Fed pushing back

European stock markets are softer in early trade on Tuesday following a similar session in much of Asia as investors turn more cautious ahead of Thursday’s US inflation data.

The commentary from Fed officials at the start of the week was more hawkish than what investors wanted to hear following a knockout jobs report. Considering the rhetoric in the weeks leading up to Friday, it shouldn’t have come as a great surprise that policymakers are sticking to the “higher for longer” narrative.

There has been a determination to not allow financial conditions to loosen on the expectation of lower rates down the road as it undermines tightening efforts now. While the central bank’s assessment of future rates may be more hawkish than the markets, it’s also possible that they’re being intentionally overly hawkish now in an attempt to stop investors from getting carried away.

The jobs report may not have been enough to warrant a shift in the language, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t close and any change could be quite stark. The inflation report on Thursday could further justify such a move although investors will be very wary that a bad one could ensure policymakers dig their heels in for a while longer yet.

Tentatively higher

Bitcoin is marginally higher after breaking back above $17,000 yesterday, buoyed by an improvement in risk appetite. That remains fragile though and a nasty surprise this Thursday from the US inflation report could send risk assets into reverse. The broader crypto environment remains the dominant driver though and it’s gone a little quiet on that front which will be welcome.

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