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Gold approaches all-time high, oil rally continues

Gold stood out again, rallying within a few dollars of its August 2020 all-time high of $2,075, with supporters arguing that a peak in nominal and real interest rates would underpin a continuing bull market. Oil prices also continued to recover despite no news on next year’s production quota from OPEC. The Vix fear index continues to trade near multi-year lows, reflecting growing confidence that the economy can have a soft landing in 2024, with the Fed expected to cut rates by mid-year, even though it continues to insist that will not be the case.


Oil and Gold rally, stocks largely unmoved

Gold continued to impress, up 1.4% to $2,040 (versus a one-year high of $2,085). Oil spiked 2.2% to $76.5 per barrel. Today’s consumer sentiment and holiday spending data were very strong. Two Fed governors indicated different opinions on official interest rates: Michelle Bowman thinks the Fed will have to raise rates further to bring inflation down, but Christopher Waller said he believes current rates are about right. Stocks again made little progress, with the economically sensitive Russell 2000 off 0.6%.

Brazil Flag

USDBRL should reflect US data, IPCA-15, and the economic agenda in Congress.

Bullish factors November IPCA-15 may slightly accelerate versus October, bringing some points of concern regarding inflation dynamics for the upcoming months and potentially weakening the real. Bearish factors The possibility of advancing important economic agendas for the government in the National Congress could reduce the perception of fiscal risks for Brazilian assets and strengthen the real. Data for the American economy can reinforce the perception that the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates further and contribute to the global weakening of the USD.

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Small Gold ETP buying in China with interesting scope

The gold price is looking a little prematurely to the peak of the interest rate cycle. Seasonal December strength is historic, but do the fundamentals back it up this year? Technical considerations remain mixed but are supportive on balance. Gold and silver prices have been up 2.7% and 6.6%, respectively, since the start of last week – both are overbought in the short term.


Gold glistens, oil halts slide

Gold was the standout asset today, rising 0.5% to $2,013 per ounce (its peak was $2,050 earlier this year), while the slide in oil prices was halted at $75 per barrel. Bond and equity markets in quiet trading. This post-holiday week sees important data on inflation, consumer sentiment, and the publication of the Fed’s often persuasive Beige Book guide to economic conditions.


Oil price falls on OPEC disarray, VIX falls again

Today's market highlight is oil off 2% on a simmering OPEC+ row. The Russell 2000 rose 0.7%, but stocks were stagnant in this holiday-shortened trading session today. The VIX made a new low below 13 for its current move, reflecting calm on Wall Street as traders watched shoppers flock to stores for Black Friday while another record was set for people traveling across this country for the holiday.


OPEC wrangling leads to oil price volatility, Sterling rallies on UK Budget

Oil prices were volatile as news emerged of wrangling between Saudi Arabia and other OPEC+ members, with the growing suspicion that the Kingdom wants higher prices to be achieved through further production cuts. Sterling continued its recent rally after a growth-inclined budget statement and a worsening inflation outlook, pointing to higher UK interest rates for longer.


New Vix low suggests investors are relaxed, Russell 2000 and Nasdaq rally

Equity markets acknowledge little risk in coming months, judged by the Vix, Wall Street’s fear index, which dipped to a decade low of 12.9. Whether this is bullish, bearish, or has no real message is unclear. Elsewhere, the Russell 2000 and Nasdaq were up 0.7%, the dollar rallied, and Gold held above the $2,000 mark. Oil prices fell 1.0% despite the likelihood that OPEC+ will extend supply cuts.


Rate cut hopes dashed, Russell 2000 and Nasdaq end recent rally

Fed minutes of its last meeting dampened hopes of early interest rate cuts after lunch, with the cyclical and small-cap Russell 2000 off 1.1% and Nasdaq off 0.6% despite some AI-linked stocks rallying. Elsewhere, gold passed the 2K mark for the first time since May, but the rally in Oil wasn’t sustained. Sterling was firmer against the dollar on the eve of the UK Budget.


Nasdaq leads the rally and Oil joins on supply cut hopes

Nasdaq stepped back into its role as a market leader, up 1.2% in morning trade, even though the senior team at OpenAI jumping ship to join Microsoft was the only headline from the sector. Bonds rallied modestly on further talk about early interest rate cuts on last week’s inflation-friendly data run. Oil’s resurgence was the big story, up 2.7%, on expectations of more OPEC+ production cut following recent sharp price losses.

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Gold is consolidating, the Fed is attracting attention, and Diwali is vibrant.

Gold has traded in a $61 range over the past fortnight and now holds around $1,970. Silver has been more positive; after dropping towards $22, it rallied hard to more than $24 before easing. While gold’s range was 3.2% (as a percentage of the low) over the week, silver’s was 10.3%, more significant than the average 2.0-2.5 beta, and much of the silver move looks like short covering.

Brazil Flag

USDBRL should reflect fiscal fears in Brazil, FOMC minutes, and elections in Argentina

Bullish factors Uncertainty about the viability of budget targets in 2024 may increase risk premium requirements by investors for Brazilian assets and diminish foreign investments, weakening the real. Argentine elections can increase the perception of risks for other countries in the region and temporarily decrease managed money for Brazil, weakening the real. Bearish factors Disclosure of the minutes of the FOMC decision can reinforce the perception that American interest rates have already peaked and contributed to weakening the dollar.


