Oil is is trading higher post Algeria OPEC meeting

Brent crude climbed above $80 a barrel after OPEC and its allies signalled less urgency to boost output despite U.S. pressure to temper prices.

Futures in London rose as much as 1.7 per cent. OPEC and its partners gave a tepid response to President Donald Trump’s demand that rapid action be taken to reduce prices, saying they would boost output only if customers wanted more cargoes. Brent could rise to $100 for the first time since 2014 as the market braces for the loss of Iranian supplies due to U.S. sanctions, according to Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. and Trafigura Group.

Oil has rallied since the lows of August as speculation swirls over whether OPEC and its allies will boost output as the sanctions on the Middle East nation’s exports nears. Still, a full-blown trade war between the U.S. and China could imperil global economic growth that underpins crude demand as the two countries begin a new round of tariffs on each other’s goods.

Oil investors are “trading the weekend news very favourably,” said Stephen Innes, Singapore-based head of Asia Pacific trading with Oanda Corp. “Saudi Arabia and Russia ruled out any expeditious supply increases at the Algeria meeting while decidedly ignoring U.S. President Trump’s call to increase supplies and ease price pressures.

Bloomberg

Dollar firmer amid trade talk trouble

Dollar rises as China cancels trade talks

The US dollar was marginally higher on a holiday-thinned Asia Monday morning, reacting to weekend news that China had cancelled plans to visit Washington this week for trade talks. Remember the next set of US tariffs on $200 billion of China goods has just kicked in at 12am Washington time with $110 billion worth of US goods being hit by China tariffs at the same time. There is speculation that nothing further will happen with trade negotiations before the US mid-term elections in November.

 

 

Of the equity market that were open (China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan were all closed), Hong Kong stocks reacted negatively to developments, dropping 1.59% while Australia gained 0.2%. The SPX500USD CFD declined 0.22% to 2,921.1. On Friday it hit a record high. The Aussie currency reacted more, falling 0.46% versus the dollar to 0.7255 as the US dollar, measured against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.11%.

 

UK Sunday press awash with rumors

The UK’s Sunday Times reported that aides to PM May had started contingency planning for a snap November election in order to rally public support for an updated and improved Brexit plan. The pound suffered heavily on Friday, falling the most in one day since June 2017, after May was heavily criticized at the EU summit in Salzburg and said that talks were at an impasse. The rally from the August 15 low stalled near the 50% retracement level of the drop from April 17.

 

GBP/USD Daily Chart

Source: Oanda fxTrade

 

 

Oil prices advance as OPEC ignores Trump’s demands

US President Trump called on OPEC to reduce oil prices which provoked the response from the group that it would boost output only if customers asked for it. This pushed oil prices higher with West Texas Intermediate pushing further ahead from the $70 mark, rising as high as $72.40 per barrel, the highest in 2-1/2 months. Brent continues to straddle the key $80 per barrel level, currently at $80.306.

 

WTI Daily Chart

Source: Oanda fxTrade

 

Another improvement in German IFO surveys may help the Euro

It’s a slow start to this week’s busy data schedule with German IFO surveys and the UK’s CBI orders survey the only items to set the pulse racing in Europe. The IFO survey last month saw the expectations index bouncing higher and another improvement in sentiment in September could help EUR/USD stave off some of the dollar’s strength today. The current assessment index has been rising for the past two months and was at 106.4 last month. However, economists expect the business climate to deteriorate to 103.0 from 103.8, the latest poll shows.

The North American session features August’s Chicago Fed activity survey, the Dallas Fed business index for September and Canada’s wholesale sales for July.

 

The full MarketPulse data calendar can be viewed here: https://www.marketpulse.com/economic-events/

 

OANDA Trading Podcast : BFM 89.9 Kuala Lumpur

Source: MarketPulse

Commodities Weekly: Oil prices firmer as Iran sanctions set to kick in

Oil prices are edging higher on supply concerns involving both Saudi Arabia and Iran while hot, dry weather across the northern hemisphere is having an effect on anticipated harvests in the agricultural sector and also increasing expected demand for energy as the world tries to keep cool. However, ongoing trade tariff wars continue to be a damper on rallies for some products.

Energy

OIL prices edged higher, with WTI rising to a near one-week high yesterday, after the Trump Administration confirmed that the first phase of new Iran sanctions will go into effect later today. In addition, OPEC sources suggested that Saudi Arabia’s supply had unexpectedly fallen in July.

