Market Update – December 13 – Omicron sentiment improves to start Big week

Hot CPI data on Friday, all-time highs for stocks and a steady to stronger USD, greets a big week for central banks as markets enter the last three weeks of the year. 

USD (USDIndex 96.22) rises from dips below 96.00 on Friday. Omicron news improves, case peaks appear to have been hit in Gauteng, South Africa, hospitalizations have stabilized and projected death rates appear to be 25 times lower than Delta, mixing Pfizer, AZ & Moderna vaccines appear to give better immunity and Anti-viral drugs from Merck & GSK new data improving. US deaths top 800k, is now present in 30 states and first Omicron case traced to November 15. Stocks hit new all-time highs Friday USA500 +0.95% (+44pts) 4712, Futures now at 4722
US Yields 10-year rates fell to 1.48%, down about 5 basis points from last week’s peak, and trades at 1.49% now.
Asian Markets – Asian indices are broadly higher, despite a slightly weaker than hoped Tankan survey for Japan and more omicron warnings, which were counterbalanced by signs that China will take further steps to boost the economy. Topix and Nikkei are currently up 0.1% and 0.7% respectively, while Hang Seng and CSI 300 are posting gains of 0.5% and 0.7%. Shanghai and Shenzen Comp have lifted 0.4% and 0.6% so far and the ASX closed 0.4% higher.
USOil – continues to recover and holds over $70.00 for a 5th consecutive day and trades at $72.25. 
Gold – dipped to test key $1770 on Friday, recovering to $1785 now  

European OpenThe March 10-year Bund future is down -16 ticks, U.S. futures are outperforming slightly, but are also in the red. DAX and FTSE 100 futures are currently posting gains of 0.4% and 0.3% respectively and U.S. futures are also posting gains of around 0.3%. In FX markets both Euro and Sterling struggled against a largely stronger dollar, leaving EURUSD at 1.1285 and Cable at 1.3227 and USDJPY at 113.50. The UK upped its warnings on the omicron variant over the weekend and is targetting all adults to have received a booster by year-end, a month ahead of current schedule. In the  short run at least, the risks to growth forecasts are to the downside, which will also overshadow central bank decisions this week.

BoE, ECB, SNB and Norges Bank are all set to announce policy on Thursday – hot on the heels of the FOMC decision on Wednesday. For the BoE it will likely mean that the flagged rate hike will be pushed out into next year, and possibly 2023 although inflation and labour market data ahead of the announcement could throw a spanner in the works. 

Today – OPEC Oil Market Report, BoE Financial Stability Report, Speech from BOE’s Bailey.

Biggest FX Mover @ (07:30 GMT) GBPUSD (-0.31%) Recovered from sub-1.3200 Friday to 1.3265 highs, down on open and 1.325 now.  Currently MAs aligned lower, MACD signal line & histogram moving lower, RSI 46.00 & weakening.  H1 ATR 0.0011, Daily 0.0081.

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Stuart Cowell  

Head Market Analyst

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