The Weekly Wrap – The EUR and Yen Come Out on Top as the Equity Markets Hit Corrective Territory

The Stats

It was a relatively busy week on the economic calendar, in the week ending 28th February.

A total of 56 stats were monitored, following the 72 stats in the week prior.

Of the 56 stats,  26 came in ahead forecasts, with 21 economic indicators coming up short of forecast. 9 stats were in line with forecasts in the week.

Looking at the numbers, 25 of the stats reflected an upward trend from previous figures. Of the remaining 31, 25 stats reflected a deterioration from previous.

For the Greenback, it was a particularly bearish week, as the markets reversed bets that the U.S economy would be unscathed from the spread of the coronavirus.

Not only did economic data continue to disappoint, but the markets also raised the probability of multiple rate cuts by the FED.

When gold takes a tumble as investors look for liquidity to meet margin calls, it’s never a good thing…

The Dollar Spot Index fell by 1.21% to end the week at 98.132.

Out of the U.S

It was a quiet first half of the week, with economic data limited to February consumer confidence figures.

A slight uptick in consumer confidence had a muted impact on the dollar on Tuesday.

Market risk aversion and updates from the U.S on the coronavirus pinned the Dollar back early in the week.

In the 2nd half of the week, durable goods orders on Thursday also failed to impress ahead of a busy Friday.

While core durable goods orders rose by 0.90% in January, durable goods orders fell by 0.2%, sending mixed signals to the market.

At the end of the week, the annual rate of inflation continued to fall short of the FED’s 2% objective.

Personal spending rose by just 0.2% in January, which was softer than a 0.4% rise in December.

Chicago PMI numbers were somewhat better than anticipated, however, with the PMI rising from 42.9 to 49.0.

The February numbers suggested that next week’s ISM numbers may not be as dire as the Markit PMI numbers.

It wasn’t enough to support the U.S equity markets or the Dollar, however.

Housing sector numbers and 2nd estimate GDP numbers for the 4th quarter had a muted impact in the week.

In the equity markets, the Dow slumped by 12.36%, with the S&P500 and NASDAQ tumbling by 11.49% and by 10.54% respectively.

Out of the UK

It was a particularly quiet week on the economic calendar.

There were no material stats to provide the Pound with direction.

The lack of stats left the Pound in the hands of Brexit chatter as the EU and Britain prepare to return to the negotiating table.

A visit to $1.30 levels early in the week was brief, with the British Prime Minister spooking the markets once more.

Johnson spoke on Thursday, stating that Britain would walk away from negotiations should there be a lack of progress by the end of June.

With so much to iron out and the 2-sides worlds apart, hopes of having a framework in place by June are slim…

In the week, the Pound fell by 1.09% to $1.2823, with the FTSE100 ending the week down by 11.12%.

Out of the Eurozone

It was a relatively quiet start to the week economic data front.

Germany was in focus, with February IFO Business Climate Index figures and 2nd estimate GDP numbers in focus.

On the positive side for the EUR was a slight pickup in the Business Climate Index. This came off the back of a rise in optimism, as the current assessment index eased back.

Ultimately, however, March numbers will give a better indication of whether the coronavirus has affected business sentiment.

With GDP numbers in line with 1st estimates, the focus then shifted to a busy Friday.

Key stats included French consumer spending and German unemployment numbers.

While Germany’s unemployment rate held steady, French consumer spending took a hit in January. The slide came ahead of the coronavirus news, which suggests that a further pullback in spending could be on the cards.

The stats failed to influence, however, as the markets punished the Dollar through much of the week.

Prelim inflation figures out of Spain and France, French GDP numbers and finalized consumer confidence figures out of the Eurozone also failed to move the dial…

On the monetary policy front, ECB President Lagarde spoke late in the week. She was of the view that the virus had yet to impact inflation to the point where the ECB needs to step in…

That is in stark contrast to the outlook towards FED monetary policy…

For the week, the EUR rose by 1.65% to $1.1026.

For the European major indexes, it was a particularly bearish week. The DAX30 tumbled by 12.44%, with the CAC40 and the EuroStoxx600 ending the week down by 11.94% and 12.25% respectively.

Elsewhere

It was a particularly bearish week for the Aussie Dollar and the Kiwi Dollar.

In the week ending 28th February, the Aussie Dollar slid by 1.69% to $0.6515, with the Kiwi Dollar down by 1.62% to $0.6246.

For the Aussie Dollar

It was a relatively quiet week for the Aussie Dollar on the economic data front.

Key stats included 4th quarter construction work done and private new CAPEX figures on Wednesday and Thursday.

Both sets of figures disappointed, though a 2.8% slide in new CAPEX in the 4th quarter was more alarming.

RBA monetary policy has not only been in favor of consumer spending but also business investment. The slide suggests a lack of confidence and raised the prospects of a near-term rate cut.

On Friday, the private sector credit figure also failed to impress, with total credit rising by just 0.3% month-on-month.

With the numbers skewed to the negative, risk aversion added to the downside in the week.

Negative sentiment towards the economic outlook led to a slide in commodities and commodity currencies.

For the markets, uncertainly over when the spread of the coronavirus will abate also influenced.

For the Kiwi Dollar

It was a relatively quiet start to the week on the economic colander.

4th quarter retail sales figures failed to impress at the start of the week, with sales rising by 0.7%. In the 3rd quarter, retail sales had risen by 1.7%.

Later in the week, trade data and business confidence figures delivered mixed results that added pressure on the Kiwi.

While trade exports to China rose further, January’s trade was not impacted by China’s shut down.

Business confidence figures, however, suggested some doom and gloom ahead.

With exports to China accounting for 27% of total New Zealand exports in January, it could be quite dire reading next month…

For the Loonie

It was a busy week on the economic calendar. Key stats included wholesale sales figures on Monday and RMPI and GDP numbers on Friday.

A rise in wholesale sales in December failed to provide support at the start of the week, as crude oil prices got hammered.

Market fears of a marked slowdown in the global economy, stemming from the spread of the coronavirus, weighed.

At the end of the week, with the Loonie already under the cosh, GDP numbers also failed to support.

While the economy fared better in December, there was a marked slowdown in the 4th quarter. When considering the economic disruption anticipated in the 1st quarter and beyond, it doesn’t look good.

RMPI numbers also failed to impress, with the RMPI falling by 2.2% in January, reversing most of a 2.7% rise in December.

With the BoC in action next week, the chances of a rate cut certainly jumped in the week…

The Loonie slid by 1.38% to end the week at C$1.3407 against the Greenback.

For the Japanese Yen

It was a relatively quiet week on the data front.

The markets had to wait until Friday for key stats that had little to no influence on the Japanese Yen.

For the Government, the impact of the coronavirus on consumer spending is a blow following last year’s sales tax hike. That suggests that government support is likely to come.

