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Stock selling continues, Europe in focus

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By Edward Moya

US stocks were declining Monday after a weekend filled with a worldwide central bank hawkishness reinforced the message that central bank tightening will deliver pain to households and businesses. ​

Friday’s sharp selloff continued as expectations for the energy crisis continued to persist, which will keep inflation risks elevated and lead to a rapid deterioration of economic data.

Jerome Powell sent a short and direct message that there won’t be a Fed pivot anytime soon and that has markets positioned for further equity weakness.

Investors were expecting that once the US got some ugly data, perhaps a couple of negative NFP reports, that the Federal Reserve would come to the rescue, but that might not be the case.

Premature loosening won’t be happening on the first signs that the economy is slowing down quickly and that raises doubts for anyone who bought stocks earlier this month. ​ ​

All about Europe

The ECB rate decision will show that the current inflation narrative will force them to deliver massive rate hikes that will kill growth.

Over the weekend, ECB’s Olli Rehn said their next step is a significant rate move in September and that it should be at least 50 basis points. The latest round of ECB talk has been hawkish and that should have markets leaning towards a 75bp rate hike. ​ ​

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is preparing an emergency intervention and structural reform of the electricity market. ​ Drastic measures are needed to salvage the European economy as the risks of extremely higher energy costs could trigger a severe recession. ​

Czech officials have suggested capping natural gas used for power generation, while the EU is expected to meet on September 9 with the aim to show some plan on tackling the energy crisis. ​ ​

Gold crushed

Non-interest bearing gold got crushed early as more central bank rate hikes are getting priced in.

Gold is edging higher as the dollar rally halted and the euro rises on expectations the ECB will deliver more rate hikes than investors initially thought.

If the dollar does not rally, that could provide some relief for gold. ​ If equities remain in risk aversion mode as the speculative money that bought risky assets this month grows nervous economic growth is about to collapse, gold might be able to stabilise. ​

The yellow metal was vulnerable to a plunge towards $1700, but it is starting to show some resilience. ​ With the UK on holiday, Monday’s moves might be meaningless. ​ The true test for gold will come on Tuesday. ​

Oil remains tight

The one trade that everyone can agree on is that the oil market will likely remain tight.

Crude oil rallied on rising risks of a potential civil war that could put Libyan output at risk and over growing expectations that OPEC+ is positioning to cut production. ​ What is also helping oil is that despite risk aversion running wild, the dollar rally is on hold. ​

Oil has been trending lower, but the supply side risks are too great and prices need to find a home above the $100 a barrel level. ​

Bitcoin ​above $20K

​Over the weekend, Bitcoin dipped below the coveted $20,000 point as risk aversions grew following more central bank hawkish talk from Jackson Hole.

Bitcoin is showing some resilience as it clawed back above the $20,000 level on Monday, despite widespread stock market weakness. ​ Crypto traders are not used to seeing Bitcoin withstand a rout on Wall Street, so this could be a promising sign.

Crypto bulls will be tested as the risk for further risk aversion are high given the trajectory of the world economy. ​ ​

 

Edward Moya is Senior Market Analyst, The Americas at OANDA

Opinions are the author’s, not necessarily that of OANDA Global Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. Losses can exceed investments.