Incisive market commentary from David Morrison

Stay ahead with our market commentary and webinars from our in house market strategist

Open a Live AccountOpen a Demo Account
+ Show blog menu



Collapse 2017 <span class='blogcount'>(348)</span>2017 (348)
Expand November <span class='blogcount'>(26)</span>November (26)
Expand October <span class='blogcount'>(24)</span>October (24)
Expand September <span class='blogcount'>(33)</span>September (33)
Expand August <span class='blogcount'>(26)</span>August (26)
Expand July <span class='blogcount'>(32)</span>July (32)
Expand June <span class='blogcount'>(28)</span>June (28)
Expand May <span class='blogcount'>(35)</span>May (35)
Collapse April <span class='blogcount'>(31)</span>April (31)
GDP data in focus - AM Briefing
28 Apr 2017
ECB round-up and US GDP look-ahead - Video Update
27 Apr 2017
ECB meeting in focus - AM Briefing
27 Apr 2017
ECB's Rate Meeting, a look ahead - Video Update
26 Apr 2017
High hopes for Trump tax cuts - AM Briefing
26 Apr 2017
Global stock indices storm higher - PM Bulletin
25 Apr 2017
Indices mixed after firmer open - AM Briefing
25 Apr 2017
How to use Stop Losses in FX - Trading Guide
24 Apr 2017
French vote sees risk assets soar - AM Briefing
24 Apr 2017
Mixed European open despite Wall Street rally
21 Apr 2017
French Election in focus - Video Update
20 Apr 2017
French election and oil keep investors cautious - AM Briefing
20 Apr 2017
Equities off highs but still show resilience - Video Update
19 Apr 2017
Equities continue to drift lower - AM Bulletin
19 Apr 2017
Sterling soars on early UK election, but France the biggest concern
18 Apr 2017
Europe shrugs off US rally - AM Bulletin
18 Apr 2017
Trump's mouth sends dollar skidding lower - Video Update
13 Apr 2017
Dollar slumps on Trump comments - AM Bulletin
13 Apr 2017
Uncertain outlook ahead of holiday weekend - Video Update
12 Apr 2017
Equities recover after yesterday’s wobble - AM Briefing
12 Apr 2017
USDJPY approaching support - PM Bulletin
11 Apr 2017
Equities drifting in holiday-shortened week - AM Briefing
11 Apr 2017
Look-ahead to Janet Yellen’s speech this evening - PM Bulletin
10 Apr 2017
All eyes on G7 and Yellen - AM Bulletin
10 Apr 2017
US missile attack sends investors into “risk-off” mode - AM Briefing
07 Apr 2017
FOMC minutes rattle investors - Video Update
06 Apr 2017
Stunning reversal greets Fed minutes - AM Briefing
06 Apr 2017
ADP number points to big payroll beat on Friday - Video Update
05 Apr 2017
FOMC minutes in focus - AM Briefing
05 Apr 2017
US indices flag as first quarter ends - PM Bulletin
04 Apr 2017
Disappointing start to the new quarter - AM Briefing
04 Apr 2017
Expand March <span class='blogcount'>(38)</span>March (38)
Expand February <span class='blogcount'>(36)</span>February (36)
Expand January <span class='blogcount'>(39)</span>January (39)
Expand 2016 <span class='blogcount'>(483)</span>2016 (483)


Early moves

·         European equities slip in early trade

·         Investors shrug off yesterday’s US gains

European stock indices were sharply lower mid-morning, shrugging off yesterday’s solid gains on Wall Street. It feels as if European and US investors are looking at different headlines. While US markets soared on Monday, apparently on relief that the long holiday weekend passed off without incident, European players are less sanguine. Certainly, there is little evidence that the relationship between the US and North Korea has improved since last week. On top of this, European investors are wary following the controversial Turkish referendum which saw President Erdogan consolidate and extend his authority and powers in domestic matters. Certainly, this morning’s market action suggests that there are plenty on traders out there who are no longer simply prepared to “buy the dip.”

Financial markets had already been pulling back from their best levels over the past few weeks thanks to doubts over the Trump administration’s ability to push tax cuts, spending plans and regulatory reform through Congress over the coming months. Just this morning US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the FT that the target to get tax reforms through Congress before August was "highly aggressive to not realistic at this point".

Then there are the concerns over the likely pace of Fed monetary tightening just as doubts over US economic growth are being voiced. Yesterday the yield on 10-year Treasuries fell below 2.20% to hit their lowest levels since mid-November. Treasuries did recover somewhat, however this does suggest that the US reflationary trade is over for now.

