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Growth Concerns Weigh Once Again

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Japan Trade Surplus

By Craig Erlam, Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA, OANDA

Stock markets are back in the red on Tuesday, with US futures also pointing to a negative start on Wall Street in a couple of hours.

These wild swings from one day to the next have become the norm as investors try to pick the bottom in the markets only to be dealt another blow from one negative headline or another. And they continue to come thick and fast, leaving equity markets vulnerable to further drops.

Pessimistic Chinese growth forecasts and a profit and revenue warning from Snap appear to have been behind the latest tumble, although there are so many headlines pouring out, you could probably pick another half a dozen reasons to explain the selling. Ultimately it comes down to the fact that the level of economic uncertainty is immense and while recessions are not the base case, they are a very realistic prospect.

Not least in the UK, where PMIs slipped back to levels not seen since lockdown. Except that the economy is fully open and operating without any restrictions at all, which is deeply concerning. The cost-of-living crisis is already having an impact and is expected to hit the economy hard, with the BoE anticipating double-digit inflation and a possible recession.

The PMI data appears to be backing that up, with the services survey falling heavily from 58.9 last month to 51.8 this. That’s barely in growth territory and a hugely negative shift. The squeeze on household budgets is going to intensify later in the year which creates a feeling of inevitability about a recession. Perhaps that’s why we’re starting to see attitudes shift within government although as yet, we haven’t seen any new measures announced.

Oil rally stalls

Oil prices are relatively flat on Tuesday as global economic fears and the prospect of tighter restrictions in Beijing take some of the heat out of the rally. Brent and WTI are trading right at the upper end of the range they’ve been within the last couple of months, with tight supplies, easing restrictions in Shanghai and a potential EU ban on Russian oil imports driving the price higher.

As has been the case for months now, there are so many countering forces in the market that it can be hard to keep up. Not to mention sentiment in the broader markets drastically changing from one day to the next. It’s quite a challenging market right now but one thing is clear, it’s still extremely tight and those pressures will keep prices elevated. Just not quite as much as it would if not for the recession warnings and Chinese Covid cases.

Gold edges higher

Gold is aiming for a fifth consecutive winning day on Tuesday as a softer dollar and slightly lower US yields have allowed for a recovery in the yellow metal. It is trading back above $1,850, with $1,875 and $1,900 being the next big tests. If $1,850 fails to hold as support, the next test below falls around $1,835, with $1,800 then being the key support below that.

Consolidation continues

There hasn’t been much change over the last week or so on the bitcoin front. It continues to bounce around $30,000 with moves below not gaining much traction to the downside and those above the same. It continues to look vulnerable below as there simply isn’t much of a bullish case for it in a monetary tightening and risk-averse environment. If we start to see markets pricing in fewer hikes then it may change but that looks a little hopeful at this point.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Energy

Nigeria Sells $1 Billion Worth of Natural Gas to Portugal in 2022 – NNPC

The Federal Government of Nigeria has sold natural gas worth $1 billion to Portugal in 2022, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).

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Gas-Pipeline

The Federal Government of Nigeria has sold natural gas worth $1 billion to Portugal in 2022, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).

Mele Kyari, the Chief Executive Officer, NNPC, was quoted as saying at the Nigeria-Portugal Business and Trade Forum attended by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The NNPC boss said Portugal has been purchasing Nigeria’s energy for decades now and explained that President Buhari is on a state visit to Portugal for the second United Nations Ocean Conference.

He said “President Muhammadu Buhari is on a state visit to Portugal for the second United Nations Ocean Conference.

“On the sidelines of the event, President Muhammadu Buhari is leading a high-level Nigerian business delegation to the Nigeria-Portugal Business & Trade Forum.

“On the President’s delegation is the CEO NNPC Ltd, Mallam Mele Kyari, who highlighted the age-long energy partnership between the two countries, stressing that Nigeria supplies 70 per cent of energy imports to the European nation.”

On its Twitter page, the NNPC further quoted Kyari as saying, “This year alone, we have sold over a billion-dollar worth of natural gas to Portugal.”

NNPC boss also noted that there were ample opportunities to grow the energy supply to Portugal.

He told participants at the forum that Nigeria had invested in critical infrastructure to ensure domestic gas availability and increase gas supply to the international market.

 

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Markets

Markets Today – Under Pressure, US Data, Oil, Gold, Bitcoin

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By Craig Erlam, Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA, OANDA

Stock markets have fallen heavily in June so it seems only fitting that they’re ending the month with big losses as reality continues to bite.

