FxPro: Markets moved from irrational exuberance to anxiety
November 20, 2018 @ 13:21 UTC
The dollar continues to develop a rollback from the multi-month highs, falling to 96.0 on DXY while triggering EURUSD to reach a two-week high, at 1.1450. Nevertheless, dollar’s rollback does not help any other assets, and although the weakening of the dollar usually sets offs growth in the stock and commodity markets, this is not the case this time.
On the U.S stock markets, we see a continuous sell-off of stocks of high-tech companies. Nasdaq Index had lost 3% on Monday, and at the start of trading on Tuesday plummeted to lows seen back in May, subsequent to the decline of stocks of market giant such as Google, Amazon and Apple. Pressures on Apple shares have plummeted the company’s capitalization by 16.5% since the beginning of the month. Meanwhile, Facebook lost 40% from its peak values in the middle of the year and sank to low levels, which we have not seen since February 2017.
Powell’s words in regard to the potential pause in the rate hikes induces a pessimistic sentiment in the market participants about resilience of the economy. Demand for U.S. Treasury bonds was on the rise. The words of Fed’s chairman were perceived as a signal that the Central Bank is not as confident in maintaining such a strong rate of economic growth.
With an exceptionally strong economy, growth stocks had the highest demand, and with the economy growth rate close to the trend levels, the focus of investors shifts back to the company’s performance. Under these circumstances, markets shifted their attention to the long-term average P/E ratios, in which the highest rates were in the IT Sector.
It is logical to fear that the correction of high-tech companies might spread to the entire stock market. It happens most of the time, but one should not rush to conclusions.
Based on what we have seen, it can be said that the end of the easy-money era, initiated in early October, resulted in the realisation of a more realistic view of the markets. This was manifest not only in the shift from growth stocks to value stocks, but it was also very noticeable in the dynamics of Crude Oil (-25% of October’s peak value) as well as in the Cryptocurrency market (-30%). Markets are on the way from irrational exuberance to anxiety. However, we cannot exclude the case that emotional sales may drag indices low on an emotional sell-off, throwing them to the other extreme, fear, in the upcoming weeks.