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Market Insights Today: Crypto meltdown; Dollar weakness drives precious metals higher – 9 November 2022

APAC Strategy Team

Summary:  Risk sentiment remained upbeat despite the fallout in the crypto world as equities focused on the results of the midterm elections. Bitcoin made fresh YTD lows in the wake of Binance's acquisition of FTX. But US yields and the dollar tumbled, helping Gold and Silver to run higher breaking some key resistances. Another surge in China’s Covid cases still kept a check on gains in oil prices, and focus today will be on inflation data from China. Disney’s disappointing results further add to this quarter’s earnings misery, and Rivian and Roblox report today.


What’s happening in markets?

The Nasdaq 100 (USNAS100.I) and S&P 500 (US500.I) closed higher in a choppy session

A political gridlock with a divided Congress after mid-term elections was historically positive for the equity market. S&P 500 gained nearly 1.4% and Nasdaq 100 rose as much as 2% at one point before paring all the gains and more in the early afternoon, dragged by a selloff in the crypto space. Stocks managed to bounce in the late afternoon and recover some of the early gains, with S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 finishing a volatile session 0.6% and 0.8% higher respectively. Lyft (LYFT:xnas) tumbled 23% after weak rider growth was reported the day before. Walt Disney (DIS:xnys) plunged 6.4% in extended-hours trading on earnings miss which was dragged by weak streaming results.

US  treasury (TLT:xnas, IEF:xnas, SHY:xnas) yields fell on hopes for political gridlock and strong demand in the 3-year auction

US treasury yields fell 4bps to 9bps across the curve with the best performance in the 5-year to 10-year segment, with the 10-year yield down 9bps to to 4.12%. Anticipations of political gridlock in Washington that historically restrained fiscal policies saw buying in treasuries. Demand in the 3-year auction was solid with awarded yields stopped at more than 1bp richer from the time right before the auction.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HSIX2) China’s CSI300 (03188:xhkg) took a pause as Covid cases surged

The China reopening trade took a pause in Hong Kong and the mainland bourses as domestically transmitted new cases in the mainland doubled to 7,455. Guangzhou, the capital city of the Southern Guangdong province reported 2,377 new cases and launched mandatory testing in 9 of the 11 districts of the city, and extended the lockdown of Haizhu district to Friday. Hang Sang Index fell 0.2% and CSI300 lost 0.7%. China’s passenger vehicle sales growth slowed in October to +7.3% Y/Y but new energy vehicles sales, rising 75% Y/Y, remained solid. However, EV stocks declined, with NIO (09866:xhkg) falling the most, down 9% following analysts cutting price targets on the stock. Among China internet names, Alibaba (09988:xhkg) underperformed, losing 3.7%. Macau casino stocks were the top performers, rising 2% to 4%, following Macau’s decision to relax entrance rules for some visa holders starting Sunday.

FX: Weaker dollar and lower yields amid an expected Republican sweep

Expectations of a split Congress saw lower US yields and further USD selling on Tuesday, and eyes are now on US CPI due later this week. Meanwhile, the crypto fallout in the wake of FTX being acquired by Binance sparked a wave of volatility. Yen gained with USDJPY falling below 146. EUR gained a firmer footing above parity amid the latest ECB rhetoric including from de Guindos who noted they will continue raising rates to levels that ensure price stability, while ECB's Nagel said he will do his utmost to make sure the ECB does not let up in the inflation fight and said that large rate hikes are necessary. GBPUSD also reclaimed 1.15 handle.

Crude oil (CLZ2 & LCOF3) slid with API inventory build

WTI futures slid below the key $90 mark on Tuesday and Brent slid to $95 despite a weaker dollar as a fresh surge in China’s Covid cases further sparked concerns on whether China will part ways with its Zero Covid policy. Xinjian reported its fourth highest number of new cases nationally on Monday. Inner Mongolia, which was sealed off in early October, saw cases jump to almost 1800. New infections in the province of Henan almost doubled. Meanwhile, supply concerns eased with API inventory build coming in larger than expected with crude oil inventory up 5.6mm barrels last week and gasoline inventory also coming in higher. Still, US EIA also cut its 2023 oil production estimate to 12.31mm barrels/day, suggesting structural supply concerns are here to stay.