Stock Index Update

·         European indices shrug off US gains

·         Mixed start for US earnings season

All the European majors closed lower ahead of the Easter break. This was despite a modest turnaround in US indices, particularly the tech-heavy NASDAQ100 going into the long holiday weekend. European markets remained closed yesterday. However there was a big rally in the US indices which saw the Dow, NASDAQ and S&P all up around 0.8% to make back a significant proportion of last week’s losses, and close out at their highs for the session. Yet despite this European equity prices are struggling this morning, suggesting that investors don’t trust yesterday’s US rally.

The first quarter US earnings season has just got underway.  Last week saw the release of earnings reports from three of the biggest US banks. JP Morgan posted earnings per share of $1.65 which was well above the $1.52 expected. These came on revenues of $25.59 billion which again comfortably above the consensus forecast of $24.88 billion. This compared with earnings of $1.35 and revenues of $24.08 for the same time last year. Citigroup posted earnings of $1.35 per share on revenues of $18.12 billion. As with JP Morgan both numbers were safely above the consensus forecast of $1.24 and $17.76 billion respectively. This time last year the bank reported earnings of $1.10 per share on revenues of $17.56 billion. Finally, Wells Fargo reported earnings per share of $1.00 versus the consensus estimate of $0.97. But revenues were a touch light coming in at $22.0 billion against an anticipated figure of $22.32 billion. The shares in all three banks ended lower on Thursday night, with Wells Fargo suffering a particularly sharp sell-off. However, they all bounced yesterday along with the broader market and the question now is whether they can build on those gains in today’s session.

Commodities Update

·         Crude prices head lower

·         Precious metals pull back from best levels

Crude prices began last week rallying sharply. Both Brent and WTI traded up to levels last seen in early March. This was just before the release of US inventory data which showed a record build in stockpiles. The news was the trigger for a dramatic sell-off over the next two weeks, exacerbated by excessive long-side speculative positioning. Oil prices rose at the beginning of last week as the latest US inventory releases showed larger-than-expected drawdowns in crude stockpiles. However, both Brent and WTI have drifted lower ever since in a move that looks like profit-taking more than anything else.

On Thursday the International Energy Agency released its latest monthly report. This suggested that the global oil market is now close to balance after three years of excess supply. Output cuts by OPEC members and a number of other major oil producers have helped to offset a fall in demand growth from amongst the richest nations. At the same time, there’s some robust demand from developing nations such as India and China. But offsetting this to some extent is US production which continues to rise.

Last week gold and silver both soared after President Trump said he thought the dollar was “getting too strong” and that he’d like the Fed to keep interest rates low. The dollar slumped on the news and gold soared above $1,280 and is now back to highs last seen in the immediate aftermath of the presidential election back in November. Silver appeared to make a decisive break above $18.40 - a level that had acted as resistance over the last six weeks - although it ended yesterday’s session sharply lower thanks to a sudden pick-up in US risk appetite. Despite this, like gold, silver is now trading back at levels last seen in the immediate aftermath of the US presidential election. Both precious metals should stay in demand as safe have plays on the back of escalating geopolitical risk. In addition, falling US treasury yields suggest that the bond market is unsure about the pace of monetary tightening from the US Federal Reserve.

Forex Update

·         Dollar remains under pressure

·         US  10-year Treasury yield lowest since November

The US dollar was back in the headlines ahead of last week’s Easter break following comments from President Trump. Investors were taken by surprise by comments made during an interview with the Wall Street Journal.  Mr Trump said he thought the dollar was “getting too strong” and that he’d like the Fed to keep interest rates low. The dollar slumped on the news but then steadied ahead of the Easter break. Traders were keeping a close eye on the 10-year US Treasury yield which fell sharply and broke below support at 2.30%. Yesterday the yield on the key US 10-year Treasury bond broke below 2.20% for the first time since mid-November last year. Much of the move comes as investors seek out US Treasuries as safe haven on rising geopolitical risk.

The dollar and bond yields recovered later in yesterday’s session. This saw the Dollar Index push back above 100.00, but the USDJPY, which is a major signifier of the “risk on/off” trade, is still a long way below 110.00 - a level which has previously acted as significant support.

Upcoming events

Today’s significant economic data releases and events include US Building Permits, Housing Starts, Capacity Utilisation and Industrial Production.


Spread Co is an execution only service provider. The material on this page is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by Spread Co Ltd or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.


Posted by David Morrison

Category: AM Bulletin

Add a comment Add comment            


© 2018 Spread Co Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Spread Co Limited is a limited liability company registered in England and Wales with its registered office at 22 Bruton Street, London W1J 6QE. Company No. 05614477. Spread Co Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Register No. 446677.

Spread betting and CFD trading are leveraged products and can result in losses that exceed your deposits. Ensure you understand the risks.

Losses can exceed deposits. Click here to learn more.