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Futures Slump Ahead Of Powell Speech

Futures Slump Ahead Of Powell Speech

US futures dropped as investors waited to see whether Fed Chair Jerome Powell will differentiate himself…



Futures Slump Ahead Of Powell Speech

US futures dropped as investors waited to see whether Fed Chair Jerome Powell will differentiate himself from hawkish comments made by two policy makers on Monday when he speaks later at an event in Sweden at 9am ET. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped to session lows around 7:15am ET after trading little changed for much of the overnight session. Traders are also reluctant to take strong directional bets before US inflation data is published on Thursday and visibility clears up on the trajectory of interest rates. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was near session after trading earlier in a tight range, while the rest of the currencies in the Group of 10 were mixed. Treasuries also broke out above a range, hitting session highs around 3.57% around the time stocks stumbled. Oil rose with gold and Bitcoin rallying for a seventh-straight day.

Among US premarket movers, Virgin Orbit slumped as much as 27%, putting the stock on track for its biggest drop since June 2022, after the failure of a rocket that Richard Branson’s satellite company launched from a Boeing 747. Among winners, Oak Street Health rose 33% after Bloomberg reported that drugstore operator CVS is exploring an acquisition of the primary care provider, in a deal which could exceed $10 billion, including debt. Shares in Frontline, listed both in the US and Norway, surged as much as 20% in Oslo after the shipping giant controlled by billionaire John Fredriksen walked away from its plans to acquire Belgium’s Euronav, which dropped 21% on the news. Bed Bath & Beyond shares also jumped as much as 20%, poised to continue its rebound from the previous session, ahead of its earnings report and after the troubled home furnishings retailer saw its long-term rating upgraded at S&P. Here are some other notable premarket movers:

  • Boeing stock slides 2.7% as Morgan Stanley downgraded its rating on the planemaker to equal-weight from overweight, saying the stock is now approaching fair value following recent outperformance.
  • Frontline (FRO US) shares surge 22% after the company said it wouldn’t make a voluntary conditional exchange offer for all outstanding shares of the oil tanker operator Euronav. The decision not to proceed follows opposition from Belgium’s Saverys family - a major holder in Euronav.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY US) shares jump 20%, poised to continue their rebound from the previous session before its earnings report. The troubled home furnishings retailer also saw its long-term rating upgraded at S&P.
  • HP Enterprise shares were down 1.9% after Barclays downgraded them to equal-weight, taking a cautious view on IT hardware stocks in 2023 given a challenging macro backdrop. The broker also cut NetApp (NTAP US) and upgraded Keysight (KEYS US) shares.
  • Barclays expects a difficult 1H for US software stocks as estimates still look too high, even if valuation levels are “interesting.” The broker upgrades DoubleVerify (DV US) and Confluent (CFLT US), cuts Dynatrace (DT US).
  • RBC anticipates a challenging start for US software stocks in 2023, which will eventually give way to “green shoots” of optimism. The broker outlines its top picks in the sector and cuts Box (BOX US) to underperform.
  • Watch Chemours (CC US) after the stock was cut to sector perform from outperform at RBC on expectations that a challenging fourth quarter for the chemicals firm will feed into the first half of 2023.
  • Keep an eye on PPG Industries (PPG US) as it was cut to sector perform from outperform at RBC with limited upside seen for the paint-maker’s stock amid expectations that volumes will come under pressure.

Sentiment was dented on Monday, as a 1.4% gain in the S&P was fully reversed, after the San Francisco and Atlanta Fed presidents poured cold water on hopes that monetary tightening would soon ease off by calling for interest rates to rise above 5% and staying there, a scenario strategists believe would be negative for stock markets. It's also what they have been saying for months, but the market is always happy to keep pricing in the same flashing red headline as if it was new.

"Sentiment is torn between the fear of missing out good news on inflation and, by opposite, angsts the Fed will be stubborn in its fight against inflation which reinforces the risk of a recession,” said Sarah Thirion, a Paris-based strategist at TP ICAP Europe. Fears about Covid in China and the trend of corporate guidance which will be unveiled during the next earnings season are also weighing on stocks, Thirion said.

"The same pattern keeps emerging, with investors clinging onto any data which appears to show the economy is cooling off, only to see their hopes dashed by policymakers who clearly believe the inflation-busting job is far from over,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

Thursday’s US inflation report, which will come out almost a week after the latest jobs data showed wage growth has decelerated, will be among the last such readings Fed policy makers will see before their Jan. 31-Feb. 1 gathering.