Prices continue to hold above the 100-day moving average on a closing basis, which has held since June 19. The Brent/WTI spread has dipped marginally below the 4.0 mark this month. The weekly EIA crude inventory data is due tomorrow and is expected to show a drawdown of 1.17 million barrels, according to the latest survey of analysts, compared with an increase of 3.8 million barrels last week.

Brent/WTI Daily Chart

Source: Oanda fxTrade

An anticipated hot spell across Northeastern US in the coming weeks has built expectations of an increase in demand for NATURAL GAS for cooling purposes, and has helped propel prices to a near five-week high. There appears to be little reaction to news that China said it is considering imposing a 25% tariff on imports of US natural gas as part of its retaliation against the US’ proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Natural Gas inventories rose to 35 billion cubic feet in the week to July 27, according to EIA data released August 2. The commodity is currently trading at 2.875 after closing above the 55-day moving average yesterday, the first time since July 3.

Precious metals

GOLD continues to struggle near 18-month lows, just above the 1,200 level, as the US dollar reigns supreme. Speculative net long futures positions slid to 35,337 contracts in the week to July 31, according to CFTC data released Friday. That is the lowest net long position since January 2016. SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, also said its holdings fell 0.78% to 788.7 tonnes on Monday from 794.90 tonnes on Friday, Reuter reports.

Gold has fallen another 1.6% this month, set for a fifth straight monthly decline and is down 11.8% from the peak in April.

SILVER continues to be capped by the 55-month moving average and is facing its third straight monthly decline. Speculators’ bullish positioning increased by 2,326 contracts in the week to July 31, according to the latest CFTC data. The gold/silver (Mint) ratio is currently sandwiched between the 55- and 100-day moving averages at 78.17 and 78.96, respectively.

Gold/Silver (Mint) Ratio Daily Chart

Source: Oanda fxTrade

PLATINUM has traded sideways so far this month with activity confined to 812-841 parameters. The downward-sloping 55-day moving average continues to be an upside barrier and has capped the upside since March 1. It’s currently trading near mid-range at 824.10.

PALLADIUM is currently retracing the rally seen late-July and currently at 907.96, holding just above the 50% retracement level of that July 19-25 up-move, which is at 901.24. Traders increased their net long speculative positions in the precious metal for the first time in four weeks in the week through July 31, according to CFTC data.

 

Base metals

COPPER is still being dogged by escalating trade wars amid a cloudy outlook for global growth. The industrial metal survived a test of the 55-month moving average last month and that technical level, currently at 2.6964, should continue to provide support. The July low of 2.65 would be the next support level. Speculative accounts reduced their net long positions by 1,143 contracts to 8,224, the least since the week of May 9, 2017.

The pending strike at BHP’s Escondida copper mine in Chile, the world’s largest, appears to have been averted as the company announced Monday it had formally requested government mediation with the union in its latest wage negotiations. The two parties have until August 13 to reach an agreement, with a possible extension for a further five days.

Agriculturals

SUGAR continues its rebound from three-year lows as dry weather in growing regions affects anticipated harvests. A recent report suggested sugar output from the EU could fall as much as 7.8% from a year ago due to this effect. Sugar is poised for is third consecutive up day after hitting an apparent near-term bottom of 0.10201 on August 2. It’s currently trading at 0.10814 with resistance seen at the 55-day moving average, currently at 0.1153.

SOYBEANS are perhaps one of the hardest hit commodities in the trade tariff wars since it was almost first on the list. The commodity staged a near 12% rally in July from near-term lows as analysts anticipate continued demand, despite China reportedly seeking alternative sources, including home-grown products. August has seen the commodity consolidating that move.

An example of this continued demand is seen in data released by the United States Department of Agriculture yesterday that showed a cargo of soybean left US shores for China, despite the introduction of China tariffs. However, Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday that China could reduce imports of US soybeans by as much as 10 million tons as it seeks alternative sourcing and alternative products.

The global hot spells that have fueled Natural Gas demand have also caused droughts in WHEAT-growing regions, wreaking havoc with global harvests, which are seen shrinking to a three-year low. Wheat prices hit a three-year high earlier this month and are currently testing the 100-month moving average resistance, which is at 5.7657. The commodity has not closed above this moving average since April 2014.

