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Daily Market Analysis By ForexTime ( FXTM )
Daily Fundamental ForexTime ( FXTM )

Conflicting trade signals set the tone; GBP remains way off 1.35 “target” on Brexit deal

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The early part of trading for the week has already showed how sensitive emerging markets can react to newsflow around potential trade developments with a number of different emerging market currencies trading lower against the USD on Monday. This has included losses close to 1% in the Indian Rupee, while the Chinese Yuan has lost just over 0.5% and the Malaysian Ringgit above 0.4%.

This trend of trajectory does overall sum up how sensitive emerging market assets will be to newsflow around a potential breakthrough in trade talks between the two largest economies in the world.

Air of caution before U.S. risk events this week

Elsewhere, there are some indications at time of writing of limited trading volumes as the new trading week commences, which sum up that investors could be hesitant to add more positions into their portfolios just one day before mid-term elections take place in the United States.

When you consider how off-guard financial markets have been caught to political events in recent history, caution before the event is a likely investment strategy that is on the mind of investors. This means that we might not see much movement in global stocks before the event, while safe-haven assets like Gold and the Japanese Yen will be the first thing on traders’ minds if an air of market uncertainty comes their way.

The general consensus is that while, overall, mid-term elections do not on a historic basis create too much fuss in financial markets, this administration running the White House is unlike anything we have seen before and this is why it is expected that investors will tread with caution before the outcome becomes clearer.

It is not possible to predict potential political outcomes in the modern world of unpredictable politics, but most emerging market investors will be hoping the Dollar does sell-off on the outcome of the election because emerging markets do appear heavily undervalued at current levels.

The upcoming Federal Reserve meeting will be another risk event to monitor this week, but interest rates are not expected to change in November and as long as the FOMC carries the same narrative that U.S. interest rates will be gradually adjusted higher in the next 15 months or so, the mid-term elections should overshadow the Fed decision when it comes to potential financial market volatility.

The best-case scenario for investors who would like to consider selling the Dollar at what still appears to be historically-high valuations for the Greenback would most likely be that the mid-term election outcome encourages concerns that President Trump will face legislative resistance when it comes to pushing pro-America policies.

Emerging markets are those that remain greatly pressured from broad-based Dollar strength, so I would expect emerging market currencies to be contenders to benefit the most over the medium-term if the Dollar does get squeezed lower. 

Sanctions were re-imposed into Oil price long time ago

The return of re-imposed sanctions on Iran on November 5 has encouraged a small recovery in the Oil markets today. However, I wouldn’t buy into this headline too much, because we could be in line for a small recovery in the Oil markets after the commodity edged dangerously close to bear market territory after withdrawing close to 20% from its multi-year highs a few weeks ago.

Re-imposed sanctions on Iran have been something that were priced into the Oil markets a long time ago, all the way back from when Trump confirmed he would pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal, so I wouldn’t associate sanctions coming back into play as a near-term driver for the price of Oil. I would instead, focus more heavily on the global demand outlook because of the ongoing external uncertainties weighing down on economic prospects. This is something I see of more of a risk for Oil over the coming months. If concerns over slowing global growth come to fruition, it signals less demand is needed for commodities like Oil and I see this as a major risk to the valuation of Oil.

Hopes of Pound rising above 1.35 on Brexit deal long way off!

Optimism that a long-awaited breakthrough on the prolonged Brexit negotiations is close has sent British Pound forecasts into a frenzy. Suggestions are making their way that the Pound could rally all the way to 1.35, if not above on an eventual breakthrough in the Brexit drama, but I would personally stay away from such claims.

Yes, we all know how sensitive the British Pound has behaved to Brexit newsflow but let’s not get ahead of ourselves and suggest a return to 1.35 is imminent when the GBPUSD is trading marginally above 1.30 at time of writing.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May will still need to receive approval for the terms of the soon-to-be-expected agreement, which given the ongoing controversy that Brexit still receives around the United Kingdom will likely not be an easy task.

I would personally factor into consideration that the Pound is just as much likely to shoot lower once again on more Brexit gridlock, as it is to aim higher on a breakthrough. Such headlines on an expected rally in the Pound generally suggest that markets are positioning themselves on a breakthrough, meaning that I would factor into my own expectations how suddenly the Pound could fall sharply below 1.30 on another round of hard-Brexit fears.   

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Daily Fundamental ForexTime ( FXTM )

Temporary trade truce provides additional boost to risk

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Just a few days after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell unexpectedly signaled that the Federal Reserve is turning dovish, investors received further positive news over the weekend after a temporary ceasefire between Washington and Beijing regarding trade tensions was announced after the G-20 summit in Argentina.

The two-hour dinner between senior authorities from both the United States and China, including President Trump and President Xi, that led to the announcement of a temporary trade truce was of greater importance than the G-20 communique which stated that the WTO needs to be reformed to improve its function. What was delivered over the dinner was not a breakthrough, neither a long-term solution for the ongoing trade war between the largest two economies, but a 90-day window to improve relations. Introduction of new tariffs are now shelved, and trade talks will intensify over the next three months. This outcome seems to be an optimistic one from the two leaders and more than what was priced into markets beforehand, meaning that this is enough to boost sentiment and risk-on trade.

