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Forex traders weigh corporate earnings against rising Covid-19 infection rates

It has been a good run-up for risk assets and taking profits is probably advisable when we see new all-time highs being printed on the indices and speculators running to crypto, now that the big money managers can join in with their brand-new ETF’s. The underlying macro is based on economies doing their best to navigate higher inflation, rising energy costs, and the possibility of another wave of coronavirus disruptions. All eyes will probably be on the jobless claims this afternoon as we need to see more people at work.

Market Brief

In the Asia-Pac session, the Hang Seng fell as concerns over inflation, China's property market, and corporate earnings weighed on sentiment. China's Evergrande is believed to have ended negotiations on the sale of its property management arm, causing the company's stock price to fall further. There have been other indebted property developers defaulting recently but so far, the markets believe China can contain the problem.

Today the economic calendar is light in Tier-1 scheduled data, so we can expect the earnings data from yesterday, and earnings expectations for today, with some headlines or tweets to sway the markets.

At the London open bourses were lower as risk-assets are being swapped out for safe havens on rising concerns of COVID-19 infection cases surging.

The flows into the yen as well as a major resistance on the USDJPY chart are probably also helping traders to take profits at the top of this range. Momentum and price action on the higher time frames of USDJPY suggest that this rally continues.

The US jobless claims report is likely to be the focus for those that follow economic news, as the initial claims figure will be from data collected during the October nonfarm payrolls survey week. Last week’s number was very bullish for the US economy, so any revisions higher could weigh on the markets. Also out today, the US home sales report is expected to show higher figures in the housing market.

We're still in the talking heads period with Fed policymakers again scheduled to speak before Friday's 'blackout'. Hawkish Board member Christopher Waller is likely to be of note.

The GBPUSD price action has nearly recovered all of the losses seen in September 2021 and assuming the US dollar continues to head lower, possibly after the IJC data today we could see the pound catch a bid and trade out of the trading range created yesterday. There is also the possibility that we trade sideways until the markets hear what the Chancellor has in store for UK spending at next week’s budget.

The UK’s latest public finances data show a smaller than expected deficit print for September. As a result, borrowing increased by £21.8 billion (market expectations: £22.6 billion) during April-September, resulting in a cumulative deficit of £108.1 billion, which is £43.4 billion less than the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) had anticipated at this point in the fiscal year.

Despite yesterday's slightly softer-than-expected UK CPI inflation print, markets remained confident about a rise in interest rates soon. Markets continue to price in a 15bp hike to 0.25% by November, and interest rates are projected to reach 1.00% by 2022. These expectations continue to support the rise in the pound against the greenback.

Good news comes to post-Brexit as, after 16 months of negotiations, the United Kingdom and New Zealand have reached a trade agreement. A statement from the two sides stated that the agreement will "cut red tape for businesses, end tariffs on UK exports, and create new business opportunities for tech and services companies while making it easier for UK professionals to live and work in New Zealand."

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