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Markets Markets Markets

Commodity super cycle in hibernation, Biden throws cold water on recession fears, travel and oil sectors in focus

Equities 7 minutes to read
APAC Strategy Team

Summary:  Commodity markets edge up on travel optimism but also as China vows to provide support to manufacturing and housing seeing Copper rise for the first day in 7-days, Iron ore charge 2% after 8-days of falls. Also helping sentiment is that President Biden and RBA governor calmed recession nerves. Meanwhile, broad equites look set for a bear market recapture rally, yet long term downside risk remains as central bank hawkishness is in tact amid 1970s style inflation risks. Revlon’s shares catch excitement but we urge caution as debt exceeds revenue 1.5 times. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects the airline industry to book profits next year, which reinforces our thinking that pent-up travel demand will pick up this US and European summer, supporting global travel stocks and Europe’s Stoxx Travel & Leisure index.

What’s happening in markets?

Bear market small recapture rally ahead

The big picture remains to the downside, however when US equities open after the Monday public holiday, they’ll likely rally, taking their lead from Europe markets. The futures suggests the Nasdaq 100 (USNAS100.I) and S&P 500 (US500.I) could rise 1.4% at the open, with just 7 days of trade remaining before the end of half year. If sentiment remains positive the S&P500 could rally to 3,722. However, US housing data out on Tuesday will be a focus, with US home sales vulnerable of a big pull back. Home sales numbers for May will likely show a fall, but a broader slow down for the next 6-12 we think will be an issue,, that will further damage banks earnings and dampen consumer spending with the wealth effect likely to further restrict discretionary demand.


Revlon (REV) shares will be on watch after jumping 91% in the prior session

Revlon shares are still down a long way (78%) from their high as the ailing beauty brands business has seen revenue roll away, before filing for bankruptcy. The company will continue to operate, but filing for bankruptcy gives the company time to reorganize debt and give the company a much needed makeover. This could also serve as an opportunity to be taken over. But the issue is Revlon’s debt exceeds revenue 1.5 times and it has weak liquidity in a very competitive market. Revlon expects to receive $575m in debtor-in-possession financing to support operations.

A sense of calm in the APAC markets

APAC markets snapped their losing streak after the holiday-thinned markets overnight as President Biden's comments helped recession concerns recede somewhat. Bitcoin also reversed the weekend slide, sending a sense of momentary calm to the markets. However, commodity markets edge up on travel optimism but also as China vowed to provide support to manufacturing and housing. Copper rose higher, snapping its 7-day decline, Iron ore rose 2% after 8-days of falls. Australia’s ASX200 is up 1.4% after the RBA governor threw cold water on the idea of a recession, while he also said inflation will likely peak this year. That seemed to calm investors nerves with buying in Financials and Staples picking up. However, the most action is in Energy, Materials after commodity markets rebounded. The next upper level for the ASX to hit is 6,589. Japan’s Nikkei (NI225.I) led the gains in Asia, up 1.8%, as energy stocks rallied with oil prices going higher. Singapore’s STI (ES3) was also in gains of 0.6% as Singapore Airlines rose close to 2% with IATA’s optimistic outlook for travel bookings into the next year.

Hong Kong equites managed to bounce while Shanghai and Shenzhen consolidated

Digital health service platform stocks surged, with Alibaba Health (00241) up 10%,  Ping An Healthcare (01833) up 2% and JD Health (06618) up 5%.  In A-shares, steel manufacturers rose.  China’s MIIT is studying plans to help downstream manufacturers on rising input costs and to narrow the profitability gap between upstream and downstream industries.  The Chinese authorities are also going to roll out relief measures helping coal-fired power plants. Shanghai released citywide passenger EV purchase subsidy.

Crude oil in recovery mode

Crude oil prices (OILUKAUG22 & OILUSJUL22) recovered on Tuesday morning in Asia as recession fears took a backseat and risk sentiment revived. President Joe Biden pushing back against the idea of a recession as well, bolstering the case for continued demand for energy. WTI crude jumped back to $112/barrel while Brent touched $115/barrel.

Gold remains stuck in a range

Gold (XAUUSD) and other precious metals are stuck in a range as the tug of war between inflation and recession concerns pans out. While gold remains an inflation hedge, the surge in US treasury yields will continue to cap gains especially if we get closer to pricing in another 75bps rate hike from the Fed in July. Only after recession concerns take over inflation and US yields top out do we see a case for sustained gains in Gold, but we maintain our bullish view on gold and expect it to print a new high in the second half of this yea

AUD charges up, with more rate hikes penned

Aussie dollar (AUDUSD) rises for the second day, heading back to towards 0.70. The RBA Governor said a 0.5% hike was business as usual. The RBA also warned of the lessons on 1970s style inflation when inflation changed people’s perceptions of expectations. Setting this tone give the RBA room to be more hawkish. This also reaffirms Saxo’s hawkish view that the door is open to a 0.75% hike at the next meeting. On top of that the RBA Governor Lowe also dismissed the idea of a local recession, and said more rate rises are certain, although a 4% rate at the end of the year is unlikely. If the AUD breaks above 0.7070 it could move up the next level of 0.712 or 0.718. Click here for more.

What to consider? 


ECB speakers only confirm a modest July hike

ECB President Lagarde testified before the committee on economic and monetary affairs of the European Parliament. She said the Bank intended to raise rates by 25bps July, which is a dampener after Fed’s 75bps rate hike last week. She said rates will rise again in September but lacked any information on an anti-fragmentation tool which will likely keep limiting the pace of tightening. EURUSD has been firmer above 1.05 but lacked momentum.


Potential trading and investing ideas to consider?


We don’t think the Commodity super cycle is dead but in hibernation

While China’s lockdowns continue industrial metals demand remains pressured to grind down. Meanwhile, tighter liquidity will bite smaller companies. Keep an eye on positive news from China and if lockdowns end before 2023. If we see consistent good news from China and signals to lift restrictions, then commodity markets will be supported to move up taking commodity stocks higher. So, I'd be looking for buy signals later. Also consider, the the biggest commodity company, BHP, (BHP) trades down 21% from April as forward earnings growth remains in question with Chinese revenue to thin.


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