US stocks slid overnight as the corporate earnings season continues. The mixed results from these reports could be partly to blame but the content of the US Fed minutes might be the key element that undermined investor confidence last night.
The September minutes showed an attitude that gears toward more rate rises in future. Markets reacted accordingly, the US dollar rallied and the US 10 year bond yield climbed to 3.2%, nearing the recent ceiling at 3.26%. Logically, a higher interest rate could be weighing on investor buying as showed in the overnight stock market action. In contrast, gold prices fell and the Japanese Yen weakened which suggested investors may be withdrawing from safe havens. The contradictory action in markets yesterday could be signalling higher volatility.
Tariffs may no longer be the only bargaining chip that is used in the US-China trade war. The White House issued a statement with a plan to withdraw the country from a multi-nation postal treaty. The withdrawal could affect the discounted shipping rates for parcels sent from China to US consumers. A possible impact could be the domino effect, starting from Chinese e-commerce platforms, onto online retailers, and then manufacturers. The path to the final action could be lengthy but it may be another indicators of how the trade war may drag on. The Shanghai and Hong Kong stock markets are to reopen today after a public holiday. Local investor buying could be affected but there is still a chance of a rise if optimism sprouts from the firmer China inflation readings reported on Tuesday.
Oil markets slumped overnight on a stockpile build reported by the US Department of Energy. The recent selling pressure on oil markets could be a combination of slower global demand growth forecast and a general reduction of risk exposure. There is a chance for oil prices to bounce as the US sanctions on Iranian oil are subdued, but not vanished. Any debate on a global supply shortage could affect investor thinking and lead to a reversal.