Financial Markets Today: Quick Take – January 4, 2023 Financial Markets Today: Quick Take – January 4, 2023 Financial Markets Today: Quick Take – January 4, 2023

Financial Markets Today: Quick Take – January 4, 2023

Macro 6 minutes to read
Saxo Strategy Team

Summary:  US equities got off to a choppy start in 2023 with a slightly weak session yesterday, but with notable weakness in high profile companies like Tesla after it reported weak Q4 deliveries, while market cap leader Apple posted a new cycle low. The US dollar traded was choppy in volatile trading but generally ended the day on the strong side, even as US treasury yields dropped. Gold chopped back and forth but surged back toward yesterday’s highs overnight.

What is our trading focus?

Nasdaq 100 (USNAS100.I) and S&P 500 (US500.I)

S&P 500 futures started the year’s first day of trading yesterday with the element that they had plenty of in 2022, namely volatility. The index futures started rallying in the beginning of the session helped by positive sentiment in Europe and China trading up as much as 1.2% at the intraday high, but spillover effect on sentiment from the slide in Tesla shares and related technology stocks took S&P 500 futures down 0.4%. The intraday price range in S&P 500 futures was more than 2%. The first important macro events of the year are the ISM Manufacturing and the JOLTS Job Openings report for December which could move interest rates and inflation expectations and thus US equity futures later in the session.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HIF3) and China’s CSI300 (03188:xhkg)

Hang Seng Index rallied for the second straight session in 2023 rising by 1.8%. Hang Seng TECH Index surged 3.4%, led by Alibaba (09988:xhkg)  soared more than 7% following the news that the Chinese authorities approved an increase in registered capital of the consumer finance unit of Ant Group. Shares of Chinese developers and management services providers climbed on anticipation of state support from the state-owned Economic Daily emphasizing the importance of the real estate sector to the economy in its editorial. Longfor (00960:xhkg) and Country Garden Services (06098:xhkg) each jumped around 10%, being the top performers of the Hang Seng Index. Sunny Optical (02382:xhkg), a supplier to Apple (AAPL:xnas), plunged 12% on analyst downgrades and a Nikkei report that “Apple has notified several suppliers to build fewer components for Airpods, the Apple Watch and MacBooks for the first quarter, citing weakening demand”. CSI 300 is unchanged.

FX: Yesterday’s USD rally moderates. AUD surges on possible end of Chinese coal ban

The US dollar surged yesterday for no readily apparent reason, even as US treasury yields dropped and risk sentiment was strong early in the day. The rest of the day saw very choppy action that suggests currency traders are struggling to find their feet in 2023, although the greenback generally ended the day stronger than where it started ahead of the first important macro data of the year this Friday. Overnight, the Aussie surged sharply, erasing the AUDUSD losses yesterday and seeing AUDNZD to new local highs as Chinese authorities discussed a partial lifting of the Australia coal import ban.

Crude oil (CLG3 & LCOH3)

Crude oil futures, led by gasoline and diesel, turned sharply lower during its first full day of trading with the early 2023 focus being centred around a short-term deterioration in demand as China struggles with Covid-19, milder weather reduces demand for heating fuels and the IMF’s latest warning that one third of the world may suffer recession in 2023. OPEC increased production by 150k b/d last month according to a Bloomberg survey as Nigeria, currently producing below its quota, ramped up production. US production meanwhile is expected to rise by just 600k b/d in 2023, with the pre-pandemic record peak at 13m b/d remaining out of sight. On the supply side Russia’s December shipments of oil slumped to the lowest for 2022 driven by storm disruptions and a shortage of vessels. In Brent, the uptrend from early December looks challenged with a break below $81 signalling further loss of momentum, initially towards $79.65.

