Stocks bullishness feeding upon itself as record highs added to on Wall Street

Stock markets have surged overnight, as the breaking of new highs on Wall Street, and greater optimism about US-China trade negotiations, fires investor’s animal spirits.

Bullishness feeds on itself to drive risk assets higher

It’s merely a follow through from Friday night’s action, but from stocks, to fixed income, currencies and to commodities, a level of bullishness can be witnessed. It’s setting up a strong open for the ASX 200 this morning, which managed to climb yesterday, too, but proved somewhat hamstrung by a souring outlook for the country’s bank stocks. Retail Sales data also disappointed, too, however it didn’t do much to change market pricing, as traders prepare for the RBA to hold rates steady today.

New highs in stock indices invites more buyers into the market

When stock markets break to new highs, “buyers” of all descriptions flood the market. Call it “FOMO”, call it “momentum-chasing”, call it something else that implies greater rationality, but when equity indices hit clear air, they tend to surge, at least in the short-term. The S&P 500 added 0.3% to its record-rally last night – in a day of very high activity – with indices in Europe and Asia following suit. There’s the perception that the global economy, rightly or wrongly, has turned the corner now, with a resilient US economy and low rates across the world driving flows straight into risk assets.

Momentum builds off-the-back-of trade-war progress

Fundamentally, the shift in sentiment has been bought-about by a change in the outlook for the US-China trade-war. Progress is being seen where it wasn’t being seen before, and markets are apparently willing to back a subsequent improvement in global growth. The good news on the trade-war front kept coming last night, too. The latest headlines to bolster market sentiment related to news that the Chinese are willing to sign a “phase-one” trade-deal somewhere in America’s trade-war ravaged mid-west. If that eventuates, it would be a move of profound symbolic value, and would suggest to the market a great leap forward in economic relations.

Right-or-wrong, this shift in sentiment is broad

Perhaps those inclined to be a little more cynical question this surge in stock markets. That seems justified: the world was hanging, ostensibly, on the edge of recession only weeks ago. And perhaps scepticism is justified, given dangers abound in global markets. But assuming market-prices to be a reliable guide, the optimism is spread-widely. Bond yields, especially that of US Treasuries are spiking, and yield curves are steepening, as the growth outlook improves. The USD is regaining its lustre on the yield appeal, but even still, commodity prices are adding to their recent gains. Safe haven currencies are pulling back slightly, too.

ASX to rise, but banks may be a problem for the market

The ASX 200 is expected to open roughly 35 points higher this morning, according to SPI Futures. It backs up a day in which the benchmark index managed to climb 0.3%, by virtue of a broad-based higher in global-growth sensitive sectors of the market. Much like last week, upside in the Australian stock market found itself stifled by the banks, after Westpac’s results disappointed the market, and stoked concerns about the industry’s profitability moving forward. The financial sector’s woes could prove an ongoing challenge to the ASX 200’s bid to reclaim its all-time highs, with the heavily weighted sector showing tentative signs of a downtrend in the near-term.

Consumers not spending their extra cash yet

Australian retail sales data highlighted the economic calendar yesterday. It came-in some way below expectations, printing at 0.2% month-over-month, versus a forecast 0.4%. Though the reaction to the news was rather limited – though some consumer stocks did fall on the news – and won’t change materially the outlook for RBA policy, for now, the Retail Sales miss was a remind that Australian households remain in a somewhat soft state. At least of yet, the stimulus thrown at consumers by way of both tax cuts and interest rate cuts hasn’t significantly impacted their spending behaviour – complicating, in a small way, the RBA’s attempts reignite the Australian economy.

RBA to keep rates on hold today

The RBA meeting will headline action in markets today. The central bank is unlikely to move rates, with only a 6% chance of a cut being baked into the interest rate futures curve. Instead, it’s going to be one of those RBA meetings concerned with the forward guidance. Lately, despite acknowledging the probable need for “an extended period” of low interest rates, the RBA’s commentary has included the clear assertion that the Australian economy is at a “gentle turning point”. Some degree of effort will go into determining that statement means for future RBA policy – and what it implies about the prospect of future rate cuts.


This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

Explore the markets with our free course

Discover the range of markets you can spread bet on - and learn how they work - with IG Academy's online course.

Turn knowledge into success

Practice makes perfect. Take what you’ve learned in this index strategy article, and try it out risk-free in your demo account.

Ready to trade indices?

Put the lessons in this article to use in a live account. Upgrading is quick and simple.

  • Get fixed spreads from 1 point on FTSE 100 and Germany 30
  • Protect your capital with risk management tools
  • Trade more 24-hour markets than any other provider – 26 in total

Inspired to trade?

Put the knowledge you’ve gained from this article into practice. Log in to your account now.

Live prices on most popular markets

  • Forex
  • Shares
  • Indices
Bid
Offer
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Bid
Offer
Bid
Offer
-
-
China 300
-
-

Prices above are subject to our website terms and agreements. Prices are indicative only. All shares prices are delayed by at least 15 mins.

Plan your trading week

Get the week’s market-moving news sent directly to your inbox every Sunday. The Week Ahead gives you a full calendar of upcoming economic events, as well as commentary from our expert analysts on the key markets to watch.


For more info on how we might use your data, see our privacy notice and access policy and privacy webpage.

You might be interested in…

Find out what charges your trades could incur with our transparent fee structure.

Discover why so many clients choose us, and what makes us a world-leading provider of spread betting and CFDs.

Stay on top of upcoming market-moving events with our customisable economic calendar.

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.