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Global Markets Update: Netflix Shines, China's Challenges, and FX Indicators

Published 01/24/2024, 02:11 AM
Updated 07/09/2023, 06:31 AM

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) jumped 8% in the after-hours trading as its revenue and new subscriptions topped estimates. More than 13 million people decided that Netflix was worth paying for, and the number of total paid subscribers rose past 260 million. The password-sharing ban has been a boon for the company. The only thing they regret is not having thought about it before.  

Strong Netflix results will likely give a positive spin to the major US indices which were slow to move yesterday after the Richmond manufacturing index came in much lower than expected. 

In the sovereign space, a mixed 2-year bond auction in the US hinted at declining optimism from the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) dovish camp, but a jump from foreign buyers pulled the US 2-year yield lower. The 10-year yield remains steady above 4.10% and will hopefully cross back above the 2-year yield after having stayed inverted for more than a year-and-a-half as the US soft-landing scenario is given more weight despite the slow manufacturing numbers as US consumer spending remains strong and helps to keep the US economy afloat. The US will release its latest GDP update tomorrow and is expected to print a decent 2% growth for the last quarter.  

Robust US economic growth, strong earnings, and prospects of lower Fed rates remain supportive of equity valuations, although the ATH levels and near-overbought market conditions in the S&P 500 call for – at least – a minor correction in the short run. Today, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) will be reporting its latest Q4 results after the bell, and the results will unlikely be as enchanting as Netflix’. But overall, investors don’t want to miss the US stocks’ rally to fresh highs. And if the trend is your friend, well, the trend is clearly positive. 

In China, though, sentiment is the exact opposite. Chinese stocks saw a little bump yesterday on the announcement of a $278bn rescue package to lift the Chinese stocks up. But skepticism reigned as 1. the rescue package was found to be a bit meager compared with around $6 trillion of market value wiped off the value of Chinese and Hong Kong stocks in the past 3 years. 2. The rescue package doesn’t solve the underlying fundamental problems, namely slowing economic growth, a serious property crisis, and a slowing population. And 3. No one can guarantee a consistent action plan from the Xi government in the medium to long run. The ruthless government crackdown and extreme COVID measures are responsible for a severe confidence loss. And the market reaction to Chinese measures proves that you can’t buy confidence.  

In the FX, the US Dollar Index is testing the 200-DMA to the upside. Parallelly, the EUR/USD is testing its 200-DMA support to the downside. Today’s PMI data and tomorrow’s European Central Bank (ECB) decision will likely help provide fresh direction to the pair. Fading inflation, sputtering European economies, and ECB Chief Lagarde’s latest words in Davos hint that the ECB is preparing for a summer rate cut. More clarity on the ECB’s rate cut plans could provide a green light for a sustainable move below the 200-DMA. Elsewhere, the Bank of Canada (BoC) meets today and is expected to maintain rates unchanged. The Loonie remains under the pressure of a limited appetite for oil. 

Speaking of oil, US crude’s inability to clear the $75pb offers is intriguing despite news that would normally be positive for oil prices – like the geopolitical tensions in regions where oil is pumped and transported, and the US API data showing a 6.7-million barrel slump in weekly oil inventories. The next decisive move in oil prices should be a positive breakout. 

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