US equity futures and global markets stormed higher, as the dollar extended its slide from a record high as investors scaled back bets on how aggressively the Federal Reserve will tighten policy in response to growing recession fears which Bloomberg paradoxocially interpreted as "easing recession fears." In other words, rising risk of a recession lowers the risk of a Fed-induced recession. Lovely.
In any case, Nasdaq 100 futures rose 1.2% and contracts on the S&P 500 added 1%, with spoos trading back over 3,900 and more than 5% above June’s closing low following Friday’s strong rally on renewed hopes that the Fed will end its rate hikes and soon start cutting rates as well as end QT. West Texas Intermediate crude oil also stormed higher, undoing all recent losses and traded near $100 a barrel while the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped 0.5%, extending a retreat from a record high. The benchmark Treasury yield rose back toward 3%.
As Q2 earnings season rolls out, Goldman Sachs shares surged as much as 4% in premarket trading after the bank reported second-quarter results that were better than expected in nearly every area. Bank of America Corp.’s results were more mixed. Here are some other notable premarket movers:
- Lilium (LILM US) shares rise as much as 10% in US premarket trading on Monday after Bristow (VTOL US) secured the option to purchase 50 Lilium Jets in addition to providing maintenance services for the aircraft’s launch network in Florida, and other future U.S and European markets.
- ITHAX Acquisition (ITHX US) shares rise 32% in US premarket trading, extending gains after its holders approved the previously proposed business combination with Mondee at the EGM held on July 15, 2022.
- Cryptocurrency-exposed stocks are gaining in premarket trading after Bitcoin rose as much as 7.3% to trade above $22,000 for the first time in more than a month. Marathon Digital (MARA US) +8.8%, MicroStrategy (MSTR US) +5.1%, Coinbase (COIN US) +6.2%, Riot Blockchain (RIOT US) +7.3%, Ebang (EBON US) +2.3%
- Watch JPMorgan (JPM US) shares as Berenberg raises recommendation to hold, saying the investment bank’s shares are trading at a 20% discount to their long-run average and given the temporary nature of headwinds, downside risks to the stock “are now more limited.”
Policy makers pushed back against even bigger hikes in interest rates and fresh data showed a greater decline in US consumers’ long-term inflation expectations. That boosted odds for a 75 basis points July Fed rate hike, squashing talk of a 100 basis-point move after last week flirting with the prospect of a 100 basis-points move after data showed no let-up in stubbornly high price pressures. Yet the bullish market reaction prompted some such as Goldman to ask if the worst is now behind us.
Still, the outlook remains troubling for many investors. Gains in stock markets may prove to be short-lived as inflation pressures remain high and a recession seems increasingly likely, according to strategists at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
"Risk-reward at these levels has certainly improved but because we have not yet fully priced in a recession, it’s hard to say that the markets are screaming cheap," said Anastasia Amoroso, the chief investment strategist at iCapital.
In Europe, stocks surged to the highest level in more than a month, with the Stoxx 50 jumping 1.3%, and with FTSE MIB outperforming peers, adding 1.4%, while IBEX lags, adding 0.6%. Miners, energy and banks are the strongest-performing Stoxx 600 sectors. Energy and basic resources sectors lead gains in the Stoxx 600 as oil rises after Saudi Arabia refrained from pledges to increase crude supplies, while metals rebound amid reports of China’s steps to help developers. Shell rose as much as 3.8%, TotalEnergies +2.7%, BP +3.7%, Rio Tinto +4.3%, Antofagasta +5.1%, KGHM +6.4%. Here are some of the other notable European movers today:
- GTT jumps as much as 7.5% as Societe Generale raises its price target on the LNG containment systems firm and reiterates a buy rating, as it sees the firm on the brink of its “strongest and longest period of growth” ever.
- Solvay rises as much as 5.3% after reporting preliminary results. Citi said the chemicals company reported a solid beat, driven by both volumes and prices contribution from all three segments.
- Luxury stocks including Cartier owner Richemont and UK trench-coat maker Burberry rebound after declines on Friday, with Deutsche Bank noting that there’s no underlying slowdown in consumer demand for luxury. Richemont shares rise as much as 5%, Burberry +3.8%, LVMH +1.7%
- BASF gains as much as 4.2% as Bank of America double upgrades the stock to buy from underperform, arguing that the market is overlooking the partial hedge of its oil & gas assets in Wintershall.
- Nel jumps as much as 16% after the electrolyzer firm announced a 200MW alkaline electrolyzer equipment order. Citi says the order is likely to be taken well by the market as it supports Nel’s medium-term growth outlook and is a positive sign for the trajectory of industry demand.
- Direct Line falls as much as 15% following profit guidance that was “even worse” than feared amid cost inflation, according to Jefferies, which had cut the stock to hold from buy prior to the statement Monday.
- Verbund declines as much as 7.8% after Austrian government officials suggested they’re considering a partial cap on household power bills.
Asian stocks climbed as investors dial back expectations of aggressive tightening by the Federal Reserve while weighing China’s policy support for the ailing property sector. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 1.4% Monday, poised for the first gain in three days, led by financial and technology shares. Hong Kong and South Korean equities were among the top gainers in the region, while the Japanese market was closed for a holiday. Chinese shares gained after central bank Governor Yi Gang said the monetary authority will step up efforts to provide stronger economic support amid the pandemic and external headwinds. Regulators also urged banks to support developers to help stabilize the real estate market, according to another report. Asian markets took a breather as comments from two Fed officials, as well as a drop in US consumers’ long-term inflation expectations, eased fears about a super-sized interest rate hike this month. Still, ongoing Covid outbreaks in China and woes in the nation’s property sector are clouding the region’s outlook. The Asian stock benchmark is hovering near a two-year low. The Chinese central bank “doesn’t want the economy to overheat in the short term” but more policy initiatives are needed, Vikas Pershad, a fund manager at M&G Investments, said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “The slowdown in the property market is not just a small subset of mortgage payments being held back. It’s the ripple effects that go throughout the economy. And that carries through many different sectors.”
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.2% to close at 6,687.10, boosted by gains across miners, banks and energy shares. A group of materials stocks rebounded as iron ore shook off losses. Whitehaven’s earnings outlook also drove optimism against the backdrop of a tightening market. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.4% to 11,163.63.
In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell as much as 0.5%, underperforming other Group-of-10 peers; JPY and NZD are the weakest performers in G-10 FX, while GBP and SEK outperform. MXN (+0.9%) and LB (+0.8%) lead gains in EMFX. The British pound led gains.The euro rose to the highest level in a week against the dollar. The weekly fear-greed indicator hit the most bearish levels since the Greek crisis in early 2015 on Friday. The New Zealand dollar rose as much as 0.6% to $0.6201 before paring the move, after inflation accelerated more than expected in the second quarter to a fresh 32-year high, fueling bets on further aggressive tightening by the central bank,
In rates, Treasuries fell across the curve along with German bonds. US yields were cheaper by 2.5bp to 4bp across a slightly steeper curve with 2s10s, 5s30s spreads wider by 1bp and 0.5bp on the day; 10-year yields around 2.96%, cheaper by 4bp on the day while bunds underperform by additional 4bp. Italian benchmark 10-year yields surged as much as 12 basis points to 3.39%, with little sign of reconciliation among Italy’s governing coalition over the weekend. The spread between Italian and German 10-year yields rose to 223 basis points, the widest in a month, before retracing some of the move. Peripheral spreads are mixed to Germany; Italy tightens, Spain widens and Portugal widens.
Commodities were broadly stronger after Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East ended being a total dud and without a firm commitment from Saudi Arabia to boost crude supplies. Wheat climbed after a five-day slump and copper rallied. Crude futures advanced. as WTI drifts 1.9% higher to trade near $99.49. Brent rises 2.2% near $103.34. Most base metals trade in the green; LME nickel rises 3.3%, outperforming peers. Spot gold rises roughly $13 to trade near $1,721/oz. Spot silver gains 1.2% near $19.
