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Nasdaq 100 (USNAS100.I) and S&P 500 (US500.I) – Today’s U.S. Independence Day holiday is likely to create limited market action with US equity futures trade sideways after clocking up another record on Friday following the US job report. Seven consecutive record highs in the S&P 500 were last achieved in 1997, and it highlights the current momentum and lack of concerns about tapering, rising rates and renewed surge in the Delta variant around the world.
Bitcoin (BITCOIN_XBTE:xome) and Ethereum (ETHEREUM_XBTE:xome). Over the weekend, Ethereum reached its highest price over the past two weeks, just above USD 2,350, and Bitcoin almost reached the USD 36k level before retracting to just above USD 34k this morning
EURUSD – the USD rally ran out of steam ahead of €1.18 on Friday after the U.S. job report eased taper and hike worries, potentially showing a rally running low on energy. The next downside focus is the 1.1704-1.1775 area, the upper part of which is arguably the “neckline” of a head-and-shoulders formation, while the lower bit is the pivot low from the end of March that coincided with the last major peak in US treasury yields, which have since drifted lower. Upside focus on €1.191 followed by a band of resistance between €1.1975 and €1.20.
AUDUSD sees lacklustre price action despite a big reversal on Friday from a low of 0.7445. For Aussie crosses, this week is likely all about the RBA rate decision on Tuesday (see below), where the tail-risk is to the hawkish side, yet is likely a low probability given Australia going back into restrictions over the last few wks.
Gold (XAUUSD) trades near a two-week high, but still below resistance at $1795 as concerns over an earlier-than expected rate hike by the Federal Reserve eased following a mixed bag of U.S. job data on Friday. However, with U.S. ten-year real yields reaching low levels last seen prior to the mid-June FOMC meeting, the recovery so far looks anything but impressive. Focus this week on FOMC minutes and the dollar which currently provides most of the directional input. Speculators meanwhile cut bullish gold bets by 5% to an eight-week low in the week to June 29, mostly due to fresh short selling. It highlights the prospect for a renewed short-covering rally on a break above $1814.
Crude oil trades unchanged with market participants trying to decipher what happens next within the OPEC+ group following a rare diplomatic spat between the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The UAE is looking for better terms and have so far refused the join a deal that would increase production by 400k bpd per month from August to December. At stake if the unity weakens, is the group’s ability to continue to control prices, and with this in mind the market is still refusing to believe that a deal will not be struck eventually. The OPEC+ meeting look set to resume Monday afternoon Vienna time. Twitter users can follow developments on Twitter by using #OOTT and #OPEC.
US Treasury short-term yields are negative up to five months, and the front part of the yield curve could further fall into negative territory (SHY). Three elements will compress yields further: the debt ceiling returning on the first of August, bills issuance reduction, and a drawdown of the Treasury General Account. It means that the Federal Reserve needs to accept yields dropping into further negative territory in the front part of the yield curve, or it will need to taper more aggressively than expected. This week FOMC’s minutes might reveal Fed’s members’ stand concerning tapering. However, we might need to wait for the Fed to actively engage in tapering talks before yields will reveal some pressures.
In Europe, watch out for news coming from the ECB special strategy meeting. Bunds might be testing their support at –0.25% (VGEA). Investors are wondering whether the ECB will rise its economic target, being one of the few central banks in the developed world to hold a target below 2%. Speculation is for the central bank adopting a strategy like the Average Inflation Targeting (AIT) of the Federal Reserve, allowing it to remain accommodative for longer. Talks this week are crucial because they might influence decisions about unwinding the PEPP going forward. Ten-year Bund look they might be testing their support line at –0.25%, if they break it, they will find support next at –0.40%
What is going on?
China’s Caixin Services PMI slowed sharply in June to a 14-month low at 50.3 versus 54.9 expected. Weighed down by a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in southern China, thereby adding to concerns the world’s second-largest economy may be starting to loose momentum. This will only raise the focus on US Services PMIs that are due tomorrow when the US comes back in from its long holiday weekend. Worth noting, we also have key China CPI & PPI this Friday.
China Tech: After two back-to-back weeks of higher stock prices following a big lag in 1H21, China tech names are solidly in the red into the Asia afternoon trading session. This seems driven by China regulators investigations and concerns around last week’s US listing of China’s answer to Uber and grab in the form of DiDi Chuxing. DIDI was up +17% in its first two trading days, before losing -5% on Fri when news of the investigations and concerns around its customers privacy data. The name could likely come under pressure in the US session on Tuesday.
The weekly Commitments of Traders report covering the week to June 29 showed a general rise in bullish commodities bets with net buying seen in 14 out of 24 futures contracts tracked in our report. Most noticeable exceptions being continued selling in gold and grains ahead of key USDA reports acreage and stocks. In addition, some profit taking also emerged in crude oil ahead of last Thursday’s (and ongoing) OPEC+ meeting. The 3% increase in the total net long to 2.3 million lots or $134.6 billion nominal value was led by natural gas (+61.4k lots), RBOB Gasoline (7.3k), wheat (7.8k), cotton (9.3) and HG Copper (8.3k).
US wins widespread support for its global minimum tax deal. Officials from 130 countries have agreed to a broad outline of new rules for taxing international companies, including a global minimum tax rate. The list of countries backing the new rules include China and India, which had previously withheld support for similar proposals. There are important holdouts that don’t support the deal, including low-tax areas in Europe, and new legislation would have to pass the US Congress.
What are we watching next?
RBA meeting on Tuesday – Expect we will see RBA not opting to roll the YCC target to Nov 24 bond, while extending QE as a flexible and open-ended bond purchase programme, for now maintaining the current pace of A$5bn per week. Thus, avoiding unwanted upward pressure on the exchange rate, the RBA’s targets are still a long way off and many uncertainties remain, which in current circumstances should see Lowe leaning dovish and pushing back on market pricing, whilst simultaneously allowing for some flexibility by not rolling the 3-year target.
U.S. debt limit ceiling focus: Short-term look rates traders are getting ready for volatility ahead, as the U.S. debt ceiling looks poised to return on August 1, while Congress so far has not clear plan to increase it.
FOMC minutes – Will be heavily parsed for the talking about talking about tapering pivot. Traders will be looking for insights on the FOMC’s reasoning, any hints to whether the transitory narrative is wavering, as well as looking for hints on the possible timeline of tapering.
Economic Calendar Highlights for today (times GMT)
- 0900 – Markit Eurozone Services PMI
- U.S. Independence Day Holiday
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