More than a week after the FOMC lifted borrowing costs in the US, financial markets - particularly the equity market - have been treading water as investors struggle to find a new driver. Both the Euro STOXX 50 and S&P 500 are about to close the week flat. In the bond market, the picture is quite similar as US treasury yields erased last week’s gains, which were made on the back of a surprisingly hawkish Fed statement. Only the pound sterling, which is subject to a lot of uncertainty due to the Brexit situation, has created some excitement. This morning, GBP/USD extended gains as it returned to 1.2735; however on the longer-term it continues to trade within its monthly downtrend channel.
After a very light week in terms of economic data, the US dollar has started Friday on the backfoot with the dollar index falling 0.30%. A bunch of soft economic indicators are due for release later today - manufacturing, services and composite PMIs - but we believe investors won’t pay much attention to those as they are looking for longer term drivers.
For now, investors do not expect a Fed interest rate hike in September but leave the door wide open for December. On the political side, the President Trump impeachment story is losing momentum. Against this backdrop, the yellow metal initiated a small rally as it rose to $1256 from $1240. Should this trendless situation remain, gold should have legs to extend gains.
By Arnaud Masset