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Topic: Daily Fundamental ForexTime ( FXTM )

Daily Fundamental ForexTime ( FXTM )

US stocks: More bumps ahead?

Asians stocks are putting in a mixed shift after Wall Street was unable to sustain its mid-week rebound. Investors are also mulling the prospects of another round of US fiscal stimulus arriving before the November elections, which have now grown slim, after Senate Democrats shot down the Republican’s downsized proposal. The MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI), which measures the performance of global equities, is set for two straight weeks of losses, with such an instance only last seen in March.

The heightened volatility in the markets of late is evidenced by the Volatility Index (VIX) rising above its 100- and 200-day moving averages, though the index has now moderated from its peak a week ago and now reads slightly below the psychologically-important 30 level.

Investors apparently remain trepidatious about preserving the same break-neck speeds in adding to stocks’ advances, considering the still-lofty valuations. Yet the desire to push US stocks even higher is still attempting to gain critical mass, with benchmark futures edging higher at the time of writing, while FXTM trader's overall sentiment is long on the US SPX 500 (Mini).

Watch out for witching day

Looking ahead, there could be even more volatility in store, with quadruple witching day for US markets set to happen in a week from now. On September 18, Futures and Options on Indices and Stocks are set to meet their quarterly expiration, which can trigger heightened volatility and a surge in trade volumes.

In the week before the June quadruple witching day, the S&P 500 tumbled by as much as 7.7 percent and the VIX breached above the 40 mark. Since the June 19th quadruple witching event, the VIX then moderated through end-August, even flirting with its long-term average of 20, while the S&P 500 added another 12 percent through the end of August.

Perhaps the volatility so far this month is just another bump in the road for US stocks, as investors pursue new record highs, emboldened by the tremendous support from global central banks.

Beleaguered Pound helps Dollar index stay afloat

The Dollar index (DXY) has managed to clamber back on top of the 93.0 psychological level and keep its head above the 30-day simple moving average, as EURUSD’s break above 1.19 proved fleeting. Still, the Euro’s resilience remains a drag on the DXY, having set aside the notion of immediate central bank intervention in the bloc’s currency for the time being.

The DXY’s fortunes are also aided by the weaker Pound, which accounts for 11.9 percent of the DXY. With bigger cracks showing up in UK-EU talks, it raises the threat of a no-deal Brexit on December 31. Having concluded eight rounds of negotiations, with another round set to take place in Brussels next week, the Brexit drama could return with a vengeance and haunt the British Pound. The uncertainty is expected to keep GBPUSD in the sub-1.30 region over the coming weeks, barring a miraculous breakthrough in negotiations or a sudden bout of weakness in the US Dollar.

The US inflation outlook remains a key driver of the US Dollar, with the August CPI data in focus today. Although the spectre of faster US inflation, as tolerated by the Fed, threatens to erode the Dollar’s allure, markets remain sceptical over the source of such upward price pressures, especially considering the uneven recovery in the US jobs market as seen in Thursday’s disappointing weekly US jobless claims data. Without the promise of incoming fiscal support over the near-term, coupled with the rising political uncertainty surrounding the November elections, such concerns may in turn bolster support for the Greenback.

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Daily Fundamental ForexTime ( FXTM )

A not-so-happy birthday for OPEC

On 14th September 1960, OPEC was born in Baghdad, aiming to “co-ordinate and unify petroleum policies among Member Countries”. 60 years later, the alliance is being strained by a global pandemic.

OPEC’s birthday week holds key events that could influence the near-term performance of Oil prices. Later today, OPEC is set to release its Monthly Oil Market Report, complete with its outlook on global demand and output. Then on Thursday, the OPEC+ Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee is scheduled to meet and discuss the efficacy of its supply cuts, while assessing the level of compliance among members.

Recall that back in April, OPEC+ agreed to an unprecedented supply cuts deal, shaving off 9.7 million barrels per day (bdp) from its collective output, only to then ease off by about two million bpd starting last month in hopes that global demand will stage a sustained recovery.

However, things haven’t quite panned out as they hoped.