European stock markets, which have outperformed Wall Street since September, were also in a cautious mood with the Stoxx 600 down 0.6% after hitting an eight-month high yesterday. Retailers, industrials and miners are the worst performing sectors. Here are some of the most notable European movers:

  • Orsted gains as much as 4.1% after being named among preferred picks in the renewables space by both Morgan Stanley and Exane.
  • Card Factory jumps as much as 9.4% after raising full-year pretax profit guidance in a trading update. Liberum said the greetings-card retailer delivered another “impressive” update.
  • Plus500 gains as much as 3% after giving an update for the year-end, with Liberum saying the trading platform saw an “excellent” performance in FY22.
  • AO World rises as much as 18% after raising guidance for FY adjusted Ebitda. Jefferies says the update shows that efforts to cut costs and improve margins are working.
  • European staffing stocks drop following a warning from UK recruiter Robert Walters and with Dutch peer Randstad downgraded by Degroof
  • Euronav slumps 21% after Frontline said it won’t make a voluntary conditional exchange offer for all outstanding shares of the oil tanker operator.
  • Husqvarna falls as much as 4.6%, the most since Dec. 15, after Danske Bank cut its recommendation to hold from buy, expecting a “challenging” first half of 2023.
  • Kahoot shares fall as much as 18%, the most since November, after the company published below-forecast fourth- quarter preliminary adjusted Ebitda on weak macro conditions.
  • Games Workshop falls as much as 6.9% after reporting 1H results that Jefferies said contained highs and lows, highlighting the challenges flagged by management.

Optimism for the region is rising with economists at Goldman Sachs no longer predicting a euro-zone recession after the economy proved more resilient at the end of 2022, natural gas prices fell sharply and China abandoned Covid-19 restrictions earlier than anticipated. GDP is now expected to increase 0.6% this year, compared with an earlier forecast for a contraction of 0.1%. Economists led by Jari Stehn warn in a report to clients of weak growth during the winter given the energy crisis, and say headline inflation will ease faster than thought, to about 3.25% by end-2023. As reported previously, BofA CIO Michael Hartnett said a new era may have started with the ratio of the S&P 500 index to the Stoxx Europe 600 breaking its 100-week moving average, a support that has held strong for more than a decade.

Earlier in the session, Asian stocks declined as Chinese equities halted their rally, which had pushed a key regional benchmark to a bull market, amid profit-taking and renewed caution on the Fed’s rate-hike path.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped as much as 0.3% as of 4:17 pm in Singapore, dragged lower by Alibaba and Ping An Insurance. Trading volume was about 4% lower than the three-month average, according to data complied by Bloomberg. Tuesday’s breather comes as Asia’s benchmark index a day earlier entered bull territory, driven by China’s reopening and a weakening dollar that lured investors back to the region after facing a downward spiral for much of 2022.  Benchmarks in Hong Kong posted moderate losses while stock gauges in India, Singapore and Indonesia dropped more than 1%. Indonesian stocks were on track to enter a technical correction as investors looked to cash out from one of Asia’s hottest markets for 2022.

Japanese equities climbed as traders returned from a holiday; as investors assessed the impact of China’s reopening and US job data that showed slower-than-expected average wage growth. The Topix Index rose 0.3% to 1,880.88 as of the market close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei advanced 0.8% to 26,175.56. Daikin Industries Ltd. contributed the most to the Topix Index gain, increasing 5.3%. Out of 2,162 stocks in the index, 1,092 rose and 953 fell, while 117 were unchanged. “Japanese stocks benefited from the belief that the Fed’s next rate hike will be more moderate,” said Tomo Kinoshita, a global market strategist at Invesco Asset Management. “China’s reopening has a positive impact on Japanese stocks, and inbound demand will resume once regulations around Chinese tourists are eased.”

“After the sharp rally, Asian markets could see a bout of profit taking amid headwinds from tighter financial conditions and no respite in Fed rate-hike outlook,” said Nitin Chanduka, a strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence.  Two Fed officials said the central bank will likely need to raise interest rates above 5% before pausing and holding for some time. Still, the recent rally in Chinese equities may have more legs as consumption-driven firms drive the reopening rebound further and China shifts its focus to economic growth. Investors expect a strong 2023 for both Chinese stocks and the yuan as Asia’s largest economy bucks the global trend of weakening expansion. Morgan Stanley turned even more bullish on the market, raising price targets further and expecting China to top global equity-market performance in 2023.  “We remain of the view that Asian investors should use this volatility in 1Q23 as an opportunity to raise exposure,” said Chetan Seth, an Asia equity strategist at Nomura Holdings. 