Wheat CFD Monthly Chart

Source: Oanda fxTrade

24 hours of reconciliation

24 hours of reconciliation
It took all of 24 hours for the results of the rationality test to kick in after traders took time to the read the minutes from Wednesday. Not a heck of a lot has changed in the Feds view. The minutes were far more balanced than the equity market sell-off suggested. The discussions about their inflation target being symmetric indicate that the Feds are less concerned about the updraft from inflationary pressures than current market pricing. Overall there were few if any significant hawkish shift and traders have started to nimbly re-engage the US dollar downside not waiting until Powell’s key Humphrey Hawkins testimony which should clear up more than a few policy concerns.

The Feds will raise interest rates in March on the back of two strong inflation prints post-January meeting, but the market remains comfortably parked in the three rate hike camp for 2018.
This new Fed Chair will be as data dependent as his predecessor so, in reality, no one knows for sure what the Feds will do other than hike somewhere between two and four times in 2018.

Bond Markets

The bond markets continue to trade from a bear market bias, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon given the burdening supply issues which are compounded as the Feds delicately and gingerly pull back on QE largess.

Stock Markets
US equity market rebounded as concerns over rising US interest rates abate. If you were confused by Wednesday 50 pips downside adventure on the S&P post-FOMC minutes, you were not alone. However, until the dust is settled on the Fed policy debate, we should expect more back and forth ahead of Jerome Powells Humphrey Hawkins testimony.
Oil markets

Oil market bid was boosted by DoE inventories which saw a draw of -1.616 million barrels which far better than consensus and more profound than the -.9mn print by the API. While the market continues to communicate concern over rising levels of shale production, this bullish inventory data coupled with a slightly softer USD profile, it’s easy to see why oil prices are finding fresh session highs going into the NY close.
Gold Markets

Gold continues to act as less of a haven hedge and more as a proxy for USD sentiment. Given the greenback is trading within a restricted range as the stage is getting prepared for new Chair Jerome Powell, gold will remain supported by the $ 1324-25 levels given the markets ubiquitous bias to sell the USD.  But the topside should also stay in check as most traders will opt to only aggressively re-engage in  USD downside after Powell clears the policy airwaves in his Humphrey Hawkins testimony.

The Japanese Yen

No need to jump the gun, today’s CPI data will be a crucial driver in JPY sentiment. Post data comments to follow.

The Euro
Fact of fiction, the Euro remains a point of contention, but topside conviction remains low ahead of the Italian election compounded by softer EU economic data.

The Malaysian Ringgit 

The USDMYR landscape is a bit muddled, and this air of uncertainty could extend, more so if opinion on the soft dollar narrative become less reliable. Rising US interest rates and the markets growing sensitivity to local economic data presents some near-term challenges for the Ringgit. Ultimately we believe that US rates are in the process of topping but until we get a definitive signal from the New Fed chair, hopefully, next week, we should expect offshore flows to remain light in the short run.

None the less the Ringgit is getting support from higher oil prices and given we are far removed from the USDJMYR 4.0 danger zone, longer-term investors should continue to look for opportunistic levels to re-engage long MYR posting

The Chinese Yaun

Markets in China return from a week-long holiday only to discover the US has initiated another anti-dumping probe.. This time for rubber bands. Certainly sounds more bark than the bit, but non the less trade war discussion is picking up.

Continue to favour a constructive view on the Yuan given the markets negative USD bias. But he RMB complex will most certainly benefit from expected bond inflows which should accelerate as we move through 2018.

Don’t go barking up the wrong tree in the Year of the Dog

Don’t go barking up the wrong tree in the Year of the Dog

A predictable wave of profit taking and risk reduction, as is standard form ahead of US long weekends, dominated Friday session leading to USD gains as US  yields pulled back. And while the broader  US dollar negativity continues to seep through capital markets, some traders are suggesting of potential shifts in conviction levels while others believe  Friday to be little more than pre-weekend risk reduction. But one thing that’s clear, even the most prolific purveyors of price action are baffled regarding the breakdown of historical correlations across most asset classes.

One telling feature, however, is long-term investors continue to shun the greenback and this should continue to weigh on near-term sentiment. So no don’t  go barking up the wrong tree in this Year of the Dog, stick to the basics and follow the flow.

By way of the ordinary course of developments, the various market holiday observances might challenge liquidity conditions. Golden Week celebrations continue across Asia through Wednesday, while both the US and Canada take holidays Monday. Still, it could be an actionable week with numerous Fed speakers on tap and the FOMC minutes are sure to liven things up. Keep in mind; March rate hike is all but entirely priced-in so the markets will be keying on forwarding guidance.