Both Crude and Brent are coming off back-to-back weekly drops for the first time since April. On a month-to-date basis, Brent and WTI futures have fallen by over 12 percent respectively, leaving both to be ‘scooped up’ by their 100-day simple moving averages. Both these instruments are also trying to claw themselves out of the ‘oversold’ domain, judging by their respective 14-day relative strength indices having dipped into sub-30 levels recently. At the time of writing, Brent and WTI futures are about 35 percent lower so far in 2020.

The slide in Oil prices comes amid signs that the global demand recovery appears to have stalled. Diesel stockpiles in Singapore are at their highest since 2011, while Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and other Gulf producers have slashed the pricing on their respective crude grades to the US and Asia. Oil supermajor, BP, recently cited the risk that global demand may never recover to pre-pandemic levels, while traders are buying up tankers in case they need to hold crude supplies for months. According to CFTC data, short-selling on Oil has risen to its highest levels since the historic crash in April this year, when WTI futures were sent into negative territory.

This week, investors will be monitoring how much sway the alliance could still have over global markets, even as these major Oil-producing nations aim to shore up prices. While its 60th birthday celebrations had to be put on hold due to Covid-19 restrictions, OPEC may not be able to hold off further intervention for much longer if Oil prices keep unwinding more of its recovery from the past five months.

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Daily Fundamental ForexTime ( FXTM )

China’s better-than-expected data push stocks higher

Chinese stocks are advancing on Tuesday morning, with the Shanghai Composite Index and the CSI 300 erasing losses from today’s open, after the world’s second largest economy posted a slate of better-than-expected data for August’s industrial production, as well as investments in fixed assets and property. Retail sales officially returned to positive territory with a 0.5 percent growth compared to August 2019; its first on-year expansion so far this year. The Chinese Renminbi is now at its strongest versus the US Dollar in over a year, trading on the stronger side of 6.8 psychological level for the first time since May 2019.

Such data underscores the notion that China is making further inroads into the post-pandemic era, adding another dimension to the recovery in the world’s second largest economy. Industrial production has been recording on-year gains since April, and a resurgence in domestic consumption could further buffer China’s role in leading the world towards relegating the pandemic’s ill effects to the past. This also shows that a firm grip on the outbreak is paramount before any economy can boost its recovery prospects.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also counts itself among the few gainers in Asia. If this holds at the close, the benchmark would post its first 3-day run of advances since early July. The HSI50 is now testing its 100-day simple moving average, which is now acting as the immediate resistance line, even as the index is squeezed into a triangle pattern.

Asian stocks are broadly mixed, as it struggles to maintain the strong start to the week. At the time of writing, Japan’s Nikkei 225 has erased Monday’s advances, as the benchmark’s quest to return to year-to-date growth appears to have stalled. The Nikkei 225 remains some 1.3 percent lower so far in 2020.

Despite Japanese stocks having the biggest weightage by country on the MSCI AC Asia Pacific index, 34.09 percent to be more precise, the benchmark for regional equities has still managed to post a year-to-date gain of over one percent, powered on by Chinese stocks which account for 26.42 percent of the overall index. Despite the selloff earlier this month, Asian stocks were able to bounce off the MSCI index’s 50-day moving average and to remain in the green so far in 2020.

Still, there are several key events that could sway global sentiment over the coming days. The Fed’s policy decision and Fed chair Jerome Powell’s press conference, slated early Thursday morning before Asian markets open, could have a major say over how markets perform. Should investors get further assurances that the US monetary policy will maintain its ultra-accommodative stance, that could allow investors to continue nibbling at riskier assets. US equity futures are pushing slightly into the green at the time of writing, suggesting further gains at the New York open.

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Mid-week technical outlook: Gold waits for Fed decision

The Federal Reserve monetary policy announcement later today will be the most important economic event of September.

Although the central bank is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, much of the focus will be directed towards the economic projections, Powell’s press conference and updated ‘dot plot’ forecast of interest rate moves. Given how this will be the first meeting after the Fed announced its new average inflation targeting (AIT) framework, there could be some volatility in the Dollar as investors sift for clarity during the meeting.

Back in June, policy members projected GDP to decline 6.5% in 2020 while unemployment was seen rising 9.3%. However, the current unemployment rate of 8.4% is already below the medium forecast - something that could allow the Fed to express some confidence over the US economy.

Let’s be honest, the US economy is certainly not out of the woods yet despite the improving unemployment rate.

