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Stocks Drop As Hot Data Drives Rate Hike Bets

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

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OANDA – Stocks drop as hot data drives rate hike bets, US data impresses, BOC tightens as expected, Oil rallies, Gold turns positive

US stocks turned negative as expectations grew that the Fed won’t be easing up on its rate-hiking campaign after both solid US economic data and aggressive rate hiking talk by the Bank of Canada. The US economy is still looking pretty good and that means the Fed may need to stick with the half-point rate hike pace beyond the summer. Everyone expects economic activity to soften over the next couple of months, especially since inflation risks remain elevated and now that the Fed has begun shrinking its $8.9 trillion dollar balance sheet.

Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The mood on Wall Street is turning very negative as the economy is headed for a rough patch. Comments from JPMorgan CEO Dimon that the economy is headed for a “hurricane” are also weighing on sentiment.

Russia technically defaulted and that triggered a massive payout on as much as $3.2 billion swaps.  The missed interest payment of $1.9 million in a late bond payment made this happen.  Eventually traders expected Russia to default, this happened a lot sooner than anyone expected.  ​

Last week’s stock market rebound appears to be in jeopardy since the Fed might not get any justification for a couple more months to become more conservative with the tightening of policy.

US data

The ISM manufacturing report and job openings data suggest the economy is cooling but still fairly strong.  The ISM report showed manufacturing activity remained robust in May.  The headline manufacturing gauge printed at 56.1, higher than both the consensus estimate of 54.5 and the April reading of 55.4.  New orders, backlog of orders, and production all rose, while prices paid and employment declined.

The JOLTS report reminded traders that despite all the fears of economic weakness, the labor market is still strong.  Job openings posted a smaller-than-expected decline as job openings in the service sector surpassed positions available in the goods-producing sector. If the labor market remains robust, inflationary pressures won’t ease quickly at all.

BOC

This was an easy rate decision for the Bank of Canada.  The battle against inflation is heating up and the BOC seems positioned to deliver more super-sized rate hikes in the coming months.  The decision to raise its key interest rate by 50 basis points to 1.50% was widely expected given the last meeting saw the largest increase in 22 years.

The Bank warned that it could be more forceful if needed and that comment alone sent global bond yields higher.  ​

Oil

Oil prices are rallying as the crude fundamentals continue to turn bullish, while uncertainty persists with how OPEC+ will handle Russia’s output quota and if the group will be able to deliver more output in the coming months. Economic data from the US shows the economy is holding up, which supports the idea that crude demand should improve and that this will be a strong driving season.

OPEC+ needs to figure out how they will handle Russia’s crude output quota, but regardless the group as a whole has limited spare capacity.  This oil market will remain tight until demand destruction becomes an issue, but right now that doesn’t seem like that will happen anytime soon.

Gold

Gold is getting its groove back on safe-haven flows as investor worries return that the Fed may not be easing up its rate-hiking campaign anytime soon. Wage pressures in the US are not easing and that should keep inflationary pressures going for a few more months.

The war in Ukraine could see an escalation after the US has signaled, they will give Ukraine advanced rocket systems.  Gold could thrive as safe-haven flows will only grow as geopolitical risks remain elevated and over fears of aggressive global central bank tightening.

Article by Edward Moya, OANDA

Updated on

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