As the week progressed, a number of fundamental shifts forced the markets to erase gains as the USD gained bullish momentum. Extreme winter weather forced Germany to revert to fossil fuels as the renewable resources were not producing any energy. The weather then spread to Texas forcing blackouts and power rationing.
As the weekend approached, the US reported disappointing initial jobless claims where 861,000 Americans filed new unemployment claims. This led to the dollar weakening against its peers. S&P ended the week 0.5% lower, Nasdaq 1% lower while the Dow Jones closed 0.3% up. Gold continued the downward trend ending the week 2.3% down.
Key focus will be set on oil prices as extreme winter weather shuts down oil rigs, refineries, and pipelines. With lower oil production, oil prices are set to skyrocket if the extreme weather continues. The extreme weather continues with Texas senator, Ted Cruz escaping by taking a trip to Mexico. Jimmy Kimmel actually labeled the Texas senator as “Snake on a plane” for taking the trip when his state was experiencing extreme weather and a power crisis.
On Monday 22nd February, UK prime minister, Boris Johnson is set to give a speech about the outlook of the UK lockdown that is set to end on 8th March 2021. This might increase the volatility of UK stocks as well as GBP currency pairs.
On Wednesday, we expect the Reserve bank of New Zealand to hold its press conference. They will also vote on interest rates. This might increase volatility in AUD currency pairs.
Fed Chair, Jerome Powell is set to give a speech on Wednesday where participants may grill him on the outlook of the USD. This could bring a clear image of the US fiscal policy amid rising inflation.
Earnings reports from Berkshire Hathaway, Nvidia, Salesforce, HSBC Holdings, Square, Intuit, Airbnb, and John Deere will be expected this week. The stock market in the US is expected to continue its bullish momentum as congress fast-tracks the $1.9T stimulus.
Assets to Watch
The highly successful chipmaker is set to announce its earnings report this week. This comes at a time when Google and Microsoft protest the ongoing acquisition of Arm by Nvidia. During the earnings call, investors expect Nvidia to clarify on the issue. This could raise volatility on the stock as well as the potential for investors to enter new trades.
There exists a shortage in graphic chips globally as the cryptocurrency mining trend intensifies. This has raised chip stocks and may continue through this week. The global gaming community has increased due to covid-19 lockdowns and is demanding more chips from Nvidia. On Thursday, Nvidia announced that they developed new chips specifically for mining Ethereum. This might raise demand for Nvidia stock in the upcoming weeks.
As Bitcoin continues trending as the preferred inflation hedge against the USD, gold continues losing against the dollar. Having made substantial gains against the dollar in 2020, investors expect gold to continue on a bearish trend. Gold ended the week 4% down and could drop farther.
The USD and other global currencies are currently experiencing inflationary pressures as the central banks continue pumping more currency to stimulate economic growth. This is pushing investors to hedge their positions in safe-haven assets. Based on last year’s performance, investors are preferring to hedge in Bitcoin and silver compared to gold. This trend could continue until Bitcoin strength weakens.
Research & Markets Analyst
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