Informal OPEC meeting seizes limelight

29 September, 2016

Global stocks were chaotic on Tuesday with most equities vibrating between losses and gains as the mixture of anticipation ahead of OPEC’s informal meeting and ongoing discussions over the results of the first presidential debate created explosive levels of volatility. Asian shares started Wednesday on a shaky footing with the Nikkei descending -1.31% lower following oil’s steep decline which soured investor risk sentiment. Although European stocks have displayed signs of resilience, the lingering concerns over Deutsche Bank could cap upside gains. Wall Street received a welcome boost following Hillary Clinton’s firm performance against Donald trump in the presidential debate which boosted appetite towards riskier assets. While the short term gains in stocks are somewhat impressive, investors should remain diligent as the elevated concerns over the global economy and persistent Brexit uncertainty could trigger another wave of risk aversion.

Dollar edges higher

Dollar bulls received a lifeline during trading on Tuesday following the impressive consumer confidence report which elevated sentiment towards the US economy. As of late, the Greenback has been pressured by the diminishing expectations over the Federal Reserve raising US interest rates in 2016 but yesterday’s data provided somewhat of a lifeline. With the visible Fed divide amplifying the Dollar sensitivity, more explosive moves could be observed in the future. Although sentiment remains somewhat Bullish towards the Dollar, further positive domestic data may be needed for the Fed to justify raising US rates in December. Attention may be directed towards Fed Chair Janet Yellen's testimony which could provide additional clarity on when the central bank plans to break this prolonged trend of central bank caution. The Dollar Index remains pressured below 95.50 and a decisive break down below 95.00 could open a path lower towards 94.00.

Will OPEC disappoint again?

WTI received a slight uplift on Wednesday with prices perching towards $45.00 after industry data displayed an unexpected draw in U.S crude stocks. Regardless of the short-term gains, Oil remains heavily pressured with the ongoing concerns over the excessive oversupply providing a foundation for bears to attack. There is very little optimism over Wednesday’s informal OPEC consultation meeting concluding with a solution to the oil glut and this should cap upside gains. It is becoming increasingly clear that major OPEC members are engaged in a quest to reclaim market share with this prisoner’s dilemma ensuring low oil prices remain a recurrent theme in the medium to long term. Bears are on the prowl, and the catalyst that could send oil lower may be if investors are left empty handed once again today. From a technical standpoint, WTI may be vulnerable to heavy losses once the $43 support is conquered.

Commodity spotlight – Gold

Gold tumbled to fresh weekly lows at $1322.40 on Wednesday following Dollars resurgence which enticed Gold bears to install repeated rounds of selling. This commodity is currently engaged in a fierce tug of war with risk aversion, Dollar sensitivity and fluctuating expectations over the Fed raising US interest rates in December. Although Hillary Clinton's firm performance against Donal trump enticed investors towards riskier assets, the uncertainty ahead of November’s presidential election could rekindle the yellow metal's safe haven lustre. A hawkish tilted Yellen today may leave Gold open to further losses as optimism renews over the Fed stepping forward this year. From a technical standpoint, Gold is trapped in a wide range with support at $1305 and resistance at $1350. It could take an unexpected catalyst to provide Gold the direction investors have long sought.


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