OANDA Weekly Podcast


A look back at the Business week with Jonny Hart from the Jazz FM Business Breakfast and OANDA Senior Market Analyst Craig Erlam. Talking points include Craig’s “moment of the week”,  US jobs and interest rates, bitcoin and Capita. Jonny and Craig also preview next week’s Bank of England monetary policy decision, otherwise known as “Super Thursday”.

Dollar Rebounds After Strong Jobs Report

By the numbers: U.S January NFP fallout

US Yields Near Four Year High Ahead of Jobs Data

US Yields Near Four Year High Ahead of Jobs Data

Are Rising Yields Weighing on Equity Markets?

It’s been another rocky start to trading in Europe on Friday and the US looks on course for a similar open, with Dow futures off around 1%.

It’s been another big week for earnings, with Apple, Amazon and Alphabet all releasing number after the close on Thursday and another 11 S&P 500 companies reporting today. At the same time, there’s been a number of important data releases this week as well as a monetary policy announcement from the Federal Reserve which has triggered another rally in US yields, with the 10-year Treasury having hit a high of 2.8%, the first time we’ve seen these levels since April 2014.

We’ve also seen corresponding rises in Europe with Gilt yields at their highest since May 2015 and Bunds at their highest since September 2015. This may well be contributing to the declines we’ve seen recently across Europe – along with the corresponding appreciation of the euro and pound – and could now be taking its toll on US stocks. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve entered a risk-off period or that stocks are headed for a correction but a sharp rise in yields, as we’ve seen, can also weigh on equity markets.

DAX Slips to 4-Week Lows as Deutsche Bank Shares Plunge

US Jobs Data Eyed as Fed Insists That Inflation Will Rise

With yields now rising, all eyes will be on the US jobs report today. With the Fed anticipating higher inflation and markets buying into the idea of higher rates, the jobs data will be very closely monitored. Naturally, the non-farm payrolls and unemployment numbers will be noted, with around 180,000 new jobs expected, but it’s the earnings that people will be most interested in.

If we’re going to see a sustainable increase in inflation to 2%, wages will need to rise at a faster rate than they have for years now. The Fed has repeatedly claimed that labour market slack is deteriorating and that higher wages and inflation should follow but that is yet to materialise. Whether that’s due to slack still existing that standard measures overlook or other structural issues, it creates a problem for the central bank which is intent on continuing to raise rates. Wages are expected to have risen by 2.6% in January, up from 2.5% in December which is an improvement but not enough to satisfy the doubters.

What to look for in U.S payrolls (NFP)

Bitcoin’s Slump Continues as Losses Near 60% Since Mid-December

Bitcoin’s slump is continuing on Friday, with the cryptocurrency now trading close to $8,000 and down another 10%, with a raft of stories being blamed for its latest decline. In much the same way that every day seemed to produce another good news story for cryptocurrencies in November and early December during its ascent, we’re currently seeing the opposite in motion during its downfall with hardened regulation, outright bans, hacking and investigations being a daily occurrence.

Source – Thomson Reuters Eikon

Whether its Indian authorities cracking down on cryptocurrencies, Facebook banning adverts or the US CFTC subpoenaing Bitfinex and Tether – as suspicions grow on the relationship between the two after speculation that the latter is being created to drive the price of bitcoin higher – it seems that there’s a lot of negative news at the moment and that’s seriously taking its toll. Bitcoin is now down close to 60% from its peak and some others are faring even worse, with Ripple down around 80% in the last month following its own meteoric rise last year.

The buy the dip mentality that supported the rise of cryptos last year even through some testing times is fading by the day. We’ve seen some resilience at times over the last month and a half, most notable around $13,000 and $10,000 in bitcoin but both of these eventually gave way. In much the same way that it was difficult to pick the peak on the way up, it’s tough to pick the bottom now but based on current sentiment and momentum, it looks likely that the rout isn’t quite over yet.

Economic Calendar

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Dollar Struggles Despite Fed Optimism

Eurozone Manufacturers Still Extremely Bullish Despite Stronger Euro

It’s been a positive start to trading on the first day of the month, with markets in Europe trading well in the green and US futures ticking a little higher as well.

It’s been a busy morning of economic releases and broadly speaking, the data is very positive for the eurozone economy. The region carried some strong momentum into the new year and the latest manufacturing PMIs suggest confidence in the recovery is showing no signs of faltering. The survey for the region as a whole remained at 59.6, slightly shy of last month’s high of 60.1 while still signalling a strong growth outlook for the sector.

The weak euro has played a big role in the strong performance of the sector which has led many to speculate about whether its resurgence over the last year will hinder output going forward. The survey’s we’re seeing suggest manufacturers are not particularly concerned at this stage and are continuing to see strong demand, despite the 20% increase in the value of the euro over the dollar over the last year. The rise against the pound has been far more modest though.

OANDA fxTrade Advanced Charting Platform

UK PMI Slips But Sterling Continues Push Higher

The UK data has been less encouraging as of late and the manufacturing PMI for January was no different, slipping to 55.3 from 56.2 in December. The sector has actually benefited in the post-Brexit world, with the sterling depreciation driving more demand for UK manufactured goods. Unfortunately, it still remains a very small part of the UK economy and the boost seems to be wearing off.

That said, a weaker PMI number this morning did little to shake the pound which is heading back to last week’s highs against the dollar. Cable now finds itself back it pre-Brexit territory, although much of this can be attributed to the greenbacks decline over the last year. The pair found some resistance around 1.4350 but there’s clearly still some bullish appetite there. A break through here could see the pair testing 1.45, which isn’t a million miles from the 2016 highs.

US Data Eyed as Optimistic Fed Fails to Lift the Greenback

The dollar is continuing to have a rough time, even a more optimistic sounding Fed did little to lift the greenback which continues to languish around three year lows. Yields on near-term US debt have risen in the aftermath of the Fed statement, with a rate hike in March now almost entirely priced in and a further two this year around 65% priced in. This would typically be positive for the dollar any gains were short-lived.

There’s plenty more data still to come today, with two manufacturing PMIs from the US as well as unit labour costs, non-farm productivity and jobless claims. Earnings season remains a key focus for investors and some big names are due to report after the close on Thursday, including Amazon, Apple and Alphabet.

Bitcoin Below $10,000 and Looking Vulnerable

Bitcoin is coming under pressure once again today and is trading back below $10,000, a level that has proven difficult to hold below. It’s currently trading down more than 5% on the day though and should we close below here, it could be yet another bearish signal for the cryptocurrency which is already more than 50% below its peak.

Economic Calendar

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.