US nat gas futures extended gains above the $7 level as scorching temperatures across the country boost air-conditioning demand. A heat wave in the UK and France pushed up European natural gas prices, exacerbating the region’s worst energy crunch in decades.
Separately, traders are also closely watching whether the Nord Stream pipeline from Russia will fully return to service later this week, when it ends scheduled maintenance. Moscow has already curbed supplies to the continent amid tensions related to its invasion of Ukraine: “The possibility that Russia stops, or severely reduces, their gas exports to Europe should keep markets on edge in the near-term,” Mizuho International Plc strategists Peter McCallum and Evelyne Gomez-Liechti wrote in a note to clients.
Bitcoin is bid and lifting above the $22k mark after rising above the $20K support that it has been pivoting, generally speaking, recently.
It's a quiet start to an otherwise very busy week (with both the ECB and BOJ on deck), and we only get the NAHB Housing Market Index and the May TIC data later today. We also conclude bank earnings with BofA and Goldman reporting results premarket.
- S&P 500 futures up 1.1% to 3,907.00
- STOXX Europe 600 up 1.4% to 419.76
- MXAP up 1.4% to 156.28
- MXAPJ up 1.8% to 516.33
- Nikkei up 0.5% to 26,788.47
- Topix little changed at 1,892.50
- Hang Seng Index up 2.7% to 20,846.18
- Shanghai Composite up 1.6% to 3,278.10
- Sensex up 1.1% to 54,359.13
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.2% to 6,687.14
- Kospi up 1.9% to 2,375.25
- German 10Y yield little changed at 1.17%
- Euro up 0.5% to $1.0134
- Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,719.39
- US Dollar Index down 0.52% to 107.50
Top Overnight News from Bloomberg
- After drawing foreign capital into China’s markets for years, President Xi Jinping is now facing the risk of a nasty period of financial de-globalization. Investors point to one main reason why: Xi’s own policies
- China may allow homeowners to temporarily halt mortgage payments on stalled property projects without incurring penalties, people familiar with the matter said, as authorities race to prevent a crisis of confidence in the housing market from upending the world’s second-largest economy.
- Prime Minister Mario Draghi is under mounting pressure to reverse his pledge to resign as soon as this week and avoid throwing Italy into chaos as economic warning signs are building
- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered part of his forces to focus on destroying Ukraine’s long-range missile and artillery systems during a visit to troops in occupied territory
A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk
APAC stocks gained with risk appetite spurred after last Friday's firm gains on Wall St. and renewed China support pledges helped markets shrug off China's COVID woes. ASX 200 was underpinned amid M&A activity and with Australia reinstating quarantined-support payments. Nikkei 225 was closed as Japan observed the Marine Day holiday. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. outperformed regional counterparts after PBoC Governor Yi pledged to increase the implementation of prudent monetary policy to provide stronger support for the real economy and with the property sector underpinned after the CBIRC asked lenders to provide credit to eligible developers so they can complete unfinished residential properties.
Top Asian News
- China reported 580 local cases on Saturday which was the highest since May 23rd. It was also reported that Shanghai said that the situation in the city remained severe. It was also reported that Shanghai is planning to conduct district-wide testing in 9 COVID-impacted districts and other smaller scope areas from Wednesday-Friday, while China's Tianjin is also planning massive COVID tests, according to Bloomberg and Reuters.
- China is considering a mortgage grace period for home projects that have stalled, according to Bloomberg sources.
- Macau will extend its lockdown of businesses and casino closures to July 22nd, according to Reuters; subsequently, a health officials said some social activites could resume in the next week if cases drop.
- Beijing government official says no cases have been found so far in COVID tests of nearby neighborhoods, according to a media briefing.
- Chinese cyberspace regulator is to launch a two-month clean-up campaign which will focus on minors use of livestreaming, games and e-commerce platforms, according to State meida.
- US State Department approved a possible USD 108mln military sale to Taiwan, according to Reuters.
- Japanese daily COVID infection cases surpassed 110k on Saturday which was a record high, according to Jiji news agency.
- Japanese Finance Minister Suzuki reiterated sharp volatility is seen in the FX market and that they must watch moves with a strong sense of urgency, while he also noted that G20 affirmed their agreement on FX and that many countries including Japan, strongly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Reuters.
- South Korean Finance Minister Choo said they are to exempt taxes on income from Korean treasury bonds to attract foreign investment, according to Reuters.
European bourses are firmer across the board in a continuation of and extension on the overnight risk tone, Euro Stoxx 50 +1.4%. Sectors are firmer across the board with the upside spearheaded by Basic Resources, Energy, and Banks – due to price action in underlying commodity prices, alongside yields. US futures are similarly bid, as we await further earnings with key names including Goldman Sachs on the docket. Delta (DAL) to buy 100 737 Max 10 Boeing (BA) craft, option for 30 additional craft. US chip firms are said to be mulling whether to oppose the CHIPS Act as it may disproportionately benefit Intel (INTC), according to Reuters sources
Top European News
- UK PM Johnson’s allies are stepping up their attacks against former Chancellor Sunak and accused him of going soft on Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit trade regime, according to FT.
- UK Foreign Secretary Truss signalled she would tighten ministerial scrutiny of the BoE if she becomes the next PM and accused the Bank of failing to tackle inflation, according to FT.
- A poll by JL Partners of more than 4,400 people found that 48% that backed the Tories in 2019 considered former Chancellor Sunak would be a good PM, while 39% thought the same of Foreign Secretary Truss and 33% thought the same of Trade Secretary Mordaunt, according to The Telegraph.
- ConservativeHome survey suggested Trade Secretary Mordaunt would lose in a head-to-head against former Chancellor Sunak (41% vs 43%) and against Foreign Secretary Truss (41% vs 48%), according to The Telegraph.
- UK Foreign Secretary Truss confirms she will not be attending Tuesday's (July 19th) Sky News leadership debate, via Huffington Post's Schofield; additionally, reports that former-Chancellor Sunak is pulling out of the debate.
- Italy’s League and Forza Italia parties said they can no longer govern with the 5-Star Movement which brings the government closer to collapsing ahead of a potential confidence vote on Wednesday, according to Politico.
- European Investment Bank said it will reduce road and infrastructure funding in line with its climate objectives, according to FT.
- Fed officials signalled they are likely to increase rates by 75bps at the July meeting and noted that although policymakers left the door open for a 100bps increase, some have simultaneously poured cold water on the idea in recent interviews and comments, according to WSJ.
- RBNZ announced a new standing repurchase facility which will permit eligible counterparties to lend NZD through the standing repurchase facility from July 20th and will be remunerated at the OCR -15bps, while the RBNZ will deliver to counterparty nominal New Zealand government bonds as collateral in exchange for depositing NZD, according to Reuters.
- PBoC Governor Yi said China’s economy faces downward pressure due to COVID and external shocks, while he added that the central bank will increase the implementation of prudent monetary policy to provide stronger support for the real economy, according to a PBoC statement cited by Reuters.
- HKMA said they need to regulate decentralised finance platforms sooner rather than later, while RBA Governor Lowe commented that it is likely better for retail digital currency tokens to be issued by regulated private sector companies than central banks, according to Reuters.
- SNB intends to increase rates by at least 50bp (from the current -0.25%) at the September gathering, in the scenaro of further inflation upside a 75bp move could occur, according to sources via Schweiz am Wochenende.
- BoE's Saunders says he will not announce today how he will vote at the August meeting; believes that the tightening cycle has "some way to go", the cost of not tightening promptly enough would be relatively high at present.
- Czech central bank’s Dedek said it is appropriate today to use FX intervention to prevent the crown from weakening and the aim is not to strengthen the currency, while he added that they are far from the point they would start to feel reserves are getting dangerously low, according to Lidove Noviny.
- Sterling takes advantage of Buck’s demise even before hawkish commentary from BoE’s Saunders, Cable closer to 1.2000 than 1.1850, DXY nearer 107.000 than 108.00.