 Gold (XAUUSD), silver (XAGUSD) and platinum (XPTUSD)

This trio of investment and semi-industrial metals, led by gold’s break higher, are the only commodities trading in the black this week. On Tuesday, sudden dollar strength was being offset by a sharp fall in US treasury yields, both highlighting weak risk sentiment at the beginning of a new trading year. In general, we are looking for a price friendly 2023 for investment metals supported by recession and stock market valuation risks, an eventual peak in central bank rates combined with the prospect of a weaker dollar and inflation not returning to the expected sub-3% level by yearend. However, in the short-term continued dollar strength - as risk appetite elsewhere suffers - may prove too hard to ignore, thereby raising the prospect for a correction and better buying levels. Focus on today’s FOMC minutes and Friday’s US job report. Key support in gold at $1801 with trendline resistance at $1852 being followed by $1878.

Yields on US Treasuries (TLT:xnas, IEF:xnas, SHY:xnas) fall sharply on US first trading day of 2023

US Treasury yields fell sharply all along the curve, but fell the most at the longer end of the curve, with the 10-year yield benchmark down almost 15 basis points to 3.73%. Some of the move was in sympathy with European yields, which dropped on a much softer than expected German CPI print.  The 10-year US Treasury yield level to watch to the upside is perhaps the 4.00% area ahead of the 4.34% high from October, which is a 15-year high. To the downside, the cycle lows below 3.50% (intraday cycle low was 3.40%) are the focus, with the first major test of the US Treasury market up this Friday on the release of US jobs data and the December ISM Services index and next week on the December CPI report on Thursday, January 12.

What is going on?

US House Republicans so far failing to elect new Speaker of the House

A minority of more Trumpist-leaning Republicans are holding back the election of Kevin McCarthy to become the next Speaker, as he failed to win approval after three rounds of voting yesterday. The House is unable to conduct any kind of business until a new Speaker is elected, and the degree of dysfunction in the House over the next two years will likely be determined by the identity of the leader in the house.

Inflation is cooling down in Germany

Germany December CPI rose 8.7 % year-over-year against prior 10.4 %. The monthly decline is astounding: minus 1.0 % from November to December. In parallel, inflation also slowed down in Germany’s largest state by population – North Rhine Westphalia – with CPI out at minus 1.0 % month-over-month. This matters because it is one of the major industrial states. The drop is partially explained by the drop in energy prices and the one-time government support to reduce the gas bills of households and SMEs. This means the decline in inflation may not last. It will highly depend on the evolution of energy prices this winter. But this is a welcome figure as we kick off the new year.

Officials in China discuss easing Australia coal import ban

Bloomberg is breaking this story, citing sources familiar with the matter, which claim that bureaucrats are proposing allowing a few major coal consumers in China to resume imports as soon as April 1. The Australian dollar jumped sharply in response, as did Australian coal exporters, and even major miner BHP Billiton posted a strong session overnight.

Tesla shares plunge 12% to lowest levels since August 2020

Tesla had a bad start to 2023 as the EV maker reported worse than expected Q4 deliveries Tuesday night trailing the productions figures for the quarter expanding the gap between production and deliveries to a new high. Investors are speculating whether Tesla is facing a demand issue and the recent implemented discounts to entice buyers are still in place suggesting Tesla is willing to sacrifice its operating margin at the expense of keeping up demand to maintain high utilization of its factory capacity. Read our take on Tesla in yesterday’s equity note.

What are we watching next?

November JOLTS Job openings up later, FOMC Minutes up tonight

The JOLTS survey of job openings dropped in October back toward the low for 2022 at just above 10.3M as the November release today is expected to post a new cycle low near 10.0M. Still, these numbers are far north of the previous pre-pandemic record near 7.5M. The FOMC minutes tonight may not move markets much, but are worth watching for where FOMC members are expressing their inflation concerns.

Earnings to watch

The earnings calendar is light in the first week of the new year, but in a couple of weeks the first Q4 earnings releases will begin to be released. The Q4 earnings season will continue its focus on margin pressures related to input costs on employees and raw materials including energy. This week’s earnings focus is Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and Conagra Brands, with WBA expected to -3% revenue growth y/y for the quarter that ended on 30 November adding to the series of quarters with negative revenue growth. Conagra Brands is expected to deliver 7% revenue growth y/y for the quarter that ended on 30 November as the manufacturer of packaged foods is able to pass on inflation to its customers.