There’s no getting away from recession chat and while the heads of the Fed, ECB and BoE didn’t exactly fuel that during their panel discussion on Wednesday, they didn’t do anything to dispel it either. They all know that there’s a strong likelihood of recession this year or next and investors are increasingly accepting that fate as well.

There’s been a plethora of economic data from across Europe this morning, mostly tier two and three, and it was a bit of a mixed bag. The labour market figures, for example, remain strong with the anomaly being Germany but this was heavily distorted by the integration of Ukrainian refugees into the labour market. Underlying numbers remain in good shape even if across the bloc, employment growth is expected to slow.

It’s impossible to ignore the fact that households are being squeezed and we’re seeing that appear in the data, particularly in the UK which will probably fall into recession later this year. But it is unlikely to be alone in that which is why bear-market rallies are proving to be so short-lived.

US inflation boost but spending slips

US inflation data was unusually encouraging ahead of the open. Perhaps that’s getting a little carried away but it didn’t deliver another crushing below so maybe this feeling is actually relief rather than joy. The core reading was a little better than expected at 0.3%, in line with April, while the headline also fell a little short of expectations at 0.6%.

The income and spending data were arguably less encouraging. Earnings rose 0.5% as expected, a slight acceleration from April, while spending rose only 0.2%, a big drop from 0.9% a month earlier and half the forecast. Another sign of the squeeze taking a toll on households? The US economy is among the best positioned to fend off a recession but it’s not completely immune to the cost-of-living crisis. It may be catching up.

Oil lower as OPEC+ sticks to August target

Oil prices are modestly lower on Thursday, further paring recent gains following yesterday’s reversal. As expected, OPEC+ stuck to its planned 648,000 barrel increase in August and refrained from any decision beyond then which could add an element of uncertainty to future targets, particularly given recent reports that even Saudi Arabia and UAE are running near capacity.

The global economic uncertainty doesn’t make planning ahead any easier, either. The prospect of a recession has created more two-way price action in recent weeks, preventing any unsustainable surges in the price of crude as China reopened and the OPEC+ deficit increased. ​

Gold slightly buoyed by inflation data

Gold has been trending lower over the last couple of weeks but remains in its early summer range between $1,800 and $1,870. It’s really struggled for direction over the last couple of months despite the volatility in the broader financial markets. It has been like a deer in the headlights, unable to process and respond to the wicked combination of higher inflation, faster monetary tightening and recession fears.

It received a boost from the slightly softer PCE reading from the US, a rare bit of good news when it comes to inflation data. It’s not exactly a massive win, especially when paired with weak spending but it could be worse. Yields fell a little after the data, enabling gold to get back into positive territory for a while.

Bitcoin crumbling

Bitcoin has been hanging on in there around $20,000 but its resilience may finally be crumbling under pressure, with the cryptocurrency sliding more than 5% today to trade at around $19,000. This could be really bad news for the crypto space and may even trigger much more severe declines in the coming weeks.

The forced liquidation of Three Arrows Capital may have contributed to the latest decline as traders are left to wonder what other leveraged firms will follow in its footsteps. The fear alone could deliver another hammer blow to crypto valuations before the dust settles.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Sustain Bullish Run for Fourth Consecutive Session

Global oil prices appreciated for a fourth consecutive session after it became clear OPEC and allies can not meet their production targets any time soon.

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Crude Oil - Investors King

Global oil prices appreciated for a fourth consecutive session after it became clear OPEC and allies can not meet their production targets any time soon.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, appreciated to $120 a barrel as of 3:20 pm Nigerian time on Wednesday. Representing an increase of $12 from $108 a barrel traded a week ago.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) rose to $112.37 per barrel, up from $99.33 per barrel a week ago.

The increase in prices was a result of sanctions imposed on about 1/5 of global supply by western nations. Russia, one of the world’s largest crude oil producers, was sanctioned for waging war against Ukraine, and eventually, disrupting the global economy.

“Given that almost 1/5 of global oil producing capacity today is under some form of sanctions (Iran, Venezuela, Russia), we believed there is no practical way to keep these barrels out of a market that was already exceptionally tight,” JP Morgan said in a research note.

This concern over global supply outweighed worries about a weaker global economy ahead of the projected economic recession in developed nations, especially with developed economies raising interest rates to curb escalating inflation numbers.

“Investors made position adjustments, but remained bullish on expectations that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would not be able to raise output significantly to meet recovering demand, driven by a pick-up in jet fuels,” said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at Nissan Securities.

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