In the meantime, however, retail sales fell by 0.4% in January, following a 2.6% slide in December.

The annual rate of core inflation also eased, with the Ku-area seeing core inflation easing from 0.7% to 0.5% in February.

With the jobs/applications ratio falling from 1.57 to 1.49, the only bright data set was industrial production.

A 0.8% rise in production in January was of little consolation, however, when considering the anticipated drop in demand.

Risk aversion ultimately drove demand for the Yen in the week, with concerns over the U.S economy restoring the Yen’s position as the “go-to” currency.

The Japanese Yen surged by 3.33% to end the week at ¥107.89 against the U.S Dollar. Risk aversion in the week weighed heavily on the Nikkei, which slumped by 9.59%, leaving the index down by 8.89% for February.

Out of China

There were no material stats to provide direction ahead of private sector PMIs on the weekend.

A lack of stats left updates on the coronavirus to provide direction that was ultimately positive for the Yuan.

In contrast, the sell-off across the global stock markets weighed on the CSI300 and Hang Seng, though they did fare better than the pack.

The CSI300 fell by 5.05%, with the Hang Seng falling by 4.32% in the week.

In the week ending 28th February, the Yuan rose by 0.50% to CNY6.9920 against the Greenback.

Crude Oil Weekly Price Forecast – Crude Oil Markets Take a Beating for the Week

WTI Crude Oil

The WTI Crude Oil market broke down rather significantly during the trading week, slicing down through the $45 level. Ultimately, this is a market that looks as if it is going to try to make its way down to the $40 level, where there should be a significant amount of support. The crude oil markets continue to suffer at the hands of the coronavirus, and therefore there is no real way to measure risk, and that’s one of the biggest problems with this market right now. When you look at the candlestick, it’s clearly negative and there is no real attempt to rally. Ultimately, I think that the $40 level will offer a significant about the support, but it’s almost going to have to be something OPEC does as far as production cuts on an emergency meeting. Otherwise, any bounce that we get could be somewhat technical but slicing through the $40 level would be a horrific turn of events. For what it’s worth, looking at the daily chart, it looks as if we had formed a very flat, and that does measure for a move to $35 albeit being a bit optimistic for the sellers. Rallies are to be sold.

WTI Oil Video 02.03.20

Brent

Brent markets also have broken down a bit during the week as well, slicing through the $50 level. Ultimately, the market then goes looking towards the $42.50 level. At this point in time I think that rallies are to be sold into, unless something structurally changes. Demand for crude oil is falling through the floor, and quite frankly there is far too much in the way of supply to think that we have a real chance of recovering for any length of time.

Crude Oil Price Forecast – Crude Oil Markets Break Down Yet Again on Friday

WTI Crude Oil

The West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil market has broken down significantly during the trading session on Friday to slice down below the $45 level. It is possible that we get a bit of a bounce from here, but any bounce should be sold into, especially if we get closer to the $50 level. OPEC needs to cut production to have any hope of a bounce for a longer-term move, and quite frankly even then I don’t think that will be enough as people are worried about global demand and the longer-term oversupply that we already have. With that being the case, I am a seller. However, if we break down below the lows again, we could go looking towards the $40 level.

Crude Oil Video 02.03.20

Brent

Brent markets have also broken down, to slice down below the $50 level. It’s very likely that the market may go looking towards the $45 level given enough time, but in the short term a little bit of a recovery may be possible. That recovery should continue to be sold into as there are far too many reasons to think that this market is going to fall apart again. Granted, we can’t go in one direction forever but clearly buying is all but impossible less something drastically changes. We would need to see the coronavirus situation suddenly disappear, something that’s not going to happen. Ultimately, this is a market that seems as if it is going to go lower given enough time but with all things, you don’t chase the trade.

The S&P 500 Enters Correction, Coronavirus Fear Grows, Consumer Data Still Solid

The U.S. Market Is Down In Early Trading

The U.S. index futures are down hard again in Friday trading. This is the 7th day of decline and puts the major indices deep in correction territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and NASDAQ Composite are all down more than 10% in that time.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 1200 points in Thursday action, its biggest one-day drop on record. This has been the worst week for equities since 2008 and the pain is not yet over.

The sell-off was sparked by the coronavirus and the market’s realization it will have a profound impact on global GDP this year. Yesterday’s warning from Goldman Sachs, that EPS growth would fall to 0% or lower, is the prime example. In virus news, the spread of the virus is not contained. New Zealand and Nigeria have reported their first cases while China and South Korean totals continue to rise. South Korea is now the center of the spread with 500 new cases. China’s epidemic appears to be slowing with only 327 new cases.

The virus is expected to gain a foothold in the U.S. and may already have done so. California reported its first case of community-based transmission and now has roughly 8,500 hundred people under observation.

 Stocks On The Move

Caterpillar is the worst-performing stock in the Dow. The bellwether of global economic activity was down as much as 3.0% in early pre-market trading but cut the losses to only -2.0% by the open of the session. Shares of Apple were also down about 3.0% in early trading while Chevron and Cisco both posted losses near 2.0%. Hard-hit S&P 500 stocks include Norweigan Cruise Lines and American Airlines are moving lower in today’s session and down more than 20% since the broad-market sell-off began.

Paypal is the latest to issue a warning about the virus. The global payments company says revenue will be impacted by the virus because the cross-border activity is slowing. Paypal says revenue will come in at the lower end of the previously stated range and below consensus.

Consumer Data Remains Strong

The day’s economic calendar is topped by the Personal Income and Spending data. The report shows income rose by a larger than expected 0.6% while spending increased only 0.2%. Analysts had been expecting income to rise by about 0.3% and spending the same. Looking in the rearview mirror, the previous month’s income was revised down by 0.1% while spending was revised higher. On the inflation front, PCE prices rose 0.1% last month and are up 1.7% YOY. At the core level, consumer inflation is up 1.6% from last year.

Oil Price Fundamental Daily Forecast – Prices May Be Too Cheap for Buyers to Ignore

U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil futures hit multi-year lows on Friday and were set for their steepest weekly decline in more than four years as the spread of the coronavirus raised fears of a global recession and consequently lower demand for crude oil and other refined fuels.

At 12:54 GMT, April WTI crude oil is at $45.73, down $1.36 or -2.95% and April Brent crude oil is at $51.04, down $1.14 or -2.18%.

Benchmark Brent crude, which fell about 2% on Thursday, has lost around 13% this week, putting it on track for its steepest decline since January 2016. The front-month April contract expires later on Friday.

“Brent crude under $50 a barrel will be a nightmare scenario for OPEC and may well provoke a … response of some kind from the core grouping,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at brokerage OANDA.