Oil price dip good for bonds and equities

Today’s 4% rebound in the oil price, reversing some part of a twenty-point fall, was the main talking point on Wall Street. As discussed below, falling oil prices have led to declining bond yields. Fears of oil over-supply are diminishing as the outlook for the world economy improves, leading to the oil price rebound. Equity markets were quiet, with the cyclical Russell 2000 again leading. The dollar was generally weaker.


Russell 2000 has second thoughts on Fed rate cuts

The Russell 2000 was off 1.7% in morning trade as traders had second thoughts about the Fed’s appetite for interest rate cuts, which had driven a four-day rally. Bond markets stabilized after a significant yield fall, and dollar weakness persisted. The government is now funded through January 19th. Still, Wall Street is focused on today’s bigger-than-expected rise in weekly jobless claims, raising concerns about the health of the US economy. Oil was off 3.7% as the market digested yesterday's data that showed oil stocks being rebuilt and fears of a slowing world economy.


S&P 500 rise slowed by bond market reverses

Equity markets slowed their advance on yesterday’s better CPI inflation data despite supporting data from falling PPI inflation and flat retail sales data, as bond yields rose, reversing yesterday’s strong rally. Slower retail sales mean that higher interest rates are doing their job at cooling inflation, allowing the Fed to pivot its monetary policy next year -- but it also means that the economy isn't doing well. The dollar stabilized, and oil prices saw profit-taking. Traders are rethinking the bullish view that interest rates have peaked.


Better inflation data sparks rally in Russell 2000 and Nasdaq

Today’s consumer price data set the early tone on Wall Street, confirming traders' opinion that we are heading down the path needed for a Fed pivot next year. Bonds saw their most robust rally this year, with the benchmark 10-year yield falling fifteen basis points to 4.46%. Stocks rallied, led by a 4.4% rise in the Russell 2000 and 2.4% in the Nasdaq. The dollar sold off across the board, with the dollar index down 1.4%.


Oil rally resumes, Nasdaq dips in quiet trade

Nasdaq’s modest dip, off 0.2%, was the only highlight in morning trading. Oil prices continued last week’s rally, up 1.6%. Stocks marked time ahead of a slew of critical economic data on inflation and consumer spending and, on Friday, a possible shuttering of the US government and consequent threat to the US credit rating.

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Brazil Flag

USDBRL should reflect fiscal fears in Brazil and data for the US and China

Bullish factors Uncertainty about the viability of budget targets for 2024 may increase investors’ risk premium requirements for Brazilian assets and decrease foreign investments, weakening the BRL. Bearish factors Disclosure of more moderate data for the American economy can reinforce the perception that the interest rate level in the country has already reached its peak and contribute to weakening the USDBRL. Disclosure of data on the Chinese economy can reinforce the perception of a faster rebound, favoring the performance of currencies from commodity-exporting countries like Brazil.


Nasdaq rallies as long-dated bond yields fall back

Nasdaq led a rebound in equity markets, up 1.7% in morning trade, demonstrating the sensitivity of leading tech stocks to the movement of long-dated bond yields. Yesterday’s marked sell-off in 30-year treasuries was partly caused by a disastrous bond auction, pushing yields up a marked twenty basis points to 4.8%. Bond yields fell back earlier today, but these sharp upticks could become more frequent. Elsewhere, oil rallied over 2% on bargain hunting after a recent sharp decline.


Russell 2000 spooked by Powell’s skeptical comments

The Russell 2000 again led market declines, off 1.2%, in a sell-off triggered by Fed Chair Powell’s skeptical comments on rate cuts. Bond yields reversed recent declines, with 2- and 10-year bonds adding close to ten basis points to 5.01% and 4.63%, respectively. The dollar index rallied 0.3% to 105.9. Oil was up 1.1% to $76.1. Bottom line: Risk-off.


Russell 2000 and Oil price sell-offs continue

Stocks moved lower at midday as comments from Federal Reserve members cooled hopes of interest rate cuts, and Factset highlighted a worsening corporate earnings outlook. The more cyclical Russell 2000 was off 1.1% today and is down almost 15% from its summer. Oil prices fell another 2.8%, bringing its post-summer decline to 20%. The dollar was unchanged despite lower bond yields. Bottom line: Risk-off.

Brazil Flag

USDBRL should reflect Copom's minutes, IPCA, fiscal fears, and Chinese data

Bullish factors Uncertainty about the feasibility of budget targets in 2024 may increase risk premium requirements by investors for Brazilian assets and decrease foreign investments, weakening the BRL. Moderation of IPCA in October may reinforce the perception that the Central Bank will maintain its pace of cuts to the basic interest rate (Selic), which would be detrimental to the national interest rate differential, weakening the Bearish factors Minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee (Copom) decision may acknowledge a more challenging foreign environment and higher Brazilian fiscal risks, which could cast doubt on its interest rate cuts trajectory and would benefit the national interest rate differential, strengthening the BRL. Disclosure of data on the Chinese economy can reinforce the perception of a faster recovery in the country, favoring the performance of currencies from commodity-exporting countries, such as Brazil.


Russell 2000 dips ahead of a week with little news

This morning's highlight was a 1.5% fall in the Russell 2000, with equity and bond markets generally weaker. This week, little data is scheduled for release, leaving Wall Street steered by final Q3 earnings and Middle East headlines. At least nine speeches by members of the Federal Reserve are scheduled for this week, fodder for the crystal ball gazers. No further rate rises are now priced into the market, and more than 90 basis points of cuts are forecast in 2024. The most significant data scheduled for release this week looks to be the weekly jobless claims report on Thursday, followed by consumer sentiment on Friday. Bottom line: Risk-off.