Australian stocks nudged lower after Fed speakers dampened risk sentiment. The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.3% to close at 7,131.00 as investors assessed hawkish commentary from Fed officials. The retreat halted the benchmark’s four-day run of gains. Miners and banks were the biggest drags on Tuesday. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.2% to 11,665.26

Stocks in India resumed a decline after bellwether Tata Consultancy’s quarterly earnings showed increasing caution over technology spending amid an uncertain economic outlook. The S&P BSE Sensex fell 1% to 60,115.48 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index declined by an equal measure. Both the gauges are close to extending their losses from peak levels last month to 5% as investors resort to profit-taking at the start of the earnings season. Sixteen of BSE Ltd.’s 20 sector sub-gauges declined, led by telecom companies, while Reliance Industries was the biggest drag on the Sensex, plunging 1.5%. Tata Consultancy Services closed 1% lower after its net income for the fiscal third quarter trailed estimates. Foreign investors have been sellers of local shares this month, taking out about $602 million through Jan. 6 after $167m of outflows in December.

In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Index jumped near session highs after the greenback initially slipped against most of its Group-of-10 peers. The dollar finds itself at a make-or-break technical moment, with its two-year rally under threat as key US inflation data looms.

  • The euro rose to a daily high of around $1.0750 in European session. The euro hit fresh cycle highs Monday and options pricing is coming to reflect a more constructive outlook in the short-term. Bunds and Italian bonds dropped, underperforming Treasuries
  • The Canadian dollar was steady. USD/CAD’s downward path is being refueled in the options space as traders position for an extended period of US dollar weakness
  • The Australian dollar was the worst G-10 performer. Sovereign bonds inched up
  • The yen was steady at 131.80 per dollar. Tokyo’s inflation outpaced forecasts to hit 4% for the first time since 1982, suggesting the underlying price trend is stronger than expected by economists, a factor that could further fuel speculation the Bank of Japan will adjust policy again

In rates, Treasuries ease lower, following wider losses across core European rates amid supply pressures and ahead of a Riksbank conference on central bank independence where ECB’s Schnabel, BOE Governor Bailey and Fed Chair Powell are all scheduled to speak. US 10-year yield around 3.56%, cheaper by 3bp on the day with bunds and gilts lagging by additional 2.5bp and 2bp; long-end Treasuries outperformance flattens 5s30s by 1.5bp vs Monday’s close.  Front-end and intermediates lead slight losses in Treasuries, flattening 5s30s spread. After Powell appearance, the year's first auction cycle begins at 1pm ET with $40bn in 3-year new issue, followed by $32b 10-year, $18b 30-year reopenings on Wednesday and Thursday.  European bonds are also in the red with Bund futures underperforming their UK counterparts. The Gilt curve bear steepens with 2s10s widening 2.1bps.

In commodities, crude futures reversed an earlier drop to trade higher. WTI Has added 0.5% to trade near $75.00. Spot gold rises roughly $5 to trade near $1,877/oz.

Bitcoin is support above the USD 17k mark, holding towards the top-end of USD 17133-17294 parameters.

Looking to the day ahea, at 9 a.m., Fed Chair Jerome Powell will speak at an event hosted by the Swedish central bank. Other speakers include  BoE Governor Bailey, BoJ Governor Kuroda, BoC Governor Macklem, and the ECB’s Schnabel, De Cos, and Knot. An hour later, we’ll get the latest data on wholesale inventories. At 10:30 a.m., President Joe Biden will meet Canada’s Justin Trudeau, while Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen meets Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland at 1:30 p.m. The US will sell $40 billion 3-year notes at 1 p.m.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.5% to 3,896
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.7% to 445.05
  • MXAP little changed at 161.72
  • MXAPJ down 0.3% to 534.27
  • Nikkei up 0.8% to 26,175.56
  • Topix up 0.3% to 1,880.88
  • Hang Seng Index down 0.3% to 21,331.46
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.2% to 3,169.51
  • Sensex down 1.1% to 60,097.38
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.3% to 7,131.00
  • Kospi little changed at 2,351.31
  • German 10Y yield little changed at 2.27%
  • Euro up 0.2% to $1.0751
  • Brent Futures up 0.1% to $79.73/bbl
  • Brent Futures up 0.1% to $79.74/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,876.70
  • U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 103.06