Still Hope of Rebound in Demand

Some market participants are expecting the recent sell-offs to be reined in as soon as the demand fears wane. Furthermore, with coronavirus cases in China beginning to slow, the country may soon return to full production, while the spread of the virus runs its course throughout the rest of the world.

“We have to believe that the COVID-19 virus will be contained sooner rather than later. I’m optimistic we should see some positive news by mid-next week at the latest,” said Sukrit Vijayakar, director of energy consultancy Trifecta.

“Subsequently, the sudden drop in demand will rise back just as suddenly, to at least 75% to 90% of prior levels. The rise back will be spurred by current low prices.”

Daily Forecast

The markets are getting pretty close to levels that will become attractive to speculators, but there has to be a catalyst to get the markets moving higher. China’s PMI data over the week-end are expected to come in weak, but that news may already be priced into the market.

News from China started the selling, and news from China is likely to ignite the rally. If you believe the data, the virus may be subsiding in China and the country may start to go back to work. Once investors know the duration of the virus then they’ll be better able to figure out when the outbreak is likely to end in the rest of the world. This will then encourage more buying in crude oil along with extremely cheap prices.

Crude Daily Forecast – Crude Slips Below $45 as Demand Slides

Crude prices continue to lose ground this week. Currently, U.S. crude oil is trading at $45.20, down $0.95 or 2.09% on the day. Brent crude oil is trading at $50.26, down $1.15 or 2.24%.

Crude Slips to 13-Month Low

As the coronavirus continues to spread, the economic fallout to the global economy is growing. This has been the catalyst behind a plunge in oil prices. Crude has declined by 14.7% this week and briefly fell below the $45 level earlier on Friday. This is its lowest level since January 2018. With analysts warning that things could worsen before they improve, oil prices will likely remain under downward pressure.

The bleak economic situation in China, with much of the industrial sector paralyzed, has led to a sharp reduction in demand for oil. China is the world’s second-largest oil producer, and the deteriorating situation is taking its toll on Saudi Arabia, which is China’s top supplier of oil. Starting in March, Saudi Arabia will sharply reduce its oil exports to China, which currently stands at about 2 million barrels per day (bpd). Analysts say that this amount could be cut significantly, perhaps as much as 300,000 bdp.  Chinese refineries have sharply cut refinery runs, leading to a growing oversupply of crude on global markets.

Technical Analysis

WTI/USD continues to fall and break below support levels this week. The pair tested support at 45.50 earlier on Friday and this line could break before the end of the trading week. The next support level is at 43.55.

On the upside, there is resistance at 47.50, followed by resistance at .$49.50, which is just below the symbolic $50 level.

Crude Oil Price Update – Major Buyer Could Be Lurking Between $45.92 and $43.55

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures finished sharply lower on Thursday and in a position to challenge its December 24, 2018 main bottom at $45.92. The market is also poised to move lower for sixth straight session on Friday, while remaining on track to close the week more than 12% lower. This would mark its biggest weekly decline in more than four years.

On Thursday, April WTI crude oil settled at $47.09, down $1.64 or -3.37%.

Daily April WTI Crude Oil

Daily Swing Chart Technical Analysis

The main trend is down according to the daily swing chart. A trade through $45.88 will reaffirm the downtrend.

The nearest resistance is the main top at $54.66. A trade through this price level will change the main trend to up. This is highly unlikely, however.

Today’s session begins with the market down six sessions from its last main top at $54.66. Typically, we start to look for potentially bullish closing price reversal bottom between 7 and 10 days from the last main top. So start looking for bottoming action next Monday through Thursday.

Short-Term Outlook

Lower tops and lower bottoms are the definition of a downtrend. Lower highs and lower lows define a downswing. Taking out Thursday’s low at $45.88 will confirm the current downswing. If this move is able to generate enough downside momentum then look for the selling to possibly extend into the January 20, 2016 main bottom at $43.55.

Although we typically look for closing price reversal bottoms in 7 to 10 days from a top, due to the huge loss in price on the current downswing, we’re not going to ignore a closing price reversal bottom on the sixth day down. So pay attention to yesterday’s close at $47.09. It’s going to begin Friday’s session as resistance, but overcoming this level on an intraday basis could spook some of the weaker short-sellers into covering their positions. This move would be an early indication of a short-term bottom.

Crude Oil Price Forecast – Crude Oil Markets Continue To Fall Apart

WTI Crude Oil

The West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil market has broken down rather significantly during the trading session on Thursday, as we continue to see a lot of markets worry about the spreading of the coronavirus and its impact on the demand for crude oil. As we have sliced down so drastically, it looks as if we will test the $45 level in the rallies should continue to be selling opportunities going forward. With that, I believe that the $50 level now offers a significant amount of resistance that will come into play and therefore shorting signs of exhaustion will more than likely continue to reap benefits for those who are patient enough to wait for them.

Crude Oil Video 28.02.20

Brent

Brent markets also have broken down significantly during the trading session on Thursday to press the $50 level. The $50 level underneath is a large, round, psychologically significant figure the people will be paying attention to, and the fact that we bounce from there suggests that at least the technical analysis standpoint of that level is still significant. That being said, it does look like any rally at this point should be a selling opportunity, especially near the $53 level. The $55 level above is the top of that resistance barrier, and if we can break above there then the market may have an argument towards the $60 level. All things being equal, this is a market that continues to suffer at the hands of the virus outbreak, and the slowing global demand, not only in Asia, but possibly in the European Union as well.

Virus Fears Scuttle Market, EPS Growth In Question, Data Still Holding Up

Equities Fall In Fourth Day Of Viral Rout

The U.S. futures market is indicating another deep decline on Thursday. The move, sparked by a growing fear of the coronavirus, shaved another -1.0% and more off of the major indices. Today’s news includes word of the first community-spread case of coronavirus in the U.S. Health officials in California report the first case in which there is no known trail of contagion. The news raises the stakes in terms of economic impact, if the U.S. shuts down like China and other countries global GDP could contract sharply in 2020.

Elsewhere in the world, China continues to report new cases despite signs its containment efforts are starting to pay off. In South Korea, the second hardest nation, the number of new cases spiked to set a new daily record. The disease is not yet contained in that country. Officials in Japan are taking precautionary efforts and have closed all schools, the number of cases is growing in the EU as well.

Stocks On The Move

Tech is among the days hardest hit. The sector has above-average exposure to China and international markets making it particularly vulnerable to the disease. Apple and Intel are among the days leaders but are not the biggest losers by far. Apple and Intell are both down about -1.5% while chipmakers NVDA and AMD have shed -2.5% and -3.9% respectively.

Microsoft and Goldman Sachs are the latest to issue warnings about the viral impact. Microsoft says it will not meet its Q1 revenue targets because the supply chain is re-ramping slower than expected. Goldman Sachs analysts issued a warning that EPS growth for the entire S&P 500 could come in well below expectations for the year, as low as 0.0% but I think their estimate is generous.

