Global Macro: Germany and Copper Predict Market Weakness

Andrew Sachais

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- So far this week, equity markets are focusing more on corporate fundamentals than on the macro environment.

Earnings have not disappointed but the global macro picture continues to show weakness. China export data contracted Tuesday and German business activity faltered. Global growth is not expected to be robust anytime soon, and this continues to play into selling inflationary assets.

The G20 met over the weekend and downplayed the threat that inflation posed to the global economy.

A driver behind global weakness has been the German economic slowdown. German business activity showed contraction Tuesday, which continues to increase the negative sentiment surrounding the eurozone.

Many analysts have called into question the European Central Bank's lack of rate cuts, but with the unrelenting economic deterioration a rate cut may be forthcoming.

Intermarket chart comparisons illustrate the recent downturn in Europe and how it has affected currency movements.

There are two charts above. The top chart is of MSCI Germany Index Fund over FTSE All World Ex US ETF . The pair has been rangebound since late last year but recently has seen weakness with the increased volatility surrounding the region. The price action has broken lower, out of the range, which is indicative of risk pullback.

The chart below it is of CurrencyShares Euro Currency Trust over DB USD Index Bullish . This simply measures the euro against the U.S. dollar in a more pronounced way. The pair has moved in step lower with the fall of relative strength in Germany. This should weigh on world equity markets eventually.

The next chart is of DJ-UBS Copper Total Return Sub-Index ETN over an equal weight DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund . This pair has seen extreme weakness lately due to a weak Chinese picture and tepid inflation expectations.

The breach of a long-term relative bottom highlights the decline in demand for industrial commodities and slowdown in worldwide manufacturing.

Goldman Sachs recently cut its commodities outlook, which signals the sour taste commodity weakness has left investors. Until Dr. Copper bottoms, global growth sentiment should remain constrained.

The last indicator is of Industrial Select Sector SPDR over S&P Equal Weight ETF . U.S. manufacturing has been moving at a sluggish pace, which has been a repercussion of the fiscal sequester, which went into effect March 1.

The fiscal spending cuts have been a drag on growth, and the ratio above shows this. Industrials have been a mixed bag of results throughout earnings season so far, and are clearly influenced by both domestic and global economic trends.

Thursday, I will write about the implications of a global slowdown on risk assets, but as of now the intermarket trends continue to indicate a risk pullback.

At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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