Copper (HGZ2), Gold (XAUUSD) and Silver (XAGUSD)

The weakness in the dollar drove metals higher. Copper led the base metals sector higher on dwindling inventories amid positive signs for demand, challenging the September high of $3.6925 once again, ahead of $3.78. Bold move higher in gold and silver as well last night with renewed USD weakness, with the most notable being gold up at one-month highs breaking through $1680/85. A break above $1735 would likely confirm a low in the market. Silver finding some technical resistance here at $21.50 but the break above $21.15 has opened up for a move to $22.25.

 

What to consider

Republicans likely in a strong position in the US mid-term elections

Looking at the latest odds on Predictit, the chance of Republicans taking the House is up to 95% from 90% earlier. The chance of them winning the Senate is up to 83% from 74% earlier. All the closest races have tilted towards the Republicans as well. It can take several days to confirm which party will prevail, especially in the Senate. More so if we go to recounts, where the votes cast in a close race are retabulated to verify the initial results. A split Congress, as we wrote yesterday, lowers the expectation of fiscal support measures thereby leading to investors expecting a sooner Fed pivot again. This can spark a further tactically rally in equities and will likely be USD negative.

Risk of a contagion in the crypto market

After a weeklong dispute between crypto exchanges Binance and FTX, the former is set to acquire FTX, stating a significant liquidity crunch for FTX. This may fuel further contagion throughout the crypto market, as not only FTX but also Alameda Research - the highly linked trading firm to FTX - may be insolvent. Our crypto analyst expects increased volatility in the next couple of days and weeks. Further, this may lead to contagion across the crypto market as experienced in May and June this year, so in our view, traders and investors in the crypto market should act cautiously in the foreseeable future. Likewise, Bitcoin's correlation with NASDAQ has been record-high throughout this year - and relatively high today. Please be aware that the development of crypto may impact particularly NASDAQ. Read more here.

China’s PPI and CPI are expected to slow in October

China’s PPI is expected to fall -1.5% Y/Y in October vs +0.9% Y/Y in September, due to the high base last year resulting from increases in material and energy prices. Unlike other major economies, CPI in China is expected to slow to +2.4% Y/Y in October from +2.8% in September.

Walt Disney reported disappointing FYQ4 results

Walt Disney reported FYQ4 revenue at USD20.2 billion, about USD1 billion below street consensus estimates. Adjusted EPS declined to 30 cents, missing substantially the Bloomberg consensus of 51 cents. Subscriptions rose to 164.2 million in FYQ4, up 12 million from 152 million in FYQ3, beating expectations. The operating loss in the direct-to-consumer segment, driven by the Disney+ streaming service, however, jumped to USD1.47 billion in FYQ4 from USD1.05 billion in FYQ3. The management told analysts that they expect the direct-to-consumer segment losses “to narrow going forward and that Disney+ will still achieve profitability in fiscal 2024, assuming [they] do not see a meaningful shift in the economic climate.”

France’s housing market is cooling down

The combination between high inflation across the board (CPI hovering close to 6% on a year-on-year basis), lower purchasing power and higher interest rates is pushing housing prices down in France. According to the real estate promoter Century21 (one of the leading player in this market), real estate prices went down under the threshold of 10.000 Є per square meter in Paris. The deceleration in prices is however limited so far. Contrary to Tel Aviv, Amsterdam and Hong Kong, the parisian housing market is not in a situation of a speculative bubble. Prices are overvalued however. Expect prices to go down a bit more due to a drop in solvent demand. But we won't see a large decrease in prices as it is currently happening in several major cities in the United States, for instance. The French housing market is more resilient for mostly two main reasons: fixed interest rates and a comparatively low household debt (it represents about 124% of net disposable household income versus a peak at 249% in Denmark).

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