Rising coronavirus cases in major states coupled with the congressional stalemate over a new fiscal package remain major threats to the country’s economic outlook. Markets expect the Fed to signal that interest rates will remain unchanged and close to zero through the end of 2023! But It will still be interesting to hear Jerome Powell’s thoughts on the latest developments, in addition to how high or how long the Fed will allow inflation to overshoot the 2% target.

What does this all mean for Gold?

Gold seems to be drawing strength from a softer Dollar this morning as anticipation mounts ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting.

Regardless of the choppiness witnessed over the past few weeks, the precious metal remains underpinned by low-to-negative government bond yields, rising COVID-19 cases in the United States and a tired Dollar.

Price action suggests that the precious metal is in search of a fresh directional catalyst to breakout of the current range. This may come in the form of the Fed meeting today.

After the Federal Reserve’s policy shift to let inflation rip, the big question on the mind of many investors is how will the central bank put this policy to action? Clarity on this could provide Gold a tailwind as the metal is seen as a hedge against inflation. Additionally, a dovish sound Fed could weaken the Dollar, further supporting Gold prices.

Looking at the technical picture, strong support can be found around $1910 and resistance around $1985. The solid daily close above the $1952 intraday resistance level may open the doors towards $1985. If $1952 proves to be unreliable support, prices may decline back towards $1910.

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Stocks tumble after Powell’s warnings over US economic recovery

Fed chair Jerome Powell poured cold water over stock markets during his latest press conference on Wednesday, as he expressed doubts whether the US economic recovery can persist at the same pace without more fiscal stimulus.

Asian equities are in a sea of red, after US stock indices posted declines on Wednesday. The Dow Jones index was the sole exception, as it eked out a 0.13 percent advance, aided by the climbs in the industrials and financials segments. The US central bank left interest rates unchanged at the record low during their meeting this week, and suggested that rates could be kept near zero until the year 2023, or at least until the US can return to maximum employment and reach the average two percent inflation. Such an ultra-accommodative interest rate environment should keep global equities well bid over the coming years. In technical terms, the Dow may be able to call upon its 50-day moving (MA) average to guide the index higher eventually. However, at the time of writing, the FXTM trader's sentiment is short on the Wall Street 30 (Mini).

However, stocks bulls may not get the near-term boost that they desire, considering the stalemate in negotiations over the next round of US fiscal stimulus. Despite US President Donald Trump saying on Wednesday evening that he was more open to bridging the gap with Democrats, markets remain doubtful that the next support package can arrive before the elections on November 3. Global investors are also fearing a delayed outcome to the polls, with the political uncertainty further delaying the much-need financial support. Such a major event risk, if it happens, is then likely to trigger heightened volatility in global equities. At the time of writing, US stock futures are edging slightly lower.

The concerns over the delayed US fiscal stimulus are also set to colour the jobless claim data due out later Thursday, with both initial claims as well as continuing claims expected to show slight declines. Yet, with about 13 million Americans still having to rely on unemployment benefits along with the more than 800,000 still being added to that list per week, such figures only underscore the need for more financial support for the vulnerable segments of the US economy. Further signs that the recovery in the US jobs market is stalling, even as the world’s largest economy presses on with its reopening, could trigger more risk aversion which may push the Dollar index closer to its 50-day MA.

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Bank of England pour fuel onto the GBP fire

[SIZE="3"]Although the BoE kept policy measures and rates unchanged at its meeting today, it said it had explored plans to take interest rates into negative territory if necessary. The bank’s main scenario is based on the UK signing a Brexit trade deal before the end of the year, so the market has reacted strongly in light of the negative recent headlines and increasing risk of a no-deal. At one point, the GBP was one of the weakest major currencies on the day, down nearly 0.7% while money markets have been given little choice but to price in negative rates in early 2021.

Although it would seem that more QE and bond buying will take place ahead of negative rates, sub-zero borrowing costs are not just in the toolbox now, but briefings are taking place on how to implement them effectively. And that is the sixty-four million pound question as negative rates have failed to boost the economies of Japan and Europe, hurting the banking sector in the process who park their funds with the central banks.

The damage to Sterling has been done and the recent softening in the UK government stance by giving a veto to Parliament over some measures of the Internal Market bill doesn’t appear to be enough to change the odds so far of any kind of success in the trade talks. The 50-day Moving Average at 1.2993 was too much of a hurdle for Cable but the pair has found near-term support at 1.2850.

