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    Market Declines Amid Fed Rate Hike Concerns and Tech Sector Woes

    September 8, 2023

    The Nasdaq Composite extended its four-day decline on concerns of future Federal Reserve interest rate hikes, leading to a 0.89% drop, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.32%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.17%. Apple’s shares fell 2.9% due to reports of potential iPhone bans in Chinese state-owned entities, contributing to the tech sector’s woes. Strong economic data, such as lower-than-expected jobless claims and rising labor costs, raised concerns of a sustained tight monetary policy by the Federal Reserve, potentially leading to further rate hikes despite expectations of a pause in September. In currency markets, the US dollar gained, driven partly by unexpected declines in jobless claims, while concerns about data distortions, global trade tensions, and potential interventions weighed on sentiment.

    Stock Market Updates

    The Nasdaq Composite experienced its fourth consecutive decline due to concerns regarding the Federal Reserve’s potential interest rate hikes later this year. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell by 0.89%, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.32%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.17%. Investors were anticipating a pause in the Fed’s rate hikes for the rest of the year but are now worried about the possibility of one or two more increases. Additionally, Apple shares dropped by 2.9% amid reports that China might expand its ban on iPhones in state-owned entities. This decline in technology and semiconductor stocks contributed to the market’s negative sentiment.

    Furthermore, strong economic data, including lower-than-expected jobless claims and higher labor costs, raised concerns that the Federal Reserve might maintain its tight monetary policy stance. The robust job market, combined with rising energy prices, could lead to further rate hikes by the Fed, despite expectations of a rate pause in September. Traders are closely monitoring corporate earnings reports, with C3.ai experiencing a 12.2% decline due to weak guidance. Overall, uncertainties about the Fed’s interest rate policy and global trade tensions have weighed on the market’s performance.

    Data by Bloomberg

    On Thursday, the overall market saw a slight decline of 0.32%. Among the sectors, Utilities and Real Estate experienced gains of 1.26% and 0.71%, respectively, indicating relative strength. Consumer Discretionary and Health Care also showed modest increases of 0.50% and 0.47%, while Consumer Staples and Communication Services posted smaller gains of 0.34% and 0.11%. On the other hand, Information Technology recorded a notable decline of 1.57%, leading the negative performance, followed by Materials (-0.44%), Energy (-0.22%), Financials (-0.20%), Industrials (-0.32%), and All Sectors (-0.32%). These sector-specific movements reflect the varied performance across different segments of the market on that particular day.

    Currency Market Updates

    The US dollar saw some gains on Thursday, partly due to an unexpected drop in US jobless claims. However, these gains were tempered by concerns about data distortions resulting from the Labor Day holiday. Furthermore, the effects of a significant influx of corporate bond market supply this month seemed to have moderated. The EUR/USD pair fell by 0.29%, although it had recovered slightly from its low earlier in the week.

    The Japanese yen weakened against the US dollar amid falling Treasury yields, while the threat of Japanese intervention to support the yen added to the pressure. Sterling also experienced a decline of 0.27% but managed to bounce back from its low. Concerns about China’s economy and trade tensions with Western nations were heightened, especially following reports of restrictions on iPhone use by government staff. Looking ahead, market participants are closely watching upcoming events such as Japanese economic data, Canada’s jobs report, US CPI data, and the ECB meeting, which are expected to be significant drivers of market sentiment in the near term.

    Picks of the Day Analysis
    EUR/USD (4 Hours)

    EUR/USD Hits Three-Month Low Amid Gloomy Eurozone Data and Strong US Dollar

    The EUR/USD pair continued its decline, marking its lowest daily close in three months, hovering near the 1.0700 level. The prevailing bias remains bearish as the Euro remains vulnerable in the face of a resilient US Dollar. Strong economic data from the United States provided support to the Greenback, which was further buoyed by cautious market sentiment.

    In contrast to the US, economic indicators from the Eurozone painted a less optimistic picture. The second-quarter employment change in the Eurozone remained unchanged at 0.2%, while GDP growth was revised down from 0.3% to 0.1%. Germany’s Industrial Production data for July showed a larger-than-expected decline of 0.8%. These economic disparities between the Eurozone and the US have heightened concerns about the EUR/USD pair, with worries about economic stagnation in the Eurozone contrasting with the relatively stronger US economy. Notably, US Initial Jobless Claims dropped to 216K, below market expectations of 234K for the week ending September 1, and Unit Labor Costs for the second quarter were revised higher from 1.6% to 2.2%. This data initially boosted US Treasury yields, supporting the US Dollar, although later in the session, the dollar’s gains were limited as Treasury yields reversed sharply.

    Chart EURUSD by TradingView

    According to technical analysis, the EUR/USD moved slightly lower on Thursday and is currently trading just below the middle band of the Bollinger Bands. This movement suggests the possibility of a slight upward movement to reach the middle band. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is currently at 38, indicating that the EUR/USD is trending lower and attempting to maintain a bearish trend.

    Resistance: 1.0759, 1.0803

    Support: 1.0702, 1.0653

    XAU/USD (4 Hours)

    XAU/USD Consolidates as Strong US Dollar Gains Momentum Amid Upbeat Economic Data

    XAU/USD is in consolidation mode after experiencing weekly losses and is currently trading around the $1,920 mark during the American trading session. The US Dollar continues to assert its dominance against most major currencies, driven by positive United States (US) economic data and the possibility of another Federal Reserve (Fed) interest rate hike.

    Gold prices initially rebounded from an early low near $1,916 as US Treasury yields retreated from their earlier highs. However, the Greenback’s decline was limited due to robust US employment-related data. Meanwhile, global stock markets have been reflecting a cautious sentiment, with many major indexes trading in negative territory.

    In the latest economic releases, the US reported Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending September 1, which came in at 216K, significantly better than the expected 234K. Additionally, the country published Q2 Nonfarm Productivity, showing a growth of 3.5%, slightly below the anticipated 3.8%, and Unit Labor Costs for the same period, which increased by 2.2%, surpassing expectations. These data points indicate stronger-than-expected economic growth in the US, setting it apart from the economic challenges faced by other major economies. Consequently, the US Dollar is strengthening further in a risk-averse market environment.

    Chart XAUUSD by TradingView

    According to technical analysis, XAU/USD remained flat on Thursday, oscillating between the lower and middle bands of the Bollinger Bands. At present, the price is showing a slight upward movement and is approaching the middle band, suggesting the potential for a modest increase in Gold’s value. However, it is important to note that the market still maintains a bearish bias. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is currently at 45, indicating that the XAU/USD pair is still in a bearish mode but making an effort to shift back into a neutral zone.

    Resistance: $1,925, $1,935

    Support: $1,912, $1,903

    Economic Data
    CurrencyDataTime (GMT + 8)Forecast
    CADEmployment Change20:3018.9K
    CADUnemployment Rate20:305.6%