- Aussie underpinned by rebound in iron ore ahead of RBA minutes, AUD/USD approaching 0.6850 from sub-0.6800 overnight low.
- Euro probes 1.0150 vs Greenback ahead of Thursday’s ECB meeting and expected 25 bp hike.
- Loonie supported by recovery in WTI and BoC Governor Macklem flagging Canadian CPI on 8% handle next week, USD/CAD below 1.3000.
- Kiwi capped after stronger than forecast NZ inflation data as RBNZ announces standing repo for loans 15 bp below OCR to start on July 20th, NZD/USD hovering under 0.6200 and AUD/NZD cross above 1.1050.
- Franc lags irrespective of reporting suggesting SNB to hike at least half point again in September as weekly Swiss sight deposits at domestic bank increase, USD/CHF pivots 0.9750.
- Lira lurches further in wake of Turkish budget balance turning from surplus to deficit, USD/TRY testing 17.5000 offers and semi-psychological resistance.
- WTI and Brent have been moving higher with the broader risk tone and after the Biden-Saudi meeting with attention, for the complex, looking to the next OPEC+ gathering.
- Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince MBS said adopting unrealistic policies toward energy sources will lead to inflation and he called on Iran to cooperate with the region, according to Reuters. Saudi's Crown Prince also said that they have an immediate capacity to increase production to 12mln bpd and with investments, production can go to 13mln bpd after which the kingdom will not have any additional capacity to increase production.
- Saudi Foreign Minister said that they listen to their partners and friends across the world especially consumer countries but added that at the end of the day, OPEC+ follows the market situation and will supply energy as needed, according to Bloomberg.
- US senior envoy for energy security Hochstein said he expects gas prices to decline further towards USD 4/gallon and is confident there will be a few more steps in the coming weeks from OPEC in terms of oil supply, according to Reuters.
- Energy Intel’s Bakr stated that we are in a situation where capacity is limited which is why the UAE and Saudi Arabia want to remain cautious about how and when it is used.
- Top German energy regulator said natgas inventories are nearly 65% full but not enough to get through the winter without Russian gas, according to Bild am Sonntag.
- Libya’s Oil Minister said Libya has resumed oil exports, according to Al Jazeera. It was also reported that the NOC said its board will not cooperate with any illegal dismissal decisions made by an outgoing administration.
- South Africa’s largest fuel producer Sasol declared a force majeure on the supply of petroleum products due to delays in deliveries of crude to the Natref refinery, while the outage means all refineries in the country are shut, according to Bloomberg.
- Iran set August Iranian light crude price to Asia at Oman/Dubai + USD 8.90/bbl, according to Reuters sources.
- Spot gold is bid as the USD pulls-bacl but is yet to breach USD 1725/oz in relatively limited European newsflow. Base metals bid after strong overnight performance.
US Event Calendar
- 10:00: July NAHB Housing Market Index, est. 65, prior 67
- 16:00: May Total Net TIC Flows, prior $1.3b
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
It could be a record week here in the UK with temperatures possibly hitting 40 degrees for the first time ever today or tomorrow! While the warm weather has been pleasant of late, I can't wait until Wednesday when it cools down a bit. The coolest I was this weekend was going to a cinema on Saturday night with aircon to see Top Gun Maverick. However that was an incredibly stressful film. I'm not really a fan of action movies but that was edge of the seat stuff and very well done. Looking forward to the third part of the trilogy in 2058.
Back to 2022, and with the Fed now on their FOMC blackout period and a lighter US week for data (ex-housing), Q2 US earnings and all things European will be at the forefront of market attention this week with the highlight being the ECB’s likely first rate hike since 2011 on Thursday. Gas flows from Russia after maintenance on the Nord Stream pipeline ends the same day will also be a big focus with the EU expected to detail energy contingency plans the day before. We’ll also get a decision from the BoJ on Thursday too. Global preliminary July PMIs for the US, Japan and key European economies will come out on Friday.
Going through some of these themes in more detail now. The ECB meeting on Thursday will likely deliver a +25bps hike, the first rate increase since 2011. Our European economists preview the upcoming meeting here. Their updated call retains the 2% terminal rate forecast but the hiking cycle is expected to be split. The first phase has hikes of +25bp, +50bp, +50bp and +25bp in July, September, October and December. By end-2022, the deposit rate will be 1%, helping to balance inflation and growth risks before the anticipated recession forces a pause. The second phase in H1 2024 is now expected to have four +25bp hikes and push rates into moderately above neutral territory. The ECB’s decision comes as Europe is grappling with significant concerns about the energy supply, a euro that has reached parity against the dollar for the first time since 2002, and inflation at an all-time high of 8.6%. If that’s not enough, it also comes alongside a recent widening in peripheral sovereign bond spreads and an Italian government possibly on the brink of collapse. We should know more on Wednesday when Draghi addresses lawmakers in Rome, however things are escalating quickly. The Five Star Movement (the second largest in the coalition) effectively abstained in a confidence motion in the Senate, triggering the current crisis. This weekend the party have met and don’t seem to be dialling down the rhetoric with leader Conte blaming Draghi for the impasse. Meanwhile the centre-right block are saying the coalition pact has been broken and that they won't now rule in a coalition with Five Star. Probabilities of a snap election are certainly going up.
With this unfolding, the details of the anti-fragmentation tool will be highly sought after at the ECB meeting and our economics team reviews the key features of the new tool - size, target, conditionality and sterilisation method - in the same preview note mentioned above. The ECB will also release its Euro area bank lending survey tomorrow and the Survey of Professional Forecasters on Friday.
Another event that will keep investors on edge that day is the end of the Nord Stream pipeline’s scheduled maintenance period. Fears that Russia will keep the taps closed have roiled markets in recent weeks and the EU is expected to detail contingency plans on Wednesday. Although the NS1 maintenance period ends on Thursday, it’s possible that there will be ambiguity on supply for a while. Whatever Russia’s plans for supply through the autumn and winter, we may not fully see it in the next few days and weeks. Part of that might be politics and part of it may be operational as the turbine repair may take a while to be fully integrated, or at least that could be the claim. So we may get a few clues from Friday but it is unlikely we’ll know all the answers. See my one-sided devil’s advocate view in Thursday's CoTD here on why it’s not in Putin’s interest to completely cut off the supply of gas.
Also on Thursday, the next policy decision from the BoJ will be due. Our chief Japan economist previews the meeting here. While he expects no change in the current monetary stance and forward guidance on policy rates, the BoJ's Outlook Report is expected to show a downgrade in its growth forecast for FY2022 and an increase in its inflation forecast. The national CPI print will be due the next day and our economist expects core inflation (ex. fresh food) to climb to 2.2% YoY (+2.1% in May) and core-core inflation (ex. fresh food and energy) to 0.9% (+0.8% in May). Small fry in a western context but relatively strong for Japan.
Back to the data and US housing market indicators will be in focus this week, after the June CPI report showed the fastest monthly gains since 1986 for primary rents and 1990 for owners’ equivalent rent. In terms of data, we have July’s NAHB Housing Market Index (today), followed by June housing starts, building permits (tomorrow) and existing home sales (Wednesday).
In European data, the UK will be in focus with June CPI, RPI, PPI and May’s house price index due on Wednesday, preceded by labour market data tomorrow. Also released tomorrow will be July’s consumer confidence for the Eurozone, followed by a similar gauge and June retail sales for the UK on Friday.
In terms of earnings, after key US banks started reporting last week, we will get more insight into the state of the economy and consumer spending from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America (today) and American Express (Friday). Amid a mixed-bag performance for commodities in recent weeks, results from Halliburton (tomorrow), Baker Hughes (Wednesday), Schlumberger and NextEra (Friday) will be in focus. Earnings of consumer-oriented companies will be highly anticipated as well, including Johnson & Johnson (tomorrow), United Airlines, Tesla (Wednesday) and American Airlines (Thursday). In tech, key reporting corporates will include IBM (today), Netflix (tomorrow), ASML (Wednesday), SAP (Thursday) and Twitter (Friday). Other corporate earnings reports will feature Lockheed Martin (tomorrow), AT&T, Blackstone (Thursday) and Verizon (Friday).
