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Stock Futures Trade Lower, Powell Speaks Later Today

Stock Futures Trade Lower, Powell Speaks Later Today

Stock Market Today 

US and European stock futures are trading lower as traders are concerned about the gloomy economic outlook. Central banks are trying to lower inflation by tightening their monetary policies and cutting their growth. Yesterday, we saw the wheels coming out of the bear market rally in the US and Europe, and the sell-off became a lot more intense for the Dow Jones stock index, which shed nearly 500 points while the Nasdaq index plunged 2.98%. Asian markets also snapped their rough day rally and mainly traded lower today, and traders in Europe are picking the momentum from there.

Economic Calendar 

In terms of the economic calendar, it is full of fireworks today as we have three major central bankers speaking today. Jerome Powell, the Fed Chairman, Christine Lagarde, the ECB President, and Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, will be speaking at around 13:00 GMT.

There is no doubt that nothing is going right for the UK’s economy as eroding disposable income has pushed consumers back into the corner. Higher inflation has hammered their spending power, and economic growth in the country is crawling, if not almost near enough to be dead. All of this is happening when the global economy is losing speed, and the Governor of the BOE has all eyes on him. He is getting support from the lawmakers trying to scrape pennies from their coffers to support the economy while issuing a warning that the government cannot keep looking at coffers to help the public.

The odds of the UK’s economy falling into a recession are far greater than the US. Still, speculators believe that the country may be able to avoid a recession by a narrow margin. This is because it is highly likely that inflation readings in the country are very close enough to reaching their peak level. However, there is no doubt that it will be a lot tougher for the BOE to bring inflation lower and avoid a hard landing for the UK’s economy, but the slim hopes of inflation reaching its peak level should provide some comfort.

As for Powell, after his testimony last week, the focus will be on what he avoided mentioning in his speech, not what he said during his testimony. The challenges are similar for the Fed and the BOE or ECB, but unlike the BOE or ECB, the Fed has room to move if needed. But for now, and for today, traders will focus on the dollar’s strength. The currency has once again proved itself the ultimate haven among other fiat currencies.

Christine Lagarde will need to clear the noise today about the ECB’s monetary policy as a few members of the ECB council are creating noise about aggressive front loading. There has been chatter among the lawmakers that the ECB could be increasing the interest rate by 75 basis points, which creates a difference of nearly 50 basis points from what madam Lagarde has communicated to the market so far.

Oil 

It is OPEC meeting day today, and all eyes will be on the cartel’s supply decision. The cartel had brought most of the oil production back to life since cutting the life out when covid brought the global economy to a standstill. However, it is true that by August, OPEC oil production will be back to the pre-covid level, but sanctions on Russian oil and the absence of Russian oil remain a massive challenge. Traders will expect the cartel members to provide more clarity on this front.

Bitcoin 

Crypto traders are hoping that the BTC prices are near the bottom, but the current momentum in the price action provides less evidence. There is no doubt that BTC, along with ETH and other cryptos, is highly sold; however, the news of crypto fund blowout and a possibility of more similar news to come is denting the sentiment. This means that the possibility of BTC price forming a bottom is still remote, and there are higher chances that we may see the BTC prices moving towards the 15K if sentiment doesn’t improve.