The relief rally appears to be over US equities. Stocks are finishing on a positive note, but this week could be a turning point with the stimulus trade. Global equities have been widely supported by unprecedented stimulus from central banks and governments, but that seems to be losing some of its firepower. Risk appetite will likely take direction on expectations on when larger parts of the economy will reopen and on how much damage was done to the US consumer.
Georgia will give key insights to how comfortable businesses and consumers are with reopening their economy. The risks of seeing a spike in cases over the next few weeks seem fairly high and that could eventually set them back even further if they have to return to lockdown mode. Georgia is one of the most important stories right now as it could potentially provide a path on what to expect when other states reach their thresholds to begin reopening.
US stocks ended the day higher after President Trump signed the $484billion coronavirus package into law and after US consumer sentiment steadied.
Currencies were a mixed bag this week. The dollar seems to be fairly supported on safe-haven flows as most emerging market currencies appear to remain very vulnerable.
Oil prices continue to recover following Tuesday’s historic plunge. Oil prices are somewhat benefitting from continued production cut headlines. The weekly Baker Hughes rig count showed US explorers idled 14% of onshore drilling fleet. With crude storage capacity possibly upon energy markets over the next few weeks, old wells will be shut-in and capex reductions will likely mean new drilling will not happen anytime soon.
Despite all the production cuts that are taking place, the coronavirus demand devastation still leaves this market heavily oversupplied. WTI crude will have a hard time breaking above the $20 a barrel level and unless larger production cuts are announced next week, bearishness should keep oil prices heavy.
Gold finished the week slightly softer as profit-taking kicked in and some optimism grew that US consumer sentiment is improving. Equities are poised for their first weekly decline in three weeks and that should translate into higher gold prices next week if that continues. This time, falling global equities will unlikely trigger another wave of panic-selling that will punish gold prices. Gold’s bullishness is ready to resume as stimulus efforts seem to be poised to intensify next week. Pressure is on the BOJ and ECB to deliver more support, and while the Fed gets a pass next week, traders need to remember they have set the benchmark on how to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
Bitcoin appears to have started the weekend early. Down modestly on the day, the world’s largest cryptocurrency appears to overcome its recent tight trading range. Bitcoin had a tremendous week and could build upon it next week as a fresh wave of stimulus seems set to be unleashed by the BOJ and ECB. Positive sentiment appears to be creeping back into cryptocurrencies and that could help support Bitcoin back above the $8000 level.