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Stalled Rebound – Action Forex

The risk rebound in the markets has stalled and equity markets are down around 1% on Thursday following quite a good run over the last month.

The day we’ve all been waiting for

The Autumn Statement has been a long time coming after the disastrous mini-budget almost two months ago. The UK’s fiscal credibility was in the gutter, the pound was crushed and borrowing costs soared. Since then, a lot has changed and today’s budget highlighted just how much that is the case.

Fully regaining credibility won’t be easy but markets appear far happier now than they were back in September. The pound is lower on the day but only marginally so and the bulk of the announcements will have been priced in as they were leaked in recent days. Borrowing costs are slightly higher on the day and Bank Rate is expected to peak around 4.5%, still very high but far from the levels reached in September.

All in all, the government may be pleased with how today has gone but time will tell whether the public agrees as everyone pours over what was quite an extensive budget. It’s not just the markets that needed convincing today after all, with a little over two years until the next election and a significant deficit still to overcome in the polls.

US data reinforces Fed position on rates despite weak housing

The latest US economic data represented a continuation of what we’ve seen for months. A housing market suffering under the pressure of higher interest rates and a labour market that is incredibly resilient to them. While the former may be a concern for the central bank as it further raises rates in the months ahead, the latter remains the reason why many at the Fed support such moves as it increases the possibility of inflation remaining stubborn on the way back down.

Oil slips amid easing geopolitical risk and China woes

Oil prices are slipping as we move through the week, with easing geopolitical risk and Chinese demand weighing. Prices spiked earlier in the week after missiles landed in Poland, risking a dramatic escalation in the war in Ukraine. Thankfully, those fears have abated and the situation de-escalated which has seen oil gains unwound.

China remains a downside risk for oil in the near term, despite its recent relaxation of certain Covid curbs. A surge in cases in major cities, mass testing, and restrictions will hit economic activity despite recent measures which will weigh on demand in the world’s second-largest economy. Still, Brent remains within its $90-$100 range for now and OPEC+ may continue to ensure that largely remains the case.

Gold stalls but the future may be looking bright

We’re seeing more risk aversion in the markets today after a strong rebound in recent weeks. Gold has performed well in this period, particularly in the aftermath of the Fed decision and jobs report and then after the inflation data. The PPI numbers further supported the view that inflation is easing and could be sustained which saw gold rally towards $1,780 where it stalled.

It is now paring gains for a second day, off around 1%, but still holding onto the bulk of the gains of recent weeks. If the data continues to improve on the inflation side, we could see gold build on recent gains as the dollar eases and yields are pared back. That’s a big “if” after what we’ve seen this year but the data we’ve seen in recent weeks has been very promising.

Risks remain tilted to the downside

The ripple effects of the FTX debacle continue to flow through the crypto industry revealing other vulnerabilities and weighing heavily on prices even amid a broader financial market risk rebound. Bitcoin is trading relatively flat today around $16,500 but the risks remain skewed to the downside amid immense uncertainty.

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