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • Cost pressures in corporate Germany appear to be easing, with fewer companies planning price increases during the coming months. Price expectations for the whole economy fell to 40.3 points in December from 46.2 points the previous month, according to a survey by the Ifo Institute published Tuesday
  • Back in October equities and bonds were breaking from their normal settings to move together far more tightly than at almost any stage in history. Since then, the ties have only become tighter, as the prospects of an end to Fed rate hikes helps to drive gains for both Treasury futures and S&P 500 contracts
  • East European nations started 2023 with a flurry of dollar issuance, putting the region on track for a record year as it rediscovers the foreign-debt market beyond its traditional euro-denominated sales
  • Deflationary pressure in China worsened in the fourth quarter as the economy slumped, with price-growth likely to be subdued even when the economy rebounds later this year, according to China Beige Book International
  • Egypt’s urban inflation accelerated at its fastest pace in five years as several rounds of currency devaluation filtered through to consumers

A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

APAC stocks traded mostly lower as the risk appetite in the region stalled following a similar handover from Wall St where the major indices failed to sustain early gains despite a further dovish Fed repricing. ASX 200 was lacklustre amid weakness in industrials and mining stocks, although price action was rangebound amid the lack of any major fresh drivers. Nikkei 225 outperformed as it played catch-up to Monday’s advances on return from the extended weekend but with upside capped as participants also reflected on weak Household Spending and firm Tokyo CPI data releases. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were indecisive as the border reopening euphoria faded and despite reports that China will cut VAT for small businesses, while the PBoC also continued to drain liquidity.

Top Asian News

  • Chinese state media noted that the COVID-19 wave is past its peak in many parts of China.
  • China's embassy in South Korea stopped issuing short-term visas for Korean citizens visiting China and said it will adjust policy subject to the lifting of South Korea's discriminatory entry restrictions against China, according to Reuters. Subsequently, the embassies in Japan took the same step.
  • China's State Planner publishes registration rules for mid- & long-term foreign borrowings by companies, aimed at promoting orderly offshore financing.
  • PBoC is to increase financial support for domestic demand and the supply system, to guide the balance sheets of high-quality real estate enterprises back to a safe range, ensure steady and orderly property financing.

European bourses are underpressure, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.5%, in a continuation of the tepid APAC tone amid minimal newsflow. US futures are similarly contained and are diverging slightly around the unchanged mark pre-Powell. Amazon (AMZN) intends to close three UK warehouses (will impact 1,200 jobs), according to the PA.

Top European News

  • ECB's Schnabel says greening monetary policy requires structural changes to our monetary policy framework rather than adjustments to our reaction function. Preliminary inflation data for December point to a persistent build-up of underlying price pressures even as energy price inflation has started to subside. Interest rates will still have to rise significantly at a steady pace to reach levels that are sufficiently restrictive.
  • Adyen, Nexi to Be Hit by Weaker Card Spending, Barclays Says
  • Teneo Is Said to Near Deal to Buy British PR Firm Tulchan
  • RBC Sees Good Growth For European Luxury and Premium Brands
  • Uniper Says CEO and COO to Resign After Government Takeover


  • Dollar is trying to regroup ahead of Fed Chair Powell, but DXY is heavy on the 103.000 handle and mixed vs majors.
  • Kiwi marginally outperforming as Aussie retreats with Yuan after some Chinese officials warn about 2-way volatility in 2023.
  • AUD/NZD cross reverses towards 1.0800 from 1.0860+, USD/CNH bounces from 6.7585 to almost 6.8000.
  • Euro consolidates on a 1.0700 handle vs Buck, but Pound runs into resistance pips from 1.2200
  • PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 6.7611 vs exp. 6.7613 (prev. 6.8265)

Fixed Income

  • Bonds retreat further from peaks in consolidation and consideration of heavy conventional and syndicated issuance.
  • Bunds sub-137.00 and very close to Monday's base, Gilts mostly under 102.00 and T-note below par within a 114-19+/11 range.
  • Focus on Central Bank speakers at a Riksbank symposium where ECB's Schnabel has already been hawkish.
  • Saudi Arabia has begun marketing a three-part USD bond, via Bloomberg.


