Don’t read too much into early New Year moves

An interesting start to the year, with Europe once again posting large gains on Tuesday as the US indices have mixed fortunes.

I always feel too much is read into late December and early January trading, with Santa rallies being overly celebrated and the doom and gloom of the opening month of the year way overdone. The start of the year hasn’t offered the doom and gloom yet, although US tech stocks getting whacked today may make some a little nervous.

As many return to their desks following another unusual holiday season, investors are left to contend with what the coming months have to offer and whether the new abnormal will cause any major disruptions to the global economy. Thankfully omicron appears less aggressive than its predecessors which should enable many countries to continue the transition to living with the virus and away from hiding from it.

But sentiment remains fragile in the markets as Covid is not the only risk to the economy this year. The early days of omicron were a wake-up call to how complacent investors had become to the virus, but it came at a time when the greatest risks to the outlook were the knock-on effects of the previous waves and they have not subsided.

That’s not to say stocks are suddenly about to head south. But inflation is high and will remain so for a while yet, interest rates are going to increase this year, and both of these could be exacerbated if restrictions continue to lead to supply disruptions.

Bitcoin remains range-bound

Bitcoin remains in a consolidation phase at the start of the year, with USD 45,500 providing strong support below but USD 52,000 a step too far above. The last week has seen that range tighten, with USD 48,000 providing significant resistance which hasn’t made for the most exciting period for bitcoin trade, something that I’m sure won’t last long.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar:

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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Former 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.