Asian equity markets are higher at start of the week after gains on Wall Street on Friday. As I type, the Hang Seng (+2.45%) is leading the way followed by the Kospi (+1.80%), Shanghai Composite (+1.49%) and the CSI (+1.00%). Elsewhere, markets in Japan are closed today for the Marine Day Holiday. Outside of Asia, stock futures in the DMs are pointing to additional gains with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.43%), NASDAQ 100 (+0.75%) and DAX (+0.37%) all climbing.
Early morning data showed that New Zealand’s consumer price index (+7.3% y/y) climbed to a 32-year high in the June 2022 quarter (v/s +7.1% expected) and speeding up from a +6.9% gain in the first quarter, mainly due to rising prices for construction and rentals for housing.
Looking back on another wild week in markets now. The highlight was inflation. The US CPI report came out on Wednesday, where headline yoy inflation bumped up to 9.1%, its highest since 1981. Indeed, each of the headline/core/MoM/YoY measures surpassed expectations. The following day showed producers were also feeling the heat, with final demand PPI measures beating expectations, with the crucial health care component portending an increase in upcoming PCE prints, the Fed’s preferred inflation measure.
The prints drove speculation the Fed would deliver a super-charged 100bp hike at the July meeting, but Fed officials threw water on that pricing at the end of the week, signaling a preference for a second consecutive 75bp hike. Nevertheless, the yield curve moved to its most inverted of the cycle, ending the week at -21.3bps, as expected Fed tightening was brought forward, and the resulting landing was expected to get that much harder. All told, 2yr yields increased +1.5bps (-1.2bps Friday) and 10yr yields fell -16.5bps (-4.4bps Friday). While stocks experienced a bump on the easier policy expectations (75 not 100) from Fed speakers at the end of the week, the S&P 500 climbing +1.92% Friday, the index fell the other four days and ended the week -0.93% lower. Tech underperformed with the NASDAQ falling -1.57%, staging a +1.79% recovery of its own on Friday.
US earnings season kicked off, with major US financials disappointing, as major money center banks signaled they would likely need to optimise their balance sheets to increase capital ratios over the near-term. A realisation that had JPMorgan temporarily suspending share buybacks.
Along with their own inflationary worries, Europe is also facing down political and energy crises. The attempted resignation of Prime Minister Draghi, and subsequent rejection by President Mattarella, injected yet more turmoil into European asset pricing. 10yr BTPs widened 19.4bps versus bunds (+6.5bps Friday), to 212bps, their widest levels since the ECB has floated a new anti-fragmentation tool. Heading into this week’s ECB meeting, pricing currently is at +29.0bps, a smidge higher than the week prior, so some chance the ECB will kick off the hiking cycle with a 50bp hike. 10yr bunds were 21.2bps lower (-4.5bps Friday), giving swirling risk on the continent. Speaking of European natural gas, prices managed to fall -8.23% (-8.84% Friday) following news that Canada would deliver the necessary turbine to restore gas flows from Russia back to the continent, but prices traded in a more than 20% range over the week, showing the anxiety that still dominates the situation. Elsewhere, brent crude fell below $100/bbl intraweek for the first time since mid-April, ultimately falling -5.50% on the week (+2.08% Friday) to $101.16/bbl as global growth fears grip markets.
How bonds work and why everyone is talking about them right now: a finance expert explains
Investor confidence in the UK is at a low, and the bond market has reacted dramatically.
The Bank of England is buying bonds again. Just as it was about to start selling the debt it had accumulated as part of its last effort to support the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, the central bank has been forced to announce a new scheme to shore up investor confidence.
The bank’s £65 billion short-term spree aims to address the slump in bond prices caused by investors rushing to sell after the government’s recent mini-budget. This led to a surge in bond yields that hiked borrowing costs for the government and spread to pensions, housing and the general economy. So far, it has had a limited initial impact on the markets.
We asked an expert in finance to explain what’s going on in bond markets.
What is a bond and what is the difference between bond prices and yields?
A bond is essentially a tradeable IOU. It’s a loan that investors make to issuers such as companies or governments (UK government bonds are often called gilts). A bond has a price at which it can be sold and a yield, which is an annual amount the investor receives for holding the bond, a bit like interest on a savings account, and is expressed as a percentage of the current price.
When the price of a bond falls, it signals less demand for the bond because fewer investors want to own it. At the same time, the yield rises, which represents a higher cost of borrowing for companies or governments that issued the bond because this is what they have to pay to investors.
In the days since the government’s mini-budget, yields on 10-year Treasury bonds – which are issued by the UK government – increased from approximately 3.5% to 4.52% – the highest since the 2007-2008 global financial crisis. The expectation of continued increases prompted the recent intervention by the Bank of England.
UK government 10-year bond yields
What causes bond yields to move?
To understand this, it is important to bear in mind that, while people often talk about the interest rate, there are actually a number of rates. This includes the rate at which the central bank lends to commercial banks (the base rate), the rate that banks lend to each other (the interbank rate), the rate that the government borrows at (Treasury yields) and the rate at which households and firms borrow (commercial loans and mortgages).
When the Bank of England changes the base rate, this cascades through all these rates. As such, the Bank of England carefully considers the state of the economy – that is, growth and inflation – when deciding on the base rate.
When an economy is growing, interest rates and bond yields tend to rise. The occurs for several reasons. Investors sell bonds to buy riskier assets with better returns. Firms and households also look to borrow more money in a growing economy, for example, to invest in new machinery or to move home. More demand for borrowing means lenders can charge higher interest on their loans.
Higher inflation often accompanies economic growth because of the increase in demand for goods and services. This tightens supply and causes prices to rise (including wages for labour). The Bank of England, which is mandated by the government to try to keep inflation as close to 2% as possible, will respond to higher inflation by raising base rates, which, as noted, feeds through to the different rates.
Investors will often anticipate the increase in base rates and look to act before it goes up by selling Treasury bonds and buying alternative, higher return, assets. This causes bond yields to rise further. As a result, the Treasury bond yield is often seen as a predictor of future Bank of England base rate changes.
So, if yields are rising, does this mean that investors are expecting future economic growth in the UK?
No, not at the moment. When the government raises money by issuing bonds, it does so over a range of time periods (called maturities), from one day to 30 years. When an economy is expected to grow, the yield on longer-term bonds will be higher than the yield on shorter-term bonds.
This relationship between yields across different maturities is referred to as the term structure or yield curve. An upward sloping yield curve implies a growing economy. At the moment, the UK yield curve is flat, or even downward-sloping across some maturities. My research shows that a falling yield curve is a good predictor of a coming recession.
Yield curve for UK government bonds
It’s important to remember that these different yields act as a benchmark for commercial lending rates of equivalent lengths. The approximate jump to 4.5% in 2-year and 5-year yields has been reflected in mortgage rates, which is why some lenders have pulled available mortgage deals recently while they reassess the lending rates charged to households.
But if the UK economy is not expected to perform well, why have bond yields been rising after the chancellor’s mini-budget announcement?
The rising bond yields we are seeing relate to an additional factor: the amount of government debt. The mini-budget introduced tax cuts and increased spending and investors know the government will need to increase borrowing to meet these commitments. Some estimates put potential government borrowing at £190 billion due to this plan.
An increase in the amount a homeowner borrows versus the value of their home (called the loan-to-value) causes the mortgage rate charged to the borrower to rise. Similarly, an increase in the amount of bonds that the government will be looking to sell (the amount it wants to borrow) will push down the price of existing bonds, increasing yields. More importantly, more debt without growth raises the risk level of the UK economy.
Anticipating this, investors triggered a large-scale bond sell-off after the government’s mini-budget announcement. This contributed to the fall in the value of the pound as investors selling UK Treasury bonds bought US bonds instead, essentially swapping pounds for dollars.
