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Finally Hitting Home

Published 02/17/2023, 08:27 AM
Updated 03/05/2019, 07:15 AM

Equity markets are ending the week in the red after finally falling victim to the persistent disappointment of US economic data on Thursday.

It’s taken a lot but it would appear investors’ eternal optimism is being shaken, with the latest PPI figures finally driving the message home that bringing the economy in for a soft landing will be extraordinarily challenging and there’ll likely be plenty of turbulence along the way.

In reality, the message should have sunk in much sooner but investors were seemingly so convinced that these were just blips in the data that they failed to see how quickly they were stacking up.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still of the view that the data will improve again but I’m not so willing to turn a blind eye to what it’s telling us now. And most importantly, neither is the Fed which has been less willing to get carried away with what came before.

Suddenly the topic of conversation has changed from one more 25 basis point hike and then two cuts later in the year, a few weeks back, to perhaps reverting back to 50 in March and hiking by another 75 in total. It was always going to be a rollercoaster ride this quarter and maybe next and the first seven weeks of the year have been just that.

Taking off?

Bitcoin is in retreat at the end of the week, not immune it seems to the sharp shift in risk appetite throughout the markets. That comes after an immense rally earlier this week that saw it hit an eight-month high on Thursday.

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While the risk element will no doubt be a key factor, that the correction is occurring in the $24,500-$25,500 zone suggests to me that there’s a coincidental element to it as well, as we could have expected to see some profit-taking around these levels regardless. The risk mood may have just helped that along. Regardless, bitcoin bulls will no doubt be excited by recent developments in the price and may feel more optimistic than they have since 2021.

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