Markets in Details: 22 April 2019

22 April, 2019


  • Crude prices continue to rise on the anticipation that the U.S. will end oil sanctions waivers on Iran oil imports on Monday in a bid to increase pressure on Tehran. WTI traded at 65.70 at 8:30 am London time, posting close to a 3% gain from the prior close.
  • UK retail sales shot up to 1.1% as ONS reported that March consumer data overcame consensus estimates for the third month in a row. However, BOE released data that showed credit card defaults also jumped, to 22.9% in the last quarter, the second highest increase since the financial crisis.
  • Australia announced 26,000 new jobs were added in March, twice larger than estimated. However, unemployment crept up to 5% up from 4.9% that was registered in February. The healthy labor market data is expected to lower expectations of a rate cut by the RBA.
  • Japan’s manufacturing sector weakened for a third straight month as export orders fell and domestic demand continued to show weakness. The Nikkei-Markit flash PMI rose to 49.5 from 49.2 in March marking persisting contraction.
  • Weakness appears to linger around the semiconductor industry after South Korean data suggested declining shipments of chips. Exports of semiconductors were 24% lower YoY in April, a trend consistent with Samsung Electronics’ announcement that profits fell 60 percent in the first quarter.

The Spot Light

  • Markets will be watching how U.S. equities will trade today in light of strength in crude prices, earnings from U.S. companies and European banks this week, before U.S. GDP figures are due on Friday.

Technical Analysis

  • WTI crude oil is testing the 23.6% retracement level after hitting a high of $65.97 earlier today. Prices are currently holding at the 65.51 level with RSI14 at the 64% level, indicating lingering optimism. The last time the asset shot up significantly was 2.6% on Apr. 5,  where it consolidated at the 23.6% Fibonacci level before gaining another 1.6% after a 13-hour consolidation. Expect further strength should the asset find support at the current 23.6% retracement level.

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