Best Buy issued a Q4 earnings report this morning. The company reports better than expected revenue and earnings that were driven by an increase in comp-store sales. Shares were up sharply following the news but have since given up their gains. Virgin Galactic got a major catalyst from analysts this morning. A double-dose of downgrades from Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse have shares down more than -13.0%.

The Data Is Good, No Indication Of Weakness

The number of new claims for unemployment insurance climbed 8,000 over the last week but remains low and trending near historic lows. The continuing claims and total claims figures, both indicators of conditions within the broad labor market, were relatively flat over the past week. New orders for durable goods fell -0.20% over the past month. The figure is better than expected and accompanied by a double-digit increase in core capital goods orders. On the GDP front, the final read for 4th quarter GDP is 2.1% and unchanged from the previous estimate.

Oil Price Fundamental Daily Forecast – Traders Betting on Drop in US Gasoline Demand as Virus Spreads

U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil futures are trading lower on Thursday shortly after the regular session opening. Brent crude only is trading below the major bottom put in at $52.78 on December 24, 2018. Meanwhile, U.S. crude oil is rapidly moving closer to its next downside target, the December 24, 2018 min bottom at $45.92.

At 13:07 GMT, April WTI crude oil is at $47.29, down 1.44 or -2.98% and April Brent crude oil is at $51.93, down $1.50 or -2.81%.

Coronavirus Continues to Cause Demand Worries

Oil prices are down for a fifth day on Thursday as a growing number of new coronavirus cases outside of China fuelled fears of a pandemic which could slow the global economy and lower crude demand.

On Wednesday, for the first time ever, the number of new coronavirus infections outside China, the source of the outbreak, exceeded the number of new Chinese cases.

Late Wednesday, Donald Trump tried to calm investor nerves by telling Americans that the risk from coronavirus remained “very low,” and placed Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the U.S. response to the looming global health crisis.

He also said the spread of the virus in the United States was not “inevitable” and then went on to say: “It probably will, it possibly will. It could be at a very small level, or it could be at a larger level. Whatever happens we’re totally prepared.”

Global Fuel Demand Limited

The coronavirus’ spread to large international economies including South Korea, Japan and Italy has caused concerns that fuel demand growth will be limited. On Wednesday, consultants Facts Global Energy forecast oil demand growth will only be 60,000 barrels per day in 2020, or practically “zero”, because of the widening outbreak.

Coronavirus Spread in US Fuels Fresh Round of Selling

Speculators, betting that coronavirus may spread in the United States, prompted a fresh round of selling on Wednesday that has carried over into Thursday’s session. If the outbreak continues to worsen in the U.S. then look for energy prices to continue to fall with the move led by gasoline. The United States is the world’s largest oil producer and consumer.

Gasoline stockpiles dropped by 2.7 million barrels in the week to February 21 to 256.4 million, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday, amid a decline in refinery throughput. Distillate inventories fell by 2.1 million barrels to 138.5 million.

U.S. crude oil stockpiles increased by 452,000 barrels to 443.3 million barrels, the EIA report showed. This was less than the 2-million barrel rise analysts had expected.

Daily Forecast

The outlook for crude oil prices is bearish. If April Brent crude oil prices fall below $50.00 per barrel, expect OPEC and its allies to sit up and take notice. OPEC+ plans to meet in Vienna over March 5-6.

Crude Daily Forecast – Crude Slips Below $48 on Demand Concerns

Crude prices have fallen for a fifth straight day.  Currently, U.S. crude oil is trading at $47.40, down $1.03 or 2.1% on the day. Brent crude oil is trading at $52.14, down $1.22 or 2.27%.

Crude Sags as Coronavirus Spreads

It has been a dismal week for crude, which has plummeted 10.8 percent. Investor risk apprehension continues to rise as the coronavirus outbreak has spread to Western Europe. Italy has reported 11 fatalities, while France confirmed its second victim on Wednesday. Spain, Austria and Switzerland have also reported coronavirus cases. It appears to be only a case of time before the virus reaches the United States.

The coronavirus is taking a toll on the global economy, with the disruption to supply chains and the plunge in the global tourism industry. The drop in economic activity has also weighed on the demand for crude, dragging prices lower. Crude fell to a daily low of 47.35 on Thursday, its lowest level since January 2018. With analysts warning that things could worsen before they improve, oil prices will likely remain under downward pressure.

EIA Shows Unexpectedly Small Surplus

The U.S. Department of Energy crude inventory report indicated a small surplus of 0.5 million barrels. This was well below the forecast of 2.3 million barrels. This reading was almost a repeat of the gain of 0.4 million a week earlier. Although the surplus was smaller than expected, the reading failed to stem crude’s slide.

Technical Analysis

WTI/USD continues to fall and break below support levels this week. The pair tested 47.50 earlier on Thursday and this line remains fluid. Below, there is support at 45.50. On the upside, there is resistance at 49.50, followed by resistance at 52.50.

WTI/USD 1-Day Chart

Will U.S Durable Goods Orders Give the Markets More Angst as the Number of U.S Cases Rise?

Earlier in the Day:

It was a relatively busy day on the Asian economic calendar this morning. The Kiwi Dollar and Aussie Dollar were in action.

For the Kiwi Dollar

New Zealand’s trade deficit narrowed from NZ$4,460m to NZ$3,870 year-on-year in January. Month-on-month, the trade balance fell from an NZ$384m surplus to an NZ$340m deficit.

According to NZ Stats,

  • Total exports rose by NZ$382m (8.8%) from January 2019 to hit NZ$4.7bn.
    • Exports to China jumped by NZ$302m (31%) to NZ$1.3bn in January, compared with January 2019.
    • A jump in dairy, meat, and log exports led the way.
    • The rise in exports to China meant that China accounted for 27% of total exports, all of which came before the extended CNY holidays and quarantines across the country.
  • Total imports fell by NZ$212m (4.0%) to NZ$5.1bn in January 2020.
    • A slide in the import of vehicles, parts, and accessories (NZ$116m) weighed on imports. Motor car imports were the main driver.
    • Imports from China stood at NZ$1.1bn in January 2020, which accounted for 22% of total monthly imports. On an annual basis, 20% of total imports were from China.

The New Zealand Dollar moved from $0.62898 to $0.62900 upon release of the figures that preceded January business confidence figures.

In January, the ANZ Business Confidence Index fell from -13.2 to -19.4. Economists had forecast a rise to -7.9.

According to the latest ANZ Report,

  • A net 12% of firms expect stronger activity ahead for their own business, falling by 5.
  • Agriculture sector own activity tumbled from +16 to -30, with manufacturing own activity down from +24 to +4.
  • Expected profitability, investment and employment intentions were all in decline.
  • The downward trend was attributed to the spread of the coronavirus. ANZ noted that survey responses received after the COVID-19 outbreak hit the headlines were more negative. These accounted for one-third of the total respondents.
  • On the bright side, the construction sector saw a rosier outlook, with retail sector pricing intentions jumping to the highest level since 2008.

