What we are looking at today:
- Market sentiment improving: The outperformance of the DAX. DAX was a significant underperformer on the way down, so has more to unwind in a rebound.
- The consolidation on commodities: Is this just a pause in the rally on oil and gold, or the start of an unwind?
- Data trading: Eurozone GDP is a final reading so is unlikely to make little impact on EUR. The US trade balance is later but may only have a marginal influence on USD moves.
Market sentiment has improved early in the European session. The war in Ukraine continues, but there is a lack of significant escalation as Russian advances have met strong resistance. President Zelensky has also noted that Ukraine will no longer insist on NATO membership, in a move seen as something that may assist a de-escalation. There may also be a sense of “sell the rumor, buy the news” with the US and UK announcing the banning of Russian oil imports.
Subsequently, major markets are looking fairly risk positive this morning. This is mainly coming through a significant rally developing on European indices. However, forex major pairs are consolidating and the sharp rise in commodities appears to be stalling. These moves may still only be short-lived, but for now, traders will be happy to take the respite.
It is another fairly quiet day on the economic calendar. The US JOLTS data shows the number of jobs opening and the quit rate. A high quit rate reflects confidence in the labor market and suggests wage pressures building. Higher than expected data would be USD positive. Oil traders will also be keeping an eye on the US weekly inventory levels. A larger-than-expected drawdown on oil stocks may cause oil to pull higher once more.
Sentiment improves, for now: With major markets looking more stable and a lack of new negative headlines, there is the potential for a near-term unwind of some of the recent selling pressure.
Treasury yields looking more steady: Yields have been spiking lower and then back higher in recent days. However, yields are looking a little more settled today. This may be short-lived though with US inflation potentially set to top 8% tomorrow.
Humanitarian corridors: The Russians are claiming a “silence period” will come today to allow humanitarian corridors for evacuation from major cities.
Ukraine President Zelensky to avoid NATO: Zelensky has said that Ukraine is no longer insisting on NATO membership. This is seen by markets as a potential step in the direction towards de-escalation.
Chinese inflation broadly as expected: The CPI rate remained at +0.9% in February (as forecast) with the PPI rate dropping to 8.8% (from 9.1%) which was a shade higher than the 8.7% expected.
Western allies ban Russian oil imports: The confirmation of another significant sanction has come, with the US and UK banning or looking to phase out the import of Russian oil and reducing dependence on Russian gas.
Cryptocurrency prices rebounding sharply: Bitcoin has rallied by +8% this morning. Back above $40,000 is a decisive near-term improvement.
- US JOLTS at 1500GMT – Jobs openings are expected to reduce slightly to 10.8m (from 10.93m in December), with the quit rate expected to also fall slightly to 4.2m (from 4.3m in January).
- EIA weekly crude oil stocks at 1530GMT – Oil inventory levels are expected to see a drawdown of -0.8m barrels (after -2.6m barrels of drawdown last week).
Major market outlook
Broad outlook: Sentiment has improved, with a sharp rebound on indices. The question is whether the move will last?
Forex: A decisive risk positive bias, with EUR performing well, along with AUD and NZD outperforming. USD and JPY are the main underperformers.
- EUR/USD has built on support throughout this week and picked up from 1.0805. The market is again higher and is looking to push above 1.0960 which would open the way for further recovery. The next real resistance is not until 1.1060/1.1120. The initial higher low support is 1.0890.
- GBP/USD has been subdued since breaking below 1.3160. However, a near-term recovery could form on a move above 1.3145. This would imply a move towards 1.3200. There is plenty of overhead supply between 1.3160/1.3270 so reaction in this area will be a gauge for the recovery.
- AUD/USD has begun to stabilize following the sharp unwind. A rebound from 0.7245 has taken hold and a move above 0.7350 would regain decisive upside traction.
Commodities: Precious metals are consolidating following late spikes higher in yesterday’s session. The potential for a near-term unwind is growing, but would still be a chance to buy whilst the Ukrainian war continues.
- Gold spiked up to hit just shy of the $2075 all-time high leaving a high of $2070 overnight. Adrift lower is taking hold this morning and could induce an unwind towards the $2000/$2020 initial support. There is an initial lower high at $2059.
- Silver has unwound slightly this morning following a spike to $26.95. This may be the precursor to a near-term technical correction. Initial support is at $25.70 but more considerable support comes in at $25.30/$25.60.
- Brent Crude oil is more settled this morning as the market has failed to overcome initial resistance at $135.35. There is no significant sign of correction yet, but the reaction to support at $125.80 will be an initial gauge.
Indices: Indices making good ground in a near-term technical rally. However, recent rebounds have tended to falter in the US session.
- S&P 500 futures have rebounded from yesterday’s low of 4138. The reaction to initial resistance of the old late February intraday lows between 4227/4275 will continue to be the gauge of any recovery.
- DAX has rallied hard this morning. With such a huge sell-off there is a lot of ground to make up in a technical rally if the improvement in sentiment can be sustained. Moving above 13,350 has opened 13,750/13,800 and a test of the three-week downtrend. Initial support at 12,960.
- FTSE 100 is regaining its position as the quiet and considered one of the major indices. A run of higher lows in recent days continues on intraday charts. The market is moving back towards a test of 7170 which is the old February low. Initial support at 6984.