Are investors starting to exhibit the first signs of concern that maybe the run higher in US equity markets and broader markets has run its course?
Yesterday's sell off in US markets could well just be some cautious profit taking starting to kick on after last week's push to a new record high for the S&P500.
We saw a fairly positive payrolls report send the S&P500 to new record highs
on Friday last week, but interestingly enough the Dow was unable to do the same, and the fact that it didn't could be an early warning sign of a possible turnaround.
After all if a positive payrolls report can't keep US stocks ticking along nicely, then what will?
It certainly seems the case that European markets are more sensitive to what is going on in Russia and the Crimea than US markets
, yet yesterday we saw the weakest US finish since 19th February.
Fears of a slowdown in China
, which were exacerbated over the weekend, with those weak trade numbers, emerging market growth concerns, as well as the prospect of no imminent solution to what is going on in the Ukraine is perhaps prompting a more risk-averse scenario amongst some investors.
This is particularly concerning given that with US margin debt at record levels it probably wouldn't take too much to prompt an even steeper sell-off
in the event we don't get some sort of an evidence of a significant economic pick-up in China, or a slight lowering of tensions in the Crimea.
Concerns about the Ukrainian situation are unlikely to go away
given that EU leaders seem determined to implement some form of sanctions against allies of President Putin, which could, in turn prompt a counter response.
Since last week's ECB decision to hold interest rates
, European markets in particular have struggled to make any gains at all as, despite speculation to the contrary, the ECB appears further away than ever in looking to ease policy further
, let alone embarking on a program of wide-scale QE, despite this week's report from a German economic research institute calling for €60bn worth of QE from the ECB to head off a Eurozone deflation trap.
Today's latest EU industrial production numbers for January
look destined to reinforce that perception with a recovery from the poor numbers in December, with a rise of 0.5%, up from the 0.7% decline seen previously.
- the move towards 1.4000 remains on track while above 1.3810, despite a strong follow through above 1.3900. Back below 1.3800 retargets a move back towards trend line support at 1.3735, from the February lows.
- the pound is currently heading back towards the recent lows at 1.6600. A break below 1.6580 could well see further losses towards 1.6480 and even 1.6300.
We need to get back above the highs last month at 1.6820 to suggest a stronger move towards 1.7000. Only a close above 1.7000 could have huge significance in the coming weeks for the future direction of the pound.
- the euro has broken through all the downtrend barriers and could well move back towards the 0.8400 level if it breaks above the 0.8350 area, which has capped it since the beginning of this year. Support now comes in around the 0.8270/80 area.
- the US dollar appears range bound for now after last week's failure at 103.80 with support now at 102.80, which had capped it for much of February. While above 102.70/80 the bias remains for a retest of the 105.00 area, while a break below 102.70 retargets the 101.80 area.
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