The Kiwi Dollar moved from $0.62866 to $0.62900 upon release of the numbers. At the time of writing, the Kiwi Dollar down by 0.05% to $0.6290.

For the Aussie Dollar

Private new capital expenditure slid by 2.8% in the 4th quarter, following on from a revised 0.4% decline in the 3rd quarter. Economists had forecast a 0.4% rise.

According to the ABS,

  • Building and structures saw a 5.9% slide, while new CAPEX expenditure on equipment, plant, and machinery rose by 0.8%.
  • In the 3rd quarter, investments in building and structures had risen by 2.5%, while expenditure on equipment, plant, and machinery had fallen by 3.6%.

The Aussie Dollar moved from $0.65511 to $0.65535 upon release of the figures. At the time of writing, the Aussie Dollar was up by 0.18% to $0.6556.

While the Aussie Dollar was up in the early hours, the slump in new CAPEX expenditure gives the RBA further reason to cut rates. The low-interest-rate environment was not only meant to support consumers but also fuel business spending.

Elsewhere

At the time of writing, the Japanese Yen was up by 0.16% to ¥110.25 against the U.S Dollar.

The Day Ahead:

For the EUR

It’s a relatively busy day ahead on the economic calendar. Key stats include prelim February inflation figures out of Spain and finalized Eurozone consumer confidence figures.

Barring a material pullback in inflation, however, we would expect the numbers to have a muted impact on the EUR.

Expect any revision to Eurozone consumer confidence figures to influence, however, as the markets search for sentiment towards the spread of the coronavirus.

Outside of the numbers, expect market risk sentiment to continue to provide direction. For the EUR, early support kicked in as the markets reacted to news of a rise in new coronavirus cases in the U.S. The upward swing has come as the markets reverse bets on the U.S economy being unscathed from the spread of the virus.

At the time of writing, the EUR was up by 0.26% at $1.0909.

For the Pound

It’s also a quiet day ahead on the economic calendar, with no material stats to provide the Pound with direction.

While there are no stats to consider, the British Government is due to release its terms for trade negotiations with the EU.

It will all come down to how far apart the 2-sides are from the get-go and how the EU responds and Boris Johnson and David Foster react in return.

Expectations are for a difficult road ahead, which should peg the Pound back at $1.29 levels and bring $1.28 levels back into play.

On the monetary policy front, BoE MPC member Cunliffe is scheduled to speak in the early afternoon. Following Cunliffe’s concerns over the negative effects of prolonged monetary policy easing, expect any dovish chatter to weigh on the Pound.

We’ve yet to hear of central banks wanting to step in as the coronavirus continues to spread. This may well change in the coming weeks…

At the time of writing, the Pound was up by 0.12% to $1.2921.

Across the Pond

It’s a relatively busy day ahead on the U.S economic calendar. January durable goods orders and 2nd estimate GDP numbers for the 4th quarter are due out.

Barring deviation from 1st estimate numbers, expect the core durable goods and durable goods orders to have the greatest impact.

Following last week’s particularly disappointing PMI numbers, any slide in orders will pressure the Greenback further.

Initial weekly jobless claims and pending home sales figures for January are also due out. We will also expect the numbers to have a muted impact on the Dollar, however.

Outside of the numbers, market risk sentiment will continue to influence.

At the time of writing, the Dollar Spot Index was down by 0.06% to 98.939.

For the Loonie

It’s a quiet day ahead on the economic calendar, with key stats limited to 4th quarter current account figures out of Canada.

We can expect the numbers to have a muted impact on the Loonie, however.

Focus through the day will be on the economic outlook and demand for crude oil, which remains Loonie negative.

The Loonie was down by 0.06% at C$1.3341 against the U.S Dollar, at the time of writing.

WHO, The Markets New Grim Reaper

Markets

After an up and down session with trader vacillating on the economic impact, the coronavirus will have on global growth, S&P500 was more or less flat heading into the close, having spent most of the session in slightly positive territory. Most European bourses saw very modest gains, though Asia was weaker. US fixed income rallied further, however, US10Y yields down a further 3bps to 1.33%. Oil down another 2.4%.

But for risk concerns, the bearer of the truth was WHO reporting that 427 new cases of the virus were confirmed Tuesday outside China, compared with 411 in mainland China: the first time that new case numbers outside China were higher than those from within. Of course, the spread beyond China borders has been at the core of the market’s worries since the weekend news flow pointed to a potential supper spreader around the globe and saw risk U-turn lower.

Previous crisis playbooks have all revolved around buying the dip in equities, so I wonder just how much further the fire sale will go before the market at least starts to scale in again. We saw an attempt at a bounce in the New York session before the markets new Grim Reaper, the WHO, raised its ugly head again.

But based on last night’s price action, it does appear that any bounce in stocks is likely to be short-lived. And eventually, the markets could fall deeper as investors start to think what’s the point of trying to pick the bottom in the short term.

Looking further down the line in 2020, the market continues to price in more significant haircuts to large parts of the global economy. At the same time, the idea of a v-shaped recovery seems to be the new castle in the sky. Admittedly things can pivot quickly, but if you believed in the narrative, that easy monetary policy was mainly fuelling the risk rally. Then arguably, you are going to want to see definitive signs of a Fed pivot, primarily as the fundamentals are pointing the other way before feeling confident about buying equities. But on that front, the Fed messaging continues to signal “still too soon.”

On the G-20 coordinated stimulus front and for those looking for shock and awe fiscal delivery from Europe was always likely to be disappointed. News about Germany intending to pause its debt brake sparked a recovery in stocks and a sell-off in Bunds, but it was short-lived. Still, ultimately, the cumulative effect of similarly measured responses around the world might be enough to grease the wheels of the global economy.

Oil Markets 

Traders remain hyper skittish, and oil rallies short-lived as self first ask questions later will be the theme if there is still even the slightest concern over the virus outbreak becoming a pandemic. There has been another big hit to oil on renewed super spreader coronavirus fears.

And as expected, the EIA inventory data which under normal conditions would have been bullish for oil price fell through the cracks as uncertainty over coronavirus will take its toll on oil demand sentiment until its impact can be adequately quantified.

Next week’s OPEC+ meeting should be a positive catalyst, but the fear here is that the outcome might be consigned to oblivion with the market singular focused on virus spread, which has unceremoniously shown up on the doorsteps of the US market. Still, OPEC + has enough weight, and with a hefty production cut at a minimum, it should offer a backstop, and with a problem G-20 concerted stimulus effort surely the bottom can’t be too far from here. In addition, with WTI below $ 48 it could also trigger the self-correcting US supply mechanism as more shale wells go offline due to breakeven concerns.