So will the Bank of England’s plan work?
The intervention will have a short-term positive impact, which started as soon as it was announced. But the bank is really only buying time. Any ultimate success depends on the government restoring investor confidence in its economic plans.
Unfortunately, rising yields and borrowing costs for the UK economy is the price we are now paying for the government’s recent fiscal announcement.
David McMillan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.recession pandemic covid-19 economic growth treasury bonds bonds yield curve government bonds government debt mortgage rates pound spread interest rates uk
August data shows UK automotive sector heading for a “cliff-edge” in 2023
With an all-out macroeconomic storm brewing in the UK, the Bank of England (BoE) has been forced to intervene in the tumultuous gilt markets, particularly…
With an all-out macroeconomic storm brewing in the UK, the Bank of England (BoE) has been forced to intervene in the tumultuous gilt markets, particularly towards the tail end of the yield curve (details of which were reported on Invezz here).
Car manufacturing is a key industry in the UK. Recently, it registered a turnover of roughly £67 billion, provided direct employment to 182,000 people, and a total of nearly 800,000 jobs across the entire automotive supply chain, while contributing to 10% of exports.
Just after midnight GMT, data on fresh car production for the month of August was released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Limited (SMMT).
Strong annual growth but monthly decline
Car production in the UK surged 34% year-over-year settling at just under 50,000 units. This marked the fourth consecutive month of positive growth on an annual basis.
However, twelve months ago, production was heavily dampened by a plethora of supply chain bottlenecks, work stoppages on account of the pandemic, and a worldwide shortage of microchips. The August 2021 output of 37,246 units was the lowest recorded August volume since way back in 1956.
Although the improvement in output is a good sign, equally it is on the back of a heavily depressed performance.
To place the latest data in its proper context, production is still 45.9% below August 2019 levels of 92,158 units, showing just how far adrift the industry is from the pre-pandemic period.
Since July, production in the sector fell 14%.
The fact that the UK is facing a deep economic malaise becomes even more evident when we look at full-year numbers for 2020 and 2021.
In 2020, total output came in at 920,928 units, while 2021 was even lower at 859,575. The last time that the UK automotive sector produced less than one million cars in a calendar year was 1986.
Unfortunately, 2022 has seen only 511,106 units produced thus far, a 13.3% decline compared to January to August 2021.
In contrast, the 5-year pre-pandemic average for January to August output from 2014 – 2019 stands well above this mark at 1,030,527 units.
With car manufacturers tending to pass price rises on to consumers, demand was dampened by surging costs of semiconductors, logistics and raw materials.
The SMMT noted,
The sector is now on course to produce fewer than a million cars for the third consecutive year.
Ian Henry, managing director of AutoAnalysis concurred with the SMMT’s analysis,
It is expected that by the end of this year car production will reach 825,000, compared to 850,000 a year ago, but that’s 35% down on 2019 and a whopping 50% on the high figure of 2017.
Other than the obvious fact that the UK’s economic atmosphere is in hot water, the automotive industry (including component manufacturers) has been struggling to stave off the high energy costs of doing business.
In a survey, 69% of respondents flagged energy costs as a key concern. Estimates suggest that the sector’s collective energy expenditure has gone up by 33% in the last 12 months reaching over £300 million, forcing several operations to become unviable.
Although the government enacted measures to cap the price of energy and ease obstacles to additional production, Mike Hawes, the CEO of SMMT, said,
This is a short-term fix, however, and to avoid a cliff-edge in six months’ time, it must be backed by a full package of measures that will sustain the sector.
Due to the meteoric rise in costs across the automotive supply chain, 13% of respondents were cutting shifts, 9% chose to downsize their workforce and 41% postponed further investments.
Uncertainties around Brexit and the EU trade deal are yet to be resolved.
Moreover, the energy crisis is poised to get even more acute unless Russia withdraws from the conflict, or international leaders ease restrictions on Moscow. Last week, I discussed the evolving energy crisis here.
With global central banks expected to tighten till at least the end of the year, demand is likely to be squeezed further pressurizing British car manufacturers.
Electric vehicles made up 71% of car exports from the UK in August, but robust growth in the sector looks challenging in the near term, in the absence of widespread charging infrastructure, high electricity prices and globally low consumer confidence.
Although energy subsidies could provide some relief in the immediate future, the industry will remain in dire straits while investments stay low and the shortage in human capital persists, particularly amid the push for EVs.
Given the prevailing macroeconomic environment, and severe market backlash to Truss’s mini-budget (which I discussed in an earlier article), the sector is unlikely to turn the corner any time soon.
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Stocks Slide, Ugly Mood Returns As Traders Ask ‘Did Anything Change’
Stocks Slide, Ugly Mood Returns As Traders Ask ‘Did Anything Change’
The brief post-BOE euphoria has worn off, and risk-off sentiment returned…
The brief post-BOE euphoria has worn off, and risk-off sentiment returned to markets as concern about inflation and the global economy overshadowed the Bank of England’s desperate attempt to restore calm by restarting QE, exacerbated by more hawkish central bank talk and defiance by British PM Liz Truss's tax plan (which has been slammed from the IMF all the way to the White House). Treasuries resumed their slide with UK gilts, while US equity futures fell as European stocks extended a selloff that’s caused valuations to drop to their lowest since 2012. As of 730am, emini S&P futures slid 0.7% to 3704, recovering from losses as big as 1.5% earlier.
The dollar rose and Treasuries resumed their slump as investors focused on expectations the Federal Reserve will continue to deliver aggressive interest-rate hikes. The pound snapped a two-day gain and UK gilt yields rose as Prime Minister Liz Truss defended a giant package of unfunded tax cuts that sent markets into turmoil.
“Other than the dollar, there are not many assets that are trading constructively,” said Julia Raiskin, Asia-Pacific head of markets for Citigroup Inc. “The markets are very pessimistic. Investors are fairly on the sidelines.”
In premarket trading, US-listed Chinese stocks drop in premarket trading, following in the footsteps of Hong Kong- listed peers as the Hang Seng Tech Index erased almost all gains since a March nadir. Alibaba (BABA US) -3%, Nio (NIO US) -2.9%, Baidu (BIDU US) -2.4%, Pinduoduo (PDD US) -2.6%, JD.com (JD US) -2.4%. Bank stocks also slumped after snapping a six-day losing streak the day earlier. Here are other notable premarket movers:
- Coinbase falls 2.5% in premarket trading after Wells Fargo starts coverage at underweight, with operating results set to remain under pressure. Bakkt (BKKT US) and Riot Blockchain (RIOT US) are both initiated at equal-weight, with Riot declining 3% in premarket trading.
- Altus Power (AMPS US) slumped 16% in premarket trading after the company’s secondary offering priced at $11.50 per share, below Wednesday’s record close of $14.23.
- First Solar (FSLR US) gained 1.3% in premarket trading after Evercore ISI analyst Sean Morgan raised the recommendation to outperform from inline, saying the company is poised to benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act.
- Apple (AAPL US) shares were down 2.6% in premarket trading, set to extend Wednesday’s decline, as BofA Global Research cut the recommendation on the stock to neutral from buy.
European stocks bounced off session lows amid heightened risk-off mood. Euro Stoxx 50 slumped as much as 1.2%. Autos, retailers and real estate are the worst performing sectors as all slump. European miners rose after news that the London Metal Exchange is launching a discussion paper that marks the first step toward a potential ban on new supplies of Russian metal. Porsche AG rose as much as 5.2% as its shares started trading in Frankfurt after parent Volkswagen AG set the final listing price for the sports-car maker at the upper limit of its offer range. Here are some other notable European movers:
- Accor shares jumped as much as 8.1%, before paring gains, after the French hospitality company raised FY22 Ebitda guidance to a level which analysts said was above consensus estimates.
- Rational rose as much as 16% after the German kitchen appliances manufacturer raised its sales and Ebit guidance, citing improvements in the supply chain picture.
