A troubling start to the week

Data weighs on risk appetite

Sentiment has soured at the start of the week, with Europe seeing its winning streak broken and the US continuing to add to Friday’s retracement.

Stock markets have been on a good run in recent weeks and the pullback on Monday probably has a lot to do with it. Yes, there’s been a few bad economic numbers, starting with the UoM consumer sentiment reading on Friday, when the corrective move started, but the market was primed for some profit taking anyway and investors are probably seizing the opportunitely.

The Chinese data overnight is going to feed into the near-term uncertainty in the country as it desperately tries to get its Covid outbreak under control early. Retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment all significantly missed while unemployment was a little higher at 5.1%.

While some of the miss was attributed to weather-related issues, the Covid outbreak and containment measures are going to take a toll as well, creating problems not just for China but trading partners as well. More supply issues and bottlenecks are likely if these measures don’t resolve the issue quickly.

Chinese growth has been a downside risk for the markets for weeks though and the data is just confirming what many suspected. The US survey is unwelcome but the other data we’ve seen from the country has been far better. And concerns about the outlook with delta cases surging around the world is perfectly understandable and not new, as we saw in the euro area ZEW data last week.

With so much seemingly riding on the Fed in the coming weeks, I wonder whether we may see some more caution now in the run up to next week’s Jackson Hole event, when Jerome Powell may lay the groundwork for a tapering announcement in September.

We also have Fed minutes this week – although they’re arguably very outdated at this point following a plethora of Fed speakers in recent weeks – and Chair Powell will speak at a Town Hall event tomorrow which will no doubt be followed closely. That aside, it isn’t the busiest of weeks for the markets.

Bitcoin breaks resistance but lacks momentum

Bitcoin finally broke $47,000 earlier today but once again it made new highs without the corresponding surge in momentum which isn’t ideal.

While through the 50% retracement level, finally, after a week of running into significant resistance, this loss of momentum on route to $50,000 isn’t exactly filling me with confidence.

While the outlook continues to look bullish in the medium-term, a near-term correction may be on the cards. It’s rallied strongly over the last month but there’s no doubt it’s been running on fumes the last week.

While $50,000 looks a big psychological barrier, $51,000 is the 61.8% retracement of the move from the all-time highs to the June lows, which could provide a significant wall of resistance.

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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.