Financial Markets Today: Quick Take – November 22, 2022
Saxo Strategy Team
Summary: Markets started the week in a downbeat mood with a weak session in the US yesterday. China posted another weak session as the rise in China Covid cases there has dogged sentiment since the weekend. Crude oil was slammed with a huge sell-off on a report from WSJ that key swing producer Saudi is considering a production boost, but the sell-off was entirely erased yesterday by the end of the day on official Saudi sources denying the story.
What is our trading focus?
Nasdaq 100 (USNAS100.I) and S&P 500 (US500.I)
S&P 500 futures are in a slow grinding downward trend from the recent peak over a week ago trading around the 3,955 level this morning with the 3,920 level being the first support level to watch and then the big 3,900 level. Key risk sources to monitor are the USD, falling Tesla share price which could spill over into other pockets of the market, and the potential bankruptcy of the crypto company Genesis.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HISX2) and China’s CSI300 (03188:xhkg)
Daily new cases in mainland China continued to surge. Hang Seng Index fell 0.8% while CSI 300 managed to edge up 0.5%. China internet shares slid. On the other hand, SOE telecommunication and infrastructure stocks surged as the Chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission said listed state-owned enterprises are undervalued by stock investors. China Unicom (00762:xhkg) jumped nearly 10% and China Communications Construction (01800:xhkg) surged 9%.
FX: Dollar strength returns, mainly against the Japanese yen
Risk off tone from the fresh surge in Covid cases in China prompted a bid tone in the US dollar yesterday. Fed speakers were neutral-to-dovish, lacking the hawkish push seen from Collins and Bullard last week, but as we have written before, the dollar seems to be less yield-sensitive now, but more risk-sensitive as it draws safe haven flows. USDJPY rose above 142 with US 2-year yields inching above 4.55% and 10-year also somewhat higher near 3.80%. USDJPY is unlikely to mount a full bullish reversal above the key 145.000 area unless US 10-year yields threaten back above 4.00% (and hit sentiment once again). Elsewhere, EURUSD bottomed out at 1.0222 yesterday, still well above meaningful downside pivot levels, the first being the 1.0100 area.
Crude oil (CLZ2 & LCOF3)
Crude oil prices whipsawed on Monday in response to a later denied report from the Wall Street Journal that the Saudis together with OPEC+ was considering hiking production by 500,000 barrels a day ahead of the EU embargo on Russian oil. The price quickly dropped $5 to a ten-month low before rallying to end the day close to unchanged. A move that left both buyers and sellers hurting, potentially worsening an already troubled market that is suffering from falling volumes and lower open interest given the current lack of clarity regarding demand and supply, and the potential impact of a G7-planned price-cap-plan on Russian seaborne flows. Russia may retaliate against the plan by refusing to supply crude oil to those involved. Demand concerns, however, broadly remain with rising virus cases in China (see below), slowing global consumption as central banks around the world continue to tighten policy and the stronger dollar weigh on prices
Gold (XAUUSD) testing support at $1735
A stronger dollar continued to push Gold lower on Monday, and it tested the key support at $1735. In the short-term the direction will be determined by fund activity and whether they need to make further reductions in recently established, and now under water, long positions. With FOMC minutes due this week, and more Fed speakers on the horizon, there may be more talk about a higher terminal rate pricing even as the pace of rate hike slows from December. This, together with the risk of repeat lockdowns in China, could continue to weigh on the precious metal. An extension of the recent rally likely requires further declines in yields and the US dollar driving fresh demand for ETFs or some other catalyst that sees a run to safety. Silver (XAGUSD) meanwhile trades higher for the first time in six days after retracing 50% of the recent rally.
US treasuries (TLT, IEF)
US treasury yields are a bit adrift here, awaiting the next incoming data for next steps, with tomorrow’s batch of US data unlikely to move the needle as we await next Wednesday’s PCE inflation data and next Friday’s November US jobs report. The key upside swing area for the 10-year yields is near 4.00%, while the major downside focus beyond the 3.67% pivot low is the 3.50% cycle high from June. The 2-10 yield curve inversion remains near its lows for the cycle, at –70 basis points this morning.
What is going on?
Development in China’s handling of the Covid outbreak across large cities to watch
The number of new Covid-19 cases hit 27,307 and reportedly more than 40 cities across the country are under some sort of lockdown or movement. Guangzhou, the provincial capital of Guangdong reported over 8,000 new cases and Chongqing seconded with over 6,000 new cases. So far, the municipal government of Guangzhou avoids adopting stringent lockdowns. However, Chongqing the manufacturing hub of Western China has rolled out more stringent lockdown. Chinese local governments are struggling to strike the right balance between adhering to zero-Covid policy and minimising disruption to daily lives and economic activities. The swing from abandoning PCR testing a week ago but only to reinstate mandatory testing days later in the city of Shijiazhuang was an example of such dilemma. On a positive note, the People's Daily published an article to call for handling pandemic control scientifically and with precision in the spirit of the 20 fine-tuning measures. The National Health Commission released four documents to provide further guidelines on how to do PCR testing, management of high-risk districts, quarantine at home, and health surveillance.
