Markets nurse hangover from oil slump

World stocks regained some of their composure during Monday’s trading session with most markets edging higher after investors nursed their wounds from last week’s oil sell-off, which weighed on sentiment and soured risk appetite. Asian stocks marched into the green territory as participants diverted their attention away from depressed oil to optimism over global growth. The upside momentum from Asia has already boosted European equities with Wall Street potentially finding some support this afternoon. Although the current stock market resilience may be viewed positively, stocks still remain exposed to downside risks, especially when considering how Brexit developments, continued uncertainty in Washington and depressed oil continues to weigh on sentiment.

Sterling bulls display exhaustion
Rising speculation of a potential rate hike from the BoE and reports of Prime Minister Theresa May reaching an agreement with the Democratic Union Party to form a government did little to support Sterling during Monday’s trading session. Price action suggests that the ongoing Brexit developments have left investors increasingly jittery and sellers have exploited this anxiety to drive prices lower. Although Sterling was initially gifted a minor lifeline after Theresa May secured a £1 billion deal with the DUP, the upside is likely to be limited by the Brexit negotiations. With uncertainty still the name of the game when dealing with Brexit and Sterling, further downside should be expected moving forward. Technical traders may utilize the 1.2775 resistance level on the GBP/USD to drive the pair lower towards 1.2600.

Dollar oscillates in the background
Dollar bullish investors were lacking the inspiration to support the Greenback on Monday amidst the absence of confidence of another U.S. interest rate increase in 2017. Although Federal Reserve officials have consistently displayed optimism over the U.S. economy and rate hike timings, the markets still remain unconvinced. Investors may direct their focus towards the pending Core Durable Goods Orders report this afternoon, which may pressure the Dollar further if numbers fail market expectations. From a technical standpoint, the Dollar Index is still at risk of trading lower if bulls fail to break above 98.00.

Commodity spotlight – WTI oil
Oil prices struggled to maintain gains during Monday’s trading session as oversupply woes continued to haunt investor attraction towards the commodity. Although some of the major oil producing players have stepped forward and expressed willingness to maintain the current output cuts, this has fallen on deaf ears with WTI crude finding comfort at depressed levels. As the oversupply woes remain a dominant theme in the oil markets, any appreciation in prices may be treated as a technical bounce for sellers to start renewed rounds of selling. From a technical standpoint, a breakdown below $43 should open a path towards $42 and $40 respectively.

Currency spotlight – EUR/USD
The euro/U.S. dollar (EUR/USD) currency pair has been trapped in a 100 pip range for the past three weeks with support at 1.1130 and resistance at 1.1230. Although the current absence of political risk in Europe offered a solid boost to the Euro, bullish traders are seeking fresh inspiration to send prices higher. With the ECB’s President Mario Draghi speaking this evening, the EURUSD could turn volatile especially if he reiterates his dovish mantra on ultra-loose monetary policy. From a technical standpoint, a break above the 1.1230 resistance or below the 1.1130 support level should determine the EUR/USD’s future trajectory.

About the Author

Lukman Otunuga is an FXTM research analyst