Thursday, 25 June 2020

SENTIMENT WHIPSAWS ON US-CHINA TRADE MIXUP; NSE SLIPS

Lukman Otunuga,
Senior Research Analyst at FXTM

Over the past few hours, risk sentiment has swung between two extremes thanks to conflicting statements from the White House over the US-China trade deal.

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A wave of risk aversion threatened to engulf financial markets during early trading on Tuesday after White House trade advisor Peter Navarro said that any trade deal with China was “over”. However, President Donald Trump swiftly came to the rescue by tweeting that the trade agreement with China is “fully intact”.

Asian shares were thrown on a rollercoaster ride following the trade confusion but the clarification offered by Trump later supported European markets. The mood in Europe brightened further following the better-than-expected Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) data from France and Germany.

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In the emerging market space, Nigeria’s All Share Index (ASI) closed in losses on Monday shedding roughly -0.30% thanks to profit taking and general caution. Sentiment towards Nigerian stocks has deteriorated over the past few months thanks to gloomy economic fundamentals, depressed oil prices and COVID-19. The ASI is down almost 8% year-to-date and could extend losses if the covid menace sabotages Nigeria’s fragile recovery.

On the data front, much attention will be directed towards the latest manufacturing and non-manufacturing figures on Thursday. Manufacturing PMI tumbled to 42.4 in May while non-manufacturing slumped to 25.3 during the same month. With Nigeria gradually easing lockdowns with some sectors reopening, it will be interesting to see whether the effects are reflected in the latest PMI figures for June.

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Commodity spotlight – WTI Oil
Oil gained over 10% last week despite the rising coronavirus cases in China and the United States. Prices seem to be rising higher on-demand optimism and commitment by OPEC+ to rebalance Oil markets, especially members who overproduced in April. Regardless of the current gains, the path of least resistance remains south. With the core fundamental themes weighing on market sentiment still present, the current rebound on Oil could be nothing more than a dead cat bounce. Looking at the technical picture, WTI Crude has broken above $40 and may challenge $42 in the short term.

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