The US stock indexes went low last week, with losses increasing into the weekend while the USD soared. Fed rate hike bets firmed for a while after the hawkish rhetoric from two Fed Officials, James Bullard and Esther George.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.86% on Friday, reducing initial gains and closing the week negative. The high-beta Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) broke its four-week win streak, closing 2.38% lower. Traders will receive an inflation update for July via the US PCE price index.
Market analysts expect a 4.7% annual increase for core prices, the Fed’s preferred metric. That would be down from 4.8% in June. A miss might revive Fed pivot bets, but rate traders expect Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s statement at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium on August 26. Mr. Powell is scheduled to speak Friday at 14:00 GMT.
Equity traders are ready to abandon the US stock rally. In the CFTC’s Commitments of Traders (COT) report, released Friday, short positioning among S&P 500 speculators rose by 44k as of August 16. Equity markets in Asia are also low, with the S&P Asia 50 Index falling by 1.2% through the week.
The Australian Dollar fell over 3% against the US Dollar. Iron ore prices in China fell nearly 4%, adding a headwind to the AUD. A disappointing Australian jobs report boosted selling.
The rate markets currently see a 50 bp increase at the Reserve Bank of Australia’s policy meeting. Crude oil prices ended lower last week as tightening Fed bets, and China’s economic woes outweighed a big draw in US oil stocks.
European natural gas prices settled at a record high. The dry conditions and heat have affected hydroelectricity capacity. On Friday, Russia’s Gazprom said it would suspend its Nord Stream pipeline to Germany later this month. Europe has been making progress on filling its gas storage ahead of the winter.
This pipeline shutdown might still affect its energy situation. AGSI data shows that the EU gas storage is almost 76% full.
The Euro and British Pound fell over 2% against the USD as they face a high risk of recession. Bitcoin prices fell over 10%. Gold traders sold against hawkish Fed bets. Besides Jackson Hole and US inflation data, nothing much is happening in the stock market.