Fed aftermath leaves risk off, for now

The Dollar is consolidating its gains from overnight with US stocks opening firmly lower as the disappointment from last night’s meeting grows. The Fed delivered the minimum dovish statement on QE as the bar to ‘outdove’ itself and shake the prevailing stance was high. Chair Powell emphasised the steady profile of rates in the coming years and the fact that data has surprised to the upside is clearly positive, with the upcoming elections and the pressure now on government to do more.

Further out, in an average inflation targeting regime, what matters is continuously easier financial conditions, and this ultimately means the Dollar trading weaker in the Fed’s fight for higher inflation. DXY’s pop higher earlier this morning bumped up near to resistance at this month’s peak around 93.66. If prices continue to struggle, then bears will attack 92.70/80 as the first support ahead of the big figure.

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Daily Fundamental ForexTime ( FXTM )

US stocks near correction territory; is it time to turn bullish?

Equity markets sold off aggressively on Wednesday dragging the S&P 500 2.4% lower for the day and the index is now down nearly 9% from its record high set at the start of the month. We are almost in correction territory for the world’s most followed stock market, which is defined as a 10% fall from its latest peak. Meanwhile the tech heavy Nasdaq composite is already in one, having lost 12% in value from its August highs.

Investors who missed the six-month rally since March may find it compelling to dive in now as many stocks have corrected their excessive valuations, especially on the Tech front. The likes of Tesla, Apple and Amazon have been dragged 15% to 30% lower in a matter of three weeks. The selloff however has been broader this time, with the energy sector back to the April levels when Oil futures contracts fell into negative territory for the first time ever.

If the latest selloff is just about the removal of froth and a healthy correction, it may indicate we are near a bottom and it’s time to reaccumulate stocks. This approach would be based on the notion that the US and the global economy will continue heading in the right direction towards a full recovery. And with central banks across the globe remaining extremely generous with their policies, we should not worry about some bumps along the road.

However, the risks of a stalling recovery are growing as spikes in Covid-19 cases surge across Europe and expectations are for similar trends in the US if no action is taken. The virus continues to be winning at this stage and there are no clear answers as to when a vaccine will be delivered.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell and some of his colleagues are pressing Congress for more fiscal stimulus, in a sign that monetary policy cannot do much more to support the economy. But heading into the Presidential election and given how divided Congress is, the chances of delivering a stimulus package soon is fading. Add to this President Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful handover of power if he loses the election on 3 November and it all makes great ingredients for extreme uncertainty and volatility in asset prices.

Overall, we continue to see the risks skewed to the downside and more volatility in the next two months, so despite the recent correction in prices, it does not look tempting to turn overly bullish. Unless Congress surprises us with another convincing round of fiscal stimulus, it will be wise to wait for more attractive valuations.

Gold is another asset that has been sold aggressively over the past four days. This is mainly due to the stronger Dollar, a slight increase in real yields and a break below the $1,900 support level. Expect Gold to gain some traction here as its one of the few assets available to hedge against future expected volatility and the prolonged period of low interest rates.

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Mixed market mood continues

European stocks have hit three-month lows as worries about the prolonged economic damage from coronavirus will not go away, while US markets are volatile, with the Nasdaq on course for its worst month since March. The tech-heavy index touched official ‘correction’ territory just after the open, but this comes after a rampant 65% gain from April to the August highs. It certainly seems like markets are working it out now that fiscal action in the US will be limited to damage control rather than any significant spending package if it comes before the Presidential elections.

One asset which is liking all this uncertainty and disappointment from a Fed waving the white flag in the last few days, is the Dollar. The greenback has added to its gains through the week as it sits on track for its strongest weekly performance since early-April. The shorts are definitely trimming their positions and running to the ‘close position’ door in quick fashion ahead of the depressing increases in virus contagions.

Fed speakers are again on tap this afternoon after yesterday’s continued line that they will remain on hold for a long time and are unwilling to go the extra mile. While they are not able or willing to inject more momentum into the reflation trade, pushing the onus increasingly on to the fiscal policymakers and Government, markets are in a sombre mood.