  • Crude benchmarks spent much of the European morning little changed, but have recently broken out of and eclipsed initial parameters, with upside of circa. USD 0.50/bbl as such.
  • Barclays remains constructive on the space reiterating its Brent 2023 forecast of USD 98/bbl; writing there is the potential for USD 15-25/bbl of downside if the slump in global manufacturing worsens..
  • Goldman Sachs cut its Summer 2023 TTF price forecast by EUR 80 to EUR 100/MWh, citing exceptionally warm realised and forecast weather, as well as strong energy conservation.
  • Iraq's December crude production was unchanged from November at 4.43mln BPD; in-line with its OPEC+ quota.
  • Large Chinese nickel producer Tsingshan is in talks with struggling Chinese copper plants regarding processing its material which could double Chinese refined nickel output this year, according to
  • LME says further work will be required to prepare and communicate to the market a detailed implementation plan re. the Oliver Wydman review.
  • Spot gold and silver are diverging a touch and remain in close proximity to the unchanged mark in similarly narrow ranges, base metals are generally contained though the negative APAC bias remains in play.


  • US Pentagon is mulling sending Stryker armoured vehicles to Ukraine in an upcoming aid package, according to people familiar with the matter cited by Politico.
  • UK is willing to send battle tanks to Ukraine with PM Sunak supportive of Challenger II supply that could provide Ukrainian President Zelensky with a ‘knockout punch’, according to The Telegraph.
  • Russian Defence Minister Shoigu says Moscow will develop its nuclear triad and be the main guarantee of Russian sovereignty, according to Interfax.


  • Bitcoin is support above the USD 17k mark, holding towards the top-end of USD 17133-17294 parameters.

US Event Calendar

  • 06:00: Dec. SMALL BUSINESS OPTIMISM, 89.8; est. 91.5, prior 91.9
  • 10:00: Nov. Wholesale Trade Sales MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.4%
  • 10:00: Nov. Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 1.0%, prior 1.0%

Central Bank Speakers

  • 05:10: Bailey, Schnabel, Macklem Speak in Stockholm
  • 09:00: Powell Discusses Central Bank Independence at Riksbank Event

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Markets looked set to start the week off with a positive start across the globe yesterday until the last hurdle as the S&P 500 slipped around 1.5% from the European close to end -0.07%. The narrative explaining the reversal centred around more hawkish Fed speak but short-end markets didn’t move at all over this period so one has to be cautious on the reasons for the dip.

For the record though, Atlanta Fed President Bostic indicated that the Fed was committed to raising interest rates into a “5-5.25% range” and then holding there through 2024 in order to stamp down on excess demand in the economy. The length of time and the implication that rate cuts were not imminent seems to have been what the market grabbed on to, and this mirrors the comments from the FOMC minutes earlier this month, which indicated the Fed’s concern over a “pause” being mistaken by the market as a “pivot”. Bostic also was in favour of slowing rate hikes to 25bps in February if the inflation print on Thursday showed consumer prices cooling after the payrolls data last Friday showed slowing wage growth. Separately, San Francisco Fed President Daly said that she expected the fed funds rate to reach above 5% but that the final level is dependent on incoming inflation data, while highlighting how core services ex-housing has been a persistent source of pricing pressures. Neither Fed presidents are voting members this year, but offer a window into the FOMC’s thinking but as we said, Fed pricing was also little changed after these comments.

Those remarks come ahead of Fed Chair Powell today, who’ll be speaking at an event on central bank independence at 14:00 London time. It’s uncertain whether the topic in question will lead to an in-depth policy discussion, but if we do get any, a key question will be whether he entertains the prospect of a further downshift in the pace of rate hikes to 25bps. That’s currently the base case in markets, but clearly the CPI release on Thursday will be an influence on this and to future FOMC meetings too.

Most of the US session was more about pricing in less Fed hikes over the coming months with the 10yr yield down -2.59bps to 3.532% (fairly flat in Asia this morning). Investors also continued to downgrade their expectations for further hikes from the Fed, with the year-end rate at just 4.44%, down -4.2bps on the day. Those moves were given a further boost by data from the New York Fed, whose data on inflation expectations showed that 1yr expectations fell to a 17-month low in December of 5.0%. That said, the news wasn’t quite as positive when it came to longer time horizons, with 3yr expectations remaining at 3.0%, and 5yr expectations ticking up a tenth to 2.4%.

Even though US equities gave up gains, Tech stocks outperformed with yields lower, with both the NASDAQ (+0.63%) and particularly the FANG+ index (+2.41%) holding on to larger gains. Tesla (+5.9%) was the best performing member of the large-cap index and reduced its YTD losses to -2.77%. And back in Europe, the STOXX 600 (+0.88%) continued to move higher, bringing its 2023 YTD gains to +5.52%, and marking out European equities as one of the top 2023 performers so far.

