Oil toiled at a more than one-year low after its worst month in a decade on Friday, while most major markets were keeping moves tight ahead of a weekend meeting between U.S. and Chinese presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.
Europe’s main share indexes in London, Frankfurt and Paris all started their day lower after the latest batch of disappointing Chinese data had made for another twitchy Asian session overnight.
Frankfurt’s export-heavy DAX and Britain’s mainly domestic-focused FTSE 250 were both staring at their fourth consecutive month of falls. For the DAX it is its worst run since the back end of 2008.
The real humdingers though have been oil and Apple which have plunged 21 percent and 18 percent respectively in November, the worst month for either since the financial crisis a decade ago.
“Expectations at the start of the fourth quarter were for a melt-up in risky assets, but two of the biggest trends have been a reversal of some of the few returns we have seen this year, which have been in oil and in tech,” said head of macro strategy at State Street Global Markets’ Michael Metcalfe.
“Also the market seems to be going into the G20 meeting with very low expectations of a ceasefire in the trade war. That may very well be correct but politics has proved very hard to predict this year.”
Anticipation ahead of that meeting ensured cautious moves in the currency and bond markets.
The dollar index was a touch firmer at 96.86 .DXY — having slipped this back this week after Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell left investors wondering whether the U.S. central bank may be nearing the end of its current rate-hike cycle.
In early London trade, the euro fetched $1.1360, down 0.55 percent as euro zone inflation data came in softer than forecast.
The dollar was flat at 113.52 yen while sterling shuffled around at just under $1.28 having been lifted slightly this month by UK Prime Minister Theresa May securing a Brexit transition deal with the EU.
“We believe that Powell has not turned dovish but is simply toning down his hawkish tilt,” said Philip Wee, a currency strategist at DBS, forecasting another hike in December and as many as four next year.
U.S. money markets though, where the real money sits, are now pricing in only one rise next year, and the yield on two-year U.S. Treasury notes, sensitive to Fed shifts, is at 2.81 percent from almost 3 percent earlier in the month.