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Europe and US diverge as S&P approaches 1,800

Europe and US diverge as S&P approaches 1,800

While US markets continue to post new record highs as US investors continue to believe that monetary stimulus is the answer to all its problems, Asia markets have followed suit with a similarly positive session. European markets don’t appear to be following the same script even though they are also expected to open a little higher this morning. While European markets did gain yesterday as a result of the new Fed Chair elect’s comments the problem is the lower than expected growth numbers from not only Europe, but also Japan would appear to suggest that the picture remains anything but rosy in the global economy. While the DAX looks set to post a positive week, and a record close, though not a record high, the same cannot be said for the FTSE100 which looks set to post its second negative week in succession, due to a weak performance in mining and banking stocks. Italian and Spanish markets also look set to finish the week lower. The sharp drop in the copper price in the past few days to three month lows may well have something to do with the weak performance in mining stocks, while weakness in banking stocks appears to stem from concerns about increased regulatory burdens, as well as concerns about what next year’s forthcoming ECB Asset Quality Review could bring to light. This divergence between Europe and the US can probably be partially explained by the weaker growth outlook in Europe but that can’t be the only reason, which leaves the only option being that US investors may be becoming slightly complacent about how long the Fed will remain accommodative. The belief that somehow that the Bernanke “put” will be replaced by the Yellen “put” may well be driving markets now but investors would do well to note that voting members on the FOMC change next year and the committee will have a much less dovish outlook in January than it does now. While the S&P500 may look to test 1,800 in the not too distant future, the outlook for earnings, even in the US, remains uncertain with retail bellwether Wal-Mart warning of a tough holiday season in the lead-up to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yesterday’s European economic data proved to be every bit as disappointing as some had feared with very few bright spots. Even in the UK, which is growing much faster than could even have been hoped for at the beginning of 2013, saw October retail sales plunge even faster than the most pessimistic of forecasts. This shouldn’t really have been a surprise given the current gap between average earnings and inflation, and with a raft of energy price increases hitting doormats this month. It does suggest though that maybe we might see a pickup in November and December as Christmas approaches, as consumers reopen their wallets in time for the festive season. In terms of economic data the day is fairly light in Europe with the latest inflation data expected to confirm the weakness in Eurozone CPI for October at 0.7% The latest European finance ministers meeting is expected to continue with Germany still holding out against the range and scope of the single resolution mechanism, with Germany and France still at odds over the direct recapitalisation of banks from the ESM. In the US we get industrial and manufacturing production data for October and this is expected to be on the weak side despite the positive PMI’s and ISM data seen a few weeks ago. Figures of 0.1% for both are expected. EURUSD – the 1.3500 level appears to be acting as a short term cap for now, with support at 1.3420. A move above 1.3500 brings with the risk of a move towards the 50 day MA and towards 1.3620. The outlook is now starting to become a little uncertain but as long as we stay below 1.3620 then a move to 1.3000 remains possible in line with the bearish engulfing week at the end of October. GBPUSD – stuck within the broader channel of price action with support at the 1.5880/90 area and resistance at 1.6250/60, the pivot lies at 1.6110. A move above 1.6110 argues for a move back to resistance, while below we could see a drift back towards this week’s low at 1.5855. A sustained break below 1.5900 has the potential to target a move towards 1.5750. EURGBP – continues to look weak but remains in broader range with support around the lows this month at 0.8320 and resistance at 0.8470. While below the long term trend line resistance at 0.8540, from the August highs at 0.8770, the risk remains for a move below the 0.8320 level towards 0.8280, 50% retracement of the entire up move from the 2012 lows and the high this year. USDJPY – having failed to break below 99.20 the dark cloud cover proved to be somewhat premature but the key barrier remains at the 100.60 level and September highs. Behind that we then have 103.75 which is the next obstacle to a move to 105.00. If the US dollar breaks below the 99.20 level we could see a deeper fall towards 98.50. Support remains just below the 200 day MA at 97.80 at 97.20 trend line support from the 25th Feb lows. CMC Markets is an execution only provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

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