However, one area that struggled yesterday were European sovereigns, with yields on 10yr bunds (+1.8bps) and OATs (+1.1bps) both rising, even if both had come off their earlier session highs. That followed data showing that Euro Area unemployment remained at a record low of 6.5% in November, which points to a historically tight labour market that could lead to further wage and hence inflationary pressures. Gilts were one of the biggest underperformers, with the 10yr yield up +5.4bps on the day amidst a speech from BoE chief economist Pill. In his remarks, he said that “the distinctive context that prevails in the UK… creates the potential for inflation to prove more persistent”.

In terms of currencies, the US Dollar index (-0.85%) weakened to its lowest level since early June, which brings its declines to almost -10% (-9.73%) since its peak in late-September, back when the UK mini-budget turmoil was at its height and global markets were selling off more broadly. This decline in the dollar very much leans into our strategists’ latest FX blueprint, where they write that various forces such as a reversal in the European energy shock and the economic reopening in China have bearish implications for the dollar with a target of $1.15 by year-end (current $1.07). You can read their full piece here.

That dollar weakness went hand-in-hand with noticeably tighter CDS spreads for most of the day, hitting levels we haven’t seen in months. For instance in Europe, the iTraxx Crossover tightened -8.4bps to 417bps, meaning it’s now more than -250bps beneath its own peak in late-September and the tightest since April. Meanwhile in the US, the CDX HY spread was down -10bps to 438bps at one point, its tightest level since August, before the late turn in risk assets saw CDX HY spreads wider (+1.9bps) on the day. A reminder that we revised our already bullish Euro Q1 credit spreads forecasts tighter over the weekend. See the piece here.

Asian equity markets are mixed this morning with the Hang Seng (-0.34%), the Shanghai Composite (-0.18%) and the CSI (-0.10%) lower whilst the KOSPI (+0.31%) and Nikkei (+0.76%) are edging higher with the latter reopening following a public holiday. DM stock futures are pricing in a weaker start with contracts on the S&P 500 (-0.28%), NASDAQ 100 (-0.35%) and the DAX (-0.85%) all trading in the red.

Early morning data showed broadening signs of inflationary pressures in Japan after Tokyo’s core consumer prices advanced +4.0% y/y in December - the fastest pace in four decades and beating market expectations of a +3.8% gain and against a +3.6% increase last month. With the core inflation figure staying above the BOJ’s 2% price target for the seventh consecutive month, it further heightens the possibility of an additional rise in the nationwide CPI.

There wasn’t much in the way of other data yesterday, although German industrial production grew by +0.2% in November (vs. +0.3% expected), and the previous month’s decline was revised to show a larger -0.4% contraction (vs. -0.1% previously).

To the day ahead now, and there are an array of central bank speakers including Fed Chair Powell, BoE Governor Bailey, BoJ Governor Kuroda, BoC Governor Macklem, and the ECB’s Schnabel, De Cos, and Knot. Otherwise, data releases include French industrial production for November, and in the US there’s the NFIB’s small business optimism index for December.

Tyler Durden Tue, 01/10/2023 - 08:08

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Infosys Recognized as the Top Service Provider Across Nordics in the Whitelane Research and PA Consulting IT Sourcing Study 2023

Infosys Recognized as the Top Service Provider Across Nordics in the Whitelane Research and PA Consulting IT Sourcing Study 2023
PR Newswire
STOCKHOLM, March 31, 2023

Infosys achieves a notable rise in overall ranking in the Nordics with a customer…



Infosys Recognized as the Top Service Provider Across Nordics in the Whitelane Research and PA Consulting IT Sourcing Study 2023

PR Newswire

Infosys achieves a notable rise in overall ranking in the Nordics with a customer satisfaction score of 81 percent as compared to the industry average of 73 percent

STOCKHOLM, March 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Infosys (NSE: INFY) (BSE: INFY) (NYSE: INFY), a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting, today announced that it has been recognized as one of the top service providers in the Nordics, achieving the highest awarded score in Whitelane Research and PA Consulting's 2023 IT Sourcing Study. The report ranked Infosys as the number one service provider and an 'Exceptional Performer' in the categories of Digital Transformation, Application Services, and Cloud & Infrastructure Hosting Services. Infosys also ranked number one in overall General Satisfaction and Service Delivery.

For the report, Whitelane Research and PA Consulting, the innovation and transformation consultancy, surveyed nearly 400 CXOs and key decision-makers from top IT spending organizations in the Nordics and evaluated over 750 unique IT sourcing relationships and more than 1,400 cloud sourcing relationships. These service providers were assessed based on their service delivery, client relationships, commercial leverage, and transformation capabilities.