Chinese stocks rose more than 3% and the S&P 500 futures surged 1.7% at the time of writing. While bulls seem to be well in control for now, investors need to know that what was achieved is only a short-term relief to markets. Whether this will be translated into longer-term advances depends on the path of negotiations over the next three months. For now, one obstacle has been removed, but all longer-term risks remain there. 

Canada joins Saudi Arabia and Russia in managing production

The risk-on rally sent Brent Oil above $62 early Monday. The U.S.-China trade truce is not the only source of support for prices, but signals of another production cut from Russia and Saudi Arabia seem to be the key factor. OPEC’s official meeting will be held on Wednesday and markets are expecting to see a substantial production cut after Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country’s cooperation on Oil supplies with Saudi Arabia would continue. Another surprising announcement came from the government of Alberta on Sunday stating a cut of 325,000 barrels a day for three months starting in 2019. Given this combination of factors, Oil prices are likely to have bottomed out for 2018, but a confirmation is needed when OPEC and non-OPEC members meet in Vienna on December 6.

Dollar heads south

The demand for riskier assets sent the Dollar lower against most developed and emerging market currencies. The Dollar index fell back below 97 with commodity currencies AUD and CAD being the best performing ones. The Chinese Yuan also broke a three-week trading range to trade 0.8% higher against the Greenback. This relief rally may continue for the next couple of days, unless surprising negative news arises.

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Daily Fundamental ForexTime ( FXTM )

EM Currencies hit by risk aversion; Pound dives on delayed Brexit vote

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Emerging market currencies are poised to remain in the firing line this week as ongoing trade tensions, Brexit uncertainty, depressed equity markets and turmoil in France cripple investor confidence.

The unfavourable market conditions are already boosting appetite for the safe-haven Dollar, which will most likely translate to further pain and punishment for EM currencies. With concerns over plateauing global growth and geopolitical risk leaving sentiment extremely fragile, risk aversion has the potential to become a major theme in the near term.

In the currency markets, the Chinese Yuan weakened against the Dollar mostly due to trade tensions. An appreciating Dollar weighed on the local currency further with the USDCNY trading marginally above 6.908 as of writing. With trade tensions seen weighing on the Yuan but strengthening the Dollar, the USDCNY has scope to challenge 6.923 in the near term.

Chaos in Commons as May delays Brexit vote

The British Pound was treated without mercy by bearish investors on Monday after UK Prime Minister Theresa May abruptly postponed a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal.

Appetite towards Sterling instantly diminished following the news with the GBPUSD crashing to levels not seen since April 2017. A strong sense of uncertainty over the various scenarios that could happen regarding Brexit is likely to leave investors extremely uneasy and edgy. As the week progresses market players will be pondering whether May has the ability to renegotiate with Brussels in a bid to save the deal? If she will face a leadership vote or the possibility of a second referendum. With Brexit chaos in the House of commons raising the likelihood of a no-deal scenario, the near-term outlook for the Pound points to further downside.

In regards to the technical picture, the GBPUSD is heavily bearish on the weekly charts. The downside momentum could send prices below 1.2500. Bears remain in firm control below the 1.2700 resistance level.

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Currency spotlight – Dollar

The Dollar staged an impressive rebound as trade tensions and Brexit related uncertainty sent investors sprinting to the safe-haven currency.

Although the Dollar has scope to extend gains on safe-haven flows, the upside is poised to face headwinds in the form of fading Fed hike expectations. With November’s disappointing US jobs report reinforcing expectations over the Federal Reserve taking a pause of rate hikes next year, Dollar bulls are at threat of running of inspiration in the medium term. Focusing on the technical picture, the Dollar Index has scope to hit 97.50 this week.

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Daily Fundamental ForexTime ( FXTM )

Dollar rebounds following hawkish Fed rate hike

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In a widely expected move, the Federal Reserve has raised its key interest rates by 25 basis points for the fourth time this year.

However, the central bank’s less dovish than expected tone came as a surprise that sent shockwaves across financial markets. Investors who were hoping for a firmly dovish statement that dropped the phrase “further gradual increases” where left disappointed after the Fed flagged “some further gradual increases” on rates were still on the cards. Although the dot plot was revised lower to two rate hikes for 2019 from three previously, the Fed’s less dovish stance sent jitters through US stock markets.

Investors seem concerned with the fact that the Fed is signalling further rate hikes despite such unfavorable market conditions and lower economic growth forecasts for 2019. It is worth noting that hawkish comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell compounded to the uncertainty, especially when considering how Powell was dovish a few weeks ago.

While the Dollar has the potential to extend gains on the hawkish Fed hike, bulls still remain a threat of running out of steam. With the Fed likely to adopt a data dependent approach to monetary policy decisions next year, the Dollar is poised to become highly sensitive to domestic economic data. Signs of the US economy experiencing a slowdown will weigh on prospects of higher US interest rates – ultimately pressuring the Dollar.

Yuan unfazed by Fed rate hike

The Chinese Yuan offered a fairly muted response after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 25 basis points.

With the US rate hike already heavily priced in, the Yuan was most likely concerned with other pressing market themes like ongoing trade tensions. With global growth fears and other geopolitical risk factors weighing on investor confidence, emerging market currencies remain vulnerable to downside shocks. In regards to the technical picture, the USDCNY could retest 6.90 if the Dollar continues to appreciate.

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