The Straw that could break the Oil market back?

The biggest concern and the straw that could possibly break the oil markets back is the susceptibility of the US market to this insidious virus, which from a risk perspective needs to rank beyond all other. If the virus spread rapidly in the US, you can’t unscramble that egg.

The most glaring problem is that the US has only tested 426 people, while South Korea has tested 35,000. The US guidelines were only to check those who displayed respiratory symptoms and had recently traveled to China or had close contact with an infected person. The problem is that coronavirus is asymptomatic — it is contagious before the symptoms show.

China had come in for some criticism over the handling of the outbreak. However, as the virus spreads global, those “harsh” measures appear to have been the right thing to do and arguably its Europe and US efforts that could be too complacent and porous. And not surprisingly, any excuse to sell still feels like the sentiment in the market right now.

Gold Markets

It’s too early to cap gold prices as we are not in business as usual market conditions. But of course, there is no denying gold’s safe-haven credentials have been questioned in light of a gold decline as Treasury yields also fell precipitously this week, which should have been extremely positive for gold.

But since we’re only into day three of demand depletion and given the position build of late, this week’s washout still fits into the “healthy correction” category although we might revise that view on a break of $1600.

However, as profit-taking and selling to cover margin calls in the equity markets is decreasing, so the chances of gold rebounding increase propelled by ongoing COVID-19 concerns amid volatile financial conditions.

Beyond the constant stream of buying the dip analysts banter and for investors that have sizable gold positions. there are some concerns

Government spending commitments to contain the virus and e might push bond yields higher and weigh on gold appeal, especially from the fiscal side of the equation. While the Fed advocating for patience doesn’t provide a significant impulse to push gold through $1700. But with yields so low suggesting gold downside should be limited a delayed policy market response could funnel more buying of gold as the longer the Fed sits on their hand, the worse stock market conditions could get

Currency Markets 

The US Dollar

The US dollar has lost its safe-haven status with the coronavirus arriving on the US doorstep. With Fed rate cut probabilities on the rise US bond yields sliding ,fortunately for the global risk markets, the US dollar has started to weaken as reverse Yankee mania sets in.

Asia FX

Outside of the KRW and THB, which remains high beta to further jumps on coronavirus cases withing ASEAN proxies. Asia FX has remained fairly rangebound despite all the coronavirus upheaval around the globe. To no small degree, much of the sell-off Asia FX were priced into the curve ahead of the global equity market meltdown, and at the same time, the Yuan has remained tethered to the PBoC policy anchor by maintaining a stable policy fixing.

The Ringgit

Foreign investors sidestepped Fitch warning (seldom have lasting legs) and have resumed their demand for Malaysia bonds as the BNM rate cut expectations get to move forward. Its a small but positive move in these politically charged times, which continues to weigh on the Ringgit despite the succession scrim looking a bit less messy than at the start of the week. But when it comes to Malaysia politics, all bets are off.

US Stock Market Overview – Stocks Close Mixed; Nasdaq Outperforms; The Russell Drops Sharply

US stocks were mixed on Wednesday after initially rising, but the Dow and S&P moved into the red and remain underwater for the latter half of the trading session. The Nasdaq broke a 4-day losing streak driven by the FANG stocks which outperform. The Russell 200 was the worst-performing average declining by 1.2%. Oil prices were under significant pressure falling 3%, as concerns over the coronavirus continued to weigh on energy. All sectors in the S&P 500 index were lower driven down by Energy, Healthcare was the worst-performing sector. US home sales surged higher rising nearly 8%, driven by rising mortgage applications. The VIX volatility index slipped slightly but still remain buoyed above 27%.

US Home Sales Rise

The commerce department reported that US single-family homes raced to a 12-year high in January. New home sales jumped 7.9% to an annual rate of 764,000 units last month, the highest level since July 2007. December’s sales pace was revised up to 708,000 units from the previously reported 694,000 units. Expectations had been for new home sales, which account for about 12.3% of housing market sales, which would advance 3.5% to a pace of 710,000 units in January. New home sales jumped 30.3% in the Midwest to their highest level since October 2007.

The gain in home sales was driven by rising mortgage application volume which rose 1.5% last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances decreased to 3.73% from 3.77%, with points decreasing to 0.27 from 0.28. Applications to refinance a home loan fell 1% for the week but were still 152% higher than a year ago.

Energy Inventories Rose

US crude oil inventories increased by 500 thousand barrels from the previous week. At 443.3 million barrels, crude oil inventories are about 3% below the five year average for this time of year. Gasoline inventories decreased by 2.7 million barrels last week and are about 2% above the five year average for this time of year. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 2.1 million barrels last week and are about 5% below the five year average for this time of year.

Crude Oil Price Forecast – Crude Oil Markets Continue to Hang On To Vital Levels

WTI Crude Oil

The West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil market has broken down to a fresh, new low but then bounced enough to form a bit of support. It looks as if somebody out there is hanging onto the $50 level desperately, perhaps OPEC is starting to get involved in the market again. At this point, the inventory number and the US states was better than anticipated, although it was still a build. There was a refinery explosion on the West Coast which may have helped as well, but at this point if we bounce from here it’s likely that we will see sellers above. Ultimately, if we break down below the bottom of the candlestick, then we are likely to go down to the $47.50 level, possibly even the $45 level.

Crude Oil Video 27.02.20

Brent

Brent markets also have broken down initially during the trading session on Wednesday, testing the lows again but then bouncing at that point. Ultimately, this is a market that is very likely to find sellers above so I like the idea of showing signs of exhaustion, so that I can start selling yet again. Ultimately, if we break down below the bottom of the candlestick for the session on Wednesday, then we should continue to go down towards the $50 level. At this point, the market is very bearish, so rallies are to be faded as the demand for crude oil will continue to suffer due to the coronavirus and a slower global economic situation anyway. Crude oil continues to get hammered not only due to demand issues, but a stronger US dollar has not helped either.

Equities Attempt Rebound, Coronavirus Spreading, 2020 Growth In Question

The U.S. Futures Edge Higher

The U.S. futures are edging higher in early Wednesday trading following two days of massive declines. The broad market made its biggest drop in over four years over the course of Monday and Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and NASDAQ Composite are all looking at opening gains in the range of 0.10% to 0.15%. Although early action looks bullish, traders are warned not to read too much into the move. The Coronavirus is still spreading and its impact on global economic activity only now being felt.

China reports an additional 406 cases in the overnight session with 52 more dead. South Korea says it has 169 new cases and a rising death toll as does Italy. France now reports its first case proving the virus can spread despite the best efforts of health officials. In the U.S. officials report over 50 cases, they are prepping the public for an epidemic the only questions are when it will start and how long it will last. Regardless, the economic impact of this event will be wide-ranging and long-lasting.

