|10 September, 2018

Trump trade threats - Markets on high alert

Lukman Otunuga is a research analyst at FXTM. A keen follower of macroeconomic events, with a strong professional and academic background in finance, Lukman is well versed in the various factors affecting the currency and commodity markets. Lukman holds a BSc (hons) degree in Economics from the University of Essex, UK and an MSc in Finance from London School of Business and Finance, where he studied corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions and the role of international financial institutions.

Website: www.forextime.com

In a move that has eroded U.S.-China relations even further, Trump has threatened tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese goods

Investors across the globe entered the trading week adopting a cautious approach after United States President Donald Trump doubled down his China tariff threats on Friday.

In a move that has eroded U.S.-China relations even further, Trump threatened tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese goods. With the U.S. already poised to slap tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and Beijing reiterating threats to fight back, the U.S.-China trade war could reach dangerous heights. The growing fears of an all-out tit-for-tat trade war between the world’s two largest economies are likely to fuel risk aversion, ultimately punishing global stocks and emerging markets.

Focussing on emerging markets, weakness is set to remain a recurring theme amid global trade tensions, a broadly stronger Dollar and prospects of higher U.S. interest rates. With turmoil in Turkey and Argentina triggering contagion fears, appetite for emerging market assets and currencies is likely to continue diminishing.

In the EM currency space, the outlook remains tilted to the downside in the near term, especially for those currencies with high current account deficits.

In the commodity markets, Gold has again struggled to find any support, despite escalating U.S.-China trade tensions denting investor confidence and promoting risk aversion.

The bearish price action witnessed in recent weeks continues to highlight how Gold’s trajectory remains heavily influenced by the Dollar’s performance. With King Dollar spoiled by expectations of higher U.S. interest rates and safe-haven demand, this could mean nothing but pain and misery for zero-yielding Gold. It is worth noting that the Dollar has snatched away a fair chunk of Gold’s safe-haven allure with investors turning to the Dollar in times of uncertainty.

Focusing on the technical picture, bears wrested back control after prices secured a weekly close below the $1,200 psychological level. Sustained weakness below this level could encourage a decline towards $1,180.

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