Monday, Oct. 15: Five Things Markets Are Talking About

Following a weekend of warnings on global economic fragility from G10 finance leaders at an IMF meeting in Bali, global equities are starting this new week on the back foot, with regional bourses in Asia and Europe seeing red, while U.S. equity futures pointing to deep declines.

Sovereign yields are lower in this cautious climate, while the yen has pushed higher along with gold. has advanced as tensions rise between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia over a missing journalist.

Politics and data are never a good mix, and this week is awash with both.

Italy is to submit its contentious budget to the E.C. Already, the proposed budget has potentially broken specific thresholds, which would require a lot of debating from both parties. Expect Italian BTP yields again to come under pressure, backing up towards the psychological 4%.

The E.U. meets on Wednesday and will get an update on the status of negotiations with the U.K.’s Brexit. Expect the Irish border to be the ‘hot topic du jour. If there is insufficient progress, the possibility of a special summit next month to finalize an agreement looks dead in the water. Dealers expect the pound to remain volatile in the short term.

The U.S. Treasury report about the international economy and the FX market is to be released Tuesday. To neutral observers, China does not meet the threshold of “manipulation.” However, U.S. President Donald Trump’s interpretation may be very different.

On the data front, the U.S. releases retail sales today and FOMC minutes on Wednesday.

Across the pond, the U.K. presents its labour report tomorrow, (Oct. 16), inflation Wednesday (Oct. 17) and retail sales Thursday (Oct .18).

In Canada, Friday’s upcoming data includes and – neither of the reports are expected to dissuade the market of pricing in a 25 bps rate hike at next week’s Bank of Canada (BoC) monetary policy decision.

1. Equities see red

In Japan overnight, the closed at a two-month low as automakers and other manufacturers were hit by news that the Trump administration would seek a provision about currency manipulation in future trade deals. The Nikkei share average ended down 1.8%, the weakest closing point since mid-Aug, while the broader dropped 1.6%, the lowest close in seven months.

Down-under, the ASX 200 fell to a six-month low overnight, led by the banking sectors growing concerns about the hit to earnings from an inquiry into misconduct. The fell 1%. In South Korea, the stock index fell 0.77% as institutions cut their exposure to riskier assets. The country’s biggest automaker Hyundai Motor (KS:) slipped 1.7%, marking its lowest trading level in eight years.

In China and Hong Kong, stock markets again slipped overnight following last week’s deepest dive in eight months, as investors await the latest twist in the Sino-U.S. trade dispute. The index closed lower by 1.5%, while in Hong Kong the closed 1.4% lower.

In Europe, regional bourses trade lower across the board, tracking U.S. futures and Asian indices lower. The and sterling (£1.3140) trade a tad lower after the E.U. and U.K. paused Brexit talks until after this week’s mini-summit.

Indices: -0.6% at 356.8, -0.3% at 6976, -0.4% at 11474, -0.6% at 5066, -0.3% at 8876, -0.2% at 19225, SMI (CS:) % at -0.8%, -0.8%

Brent crude for Oct. 14-16, 2018.

Brent crude for Oct. 14-16, 2018.

2. Oil prices rise on Saudi tensions, gold higher

Oil prices remain bid this Monday morning as tension over the disappearance of a Washington Post journalist and Saudi critic, Jamal Khashoggi, fuelled supply worries, although concerns over the long-term demand outlook dragged on sentiment.

jumped $1.49 a barrel to a high of $81.92 before easing to $81.13, up 70c. U.S. crude () was last up 40c at $71.74.

Saudi Arabia has been under pressure since Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Trump has threatened “severe punishment” if it is found that the journalist was killed in the consulate.

On Sunday, the Saudi’s said it would retaliate to any action taken against them over the Khashoggi case. The market is tentatively concerned that the Saudis may use oil as a tool for retaliation.

Despite prices starting the week better bid, there are still lower that last week’s high print.

Also limiting price gains is a report from the IEF last Friday stating that the market looked “adequately supplied for now” and cut its forecasts for world oil demand growth this year and next.

Ahead of the U.S. open, gold prices have jumped 1% to hit a three-month high as global stocks resumed their fall and investors wrestled with the impact of the ongoing Sino-U.S. trade war and higher U.S. interest rates. is up 0.9% at $1,228.24 an ounce, while U.S. are up 0.8% at $1,231.80 an ounce.

Gold for Oct. 14-16, 2018.

Gold for Oct. 14-16, 2018.

3. Italian and Portugal yields fall

Portuguese and Italian government bond yields have fallen this morning, with prices outperforming euro zone peers after ratings agency Moody’s upgraded Portugal’s credit rating back to investment grade.

Portugal’s 10-year bond yield fell 4 bps to 2.01% after Moody’s lifted its credit rating to Baa3 on Friday.

The positive periphery sentiment from Portugal has spilled over into Italy’s battered bond market. Italian 10-year BTP yields are down 4.5 bps to 3.53%.

Note: Expect Italian yields to trade rather volatile this week as Italy presents its budget to the E.C.

Elsewhere, the yield on U.S. 10’s fell 1 bps to 3.15%. In Germany, the 10-year Bund yield has dipped 1 bps to 0.49%, the lowest in more than a week. In the U.K., the 10-year Gilt yield has eased 2 bps to 1.614%, the lowest in more than a week.

GBP/USD for Oct. 14-16, 2018.

GBP/USD for Oct. 14-16, 2018.

4. Dollar’s safe haven flows ease

Risk aversion flows initially provided a bid for the traditional safe-haven currencies of JPY (¥111.75) and ‘big’ USD, however, market sentiment has eased a tad ahead of the U.S. open.

GBP (£1.3147) opened below the psychological £1.31 handle on concerns that a Brexit agreement might be slipping away after the U.K. and E.U. negotiators were said to have called ‘a pause’ in their Brexit talks and would now wait for the outcome of a summit mid-week (Wed) before any resumption.

TRY ($5.8208) is firmer by over 1% outright for its seventh session gain on optimism that relations between Turkey and U.S. would improve following the release of U.S Pastor Brunson.

prices have spiked 6.5% this morning, jumping above $6,600. While the catalyst behind the move higher is not clear and with few ready to label bitcoin a “true store of value” in turbulent times, BTC has held up better than most of late.

EUR/USD for Oct. 14-16, 2018.

EUR/USD for Oct. 14-16, 2018.

5. Embarrassing losses in Bavarian election shake Merkel’s coalition

Germany’s grand coalition could become even further unstable after coalition members suffered humiliating results in an election in the southern state of Bavaria.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavarian allies slumped to their worst election results in almost 70 years and her junior coalition partners, the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), saw support in Bavaria halved.

The SPD had hoped that infighting over immigration between Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CDU) allies would give them a boost in Bavaria.

But instead, the party saw support fall to just under 10%, prompting a discussion over the sustainability of its alliance with Merkel’s conservatives at the national level.

Note: SPD members are still bitter over their leaders’ decision to join a Merkel-led government.

Merkel’s authority may be called into question as soon as in two weeks in an election in the western state of Hesse – the state is ruled by Merkel’s CDU in a coalition with the Greens, but polls suggest she is losing further support.

US Dollar Index for Oct. 11-12, 2018.

US Dollar Index for Oct. 11-12, 2018.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

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