Stocks On The Move

The tech sector is trying to move higher in early trading despite its entering correction territory. Now down 10% from recent highs the sector is on the verge of a full-blown bear market. Shares of Apple are among the leaders, down -12% in the last two days, but up about 0.4% in early action.

Shares of Office Depot are among today’s hottest issues. The company reported better than expected results and positive guidance that lifted shares 5.0%. Shares of TJX, parent of the TJMaxx chains of apparel stores, are up more than 6.15% after it reported better than expected earnings. The company says comps rose 6.0% sparking a similar rise in share prices.

Fast-food retailers Papa John’s and Wendy’s are both moving lower. Both companies reported better than expected results due to strength in the U.S. consumer. the downside is outlook failed to impress and that has investors second-guessing their positions.

Volatility Is On The Rise

The VIX, a so-called “fear gauge”, spiked over the last two days. The index, a measure of options prices relative to the S&P 500, has reached levels above 25 and is fast approaching a two-year high. The index shows a high degree of demand for options, protection against a market downturn, and that spells lower prices for the S&P 500.

On the economic front, New Home Sales are due out later in the session. Sales are expected to rise from the previous month and may top estimates. Warmer than expected weather has had a positive impact on other housing data.

 

Crude Oil Forecast – Crude Slips to 13-Month Low on Coronavirus Fears

In the European session, U.S. crude oil is trading at $48.97, down $0.89 or 1.80% on the day. Brent crude oil is trading at $53.66, down $1.30 or 2.36%.

Coronavirus Jitters Sends Crude Below 50.00

It has been a dreadful week for crude, which has slumped 7.1 percent. Investor risk apprehension continues to rise as the coronavirus outbreak has spread to Western Europe. Italy has reported 11 fatalities, while France confirmed its second victim on Wednesday. Spain, Austria and Switzerland have also reported coronavirus cases. The European Union had considered imposing border controls, but has decided that such a severe move would do little to contain the virus.

The outbreak has caused significant economic damage in China and its ramifications are being felt worldwide, such as the toll on the global tourism industry. With the disruption to economic activity, the demand for crude has also dropped, dragging prices lower. Crude fell to a daily low of 48.81 on Wednesday, its lowest level since January 2018. With analysts warning that things could worsen before they improve, oil prices will likely remain under downward pressure.

Meanwhile, OPEC members are watching nervously as oil prices continue to fall. OPEC is keenly interested in cutting production to stabilize prices, but it needs Russia on board if the cut to output will lift oil prices. However, Russia does not appear in any rush to lower production. With OPEC+ oil ministers meeting next week in Vienna, we could see significant movement in oil prices, dependent on whether an agreement is reached to cut output.

Technical Analysis

WTI/USD broke below the key 50.00 level on Tuesday and continues to lose ground. There is support at 47.50, followed by support at 45.50. On the upside, there is immediate resistance at 49.50, followed by resistance at 52.50 and 54.00. This is followed by the 50-day EMA at 54.30.

WTI/USD 1-Day Chart
WTI/USD 1-Day Chart

Crude Oil Price Update – Could Hit Dec. 2018 Bottom at $45.92 Next Week

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures are trading lower after sellers thwarted an earlier attempted rally. The fundamentals are bearish with worries over lower demand due to the coronavirus outbreak and increasing supply offsetting a loss of production in Libya and expectations of additional production cuts by OPEC and its allies.

At 11:57 GMT, April WTI crude oil is trading $49.35, down $0.57 or -1.13%.

The API reported late Tuesday a smaller than anticipated crude oil inventory build of 1.3 million barrels for the week-ending February 21. Analysts were looking for a 3.0 million barrel build in inventory.

The API also reported a small build of 74,000 barrels of gasoline for the week-ending February 21, after last week’s 2.67-million-barrel draw. This week’s small build compares to analyst expectations for a 2.245-barrel draw for the week.

Distillate inventories were down by 706,000 barrels for the week, compared to last week’s 2.63-million-barrel draw, while Cushing inventories rose by 411,000 barrels.

At 15:30 GMT, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release its latest weekly inventory numbers. Traders are predicting a 2.3 million barrel build.

Daily April WTI Crude Oil

Daily Technical Analysis

The main trend is down according to the daily swing chart. The trend turned down when sellers took out a pair of main bottoms at $49.63 and $49.50. A trade through $54.66 will change the main trend to up.

Daily Technical Forecast

April WTI crude oil is currently walking down a steep Gann angle, moving at a rate of $1.00 per day from the $54.66 main top. This angle comes in at $50.66 today.

Look for downside pressure as long as the market remains on the bearish side of the downtrending Gann angle at $50.66.

If the market continues to follow the Gann angle lower then look for an eventual test of the December 24, 2018 bottom at $45.92 around March 4.

Momentum will shift to the upside if the downtrending Gann angle fails as resistance.

Oil Price Fundamental Daily Forecast – Coronavirus Fears Likely to Wipe Out 2019 Gains

U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil futures are trading lower for a fourth straight session, putting them in a position to challenge their December 24, 2018 lows that launched last year’s rally.

With the global demand picture weakening everyday as the coronavirus spreads around the world, OPEC not likely to make a decision on whether to make additional production cuts and U.S. supply growing, there are no strong reasons to think the markets can turnaround anytime soon.

At 09:38 GMT, April WTI crude oil is trading $49.25, down $0.65 or -1.30% and April Brent crude oil is at $54.11, down $0.84 or -1.53%.

Crude oil prices rose earlier in the session on short-covering and profit-taking, but then aggressive sellers erased those gains as fears deepened that the rapid spread of the coronavirus will lead to a global pandemic that could end up producing a global recession.

American Petroleum Institute Weekly Inventories Report

The API reported late Tuesday a smaller than anticipated crude oil inventory build of 1.3 million barrels for the week-ending February 21. Analysts were looking for a 3.0 million barrel build in inventory.

The API also reported a small build of 74,000 barrels of gasoline for the week-ending February 21, after last week’s 2.67-million-barrel draw. This week’s small build compares to analyst expectations for a 2.245-barrel draw for the week.

Distillate inventories were down by 706,000 barrels for the week, compared to last week’s 2.63-million-barrel draw, while Cushing inventories rose by 411,000 barrels.

Daily Forecast

As the coronavirus panic set in, traders are going to become more and more interested in how it affects global demand and less interested in weekly inventory reports. Furthermore, they don’t seem to care about the steep drop in Libyan output either and whether OPEC and its allies are going to trim production.

A week or two ago, I said that crude prices would jump if OPEC+ announced additional production cuts, but I’ve changed my mind about that. We may see some short-covering, but I don’t think the news will be enough to change the trend.