Tesla decline could ignite risk-off
Shares were down 7% yesterday following negative sentiment over massive recalls of Tesla cars in the US and renewed uncertainty as China is battling with reopening its society. Investors are also increasingly worried that CEO Elon Musk is spending too much time on his Twitter acquisition and that his recent behaviour around Twitter is damaging his brand and ultimately Tesla’s brand. We know from surveys that there is a large overlap in investors owning cryptocurrencies, Tesla, and Ark Innovation ETF.
UK retail sales signals a temporary recovery in consumer spending
A rebound in UK’s retail sales (the release is a volume-based measure) for October signalled that Q4 may see concerns on consumer spending ease slightly. Retail sales grew 0.6% MoM in October after a decline of 1.5% in September. The outlook, however, remains bleak given the squeeze on incomes amid high inflation and the rise in interest rates.
Disappointing guidance from Zoom (ZM)
Zoom reported Q3 EPS of $1.07, $0.24 better than the analyst estimates of $0.83. Revenue for the quarter came in at $1.1 billion versus the consensus estimate of $1.09B. But guidance disappointed as with expectations penned lower than consensus as Q4 2023 EPS of $0.75-$0.78 was seen, vs. the consensus of $0.80. Zoom sees Q4 2023 revenue of $1.095-1.105B, versus the consensus of $1.12B.
Dell Technologies (DELL) beats consensus
A big beat for Dell as it reported third quarter adjusted EPS of $2.30 on revenue of $24.7 billion, compared with estimates for $1.61 per share and $24.4B, respectively. However, PC demand remained weak and weighed on demand outlook, while Q3 were boosted by favourable corporate-PC positioning and robust operational execution to drive the margin and EPS beat.
What are we watching next?
RBNZ up tonight with market uncertain of size of hike. Sweden’s Riksbank up tomorrowThe monetary policy decision from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) will be key on Wednesday to drive the direction of NZD, which has seen strong gains over the past month from anticipation that the RBNZ may stay on a determined tightening path. After a series of 50bps rate hikes, there are some expectations that RBNZ could deliver a 75-bp rate hike tonight to take the rate to 4.25%, as inflation and labour market conditions support the case for further front-loading. Inflation reached 7.2% YoY in Q3 – well above the RBNZ’s 1-3% target. Most members of the RBNZ shadow board also supported a 75-bp rate hike. Meanwhile, the Riksbank has been lagging other G10 central banks in tightening policy and is now playing catch up after delivering a 100-bp hike in September. The Riksbank is expected to deliver a 75-bp hike on Thursday, with some looking for another 100-bp move.
Crypto lender Genesis in the spotlight on bankruptcy risk
Genesis, a large crypto lender and creditor to the FTX fraud operation that recently blew up, is looking for up to $1 billion in funding and has warned that it may have to file for bankruptcy if it is unable to find funding, also claiming that the risk of bankruptcy is not imminent. Bitcoin trades today near the cycle lows below 16,000 as the market cap of the entire crypto space has dipped below $800 billion.
Earnings to watch
Today’s US earnings focus is technology earnings from VMware, Autodesk, and HP. On the consumer sector, investors will be watching earnings from Dollar Tree and Best Buy. Analysts expect HP revenue growth to be down 12% y/y in FY22 Q4 (ending 31 October) as PC sales and enterprise technology spending are down from the high levels during the pandemic.
- Today: Kuaishou Technology, Medtronic, Analog Devices, VMware, Autodesk, Dollar Tree, Baidu, HP, Best Buy
- Wednesday: Xiaomi, Prosus, Deere
- Friday: Meituan, Pinduoduo
Economic calendar highlights for today (times GMT)
- 0830 – Australia RBA’s Lowe to speak
- 1300 – Hungary Central Bank Rate Decision
- 1330 – Canada Sep. Retail Sales
- 1415 – UK Office for Budget Responsibility testifies to Parliament
- 1500 – Eurozone Nov. Preliminary Consumer Confidence
- 1500 – US Nov. Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index
- 1600 – US Fed’s Mester (Voter 2022) to speak
- 1645 – Canada Bank of Canada’s Rogers to speak
- 1915 – US Fed’s George (Voter 2022) to speak
- 1945 – US Fed’s Bullard (Voter 2022) to speak
- 2130 – API's Weekly Report on US Oil Inventories
- 0100 – New Zealand RBNA Official Cash Rate
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