Crazy season in the markets

Ah friends, I hate to be the one to break it to you but silly season is upon us. The end of August with the UK Bank Holiday on Monday 29th and then Labor Day the following Monday in the US sees many traders heading off to the country for a few days R&R. Fewer announcements that affect the markets happen around this time, but with junior left in the driving seat the markets can get a little… cray-cray. crazydancing

But let’s not be glum – after all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and this week, let’s treasure hunt. Here’s what you should be watching to get the most of the markets.

USD

Last week the dollar index was up 1% after Yellen’s Friday speech at Jackson Hole hinted at a possible September rate rise. Some pundits think it won’t happen until December so it doesn’t affect November’s presidential election but this week’s Non-Farm Payroll on Friday coupled with Tuesday’s CB Consumer Confidence and a few other US figures due out this week could give the Fed a positive reason to hike rates sooner rather than later. Both key announcements follow two months of higher than predicted figures. If this trend continues this week, the US economy will look stronger to the markets. It’s worth noting that not everyone agrees – one major bank was shorting the dollar two days before Jackson Hole.

Oil

Last week, oil declined around 3% after an initial 9% rise so ended approx 6% up on the previous week. The midweek Crude Oil Inventories figures will stimulate movement but the trick is knowing which way to jump. Last week’s surprise 2.5M increase evened out the previous -2.5M decline so things could go either way on Wednesday 31st.

EUR

When you play EUR FX pairs, you watch the Germans. That could be spotting when the towels go down around the pool, or if Greta and Oskar are spending much in the shops. This week the Germans reveal their monthly Retail Sales figures. If they have been splashing out, then all is well, but if not, the EUR could take a hit. This announcement could be as early as Monday but the date’s not yet fixed so keep an ear out for updates.

GBP

Monday is a Bank Holiday and the country is closed. This is no joke. The country is closed…

empty tube

The City of London is empty

Happily Thursday and Friday give us some GBP action with two key events – Thursday 9.30am sees the Manufacturing PMI figures (after 3 months of positive movement July saw a decline) and Friday 9.30am gives us the Construction PMI (after 3 months of negative numbers July saw an increase). This conflict gives our players lots to work with on the FX GBP pairs.

AUSD

Tuesday 2.30am GMT sees the monthly Building Approvals figures. You know and I know they’ve been shocking with two months of pretty steep decline. The markets will be looking for a turnaround in the numbers or they could lose faith, but there are lots of factors at play for the value of AUD this week. Wednesday 2.00am GMT the Assistant Governor of the RBA speaks in Singapore and may drop hints about future policy. Traders love nothing more than reading too much into the nuances of speeches like this. Then Thursday 2.30am brings Private Capital Expenditure  and Retail Sales monthly figures. Both have declined and the recent apparent strength of AUSD could be about to wobble.

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Rallies, bears, bulls and Ryan Lochte – news for 22-26 August 2016

rallying like a sir

Tuesday 5am GMT

The Bank of Japan‘s governor, Kuroda, is going to speak. He’ll try to sound encouraging and calm, but traders will be analysing every syllable and weighing up if the measures he outlines will shore up the currency. Will his dulcet tones appease them? 0% inflation reported last Monday won’t have made them receptive and he’s got a lot to do to win them over. JPY has been on a downhill slope since 21st July and broke the 100 barrier against USD a few times near the end of last week. This is a key point for the Yen and some traders may be looking for a rally to ride but hopes are starting to fade.

Wednesday 2.30am GMT

Follow the yellow brick road as all eyes turn to Oz for some southern hemisphere action. The AUD/USD pairing has been a little unsettled but data is showing the AUD may be a good place to make some gains for currency traders. Traders like round numbers and AUD has been bouncing between 76 and 77c against the dollar. The construction work done quarterly figures will move things but where would you put your money? Recent building figures have been in the red with bigger contractions than forecast for the last three quarters. Current predictions estimate another -1.9%.

Wednesday 3.30pm GMT

pay_attention_to_me

Do pay attention (sigh) this is more important than finding a new species on No Man Sky. Brent oil smashed USD50$ last week. Psychologically this is massive for traders and a far cry from only a few weeks ago when it was hovering around USD40$ – just shows what a fickle thing the market can be so remember a big swing up can also swing back down again just as far but traders will be waiting with baited breath for Wednesday’s crude oil figures from the US. Last week showed a sensible -2.5M fall in barrels being held in inventories against predictions of a 1.1M rise. A smart guy might say it’ll be in the same direction again but oil’s a slippery little fellow at times. We are still waiting for the forecasts so stay focused and listen out for announcements.

Thursday 9am GMT

The EUR has been giving our players lots of fun as it’s been rather volatile as last week’s German economists’ data provoked lots of movement. This week the German IFO Business Climate data will be very interesting: based on a wide spread of manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers as well as builders, it gives a well-founded view of the economy. And the markets will react because the German economy is a major factor in the health of the currency. It’s up to you to decide which way it’s going to go, but recent forecasts have been a little under par with the actual data being more positive. However, some say Brexit is starting to impact and maybe this will be the month there’s a downturn.

All week long… but especially Friday

The S&P500 has really come down off its high and the futures market is as changeable as Ryan Lochte’s story this weekend.

lochte10

Pundits indicate the S&P500 will open near its record close on Friday; and the start of the week will likely see some readjustment as it finds its level. But US announcements from Thursday could send it swooping or soaring once again.

  • Thursday 1.30pm GMT Unemployment Claims
  • Thursday 1.30pm GMT Core Durable Goods Orders
  • Thursday all day Jackson Hole Symposium
  • Friday 1.30pm preliminary GDP quarterly figures
  • Friday (time tbc) Federal Reserve Bank Chair Yellen speaks
  • Friday all day Jackson Hole Symposium

Ears to the ground, eyes on the news, and fun on the horizon.

4 Things You Need To Know About Oil Before You Trade It

As January Goes, So Goes The Year

Brent futures and WTI are trading at five and a half year lows. January has started weak – the year opened with Brent at about $58 and is now testing the $50 mark which is a significant market level.

Markets Can Remain Irrational Longer Than You Can Remain Solvent

We are at technical support levels but that is no reason to be a buyer just yet. If the current sell off were to match the 2008 bear market, $16 for Brent could be seen.

Buyers have previously bought Brent at $47; if this level breaks, the next significant demand zone is around $35 – $36.

Brent Oil has dropped significantly recently. $50 may provide support.

The Race To The Bottom With Oil

Why Is The Price Of Oil Dropping?

According to the Economist, there are four things affecting Oil:

  1. Demand is low due to weak economic activity.
  2. Problems in Iraq and Iran have not impacted their output.
  3. America is now the worlds largest oil producer.
  4. Production has not been cut by the Gulf producers.

SparkProfit’s Sentiment Indicator Remains Strongly Bearish

The sentiment indicator generated by the thousands of players around the world playing SparkProfit is at bearish extremes and has mostly been negative about Oil since September.