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Markets flat as dust settles amid central bank meetings

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By Craig Erlam  

Equity markets are pretty flat in the middle of the week, struggling to pick themselves up off the floor as investors worry about higher-for-longer interest rates and the economy.

Last week was action-packed and it seems investors are still piecing it all together in the absence of much else happening.

While often referred to as eternal optimists, when faced with the prospect of recession in Europe, a sluggish recovery in China, and a Fed that’s seemingly determined to push the economy to the edge despite huge progress already without much pain, investors appear to be struggling to see the upside.

The only thing that can change that is the economic data providing further evidence that significant progress continues to be made.

But if the government shuts down, we won’t be getting that any time soon which would make the October Fed meeting interesting, depending on how long it lasts. There are potentially uncertain times ahead and as the old adage goes, markets hate uncertainty.

Oil on the rise again after a small breather

After a week of consolidation, oil prices are on the rise again ahead of the release of inventory data from EIA. The API release on Tuesday may have surprised some, recording an increase of 1.586 million barrels, a lot more than the 0.7 million decline that’s expected.

But it won’t alter the view that the market is extremely tight following a number of supply cuts from OPEC+ countries.

What we’ve seen over the last week or so is a little profit-taking and the fact it’s already on the march higher is potentially a sign of how bullish traders still are.

Hawkish Fed pushes gold back below $1,900

Gold continues to drift lower after breaking below $1,900, a key area of support in recent weeks.

The yellow metal had been range-bound between $1,900 and $1,950 around the major central bank meetings this month and it would appear a hawkish Fed when others have adopted a more neutral tone has pushed it over the edge.

The dollar has been charging higher over the last week and weighed heavily on gold, which may now be eyeing last month’s lows around $1,885 for support.

It’s not looking good for the yellow metal though, with the insistence that rates in the US could rise again and stay there for longer far from ideal.

 

Craig Erlam is Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA 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.