Hawkish Fed Lifts Yields, Dollar as Stock-Correction Continues

US stock markets had a choppy and mixed session, and the major indices closed the day virtually unchanged, despite the early losses and the negative news flow. The US housing market disappointed again, the EU-Italy debate over the country’s budget continued, the US-Chinese relations further deteriorated, and the Fed also provided a negative catalyst towards the end of the day.

Dow 30 Index Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Investors were eagerly waiting for the meeting minute form the Fed’s latest meeting, but those expecting a dovish surprise were let down. The transcript contained more hints to tighter-than-expected monetary policies in the coming months and years, but still after an initial dip stocks rebounded to pre-announcement levels.

US 2-Year Treasury Yield, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While especially shorter-dated yields rallied after the release, we would add that although there were voices that the Fed should exceed the “neutral” interest rate to cool the economy in the future, those voices will likely be muted by any major correction in financial markets or even a moderate slowdown in the economy.

Russell 2000, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Stocks weathered the rise in yields so far, but after-hours, futures markets are drifting lower, and should yields resume their recent swift advance, another wave of selling could hit risk assets. With a lot of stocks and benchmarks still clearly in oversold territory concerning the short-term momentum indicators, the choppy correction could also continue, but we remain defensive towards global stocks, and we expect the risk-off period to continue in the coming weeks.

Dollar Extends Early Gains as WTI Crude Dips Below $70

Dollar Index (DXY), 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While the Dollar was already up in early trading against most of its major peers, it got a strong boost from the meeting minutes, with the Dollar Index climbing above the key support/resistance level near 95.50, establishing a swing low.

Barring a quick reversal, the Greenback headed for another important leg higher, and all eyes will be on the 1.15 level in the EUR/USD pair, as an extended move below that could open up the way for a strong momentum move in the USD. On a positive note, the most vulnerable emerging market currencies continue to perform well, in contrast with equities in the segment, and that could give some stability to risk-on currencies in the face of the broadly negative technicals

WTI Crude Oil, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Commodities mostly finished the day with losses amid the rally in the Dollar, but while gold still only gave back a small part of its recent gains, oil plunged to a new almost one-month low, at least as measured by the WTI contract.

The Brent contract continues to outperform despite the easing of the US-Saudi tensions, but overall the risk-off shift in global markets is clearly hurting oil.  Copper is still stuck in a volatility compression pattern, but given the lengthy consolidation, a significant move is expected in the coming days by the industrial metal.

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Trader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.