- Capricorn Energy shares rose as much as 8.9% to 261p amid a proposed merger with NewMed Energy that’s expected to deliver total value to Capricorn shareholders of 271 pence per share.
- H&M shares dropped as much as 7.2%, heading for the lowest close since September 2004, after it reported 3Q results that missed estimates and highlighted “very negative” market conditions.
- Next fell as much as 10% after the UK high street retailer cut its FY guidance, citing the cost of living crisis and saying the devaluation of the pound is set to prolong inflationary pressures.
- Colruyt shares plunged 24%, the most intraday on record, after it said the consolidated net result for FY22/23, ex. one-offs, is expected to decrease considerably compared with last year.
- Ubisoft shares fell after the video-game company pushed back its Skull & Bones title to March 2023 from November, despite maintaining FY guidance. Analysts say the decision raises concern.
- Wacker Chemie shares dropped as much as 7.8% after Stifel cut its price target, saying lower silicone and polysilicon prices hit sentiment.
- Hornbach shares dropped as much as 7% after it published its latest 2Q report. The home improvement retailer posted a worse-than expected Ebit decline y/y, Warburg said.
- European auto stocks fell and were among the worst performing subgroups on the wider market, with Volkswagen and its parent Porsche Automobil Holding SE leading declines.
European bond yields also rose as investors digested the latest inflation data and commentary from European Central Bank officials. Euro-area economic confidence dropped to the lowest since 2020.
Investors are contending with threats posed by discordant moves from central banks over the past few days, with Fed officials adamant on further monetary tightening, the BOE unveiling a £65 billion ($71 billion) plan to support government debt and authorities in Asia trying to prop up weakening currencies.
“The central bank is in a very difficult position right now,” Julie Biel, Kayne Anderson Rudnick portfolio manager and senior research analyst, said of the BOE in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “Everyone has been a little bit backed into a corner in seeing the volatility and market reaction.”
Former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney accused the UK government of “undercutting” the nation’s economic institutions, and said that its fiscal plans were to blame for the drop in the pound and bonds. Simon Wolfson, the boss of Next Plc and a Conservative peer, also appeared to blame the Tory government for a crash in the currency and a worsening outlook for UK inflation, which the company cited as it lowered guidance for sales and profits.
Separately, the European Commission announced an eighth package of sanctions that would include a price cap on Russia’s oil exports as Russia vowed to go ahead with the annexation of the parts of Ukraine that its troops currently control after UN-condemned votes, putting the Kremlin on a fresh collision course with the US and its allies.
Earlier in the session, Asian stocks pared earlier gains spurred by the Bank of England’s unlimited bond-buying plan, as sentiment again turned cautious with fears over a global recession. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was up 0.2%, having earlier gained as much as 1.2%. Benchmarks in Australia and Japan outperformed, while South Korea’s market closed almost flat. Gauges in Hong Kong and China ended in the red with tech stocks sliding near the lowest since to a sector index was introduced in 2020. Hang Seng Tech Index Slides Toward Lowest Since 2020 Inception The key Asian equity benchmark slumped Wednesday to its lowest since April 2020 on concerns over the Federal Reserve’s ongoing rate hikes. While the the UK central bank’s intervention to avert a crash in the gilt market helped calm investor nerves briefly, few saw the rally as a signal for a full-fledged rebound.
“We remain very cautious on the markets and would exercise a degree of patience,” Kerry Craig, a global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. Central bank moves, inflation and “the looming risk of recession” need to be monitored, he said. Down almost 12% in September, the MSCI Asian benchmark is set to post its worst monthly performance since the pandemic-triggered crash in March 2020. An index of Asia Pacific stocks excluding Japan is on course for its fifth-straight quarterly loss, its longest losing streak in 21 years.
Japanese equities rose, rebounding along with global peers as investors assessed the Bank of England’s move to buy government bonds. More than 1,100 Topix stocks traded without rights to the next dividend. The Topix rose 0.7% to close at 1,868.80, while the Nikkei advanced 0.9% to 26,422.05. Out of 2,169 stocks in the Topix, 1,854 rose and 271 fell, while 44 were unchanged. “Though there is still a strong uncertainty in the US and UK markets over the rise in long-term interest rates, for now there is a sense of relief in the markets as government bond yields in the UK settled down due to the unlimited purchase plan,” said Tomo Kinoshita, a global market strategist at Invesco Asset Management.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.4% to close at 6,555.00, boosted by gains in mining shares and banks. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.7% to 11,200.04
Stocks in India declined for a seventh straight day in the longest losing streak since February, tracking a selloff across global markets amid worries over possible recession. The S&P BSE Sensex gave up an advance of as much as 1% to end 0.3% lower at 56,409.96 in Mumbai. The NSE Nifty 50 Index slipped 0.2% as both indexes posted their longest stretch of declines in seven months. The key gauges have dropped more than 5% each this month and are on track to record their worst monthly performance since the pandemic led crash of March 2020. Ten of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. declined Thursday led by the utilities gauge which has lost 11% for the month, making it the worst sectoral performer.
In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index first rose then fell, as Treasuries slumped to unwind some of the previous day’s swift rally. The euro fell as much as 1% to $0.9636, before paring losses. It’s significantly more costly to hedge against euro price swings compared to a week ago, as traders bet on wider ranges with risks skewed to the downside. The pound erased losses amid month-end flows, after earlier falling by as much 1.2% to $1.0763. UK bonds extended losses after Prime Minister Liz Truss defended her new government’s giant fiscal package of unfunded tax cuts, which have tipped markets into chaos. Commodity currencies led declines among G-10 peers. Onshore yuan eked out the first gain in nine days following a stern PBOC warning against “one-sided” speculation, but offshore yuan weakened 0.4%
In rates, Treasuries pared Wednesday’s gains with yields cheaper by up to 11bp across the 5-year tenor into early US session, with the belly’s underperformance helped by a large block sale in 5-year note futures. Treasury 10-year yields near highs of the day at around 3.83%, outperforming bunds and gilts by 3.5bp and 4.5bp in the sector; belly-led losses cheapens 2s5s30s Treasuries fly by 7bp on the day. Moves follow a more aggressive bear flattening move in gilts, wit front-end yields are cheaper by 20bp on the day. US session focus on GDP and Fed speakers throughout the day. Bunds, Italian bonds dropped and money markets raised ECB tightening bets after German state CPIs rose in September while euro-area economic confidence dropped to 93.7 in September, the lowest since 2020. UK 10-year bonds decline after Truss doubled down on her economic package;
In commodities, Brent rebounded from earlier lows, to trade near $89.50 following reports of OPEC+ considering production cuts. Spot gold falls roughly $12 to trade near $1,648/oz. Bitcoin is under modest pressure but lies within narrow ranges of less than USD 500 at present and well within recent parameters as such.
Looking to the day ahead now, and data releases include German CPI for September, Italian PPI for August, and UK mortgage approvals for August (the calm before the storm). We’ll also get the weekly initial jobless claims from the US, as well as the third estimate of Q2 GDP. From central banks, we’ll also hear from an array of speakers, including ECB Vice President de Guindos, and the ECB’s Simkus, Panetta, Centeno, Villeroy, Knot, Elderson, Rehn, Vasle, Kazaks, Muller and Lane. In addition, there’ll be remarks from the Fed’s Bullard, Mester and Daly, as well as BoE Deputy Governor Ramsden and the BoE’s Tenreyro.