Some of Infosys' key differentiating factors highlighted in the report are:

  • Infosys ranked as a top provider in the Nordics across key performance indicators on service delivery quality, account management quality, price level and transformative innovation.
  • Infosys' ranked above the industry average by 8 percent year-on-year, making it one of the top system integrators in the Nordics.
  • Infosys is positioned as a "Strong Performer" in Security Services and scored significantly above average on account management.

Arne Erik Berntzen, Group CIO of Posten Norge, said: "Infosys has been integral in helping Posten Norge transform its IT Service Management capabilities. As Posten's partner since 2021, Infosys picked up the IT Service Management function from the incumbent, successfully transforming it through a brand-new implementation of ServiceNow, redesigning IT service management to suit the next-generation development processes and resulting in a significant improvement of the overall customer experience. I congratulate Infosys for achieving the top ranking in the 2023 Nordic IT Sourcing Study."

Antti Koskelin, SVP & CIO at KONE, said: "Infosys has been our trusted partner in our digitalization journey since 2017 and have helped us in establishing best-in-class services blueprint and rolling-in our enterprise IT landscape over the last few years. Digital transformations need partners to constantly learn, give ideas that work and be flexible to share risks and rewards with us, and Infosys has done just that. I am delighted that Infosys has been positioned No. 1 in Whitelane's 2023 Nordic Survey. This is definitely a reflection of their capabilities."

Jef Loos, Head of Research Europe, Whitelane Research, said, "In today's dynamic IT market, client demand is ever evolving, and staying ahead of the curve requires a strategic blend of optimized offerings and trusted client relationships. Infosys' impressive ranking in Whitelane's Nordic IT Sourcing Study is a testament to their unwavering commitment to fulfilling client demands effectively. Through their innovative solutions and exceptional customer service, Infosys has established itself as a leader in the industry, paving the way for a brighter and more successful future for all."

Hemant Lamba, Executive Vice President & Global Head – Strategic Sales, Infosys said, "Our ranking as one of the top service providers across the Nordics in the Whitelane Research and PA Consulting 2023 IT Sourcing Study, endorses our commitment to this important market. This is a significant milestone in our regional strategy, and the recognition revalidates our commitment towards driving customer success and excellence in delivering innovative IT services. Through our geographical presence in the Nordics, we will continue to drive business innovation and IT transformation in the region, backed by a strong partner network. We look forward to continuing investing in this market to foster client confidence and further enhance delivery."

About Infosys

Infosys is a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting. Over 300,000 of our people work to amplify human potential and create the next opportunity for people, businesses and communities. With over four decades of experience in managing the systems and workings of global enterprises, we expertly steer clients, in more than 50 countries, as they navigate their digital transformation powered by the cloud. We enable them with an AI-powered core, empower the business with agile digital at scale and drive continuous improvement with always-on learning through the transfer of digital skills, expertise, and ideas from our innovation ecosystem. We are deeply committed to being a well-governed, environmentally sustainable organization where diverse talent thrives in an inclusive workplace.

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Safe Harbor

Certain statements in this release concerning our future growth prospects, financial expectations and plans for navigating the COVID-19 impact on our employees, clients and stakeholders are forward-looking statements intended to qualify for the 'safe harbor' under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties relating to these statements include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding COVID-19 and the effects of government and other measures seeking to contain its spread, risks related to an economic downturn or recession in India, the United States and other countries around the world, changes in political, business, and economic conditions, fluctuations in earnings, fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, our ability to manage growth, intense competition in IT services including those factors which may affect our cost advantage, wage increases in India and the US, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, time and cost overruns on fixed-price, fixed-time frame contracts, client concentration, restrictions on immigration, industry segment concentration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas, disruptions in telecommunication networks or system failures, our ability to successfully complete and integrate potential acquisitions, liability for damages on our service contracts, the success of the companies in which Infosys has made strategic investments, withdrawal or expiration of governmental fiscal incentives, political instability and regional conflicts, legal restrictions on raising capital or acquiring companies outside India, unauthorized use of our intellectual property and general economic conditions affecting our industry and the outcome of pending litigation and government investigation. Additional risks that could affect our future operating results are more fully described in our United States Securities and Exchange Commission filings including our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022. These filings are available at Infosys may, from time to time, make additional written and oral forward-looking statements, including statements contained in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and our reports to shareholders. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that may be made from time to time by or on behalf of the Company unless it is required by law.



