US equities closed the first week of August with steep losses
US equities closed the first week of August with steep losses, making it the worst performing
week in 2019 so far.
First, the Fed failed to deliver on the interest rate front, leaving the markets at bay until the next Fed meeting due in September and US President Trump failed on its promise not to rock the boat in terms of new tariffs on China.
These events triggered a 3% pullback from all-time highs in the S&P 500 and a 4% pullback in the Nasdaq.
Being that August has a bad reputation as a performance month, down in 6 out of the 8 previous years a correction in the markets, still up nearly 17% YTD is on the table.
The NFP numbers yesterday, coming in line with expectations did nothing to clarify the path for the dollar and near term the US equity markets lack any other major economic news until late August Fed annual symposium at Jackson Hole.
The weight on future markets movement is now shifting clearly towards the US China trade playing field, as more tariffs have been added on Chinese imports, starting September 1st, and there is no sign that the Chinese leadership is giving in to the US President Trump ongoing pressure.
FX markets saw the JPY climb sharply over the last 2 trading days as money shifted side to less riskier assets and "safe heavens", still the dollar is trading at record 2019 levels versus the Euro, the Sterling and Australian dollar.
Gold turned higher towards 2019 highs this week on the move to safety, despite dollar strength Gold prices closed above the $1,440 level, trading just 0.5% from 2019 highs, $1,452 per ounce.
Oil prices looked to be moving higher this week on lower than expected US inventories and the ongoing tensions in the Middle East, however the tweet from US President trump Thursday rocked the boat for Oil investors, sending prices lower by 7% in a matter of 2 hours and turning the week red for Oil investors, closing at $55.08 per barrel.
That's ahead of the close of the driving season in the US, after Labor-day.