- S&P 500 futures down 1.1% to 3,692.25
- MXAP up 0.2% to 139.97
- MXAPJ little changed at 453.71
- Nikkei up 0.9% to 26,422.05
- Topix up 0.7% to 1,868.80
- Hang Seng Index down 0.5% to 17,165.87
- Shanghai Composite down 0.1% to 3,041.21
- Sensex down 0.3% to 56,446.56
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.4% to 6,554.97
- Kospi little changed at 2,170.93
- STOXX Europe 600 down 1.6% to 383.23
- German 10Y yield little changed at 2.23%
- Euro down 0.9% to $0.9650
- Brent Futures down 1.2% to $88.23/bbl
- Brent Futures down 1.2% to $88.23/bbl
- Gold spot down 0.9% to $1,644.68
- U.S. Dollar Index up 0.92% to 113.64
Top Overnight News from Bloomberg
- Britain is in a self-inflicted financial crisis that threatens to accelerate the economy’s dive into recession -- and the country’s new prime minister is coming under intense pressure to blink
- The ECB should opt for a “big” increase in interest rates in October, according to Governing Council member Martins Kazaks, who said in an interview that subsequent hikes are likely to be smaller. His Baltic counterparts Gediminas Simkus and Madis Muller also indicated they’d back significant moves, while Mario Centeno of Portugal called for a “measured and balanced” approach
- The ECB must ensure pay pressures don’t get out of control in its efforts to keep expectations stable, according to Governing Council member Olli Rehn
- The Riksbank believes it is very important that monetary policy continues to act for inflation to fall back and stabilize at the target of 2% within a reasonable time perspective, the Swedish central bank says in minutes from its latest monetary policy meeting
- Japan’s capital markets suffered the biggest foreign outflow in three months last week as growing fears of a global downturn fueled a search for liquidity
- China’s economy stabilized in the current quarter, and the final three months of the year will be key to the nation’s economic recovery, Premier Li Keqiang said
- As doubts grow over whether Xi Jinping still prioritizes expanding China’s economy over other goals, he’s tipped to appoint a new economic adviser who’s vowed to put growth first
- OPEC+ has begun discussions about making an oil-output cut when it meets next week, a delegate said
A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk
Asia-Pacific stocks traded higher as the region took impetus from the rally on Wall St where risk sentiment was buoyed and yields retreated following the BoE's announcement to resume Gilt purchases. ASX 200 outperformed in which the commodity-related sectors led the broad advances across industries following the recent upside in energy and metal prices, while firm monthly CPI data did little to dent risk sentiment. Nikkei 225 was also positive but with gains initially capped as more than half of the stocks traded ex-dividend. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were also firmer with the Hong Kong benchmark spearheaded by tech and energy stocks, while the mainland also digested reports that the PBoC is setting up a more than CNY 200bln re-lending facility quota for equipment upgrades which aims to expand market demand in the manufacturing sector.
Top Asian News
- PBoC injected CNY 105bln via 7-day reverse repos with the rate kept at 2.00% and injects CNY 77bln via 14-day reverse repos with the rate kept at 2.15% for a CNY 180bln net injection.
- Chinese President Xi told Japanese PM Kishida that they attach great importance to the development of China-Japan relations and he is willing to work with Kishida to build relations, while Kishida told Xi that bilateral relations are currently facing many issues and challenges but he hopes to build constructive and stable relations to boost peace and prosperity, in messages to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations.
- Hong Kong’s Worst Trading Debut in 2022 Sends EV Maker Down 34%
- US’s Harris Goes to DMZ Hours After North Korea Missile Launch
- Japan’s First Bond to Help Ocean Planned by Major Seafood Firm
- Best HK IPO Quarter in Year Ends With Disaster Debut: ECM Watch
- Yuan Bears Bet China Is Powerless to Fight the Mighty Dollar
- China Vows to Speed Up Delayed Homes With Special Loans
European stocks are experiencing another bleak session thus far as the overnight gains in futures dissipated heading into the cash open. Sectors are in a sea of red with no clear theme. Autos kicked off the day as the outperformer as the Porsche AG IPO occurred at a premium to the guided price of EUR 82.50/shr. US equity futures are also trading with losses across the board, with relatively broad-based downside of 1.3-1.5% seen across the front-month contracts.
Top European News
- UK PM Truss says the fiscal statement (i.e. mini-Budget) is the correct plan.
- UK Chief Secretary to the Treasury says the growth plan will get the economy growing, one of the reasons growth plans included tax cuts was to alleviate the household burden. BoE intervention has had the desired effect. Disagrees with the IMF's remarks.
- US President Biden's administration was reportedly alarmed by the market turmoil caused by the UK's economic program and is seeking ways to encourage PM Truss's team to dial back its tax cuts, according to Bloomberg.
- France is reportedly considering proposals for up to two hour power cuts for parts of the country on a rotating basis, via Reuters sources; additionally, telecom names have highlighted power issues with the German and Swedish gov'ts.
- German Network Regulator says recent gas consumption by households is too high to remain sustainable, via Reuters; gas savings of 20% are required to avoid an emergency.
- German gov't could make a "low three-digit billion amount" available for the gas price break, discussion of EUR 150-200bln, via Handelsblatt citing gov't circles; will reportedly be announced today.
- Europe Gas Eases With Traders Weighing Impact of Pipeline Blasts
- Rational Jumps After Boosting Sales Guidance Above Consensus
- Truss Says UK Tax Cuts Are the ‘Right Plan’ Amid Market Rout
- German Economy Seen Shrinking Next Year Due to Energy Crisis
- Profligate Government to Blame for Pound Drop, Says Wolfson
- USD has regained some poise after a mid-week pullback; though, the DXY remains off earlier 113.79 highs and thus shy of the YTD/WTD peak at 114.78.
- Yuan has derived pronounced support from Reuters reports that China's state banks have been told to stock up for intervention offshore, sending USD/CNH to 7.1437 from circa. 7.20 pre-release.
- Cable managed to 'recover' to a test of 1.09 but failed to breach the level with multiple BoE speakers in focus later.
- EUR/USD moving at the whim of broader USD action and failing to glean any real traction from multiple speakers and German state/Spanish mainland CPI data.
- Core benchmarks are pressured across the board in a modest pullback of the pronounced BoE-induced 'recovery' seen yesterday, with numerous speakers due and the second BoE operation.
- Specifically, Bund lies towards the bottom of a 200 tick range while Gilts are holding onto the 95.00 handle with the associated yield lifting further above 4.0%.
- Stateside, USTs are similarly at the lower-end of parameters ahead of data and numerous speakers while the curve flattens further
- ECB's Simkus says his choice of hike for October is 75bp, says 50bp would be the minimum, via Bloomberg. A 100bp hike would be too much at this point.
- ECB's Centeno says decisions must be measured and balanced, still far from the neutral rate, via Bloomberg.
- ECB's Rehn says prospect of recession in Euro Area is likely.
- ECB's Vasle says current hike pace is "appropriate" response to inflation; expects to raise rates at the next several meetings.
- ECB's de Cos says so far there is no clear evidence of de-anchoring of inflation expectations. Based on current models, median terminal rate value is at 2.25-2.5% (significant uncertainty).
- ECB's Kazaks says 75bp will likely be appropriate for October, via Bloomberg.
- PBoC says they are to add more loans to ensure property delivery when required, via Reuters.
- China's state banks have reportedly been told to stock up for Yuan intervention offshore, according to Reuters sources, in a bid to defend the weakening Yuan.. State banks were asked to asked offshore branches, such as those in Hong Kong, New York and London, to review holding of the CNH to ensure dollar reserves are ready to be deployed.
- RBI likely selling USD via state-run banks around 81.92-81.93 levels, according to traders cited by Reuters
- NBH hikes one-week deposit rate by 125bp, to 13.00%.
- Turkish President Erdogan says interest rates need to come down further; CBRT needs to lower rates at the next meeting, via Reuters.
- Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno said North Korea's multiple missile launches are unacceptable and Japan will maintain close contact with allies including the US to monitor and deal with North Korea, according to Reuters.
- Turkish President Erdogan said Turkey will increase its military presence in northern Cyprus, according to Sky News Arabia.
- EU Official expects an agreement on the next Russian sanctions package, or at least major parts of this, before the EU Summit next week. Expects the discussion to focus on referendums, possible annexation, nuclear threat and Nord Stream.
- Russian State Duma representatives have received invitations to the Kremlin for Friday, September 30th at 13:00BST, via Ria.
- Russian Kremlin says the ceremony on incorporating new territories will occur on Friday, September 30th - President Putin will speak.
