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Stock Market Today: US CPI In Focus

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Stock market today

US and European stock market futures are trading with a lot of caution as the most important economic reading of the week will be released today, the US CPI number. So far, the trend has been a straight line, which means that we have seen inflation fall from 9.1% to just 3% as of last month. A lot of this was mainly due to the hawkish monetary policy adopted by the Fed, which increased the interest rate at the fastest rate in decades.

Today’s number is expected to show us that it is not possible for inflation numbers to continue to move in a straight line. In fact, the number is likely to show us today that the journey for the inflation number from here onwards is going to be a lot more difficult than previously anticipated, and there are a number of important factors behind this, such as soaring oil prices.

Stock market futures now

The expectations for today’s US CPI inflation number are to inch higher to 3.3%, while core CPI m/m is expected to remain the same at 0.2%. Now the question for many traders is: what will be the reaction in the US equity market if the inflation matches the headline number, or what will happen to the riskier assets if the actual inflation number comes in higher than the expected forecast?

If the number matches the expectations, it is likely that we may not get much of a hot reaction from the Fed members who have left the door open for a further rate hike, but the current expectations from them are that they are more likely to do jawboning than following up with action. However, if the number picks up pace to the extent that the inflation reading jumps above the 3.5% mark, it is likely to rock the boat for many investors, as that would increase the chatter in the market that the Fed isn’t done with the job and they must get off the bench once again as it is time to control the situation again.

Gold Prices Today

When it comes to the US Inflation reading, it is not only the US equity traders who are very focused on price action, but gold traders are also very focused on today’s number as well. This is because a strong inflation number is likely to bring mammoth moves in the dollar index, which could weaken the price action for the gold price.

Gold Price now

At the same time, traders must also know that gold also acts as a safe haven, and if the sentiment shifts significantly and panic begins to creep into the market, we could see traders running for safety, which means that we could actually experience some buying for the gold price.

Oil Prices Today

Oil prices are very much back in positive territory for the week, despite the fact that concerns continue to linger about the revival in oil demand from China. The economic numbers out of China continue to disappoint, and many traders are thinking that softness in Chinese demand may unpack disappointments from traders who have been upbeat about the massive drawdown in US fuel stockpiles.

Oil Price now

Yesterday, we saw another encouraging reading from the US Crude inventory data, which helped the oil prices recover their weekly losses, but the fact that the Chinese import numbers released today failed to impress has made traders a bit concerned today. The US inflation data will also be closely watched by oil traders as it has the ability to influence the demand equation as the Fed is likely to make its monetary policy comments, which influence economic activity.

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