Sunak giving a boost to Sterling

The pound is the top performing major currency today, as it makes back some of the 4.5% drop it has suffered since the start of September. The UK Chancellor unveiled support measures this afternoon for jobs and businesses, as the Government strives to ‘protect jobs though the winter’. Unemployment would have risen sharply in the coming months as the furlough scheme ends in October, but the new scheme is less generous. More importantly for the Treasury, it will cost alot less which matters when the size of UK public debt was equivalent to UK GDP at the end of July.

Cable is just about bouncing off the crossing of the 100- and 200-day Moving Averages at 1.2703 and 1.2722 respectively. Prices need to get back above the mid-September lows around 1.2762 to have a chance of building any bullish momentum. Allowing for the current pause in recent selling, indicators looks quite bearish with 1.2650 opening up, if the Moving Averages prove to be feeble in their support.

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Is the best of the recovery behind us?

Signs that the spread of coronavirus is gathering pace and dwindling US stimulus hopes have dented sentiment today, with major US stock markets opening up more than 1% lower. While some of the losses have been clawed back on news President Trump is willing to look beyond the current $1.8 trillion package, markets are in gloomy mood.

The Vix index – the so-called Wall Street ‘fear gauge’ – has jumped up above 28 and is much higher than its long-term average around 20. With market sentiment wilting, the Dollar is trading broadly higher with higher beta currencies taking a pounding. The release of the weekly US initial jobless claims has also not helped the mood, with the print of 895k claims coming in well above the 825k estimate. The figures may be distorted by a processing backlog in California, but the uptick is certainly disconcerting in the current environment.

PM Johnson will officially decide tomorrow whether the UK will remain at the Brexit negotiating table. The bar for walking away seems very high at the moment, particularly with clear downside risks to the domestic economy from imminent new lockdown measures. There is pressure on France by Germany to soften its demands on fisheries and accept a deal, but the choppy nature of sterling this week is likely to continue as headline havoc continues.

Potential November rate cut hurting AUD

Higher beta currencies are struggling today and overnight dovish comments by RBA Governor Lowe have added to the Aussie’s pain. He said the bank could cut rates to 0.1% and leave them at lower levels for longer. This cautious stance outweighed the better-than-expected jobs report, which saw the unemployment rate stay below 7%.

AUD/USD has sliced through the 100-day Moving Average today at 0.7091 and a strong close below here may see prices test the September low just above 0.70. However, the pair was supported by the 100-day MA back then so the close is crucial.

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Daily Fundamental ForexTime ( FXTM )

Oil: Stuck around $40 with nowhere to go

Later today, OPEC+ is set for a meeting to evaluate the state of the global market. And the outlook isn’t particularly inspiring for Oil bulls.

Since bouncing out from under the $20/bbl in April, Brent Oil’s recovery has plateaued, even as it keeps its head above the psychologically-important $40/bbl line. Still, the MACD clearly points to waning momentum, with Oil prices having stuck to a sideways range since September. The FXTM Trader's Sentiments also appears rather evenly split, with 52 percent net long on this asset.

Likewise, Crude oil prices are seeing similar fortunes, drifting sideways, even as it consolidates around its 50-day simple moving average. Although the International Energy Agency estimates that the demand for oil worldwide has been restored to 94 percent of pre-pandemic levels, markets are clearly not convinced.

Recall back in April, OPEC and its allies had agreed to aggressively lower their collective output in order to rebalance global markets. From the 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) that were removed starting May, those production cuts were set to be eased by about 3.9 million bpd at the start of 2021, which is in just 74 days. Their initial hopes that global demand would’ve recovered sufficiently by now to warrant restoring more Oil supply into the world has clearly been decimated by the pandemic’s refusal to go quietly into the night.

As the OPEC+ Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee meet on Monday, the alliance will be under pressure to delay their supply ramp-up, given how the global economy is still faltering in its post-pandemic recovery. The total number of Covid-19 cases is nearing the 40 million mark, and major Western economies are still, till this day, battling the coronavirus’s spread within their own borders. While eschewing the nationwide lockdowns that were commonplace during the first half of the year, more targeted restrictions still impede economic activity. With schools shut, work-from-home orders in place, and little allowance for social activities, such measures erode the world’s demand for Oil. Such persistent demand-side concerns ensure that the upside for Oil prices remain capped for the time being.

