Markets have been gradually taking less and less out of the positive newsflow on the trade dispute as expectations have built for a move to “phase one”. President Trump notes that the two sides are into the “final throes” of a deal, however, the lack of market conviction would suggest an increasing need for a handshake picture between Trump and Xi to drive decisive positioning. Perhaps also there is a degree of consolidation in front of Thanksgiving (which tends to reduce liquidity for both the Thursday and Friday) but there is increasingly a lack of direction on bond markets. The 2s/10s spread is seen as a gauge for sentiment (widening being risk positive) but has been drifting sideways in recent days. Subsequently, we are seeing a quieter drift on forex majors, but with a dollar positive bias. There are some key levels being tested/eyed amidst this drift (a look at $1.0990 on EUR/USD, into the 109.00/1090.50 resistance on Dollar/Yen, and $0.6765 on the Aussie. However, whether the dollar bulls have the conviction for a breakout in front of Thanksgiving will be interesting. Furthermore, given the lack of liquidity in the coming days, could this drive false breaks of these levels? One area to see unabated positivity in all this though is Wall Street, which continues to pull into all-time highs. The contrarian may wonder about “buy on rumour, sell on fact”.
Wall Street closed with solid gains last night with the S&P 500 +0.2% at 3145, whilst US futures are a tick or two higher again today. There is more of a mixed look to Asian markets, with the Nikkei +0.2% and Shanghai Composite -0.2%. Cautious optimism is the early feeling in Europe, with FTSE futures +0.1% and DAX futures +0.1%. In forex, there is an edge of USD strength forming amidst major markets lacking real conviction. It is interesting to see GBP again one of the more active currencies, underperforming today. In commodities, the dollar gaining today is a mild drag across the precious metals with gold and silver marginally lower, whilst oil is also slightly lighter.
Once more there is a big US emphasis on the economic calendar today. The first revision to Q3 US growth, the US Prelim GDP is at 1330GMT is expected to show no change at +1.9% (+1.9% Advance, +2.0% final Q2). The core Durable Goods Orders (ex-transport) at 1330GMT are expected to show marginal growth on the month of October at +0.1% (after a decline of -0.4% in September). At 1500GMT the US Pending Home Sales are expected to grow by +0.8% in October (after a +1.5% growth in September). EIA oil inventories could be interesting this week with an expected drawdown on crude stocks of -0.3m barrels (after +1.4m barrels of build last week) after builds in nine of the past ten weeks. The Fed Beige Book is at 1900GMT and will help to paint a picture of the Fed’s economic outlook.
Chart of the Day – AUD/USD
Although risk appetite has been relatively positive in recent sessions, the Aussie has struggled for buying traction. We have subsequently seen a trend lower on AUD/USD forming (a three week downtrend ) but also a fall through what is effectively a mid-range pivot at $0.6805. Momentum indicators continue to deteriorate (MACD lines now falling below neutral and Stochastics below 20) which points to intraday rallies being sold into. Resistance is building around the $0.6805 pivot now and the trend lower is squeezing the market to put pressure on the support at $0.6765 today. This looks to be a key crossroads for AUD/USD. A closing breach would be the next key breakdown and open the bottom of the $0.6670/$0.6930 range. The RSI moving below 40 would be a momentum confirmation signal for the breakdown. There is much that the bulls would need to do to shift the outlook, with the hourly chart showing the hourly RSI failing at 60 and hourly MACD consistently below neutral. Initial resistance is around the pivot and would need a move above $0.6835 to imply a recovery developing.
Whilst the euro bulls managed to stem the flow of selling on EUR/USD for a bit yesterday, the prospect of a recovery is still looking like a struggle. Yesterday’s marginal positive candle/session seem to be a pause for breath rather than the potential for recovery. A renewed tick lower this morning seems to be re-instating the sellers. Momentum indicators are still on the swing lower and are close to being decisively correctively configured. The key is likely to still be the support of the old pivot at $1.0990. If the RSI starts to slip into the 30s, along with the deterioration in MACD and Stochastics, it is difficult to see $1.0990 holding. For now though, the support is intact and with Thanksgiving looming tomorrow, there may be a lack of conviction to push a break ahead of the public holiday. For now though we continue to see intraday strength as fading. It was interesting to see yesterday’s high failing just under the initial resistance at $1.1030, with $1.1050 subsequently overhead. Below $1.0990 opens $1.0875/$1.0925.
As another corrective drift has taken hold of the near term outlook on Cable once more, the consolidation range continues to progress. In front of the UK election (on 12th December) we see little real reason for the range between $1.2765/$1.3010 to be broken. A downside break would need a material tightening of the polls, but in a campaign so steeped with drudgery for both main parties, it is difficult to see much changing right now. The 23.6% Fibonacci retracement (of $1.2193/$1.3012) at $1.2820 has acted like a magnet for the price in recent weeks and remains a key gauge. Momentum indicators are on an unwinding drift. Initial resistance is now at Monday’s high of $1.2910 as the oscillations on the hourly chart momentum indicators point to a drift to $1.2820 but without any real conviction for much else.
A positive risk bias is certainly helping Dollar/Yen higher in recent sessions, but is it enough to drive a breakout through the key resistance band 109.00/109.50? On so many occasions in recent months, the bulls have failed in this resistance, so we must view the latest move above 109.00 with caution. It was interesting to see the market quickly becoming stuck around 109.00 in yesterday’s session, but there are signs that momentum is growing more positive. The Stochastics are ticking higher, whilst the RSI is also pulling positively, whilst even the MACD lines are threatening to give direction. However, there needs to be more conviction to suggest a breakout above 109.50 that would be such a key move. Another tick higher this morning threatens a sixth positive session in a row today and the bulls will be encouraged by consistently trading above 109.00. The hourly chart shows a far more positive momentum configuration this time, with little intraday slips being supported. Initial support at yesterday’s low at 108.85, whilst a whole session above 109.00 would be a positive signal too.
Despite the tick higher on gold yesterday there is still an ongoing corrective bias to the chart which points towards using rallies as a chance to sell. The past few weeks have the momentum indicators consistently sluggish in corrective configuration, whilst the failure at the overhead supply around $1480 will have been a key concern for stale bulls. There is a consistent theme of lower highs and lower lows in recent months, which points towards pressure on the $1445 November low. Given the Thanksgiving public holiday for the US on Thursday, it may be a case of wait and see for the next move for the rest of this week. However, we see yesterday’s rebound has already lost impetus on the hourly chart as a series of near term sell signals filter through on MACD and Stochastics. Initial resistance at $1462 under $1473.
With the trend of higher lows and higher highs we see oil as a buy into weakness. What has been noticeable at the start of this week has been that the bulls are looking to now accept last week’s breakout. Throughout the past eight weeks of recover, it has been a fairly consistent run where the breakouts have been subsequently retraced. Those retracements have eventually formed the next higher low, but the corrective slip has found support in the band between the 50% Fibonacci retracement (of $63.40/$51.00) at $57.20 and the old breakout at $57.85, the bulls seem ready to build from a higher level this time. Momentum indicators fully confirm the run higher, but there is a slight caveat as the RSI is still struggling to push into the 60s. Monday’s support formed at $57.20 will become increasingly important now. A break above the 61.8% Fib level at $58.65 opens 76.4% Fib at $60.45. Intraday weakness is a chance to buy whilst above $57.20.