhaps even a change of heart ahead of the meeting. For now, Brent and WTI are edging ever closer to their August lows.

Gold may be eyeing July lows

After breaking below $1,730 support earlier in the week, gold is now pushing below $1,700 and could have the July lows around $1,680 in its sights. The yellow metal did not take Jerome Powell’s comments at Jackson Hole very well and has been on the decline since. It’s off around 3.5% from the highs of last Friday and a break of $1,700 could see it come under further pressure. The key test is $1,680 though and a break of this could be a very bearish development.

Put to the test

Bitcoin is desperately trying to hold onto $20,000 but its resilience is being put to the test this week. A move below here could be a massive blow after the cryptocurrency staged such an impressive recovery over the couple of months from mid-June. Like other risk assets though, its luck has turned and the coming days could be key. A break below $20,000 could see attention shift back towards $17,500 where it bottomed early in the summer.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar: www.marketpulse.com/economic-events/

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

Latest posts by Craig Erlam (see all)