US Event Calendar
- 08:30: Sept. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 215,000, prior 213,000
- 08:30: Sept. Continuing Claims, est. 1.39m, prior 1.38m
- 08:30: 2Q GDP Annualized QoQ, est. -0.6%, prior -0.6%
- 08:30: 2Q PCE Core QoQ, est. 4.4%, prior 4.4%
- 08:30: 2Q Personal Consumption, est. 1.5%, prior 1.5%
- 08:30: 2Q GDP Price Index, est. 8.9%, prior 8.9%
Central Bank Speakers
- 09:30: Fed’s Bullard Discusses Economic Outlook
- 13:00: Fed’s Mester and ECB’s Lane Take Part in Policy Panel
- 16:45: Fed’s Mary Daly Speaks at Boise State University
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
How could you have earned a 42% return yesterday from a AA-rated investment? Simple. At anytime between 8-11am all you had to do was buy 40yr Gilts before the BoE effectively restarted QE only days before QT was suppose to start (it’s been postponed until October 31st - ironically Halloween). The buying operation is aimed at restoring liquidity to a broken long end market and is temporary but it’s another stunning development to a stunning year. I’ve always felt that this debt supercycle would end up with central banks doing QE even if interest rates were positive. The reason being is that the economy can be growing and seeing inflation at a point when investors baulk at funding all the debt. I appreciate this BoE operation is slightly different and I would have never have guessed the series of events that got us here but it might not be the last time a central bank buys government bonds when not at the zero bound given how much debt there is and how much there's likely to be going forward.
It's becoming clearer the extent to which Tuesday's rout at the long-end was exacerbated by collateral calls on LDIs (liability driven investments) that pension funds have typically used in some size in recent years. With these swaps moving so far out of the money, the risk was that investors would have to sell liquid assets to meet margin calls. If they didn't have this (which a lot don't), then obviously there would have been huge liquidity events. To understand the fears that were around over the last 48 hours, Sky News’ economics editor Ed Conway said yesterday that “I am told there were a swathe of pension funds that … would have essentially collapsed by this afternoon”. Whether that's true, we'll never know but it shows the level of fear.
Overall, this isn't quite monetising debt in the purest sense but at the end of the day we have seen fresh central bank buying of debt after unfunded tax cuts pushed up yields dramatically. Despite the BoE’s insistence that these are targeted, temporary purchases designed to ease market dysfunction, global pricing reacted as if they were launching a new QE program to ease financial conditions. Global equities increased, with the S&P 500 (+1.97%) breaking a run of 6 consecutive losses and global bond yields fell across the curve.
In yield terms, 30yr gilts had been trading above 5% prior to the BoE’s announcement, but afterwards they staged a stunning turnaround to fall by an astonishing -105.9bps yesterday. That was easily the largest decline in the 30 years of available Bloomberg data, with the next two closest being a -39.7bps and -30.5bps decline in 1997 and 2009, respectively. It was also the largest absolute daily yield move in the 30yr, with the next two closest being Monday and Tuesday’s sell-offs. The decline takes 30yrs back to 3.92%, which is still above the c.3.5% level prior to the fiscal announcement last Friday but more within normal market reaction levels. Yields on 10yr gilts were down by a smaller -49.8bps, although that reflected the BoE only purchasing gilts with a residual maturity of more than 20 years. Sterling also managed to strengthen for a second day running, with a +1.45% gain against the US Dollar. But that overall performance hides some incredible intraday swings, with sterling moving sharply higher immediately after the BoE’s announcement before tumbling by -2.74% over the subsequent hour and a half before paring back those losses once again. It is down -0.75% in Asia as I type. Remember that markets are still pricing in around +150bps worth of hikes by the next BoE meeting on November 3, and implied sterling-dollar volatility for the next month remains at levels we’ve only previously seen around the GFC, the Covid pandemic and Brexit in the 21st century, so we certainly haven’t heard the end of the UK’s turmoil just yet.
That intervention from the BoE helped sovereign bonds across the world. Indeed, yields on 10yr US Treasuries had been trading just above 4% immediately prior to the intervention, before reversing course to close -21.0bps lower on the day at 3.71%, which is their biggest move lower since the wild intraday swings we had in March 2020 when the Fed was stepping in to buy Treasuries and MBS in unlimited size; sound familiar? Those gains came as investors moved to downgrade the likelihood that the Fed would be pursuing aggressive policy into next year, with the rate priced in for December 2023 coming down by -23.3bps. This morning in Asia, yields on 10yr USTs (+3.6bps) have edged higher again to 3.77% as we type. In terms of the Fed, we did hear from Atlanta Fed President Bostic, who said he favoured another 125bps of hikes this year, but Chair Powell didn’t comment on policy in an appearance at a Community Banking Research Conference.
Over at the ECB, we heard from an array of speakers yesterday, including President Lagarde who said that the ECB would “continue hiking rates in the next several meetings”. Multiple speakers separately endorsed another 75bps hike next month as well, including Latvia’s Kazaks who said that “I would side with 75 basis points”, Austria’s Holzmann who said that “I think 75 would be a good guess”, and Slovakia’s Kazimir who said that 75bps was “a good candidate to continue and keep tightening.” However, sovereign bonds still rallied across the continent, with yields on 10yr bunds (-11.1bps), OATs (-11.8bps) and BTPs (-22.2bps) all down significantly.
When it came to equities, yesterday also finally brought a reprieve from the heavy selling over recent days, which had taken a number of major indices to their lowest levels since late-2020. As mentioned at the top, the S&P 500 (+1.97%) ended its run of 6 consecutive declines with a strong advance that took the index back into positive territory for the week. Despite the rally, the Vix managed to finish above 30 again, as it has every day this week. Indeed, the Vix has finished above 30 on nearly 19% of trading days this year, which is the fourth most in the last 20 years, behind just the crisis years of 2008, 2009, and 2020. The count hides how skewed the distribution is as in ten of those years, the Vix never once finished the trading day above 30. Yesterday's equity rally was less extreme in Europe, with the STOXX 600 (+0.30%), the DAX (+0.36%) and the FTSE 100 (+0.30%) seeing modest gains.
In Asia, the Hang Seng (+1.05%) is leading gains, rebounding from recent steep losses with the Kospi (+1.01%), the CSI (+0.50%), the Shanghai Composite (+0.24%) and the Nikkei (+0.25%) are trading higher. Stock futures in the US are pointing to a slightly more negative start though with contracts on the S&P 500 (-0.11%) and NASDAQ 100 (-0.22%) both in the red. As we go to print, the Swedish media is reporting that coast guards have found a fourth leak on the Nord Stream pipeline. What worries me is that if this can be done to this pipeline what stops it being done to a fully working pipeline.
Elsewhere, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) stepped up its efforts to limit FX weakness by warning banks against betting on the yuan, after its rapid decline against the US dollar this week which pushed the Chinese currency to as high as 7.25 yesterday. Indeed, the US dollar index (+0.59%) at 113.27 is trending upwards this morning, after hitting a fresh two-decade peak yesterday before pulling back.
There wasn’t much in the way of data yesterday, although US pending home sales for August were down -2.0% (vs. -1.5% expected). With the exception of April 2020 during the lockdowns, that takes them to their lowest level in over a decade. In the meantime, the US goods trade deficit for August narrowed to $87.3bn (vs. $89.0bn expected), which is its smallest level since October 2021.
To the day ahead now, and data releases include German CPI for September, Italian PPI for August, and UK mortgage approvals for August (the calm before the storm). We’ll also get the weekly initial jobless claims from the US, as well as the third estimate of Q2 GDP. From central banks, we’ll also hear from an array of speakers, including ECB Vice President de Guindos, and the ECB’s Simkus, Panetta, Centeno, Villeroy, Knot, Elderson, Rehn, Vasle, Kazaks, Muller and Lane. In addition, there’ll be remarks from the Fed’s Bullard, Mester and Daly, as well as BoE Deputy Governor Ramsden and the BoE’s Tenreyro.
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