Last week's tumultuous market movements have given way to a calmer scene, with the S&P 500 closing higher and US 10-year yields dropping below 2.9% by the February 16 close, but that's doesn't mean that volatility won't flare up again. "Volatility has fallen but we're not out of the woods yet and any 'good' economic data could spark further nervousness," says Althea Spinozzi of Saxo Bank's bond trading desk.
John J Hardy, Saxo's head of FX strategy, notes that the US dollar's gains against its peers have come "with no obvious catalyst besides the resumption of risk appetite" so tracking the market's willingness to accept risk will be key to the coming week's developments. One feature that should be closely monitored is China's response to US president Trump's suggestion of tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium, as this protectionist move could trigger harmful retaliatory action.
In equities, the S&P 500 may have recovered about half of its recent decline but the main question now is whether the rebound can extend, says Peter Garnry, Saxo's head of equity strategy. "The VIX index remains above average and could easily become more volatile again," he says.
Finally, risks of another kind are at play in the crude oil market, following a flare-up in tensions between Israel and Iran at the weekend, which, says Ole Hansen, Saxo's head of commodity strategy, is supporting the price of crude although soaring shale production is still likely to keep the market capped.
Brent crude oil has retraced 38.2% of its recent rally:
Outrageous Predictions 2023: The War Economy
- The constantly growing global need for energy drives the world's richest to huddle up and launch a R&D project in a size the world hasn't seen since the Manhattan Project gave the US the first atomic bomb.
French President Macron resignsThe political stalemate in France and the rise of Marie Le Pen following the 2022 elections corners President Macron, forcing him to give up on politics and resign from his position. At least for now.
Gold rockets to USD 3,000 as central banks fail on inflation mandateAs markets and central banks realise that the idea that inflation is transitory is wrong, and that prices will remain higher for longer, gold is sent through the roof, hitting a price tag of USD 3,000
EU Army forces EU down path to full unionWith continued challenges in the region and a US military that isn't aggressively enacting its former role as global policeman, the European Union agrees to create its own armed forces, bringing the whole region closer.
A country agrees to ban all meat production by 2030In an effort to become one of the global leaders on the path to net-zero emissions, one country decides to not only put a heavy tax on meat, but to ban domestic production entirely.
UK holds UnBrexit referendumFollowing a recession and domestic pressure, the United Kingdom is thrown into political turmoil that will end with a vote to wind back Brexit.
Widespread price controls are introduced to cap official inflationHistory tells us that with the war economy comes rationing and price controls. And this time is no different, as policymakers introduce strict price controls that lead to a range of unintended consequences.
OPEC+ & Chindia walk out of the IMF, agree to trade with new reserve assetSanctions against Russia have caused widespread turmoil due to US Dollar moves in countries across the globe that don't consider the US an ally. To relieve themselves from this, they leave the IMF and create a new reserve asset.
USDJPY fixed to the USD at 200 as Japan overhauls financial systemFollowing the challenges that faced the Japanese Yen in 2022, the Bank of Japan attempts to keep the currency from sliding. Unsuccessful on the long-term, Japan will launch a reset of its entire financial system.
Tax haven ban kills private equityWith the war economy comes an increased focus on national interests and sovereign nations' ability to assert themselves. In that regard, the OECD countries turn their attention on tax havens and pull the big guns out, banning them altogether.