The trading week started slow, as expected, due to the important Fed meeting on Wednesday. In other words, no investor is willing to take a risk until the Fed unveils its dots plot tomorrow.
The U.S. stock market had another spectacular Monday. All three major indices – Dow Jones, S&P500, Nasdaq100 – closed higher, with the Dow Jones reaching a new all-time high. Out of the three, Nasdaq100 gained over 1%, as it recovers from the recent correction.
In Europe, the stock market remains at elevated levels, despite the indices not sharing the buying frenzy seen in the United States. One major issue is the total fiasco of the vaccination rollout in the European Union, as major EU states suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab on health concerns. As such, most bourses closed flat the day, unable to follow the U.S. lead.
The WTI crude oil price fell 1% while natural gas lost 2%, in a rare down day for the energy markets. Still on the commodity front, gold and silver recovered from the recent losses, gaining about 0.5% and 1.6%, respectively.
The Retail Sales data in the United States is the highlight of the trading day. The market expects the sales to decline for the month of February, but the risk here is that the data will surprise positively. If that is the case, it should fuel investors’ optimism even more, as it will suggest a faster economic recovery than initially thought. Yet, don’t expect much of a reaction to the release because the market participants want to see what the Fed will do tomorrow.
Markets to Watch
FTSE100, AUDUSD, EURGBP – markets in focus today.
FTSE100 keeps a bullish bias despite the fact that recent data shows a massive reduction in the trade numbers with the European Union. It is the first sign of Brexit’s impact on trade, and similar data is expected in the months ahead. However, FTSE100 remains above the upper trendline of a bullish triangle, with a measured move pointing to new higher highs.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is fighting a fierce battle with bond pundits in its desperate efforts to keep the yields down. The bank made no secret it is engaged in yield curve control, and the higher AUD does not make sense. Hence, the AUDUSD pair is corrected from dynamic resistance, and more downside is possible if the lower high holds. The Fed tomorrow will shed light on its future intentions, and the move in the dollar may be decisive.
With two days left until the March Bank of England meeting, the EURGBP bounced from major support. While it is still early, the reaction is not surprising, giving the strong resistance it offered in the past. Bulls want to wait and see if the market is strong enough to take the previous lower high. On such a move, some stops will be triggered. Should the Bank of England bring back the negative rates discussion, the bounce on the EURGBP cross may be even more powerful.
Winners and Losers
AUD is the main loser as the RBA losses its patience with the strong currency. U.S. stocks are the winners, as the main indices remain close to the highs.