A Game of Markets, Trade War Rages On

A Game of Markets, Trade War Rages On


Major US stock-index futures drifted lower during the Asian session erasing Friday's gains. The stock market soared as Trump eased down trade tensions on Friday by saying that tariffs could be removed or not depending on the trade negotiations. However, on the weekend Trump restated that China is ripping off the United States and China vowed to retaliate against US measures. The recent developments were enough to hit investors' risk appetite. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined to a low of 25643, the S&P500 futures dropped to 2849, and Nasdaq futures plunged to 7491.


The dollar index which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies settled lower for the second consecutive week at 97.32 on soft economic data. The April Core Consumer Price Index MoM rose by 0.1% to miss the estimates of 0.2% and the April Consumer Price Index YoY which includes prices of food and oil came in at 0.3% versus expectations of 0.4 %. However, the surge in YoY figures offset the weakness in MoM readings as they came in around 2%. The Federal Reserve declared in the last monetary policy meeting that inflation cooled down due to temporary factors and that the board believes that it will pick up again. The US 10-year yields declined to 2.421%, the USDJPY fell to 109.65, and the EURUSD edged higher towards $1.1238.


The price of a gold ounce continued to trade in a tight range as investors' awaited fresh fundamental developments. The bullion hit an upside resistance near $1290 and caught support near $1280. On the other hand, the silver ounce extended losses trading at a low of $14.62, and palladium erased partial gains and traded at $1335.


Oil prices surged during the Asian session following the weekend developments. The US sanctions on Iran's oil exports and the escalating tension in the Persian Gulf supported prices. However, the gains were capped by the growing trade tensions between China and the United States. A full-blown trade war between the world's largest economies would destroy the global economy. Moreover, China and the US account for almost 34% of global oil consumption. Any drawbacks in the economic activity of both countries would weigh on oil prices. The West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose to $61.92, and Brent futures edged higher toward $71.31.

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