Markets traditionally kick back into high gear after Labor Day, but one should not underestimate this last week of August. Trade talks remain at the forefront and last week’s newest round between the United States and China failed to yield true substance. However, the purpose was to delay the imminence of the third wave of tariffs in which the White House would impose $200 billion on Chinese goods; this, in our opinion, would be the official start of a trade war.
Crude oil prices got slammed on fears surrounding the Turkish economy, ongoing concerns about China, and a big build in crude supply, but really a lot of what is driving the bus is the strong dollar. Not just the traditional inverse relationship that oil has with the dollar, but how this massive up move is impacting oil supply and demand.
As we continue in Christmas week, it’s a similar story for markets as we struggle for any real direction, meaning markets are particularly volatile. The U.S. dollar is again suffering with both Cable and euro/U.S. dollar (EUR/USD) currency pair is trading higher, with the later really pushing towards some important upside levels. However, with very little on the calendar out of Europe it’s likely to be numbers from the United States that are the dominant force for any dollar moves throughout the European session.
Concerned about the global economy? Don’t be, says Dr. Copper. Despite the recent slowdown in the U.S. economy and equity markets becoming a little wobbly, copper prices have been surging higher over the past three months following a lengthy 6-month consolidation.
European stocks and the euro pulled back on Monday from highs touched after pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron's emphatic but well-flagged victory in France's presidential election as investors' focus shifted from politics to monetary policy.
It hasn’t been a good day for commodities with gold, silver, copper and oil all falling sharply. Copper has been hit the hardest, followed by silver. The metals have been weighed down in part because of the stronger U.S. dollar, which has risen to its highest level since March 21 against the Japanese yen. The U.S. currency last week hit new highs on the year versus the major commodity currencies: the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars.
World stocks hit record highs on Tuesday, with investors' relief at centrist Emmanuel Macron's victory in the first round of the French presidential election supported by speculation about U.S. tax reform.
European shares edged up on Wednesday and gold fell as questions hung over the 'reflation' trades that had lifted markets since Donald Trump became U.S. president, while sterling held near a six-month high after Tuesday's calling of a snap UK election.