  • Thursday: Walgreens Boots Alliance, Conagra Brands, Lamb Weston, Constellation Brands, RPM International
  • Friday: Naturgy Energy

Economic calendar highlights for today (times GMT)

  • 0745 – France December Flash CPI
  • 0815-0900 – Eurozone final December Services PMI
  • 0930 – UK Nov. Consumer Credit/Mortgage Approvals
  • 1500 – US Dec. ISM Manufacturing
  •  1500 – US Nov. JOLTS Jobs openings
  • 1900 – US FOMC Minutes
  • 2130 – API's Weekly Crude and Fuel Inventory Report
  • 0145 – China Dec. Caixin Services PMI

Follow SaxoStrats on the daily Saxo Markets Call on your favorite podcast app:

Apple Sportify Soundcloud Stitcher

Quarterly Outlook 2024 Q3

Sandcastle economics

01 / 05

  • Macro: Sandcastle economics

    Invest wisely in Q3 2024: Discover SaxoStrats' insights on navigating a stable yet fragile global economy.

    Read article
  • Bonds: What to do until inflation stabilises

    Discover strategies for managing bonds as US and European yields remain rangebound due to uncertain inflation and evolving monetary policies.

    Read article
  • Equities: Are we blowing bubbles again

    Explore key trends and opportunities in European equities and electrification theme as market dynamics echo 2021's rally.

    Read article
  • FX: Risk-on currencies to surge against havens

    Explore the outlook for USD, AUD, NZD, and EM carry trades as risk-on currencies are set to outperform in Q3 2024.

    Read article
  • Commodities: Energy and grains in focus as metals pause

    Energy and grains to shine as metals pause. Discover key trends and market drivers for commodities in Q3 2024.

    Read article


The Saxo Bank Group entities each provide execution-only service and access to Analysis permitting a person to view and/or use content available on or via the website. This content is not intended to and does not change or expand on the execution-only service. Such access and use are at all times subject to (i) The Terms of Use; (ii) Full Disclaimer; (iii) The Risk Warning; (iv) the Rules of Engagement and (v) Notices applying to Saxo News & Research and/or its content in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of hyperlinks on the website of a member of the Saxo Bank Group by which access to Saxo News & Research is gained. Such content is therefore provided as no more than information. In particular no advice is intended to be provided or to be relied on as provided nor endorsed by any Saxo Bank Group entity; nor is it to be construed as solicitation or an incentive provided to subscribe for or sell or purchase any financial instrument. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. As such no Saxo Bank Group entity will have or be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information which is available on Saxo News & Research or as a result of the use of the Saxo News & Research. Orders given and trades effected are deemed intended to be given or effected for the account of the customer with the Saxo Bank Group entity operating in the jurisdiction in which the customer resides and/or with whom the customer opened and maintains his/her trading account. Saxo News & Research does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Bank Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication under relevant laws.

Please read our disclaimers:
Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (
Full disclaimer (
Full disclaimer (

Saxo Bank (Schweiz) AG
The Circle 38

Contact Saxo

Select region


All trading carries risk. Losses can exceed deposits on margin products. You should consider whether you understand how our products work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. To help you understand the risks involved we have put together a general Risk Warning series of Key Information Documents (KIDs) highlighting the risks and rewards related to each product. The KIDs can be accessed within the trading platform. Please note that the full prospectus can be obtained free of charge from Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. or the issuer.

This website can be accessed worldwide however the information on the website is related to Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. All clients will directly engage with Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. and all client agreements will be entered into with Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. and thus governed by Swiss Law. 

The content of this website represents marketing material and has not been notified or submitted to any supervisory authority.

If you contact Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. or visit this website, you acknowledge and agree that any data that you transmit to Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd., either through this website, by telephone or by any other means of communication (e.g. e-mail), may be collected or recorded and transferred to other Saxo Bank Group companies or third parties in Switzerland or abroad and may be stored or otherwise processed by them or Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. You release Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. from its obligations under Swiss banking and securities dealer secrecies and, to the extent permitted by law, data protection laws as well as other laws and obligations to protect privacy. Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. has implemented appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect data from unauthorized processing and disclosure and applies appropriate safeguards to guarantee adequate protection of such data.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.