The market shifts its focus from one risk event to the next. With talks happening between the Ukraine and Russia delegations we are seeing some spike in reactions to news headlines, but the oil, gold, and yen flows are suggesting that the market is seeing a de-escalation of the conflict. At least in the short term. We are then having to judge whether these flows are end of month rebalancing or positioning for more scheduled news towards the middle and end part of the week.
The price of oil has continued to slide lower amid hopes of progress in talks between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the prospect of lower demand from China. US bond yields moved higher overnight, rising to around 2.40% for the 2-year note. We have seen the WTI contract disconnect from the yields before at the end of 2021. However, with rising energy prices came higher inflation and the market uses the short-term yields to price in the Feds response. It will be interesting to see if the rate hike marked the end of rising fuel prices. The yield curve shows expectations for the rate hikes to continue into 2023 but then for a drop-off in the latter years.
Mainstream media and financial media say peace talks between Ukraine and Russia have boosted market risk sentiment. You could also argue that there are a lot of fiscal flows coming from the US government to the US economy, and as the biggest consumer, it's also propping up the rest of the world as supply-chain bottlenecks are easing. Let's just hope that Russia makes a tactical retreat and leaves Ukraine alone. Also, there's end-of-month rebalancing, so we'll see if these current moves last through April and possibly even the FOMC meeting in May. Currently, there are 52% of companies within the S&P500 are trading back above their 200 DMA, which is bullish for the equities markets. Personally, I would like to see a drop-down into Friday's highs for the SS&P500 before it sweeps the double top at 4600. This would help sustain the bull run. Though we have seen a lot of imbalances occur from the March 18 lows, so maybe these levels get tested some other year.
Japan, Australia, and South Korea are leading gains in the Asia-Pacific region. The Nikkei225 could be about to break out of the recent 3-day consolidation pattern and if it does it will also break through a trendline that originates from the September 2021 highs. Stocks in China are down on the day, possibly because Shanghai is one of the cities currently locked down due to a surge in Covid cases. Germany's latest consumer confidence reading dropped to -15.5 from -8.5 a month ago, as rising prices and the Ukrainian war combined to diminish sentiment.
Looking at today's economic calendar, some attention will likely be focused on UK household borrowing data from the Bank of England. Housing activity surveys like the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) suggest that new buyer inquiries are up in the first half of 2022. Mortgage approvals are expected to have increased for the fourth consecutive month in February, hiking from 74.0k in January to 75.5k. Consumer credit is expected to have increased more rapidly (£1.3bn vs £0.6bn in January).
The DAX40 is breaking higher as the Eurozone has no big releases due which could weigh on the index, while in the US, the JOLTS job openings data for February and the Conference Board's consumer confidence survey for March should be worth watching.
The GBPUSD certainly had a big down day yesterday and I think it would be foolish for us to chase the price lower. There is also the question of whether the bullish close on the 22nd of March signaled a move higher is coming after this current pullback terminates. The PA yesterday took prices down to the deep retracement Fib level so we could see a bullish attempt to at least go back up towards 1.3200 all the way into the NFP data point on Friday.
If the DXY low is in today, then GBPUSD will carry on going lower for sure. The US dollar found some support from Friday's high, so we no wait to see if the DXY will take out yesterday’s highs and keep moving towards $100.