Tuesday, 6 August 2019

MARKETS SHUDDER AS TRADE TENSIONS REACH AN EAR-PIERCING CRESCENDO

Lukman Otunuga,
Senior Research Analyst, FXTM

Investors are struggling to shake off the pounding hangover from yesterday’s dramatic global selloff as US-China trade tensions took a dangerous turn for the worse.

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Any hopes of a resolution to longstanding trade disputes between both sides were thoroughly quashed after the Chinese Yuan slipped past the psychological 7.0 mark for the first time since 2008. With the US Treasury Department wasting no time in labelling China a currency manipulator for the first time since 1994, this could open doors to more US sanctions against China. Heightened fears over trade disputes between the two largest economies in the world reaching a point of no return have crippled risk appetite, ultimately exposing global equities to downside shocks.

Asian shares were painted bright red this morning following Wall Street’s gut-wrenching declines overnight. The negativity from Asian markets is likely to contaminate European stocks this morning. US stocks experienced their single worst day of 2019 in the previous session, and could extend losses this afternoon as US-China trade tensions drain investor confidence.

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Dollar fails to benefit from safe-haven flows
The mighty Dollar was attacked from all directions yesterday despite trade concerns boosting appetite for safe-haven assets.

Appetite towards the Dollar was most likely hit by the disappointing ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI which dropped to 53.7 in July – the lowest since August 2016. With growth in the US services sector cooling as trade worries impact business orders and the outlook for economic growth, expectations are bound to mount over the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates again in 2019.

Given how the Dollar remains extremely sensitive to rate cut speculation, investors should fasten their seat belts and brace for Dollar volatility this quarter.

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Commodity spotlight – Gold
Gold is positioned to remain one of the prime destinations of safety this week as the horrible combination of US-China trade disputes and global growth concerns boost appetite for safe-haven assets.

Fears over intensifying trade tensions destabilizing global growth and stability have already elevated the precious metal to a fresh 6-year high above $1473 this morning. Although prices are slipping back towards $1460 as of writing, the precious metal remains technical and fundamentally bullish. For as long as risk appetite is dented by global growth fears, trade drama and Brexit uncertainty among many other geopolitical risk factors, Gold bulls will remain in the driving seat.

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In regards to the technical picture, the solid daily close above $1460 may open the doors towards $1485 and $1500, respectively.

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