At least China is a bright spark in the global economy. The world’s second largest economy grew by 4.9 percent in Q3, while its industrial production and retail sales for September exceeded market expectations. During its Golden Week holidays earlier this month, that were about 425 million trips made across China within a four-day period. However, more major economies need to follow China’s lead and keep the coronavirus in check, before Oil prices can see a sustainable lift.

Although no decision is expected out of OPEC+ until December 1, the signs are already there that this alliance of major Oil producers may have to keep their output levels suppressed for longer if they are to retain hope that prices can climb higher from current levels. Until there is a vaccine that can help speed up the global economic recovery, perhaps Oil bulls would be content sitting off to the sidelines in the interim.

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Daily Fundamental ForexTime ( FXTM )

New record high for FXTM Social Media Index

Amid the ongoing US election uncertainty, investors stuck to a tried-and-tested play during this pandemic era. With neither Joe Biden nor President Donald Trump having yet attained the 270 electorate votes needed to claim an outright win, market participants flocked to US tech counters once more.

This market action helped propel the FXTM Social Media Index to a new record high, after posting a 6.3 percent gain on Wednesday. That bested the Nasdaq 100’s 4.4 percent advance and the S&P 500’s 2.2 percent climb for the day. The FXTM Social Media Index’s record-setting performance was enabled by the stellar gains in its constituents:

Facebook: 8.3%
Google: 6%
Twitter: 2.5%
Snapchat: 2%

And with Nasdaq futures edging into the green at the time of writing, that could translate into further gains for the FXTM Social Media index on Thursday as well.

Big Tech rejoices at divided US government

Investors continue to be gripped by the latest developments surrounding the US presidential elections, with former vice-president Joe Biden appearing closest to snatching victory. Having just won Michigan and Wisconsin, he is now estimated to be just six electoral votes short of the winning 270.

Yet, as noted within hours after the polls closed, the expected “blue wave” had evaporated. This sets up a challenging path for any new policies to be pushed through the chambers of the US government. A Biden administration, if he does indeed clinch victory, would be met with stiff opposition from a Republican-controlled Senate. In such a scenario, the heightened regulatory pressures that Democrats wish to impose on Big Tech (including Google, Facebook, Twitter) would first have to overcome stern opposition from across the political divide. As investors did the math as to who will occupy Capitol Hill over the coming years, tech stocks were able to punch higher at the thought that further scrutiny by lawmakers may be blunted by a divided US government.

At the same time, tech megacaps are set to enjoy pandemic-related tailwinds for a while more. With the US registering 100,000 cases in a single day, physical economic activities are not expected to be restored to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon, which should ensure heightened reliance on tech.

Standby by tumultuous Thursday?

Still, we must stop ourselves from getting carried away; the 2020 US presidential elections has not yet reached a conclusive end. Should President Trump’s legal onslaught gain traction and manage to put any state’s electoral votes into doubt, having already launched lawsuits in three different states, that may still spark a bout of risk aversion and prompt global equities to unwind some of the gains in the week so far.

Beyond the US elections, the Federal Reserve is due to make a policy decision later today, although the FOMC is expected to leave its policy settings unchanged. The weekly US jobless claims is expected to show stubbornly elevated levels of over 700,000 Americans claiming unemployment benefits for the week.

Still, barring any shocks out of the Fed or the US economic data releases, the latest developments pertaining to the presidential race are expected to hold court over global market sentiment as investors keenly await the declaration of the official winner.

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Technical outlook: Gold tumbles to 4-month low[

After being trapped within a wide range for many weeks, Gold has finally broken below the stubborn $1850 support level.

The primary culprits behind Gold’s sharp decline revolved around the better-than-expected U.S business activity data and rising optimism over the progress in a Covid-19 vaccine. Appetite towards the safe-haven asset took another hit amid the triggering of a formal transition process to President-elect Joe Biden. With Biden set to nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to become the next Treasury secretary, this may boost the prospects for further fiscal and monetary stimulus given her reputation as a dove. Such a move has been welcomed by investors, with the risk-on sentiment further pressuring Gold which has weakened over 2% since the start of the week.

