Equity markets are back in positive territory on Friday but I'm struggling to get too excited by the moves we see going into the weekend.

The rebound may partly reflect the scale of the declines we've seen in the previous couple of sessions, while the cut to the five-year loan prime rate in China may also be giving global markets a bit of a lift. But ultimately, very little has changed and I expect that will continue to hold these markets back.

The rate cut announced by the PBOC is obviously good news and is clearly targeted a revitalizing the ailing property market which continues to suffer due to the crackdown last year and Covid lockdowns this. Along with other measures already announced, this could help to revive a hugely important part of the economy.

Whether it's enough to help China hit its 5.5% growth target this year is another thing. I imagine we may see further stimulus efforts this year in order to try and get close to that as the country is facing numerous headwinds, as every other is around the world right now. What it has that others lack though is room to manoeuvre on both the fiscal and monetary front.

UK retail sales are not a true reflection of what's to come

The UK is in a very tricky position, regardless of the impression the April retail sales data gave this morning. While spending last month hugely exceeded expectations and was accompanied by a small upward revision in March, we also saw consumer confidence fall to its lowest since records began in 1974. While survey data can be volatile, I expect this is a closer reflection of the squeezed consumer in the UK right now.

The cost-of-living crisis is going to have a big impact on household budgets and will intensify again in October when the energy price cap is lifted once more. Unless the government offers more support, the country is heading for double-digit inflation and a recession. Not exactly consistent with sustainable gains in retail sales.

Oil flat but risks remain to the upside

It's been another volatile week of trade in oil but Brent and WTI are set to end it roughly where they started. They're seeing small gains on the day but price action remains very choppy. There are just so many forces at play at the minute and the increased economic gloom this week and Chinese reopening progress has only added to that.

The risks remain tilted to the upside though given the Chinese reopening and continued efforts towards a Russian oil embargo by the EU. And the data this week from OPEC+ was once again disappointing, to say the least. Unless the economy substantially falters immediately, there isn't much of a bearish case for crude currently. Not in any significant way, anyway.

Gold buoyed by recession fears

The second half of the week has been kind to gold as the trepidation in financial markets has shifted slightly from the pace of monetary tightening to recession risks. So rather than higher yields and a stronger dollar weighing on the yellow metal, we've seen investors pouring into safe havens which have lowered yields slightly and lifted gold.

Whether that will be sustained in this hiking environment will be interesting and ultimately depend on just how real and significant the economic fears are. At the end of the day, rate hikes should lower demand but so should a recession. If the latter continues to be viewed as a likely outcome of the former, gold could see its fortunes improve further.

Can Bitcoin hold above $30,000?

Bitcoin has been treading water for a number of days now around $30,000 which has been interesting given the volatility in other risk assets. That it is being driven by economic rather than interest rate fears may explain it. Less focus on stablecoins may also be helping to contain the bleeding. But while some may be encouraged, it's not seeing any momentum above $30,000 at the minute and the longer that goes on, the more prone it looks to another plunge.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities.

Opinions are the authors — not necessarily OANDA’s, its officers or directors. OANDA’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Feed news Join Telegram

Recommended Content


Recommended Content

Editors’ Picks

EUR/USD steadies near 1.0550, looks to post modest weekly gains

EUR/USD steadies near 1.0550, looks to post modest weekly gains

EUR/USD has lost its bullish momentum after having climbed above 1.0570 with the initial reaction to the US data in the American session and retreated toward the mid-1.0500s. On a weekly basis, the pair remains on track to close in positive territory. 

EUR/USD News

GBP/USD struggles to hold above 1.2300

GBP/USD struggles to hold above 1.2300

GBP/USD has edged lower following a jump above 1.2300 in the early American session on Friday. The market mood remains upbeat ahead of the weekend with Wall Street's main indexes posting strong daily gains on upbeat US data. 

GBP/USD News

Gold stays below $1,830 as US yields edge higher

Gold stays below $1,830 as US yields edge higher

Gold continues to fluctuate below $1,830 on Friday and looks to close the second straight week in negative territory. Fueled by the risk-positive market environment, the benchmark 10-year US Treasury bond yield is up more than 1% on the day, limiting XAU/USD's upside.

Gold News

Why Cardano could surprise over the weekend

Why Cardano could surprise over the weekend

ADA  set to close out the week with a gain on the workday trading week and over the weekend? Central banks signaled that the rate hike cycle is ending, meaning less stress and tight conditions for trading, opening up room for some upside potential with Cardano set to pop above $0.55 and test a significant cap.

Read more

FXStreet Premium users exceed expectations

FXStreet Premium users exceed expectations

Tap into our 20 years Forex trading experience and get ahead of the markets. Maximize our actionable content, be part of our community, and chat with our experts. Join FXStreet Premium today!

BECOME PREMIUM

Majors

Cryptocurrencies

Signatures