As the markets pivot to Fed speak and the FOMC minutes this week, “deficit mania” is sounding a few decibels lower this morning.But none the less, ongoing concerns about swelling deficit’s and the Feds sequence of interest rate normalisation should be the markets key focus this week and the primary drivers of near-term volatility.

And while US Bond yields eased on Friday,  traders see icebergs ahead suggesting Friday’s price action was little more than a reprieve amidst a bear market.

Equity Markets

Equity markets continue climbing the wall of worry despite inflationary fears gaining momentum and Bond Yields moving higher.Eventually, something has to give, but so far investors are betting on corporate earning rather than the shifting macro narratives.

Oil markets 

Oil prices finished modestly higher on Friday to chalk up a weekly gain as prices continue to see-saw between the binary descriptions from OPEC’s ongoing efforts to blow out the worldwide glut against the indications of rising U.S. production.Although Fridays price movements were likely  position sensitive amid USD risk reduction and book squaring ahead of tomorrows Oil contract expiration

We should expect the WTI whipsaw to continue as debate rages between US shale and OPEC, but we’re starting to carve out near-term ranges as longer-term oil bulls remain in dip buying mode with shale oil hedger looking to sell upticks.
Gold Markets

Gold prices eased late Friday as the dollar tentatively lifted off the canvas, despite taking a standing eight count earlier in the session when the DXY hit a three year low. A couple of hours USD short covering is unlikely to change the broader USD negativity, but when coupled with inflationary concerns heightening and a probable follow-up correction in equities markets around the corner, golds haven demand should continue to glitter.

On the physical side of demand, China Lunar New Year has seen few gold bars change hands despite physical premiums easing as futures prices continue to grind higher.

G-10 Currency Markets

Japanese Yen

Although the reappointment of Kuroda and the reshuffle of deputy governors is slightly more dovish BoJ, it is hard to reverse USDJPY downside given that continuous USD weakness could further drag USDJPY into the abyss. With the tables turned upside down on ten year US yield to JPY correlation and the US ” deficit mania. ” likely to return, USDJPY is in a precarious position.

Predictably we heard from Japan as Currency Chief Asakawa that he’s readying the necessary action to prevent “one-sided” currency moves, but with the Buck getting pounded against all major currencies, Japans verbal intentions are falling on deaf ears.
The Euro

The pace of the EURUSD rally post-CPI last week surprised everyone but none the less if not for timely comments( seems always to happen when EUR rallies) from ECB Cœuré, we should have closed closer to the 1.2500 rather than 1.2400 handles. His remarks spooked the markets in pre-weekend risk reduction mode after he suggested policymakers are unanimous in sequence when market positioning was suggesting the Hawks were gaining the upper hand. But at some juncture, the market will ignore this verbal balderdash, and in reality, 1.3000 shouldn’t be unimaginable before long predicated on strong fundamentals, the realisation of more hawkish ECB guidance but also the mechanics of the taper could reverse bond outflows.

Asia FX

Malaysian Ringgit 

External drivers and specifically the broader USD moves will dictate the Ringgit momentum this week with the critical focus on USDJPY 106 level.But on the positive side of the equation, one of the primary headwinds that we considered to be a negative for the Ringgit was higher US yields which typically and historically have supported the USD. But the US interest rate to FX correlation broken, and despite USD bond yields pushing much higher t, the USD continues to sell off.

The markets are still feeling the hangover effect from the Chinese Lunar New Year, and risk appetite is waning and with a plethora of Fed speak along with the FOMC minutes likely to cause an uptick in volatility this week, offshore demand could remain muted. None the less, 106 level USDJPY will be a crucial US dollar sentiment gauge, and if the market pushes through again this week, we could see the Ringgit move to 3.87 and below as traders would then set sights on the critical 3.85 level.

Singapore Dollar

The US CPI fallout was somewhat unusual; triggering moves out of the dollar and into riskier currencies, so the SGD benefited as the CNH rallied hard this week.But  CNH could start to underperform. Let me qualify this next comment as no one, and I mean no one knows what the Pboc are going to do. So we can only make hay from innuendo and strategically placed criticisms from regulators in HK  press. But there seems to be a  pickup in debate onshore about the merits of further RMB appreciation which could dent SGD appeal. But in the mean times, we should enjoy the SGD strength ( not because I get paid in SGD, although that is always a welcome bonus). But there is some real value appeal that has emerged in SGD  ahead of this weeks budget, as a rosier outlook in the statement could be the precursor to monetary tightening.But also appealing to foreign investors is the government will take measures to cover the current operating fiscal deficit gap.