An eye on the New Year

We’re seeing choppy trade in financial markets on Wednesday in what is always quite thin trade as traders continue the festivities into the new year.

And there’s certainly a strong sense of holiday trade to the markets today, with light news flow combined with lower liquidity creating choppy but ultimately insignificant moves. It very much feels like we’re now just drifting into 2023 at which point I expect things will quickly pick up again.

The key trading themes will continue to dominate in early January, most notably how far central banks are willing to push interest rates in order to display their determination to get inflation back to target. Many have already started easing off the brake and we’re seeing plenty of signs of pressures easing, albeit perhaps not as much as policymakers would have liked by now.

Still, the risks now appear very much tilted to the downside as far as hikes are concerned against the backdrop of a very aggressive tightening in a short period of time and with many countries facing recession. Having started too late, central banks are now at risk of tightening too much and therefore overcompensating for a sloppy start with a painful exit.

Treading water

Bitcoin has been treading water over the festive period and I’m sure the crypto community will be perfectly happy about that. It’s not been an easy few months and the next few could prove to be challenging as well. It’s become a matter of damage limitation for the industry and the hope that the storm has now passed with another not quickly behind it.

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.