Markets remain risk-averse on Thursday as investors grow increasingly concerned over a global recession. US stock index futures and major equity indexes in Europe push lower in the European morning and the dollar continues to find demand as a safe haven. Later in the session, FOMC Chairman Jerome Powell will testify before the House Financial Services Committee. The S&P Global’s Manufacturing and Services PMI will also be featured in the US economic docket alongside the US Department of Labor’s weekly Initial Jobless Claims data.
Earlier in the day, the data from Germany and France showed that the business activity in the private sector grew at a softer pace than expected in early June. Similarly, the eurozone Composite PMI declined to 51.9 from 54.8 in May, missing the market expectation of 54.
While testifying before the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday, Powell acknowledged that the Fed’s rate hikes could cause a recession. When asked about the possibility of the Fed considering a 100 basis points rate hike in the near future, Powell said they would not take any size of rate increase off the table. Following these comments, the benchmark 10-year US Treasury bond yield lost nearly 4% on Wednesday and continued to push lower early Thursday, highlighting the cautious market mood.
After having spent the Asian session in a relatively tight range below 1.0600, EUR/USD lost its traction on Thursday and declined toward 1.0500. The disappointing PMI data from the euro area seem to be weighing heavily on the shared currency.
GBP/USD suffers heavy losses early Thursday and trades below 1.2200. The British pound is having a tough time finding demand as investors continue to move away from risk-sensitive assets. The UK’s FTSE 100 Index was last seen losing nearly 1% on the day.
Despite the broad-based dollar strength, USD/JPY is pushing lower and was last seen trading deep in negative territory below 135.50. The JPY seems to be capitalizing on safe-haven flows so far on the day.
Gold struggles to find direction and moves up and down in a tight range near $1,840. Despite falling US T-bond yields, the renewed dollar strength is not allowing XAU/USD to gain traction.
AUD/USD stays under heavy bearish pressure and trades below 0.6900. Although the PMI data from Australia came in better than expected, the AUD continues to lose interest as market participants seek refuge.
Bitcoin is staging a rebound and trades near $20,500 early Thursday after having briefly dipped below $20,000 on Wednesday. Similarly, Ethereum is up more than 4% near $1,100 following Wednesday’s 6.75% decline.