Furthermore, I’m not so sure OPEC+ will even agree to make any additional cuts in output since the move could be deemed irrelevant without final figures on the loss of demand. In other words, I think they are going to wait for the coronavirus to run its course and for governments to release fresh economic data as to its impact before they make across the board cuts. By then, there may not even by an OPEC+.

Finally, today’s U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly inventories report is expected to show a 2.3 million barrel build.

Is Pandemic Pandemonium Setting In?

Risk-off extended further overnight. S&P500 down a further 2½% heading into the close. Selling intensified in the afternoon after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated they expect a sustained spread of COVID-19 in the US and advised communities to prepare: “it’s more a question of when.”

Fixed income rallied again, as the preferred hedge of choice with US 10Y yields slipping a further 5bps to 1.33%; 30yrs set a fresh record low of 1.8%. Oil down an additional 2.8%, gold lower into the close. GOLD LOWER?? Are gold markets selling to cover more equity margin calls?

To suggest the market is a tad skittish over the coronavirus becoming a pandemic could very well be the understatement of the century with the virus morphing into the market’s biggest macro worry of the decade.

Given the lack of testing facilities, “As of Monday, only five US states – California, Illinois, Nebraska, Nevada, and Tennessee – can test for the virus, according to the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL).” ( Reuters ) it’s feared that there are far more cases than what is currently reported.

And since the containment strategy in the US is initially more penetrable owing to looser enforcement, and greater reliance on voluntary cooperation suggest a clustered super spreader virus crisis could accelerate in an exponential manner.

Every few minutes, I see another travel ban headline while corporations and government agencies are stepping up efforts to stop travel to infected or suspected countries. Supply chain disruptions are coming, and if we were struggling to determine which particular straw broke the market’s back, its the susceptibility of the US market to this insidious virus that needs to rank beyond all other. And you can’t unscramble this egg. And without question, it seems to be the bearer of the truth.

The global habitat, let alone the market is ill-prepared to deal with an epidemic of these proportions as the porous containment strategies outside China could lead to an exponential flurry in new cases reported. God helps us if, as suggested by some medical experts, 40-70% of the world’s population becomes infected over the next 12 months.

Wasn’t this supposed to be over by now??

And only a week ago, it would still have been considered scaremongering to talk of a COVID-19 in pandemic terms. But now the markets must deal with the harsh reality that the COVID-19’s global footprint is likely to grow.

Gold and cross-assets 

Renewed concerns about the depth and duration of the coronavirus impact on global growth were triggered by Apple‘s lower revenue guidance and exacerbated by US PMI data. But the outbreak of cases in the US has seen risk pricing jump to December 2018 levels.

So far, the market sell-off has been reasonably well controlled in US markets. Still, the SPX is now nearly 8% below its 19-Feb intraday high, and the VIX breached 30.

Cross-asset moves were also plentiful with the US 10-year below 1.4% for the first time since July 2016, rates markets pricing 2.5 cuts over the next year, but gold is lower?

I don’t have a particularly salient answer for that, but I’m wondering just how much of a factor a consorted shift to global fiscal stimulus shift rather than monetary impulse might be altering the market safe haven view of gold above $1700.

Modeling for gold fair value indicates the following are consistent: Treasury 10y yields plummet by 80 bps, S&P falls by 20%, inflation break-even drop to 1.35% or below, and gold rises to USD 2000/oz. Indeed we are a long way from paydirt in the fair value analysis, especially is a fiscal impulse kicks in.

I guess the big question today is with correlations pointing higher why we did have back to back daily price gaps lower in gold as surely these moves are beyond just a healthy market correction after all its raining rate cuts.

Raining rate cuts

A total of 13 EM central banks have cut rates in response to the threat of an economic slowdown so far this year with the market convinced the Fed would start cutting deep, and we are even back to discussing rate cuts in Europe. Which should be positive for gold

Equity market margin call-related sell-off?

But the back to back late NY afternoon gold liquidation has the hallmarks suggesting the sell-off could be related to equity margin calls rather than any underlying market weakness, given the overtly risk-off tone dominating the markets. So as was the case yesterday, once these margin obligations are covered, gold could rebound a touch.

The facts

As most gold traders will tell you, it’s virtually impossible to understand where the supply and demand factors will drive gold on a daily basis. But given the real possibility of pandemic pandemonium setting which will cripple the financial market, and could cause a run on the banks Similar to the toilet paper hoarding mentality in Asia, only people want to store cash under their mattress rather than toilet paper under the bathroom sink( poor analogy but you get the picture). Bullion should continue to find more support from accommodative monetary policy worldwide, a rapidly shrinking pool of risk-free assets, and lower beta of traditional risk-off currencies even without triggering worst-case pandemic fears.

Oil markets

The oil market at the best of time isn’t known for measured thinking tending to adopt the approach of “shoot first, ask questions later.” But Oil traders have called this one right from the get-go as they were never buying into the G20 view or the idea of a v-shaped recovery in China and limited impact on the rest of the world.

But for immediate concerns, the shift in focus from just an external demand shock from China to an overwhelming US economic blow could send oil prices into a faster tailspin.

The reality is that the coronavirus has not been contained and is now spreading like wildfire across the world, and you can’t put that smoke back in the wood.

Although I expect the API inventory report to fall through the cracks at least, there was one bulb working on a broken string of lights as WTI regained the $50 handle on a smaller than expected crude inventory build.

Currency Markets

I might be excused this morning; it is 5 AM in Bangkok after all, as I don’t have a blueprint prepared for a rapid spreader scenario across the US markets, which from a Federal Reserve Board perspective makes this flu situation different. We have to admit the Federal Reserve is the only Central Bank that matters. And with global supply chains grinding to a halt, what the world most desperately needs is a deluge of US dollars.

Sure the ECB and BoJ can cut further, but that is unlikely to happen, and another rate cut from a smaller central bank like RBA might prop up the domestic housing market, but what is that going to do in the bigger global scheme of things.

So, it will be up to the Federal Reserve Board to do the heavy market lifting. As such, we could be on the precipice of an emergency inter meeting rate cut as the world is in dire straits and in need of a massive helicopter drop to buttress the virus crisis.

The US dollar has lost its Teflon status as the coronavirus arriving on the US doorstep. With Rate Fat rate cut probabilities on the rise US bond yields sliding fortunately for the global risk market, the US dollar has started to weaken as reverse Yankee mania sets in. But will it be enough before risk aversion crushes commodity markets as what was perceived as a supply shock from the COVID-19 outbreak is morphing into an unknown

A negative US demand shock would represent an essential change for markets. However, before jumping into trades this morning, it might be time to catch our breath as I still think its to early to start fading the currency moves at the epicenter of the crisis wall of worry CNH and KRW as well as the G-10 China proxies AUD and NZD.