U.S. stocks finished a tempestuous session lower but off the New York session bottoms as the most recent political disorder in D.C. and the latest on trade not only tossed a wet blanket on demand for riskier assets but has shrouded the market in a thick layer of confusion.
The market isn’t clear on what to make of the latest impeachment developments in the U.S., and this continues to increase uncertainly and could be weighing on investor sentiment.
Compounding this uncertainty is the stark reality that most of the global economy is moving in reverse while omnipresent geopolitical unease ensures the market remains in a constant wobble on a forever shifting trade war axis.
The robust U.S. economic data suggest the world’s largest economy remains on a solid foundation, adding to the U.S. dollar haven and growth differential appeal. Indeed if US consumer were worried about the negative fallout from trade wars, it’s certainly not stopping them from making the most significant purchase of their life as US new home sales are now surging thanks to the Federal Reserve Board’s accommodative policy.
However, the market does appear to be more concerned about US-China trade the and investors reaction function could significantly depend on what direction and intensity trade war winds blow. Sort of like an ambling hot air balloon.
Still, the market remains in limbo trying to decide how the ” whistle-blower ” impeachment push may impact White House decisions on trade negotiations.
Don’t toss the geopolitical risk premiums out with the water just yet.
Oil changed course higher after the US made public their intention to beef up air defence systems and send troops to Saudi Arabia in the wake of last week apparent Iranian state-sponsored terrorist attack. Prices rose on the fighting chance of military action which could destabilise the region and undermine global supplies.
However, also this move could be viewed as a US show of force as Iran continues to skirt its 2015 nuclear agreement which adds another layer of geopolitical risk ingredients to the mix.
However, for most of the week, and this is where the real oil price risk possibly lies. The market has been trading lower as oil bulls have been discouraged by quicker than expected return of Saudi oil output. Even more so as the market now pivots to the start of US refining maintenance season as operators switch seasonal product blends. So, the expected lower demand for oil inputs into refineries typically sees US crude inventories swell. All of which could pose a significant downside risk for prompt oil prices.
International markets analysis and insights from Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific Market Strategist at AxiTrader.