Now that Gold bears have awoken from hibernation and broken below the $1850 support level, the path of least resistance for the precious metal points south. Given how the MACD trades to the downside and the death cross technical formation – (where the 50-day simple moving average crosses below the 100-day simple moving average) is in play, bears are currently in the driving seat. Sustained weakness below the $1850 support may open the doors towards $1815 level and the psychological $1800 level above the 200-day simple moving average.

Zooming out to the weekly timeframe, a solid close below the $1850 could signal the start of a bearish trend. Prices are already trading below the 20 SMA while the MACD is displaying early signs of crossing to the downside. Should bears keep prices below $1850 this week, previous support could transform into a dynamic resistance that encourages a decline towards $1800 and $1760.

For those who are focusing on the shorter timeframes, there are some interesting developments on the hourly charts. An intraday rebound towards the $1840 level could be on the cards. Should this level prove to be reliable resistance, prices may decline back towards the $1820 level. If the risk-on mood further dampens appetite for the safe-haven asset, prices may break below $1820 with the psychological $1800 a key point of interest.

Back to the fundamentals…

While the positive vaccine news is set to impact Gold in the near term, the medium to longer term outlook may be influenced by lower interest rates and possible rise in inflation. Given how the Federal Reserve is expected to leave interest rates unchanged until at least 2023, the central bank could expand its QE program to support the US economy. Such may weaken the Dollar – essentially providing support to Gold.

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Risk sentiment on thinning ice

Asian stocks are mixed while US and European equity futures are slightly lower, as risk appetite attempts to overcome concerns over the efficacy of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine. Investor confidence had been shaken after learning about the manufacturing error in the drugmaker’s vaccine trials, prompting Thursday declines in European equities, Oil prices, and even Bitcoin.

Since the US elections, traders had been pricing in a picture-perfect post-vaccine world. The positive developments surrounding the three leading vaccine candidates formed a metaphorical three-legged stool, on which risk appetite rested upon. Now that one of those legs is showing signs of coming loose, given the unsettling AstraZeneca revelations, that has triggered a wobble in risk assets.

The market reaction of late underscores how sensitive investors sentiment is to developments surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine. Positive developments this month have translated into eye-popping gains in beaten-down sectors such as energy, financials, and even mall-based retailers, while the Dow Jones index posted a new record high. From such giddy heights, any dent to that rosey post-pandemic outlook has the potential to trigger risk-aversion, as was clearly the case in the latter part of the week.

Still, investors are hoping that the promise of a Covid-19 vaccine will come good, with the US Food and Drug Administration set to convene on December 10th to discuss the emergency use application for Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine. As long as those approvals happen without a hitch, that should ensure a supportive environment for risk assets to climb higher going into 2021, with the global rollout of the vaccine set to bring the world closer to pre-pandemic life.

Gold bulls waiting to catch a break

In the meantime, Gold prices have continued to struggled under the weight of the risk-on sentiment evident for much of November, with the top Bullion ETF set to record its highest monthly outflow since 2017. The climb in US Treasury yields since August, coupled with the Dollar index’s refusal to capitulate below the 92 psychological level, have also contributed to the 12 percent decline from Gold’s record high.

Traders will be closely monitoring how reliably spot Gold’s 200-day simple moving average can perform its role as a crucial support level. It remains to be seen whether Gold bulls can gather enough mass to keep prices supported, as they continue pinning their hopes on an overshoot in US inflationary pressures, aided by fresh rounds of fiscal and monetary stimulus. The relenting of such expectations en masse could then translate into a sustained presence below $1800, as investors rotate out of the precious metal into other asset classes that are currently in vogue, such as equities.

Oil awaits crucial OPEC+ supply decision

Oil prices are paring Thursday’s losses, as investors hold on to expectations that next week’s OPEC+ meeting will result in pushing back plans to ease their supply cuts by three months, despite signs of tensions within the group of major Oil producers. Both Brent and WTI futures are still on course for a fourth consecutive weekly gain, ahead of the crucial OPEC+ decision due next week.

Should OPEC+ press ahead with bringing 1.9 million barrels a day back into global markets in January as intended, that would deal a nasty shock to Brent Oil and bring the benchmark back down closer to the $40/bbl mark. A shorter delay of less than three months could also prompt Oil to unwind some of its November gains. Still, Oil prices should enjoy enough support from the optimism surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine, provided that too isn’t derailed.

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