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mRNA-LNP Vaccine Development: Evaluation of Novel Ionizable Lipids

In this GEN webinar, our distinguished speaker Dr. Nicholas Valiante, will provide insights into designing, developing, and manufacturing mRNA vaccines…



Broadcast Date: April 12, 2023
Time: 8:00 am PT, 11:00 am ET, 16:00 CET

The success of the mRNA-LNP COVID-19 vaccines have clinically proven the modality of lipid-based nanoparticle delivery, demonstrating the possibilities for rapid design, development, and manufacturing of other promising genomic medicines.

Due to their modular nature, LNP excipients can be mixed, matched, and modified during formulation to improve immune responses. Similarly, the encapsulated mRNA can be optimized to improve translation efficiency and stability.

In this GEN webinar, our distinguished speaker Dr. Nicholas Valiante, will provide insights into designing, developing, and manufacturing mRNA vaccines to maximize performance. Dr. Valiante will expand on the process to evaluate and select ionizable lipids required for mRNA-LNP vaccines development.

A live Q&A session will follow the presentation, offering you a chance to pose questions to our expert panelist.

Nicholas Valiante, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer, President
Innovac Therapeutics

Precision Nanosystems logo

The post mRNA-LNP Vaccine Development: Evaluation of Novel Ionizable Lipids appeared first on GEN - Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News.

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What Has Driven the Labor Force Participation Gap since February 2020?

The U.S. labor force participation rate (LFPR) currently stands at 62.5 percent, 0.8 percentage point below its level in February 2020. This “participation…



The U.S. labor force participation rate (LFPR) currently stands at 62.5 percent, 0.8 percentage point below its level in February 2020. This “participation gap” translates into 2.1 million workers out of the labor force. In this post, we evaluate three potential drivers of the gap: First, population aging from the baby boomers reaching retirement age puts downward pressure on participation. Second, the share of individuals of retirement age that are actually retired has risen since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, long COVID and disability more generally may induce more people to leave the labor force. We find that nearly all of the participation gap can be explained by population aging, which caused a significant rise in the number of retirements. Higher retirement rates compared to pre-COVID have had only a modest effect, while disability has virtually no effect.

The LFPR is defined as the ratio between workers in the labor force (either employed or unemployed) and the civilian, non-institutional population age 16 and older. As the chart below shows, the LFPR has been gradually declining since the early 2000s. It stayed relatively flat over the period 2014-19 and even slightly rose up to February 2020 as the strong labor market exerted a positive effect on labor supply. After a dramatic decline in the early months of the pandemic, participation has recovered gradually but remains significantly below its pre-COVID level—by 0.8  percentage point or 2.1 million workers as of February 2023. We examine potential drivers of the participation gap using the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly survey of about 60,000  households that is conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) Remains below its Pre-Pandemic Level

Liberty Street Economics chart showing the LFPR has declined gradually since the early 2000s. It also stayed relatively flat from 2014-19 and rose slightly until February 2020. After a steep decline in the early months of the pandemic, participation has recovered gradually but remains 0.8 pp below its pre-COVID level.
Sources: Current Population Survey; Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Notes: The chart shows the seasonally adjusted LFPR for the population aged 16+ years. The red dashed line illustrates the size of the shortfall between 2020:m2 and 2023:m2.

Population Aging

We first analyze population aging. As noted elsewhere, the panel chart below illustrates that as the baby boomer cohort has reached the retirement threshold, retirements have increased dramatically. The left panel shows the distribution of the U.S. population in 2009. Each gray bar shows the number of individuals of a given age in the U.S. population from U.S. Census data. The blue bars show the number of workers in that age group who are retired. We indicate the baby boomer cohort, that is, those workers born between 1946 and 1964, by the gray shaded area, and mark the retirement age of 65 years by the vertical red line. The left panel shows that in 2009 the baby boomers were just beginning to enter retirement.

Baby Boomer Retirements Have Increased Dramatically over Time

Two-panel Liberty Street Economics chart showing retirements have increased dramatically as the baby-boomer cohort has reached the retirement threshold. The left panel shows the distribution of the U.S. population in 2009, while the right panel shows the same distribution in 2022.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; Current Population Survey (CPS); authors’ calculations.
Notes: The gray bars show the U.S. population of a given age. The blue bars show the estimated number of retirees at each age, computed from the share of retired workers at each age from the CPS. The red vertical line indicates the normal retirement age of 65 years. The gray shaded area indicates the ages corresponding to the baby boomer cohort, that is, those individuals born between 1946 and 1964.

The right panel of the chart shows the same distribution in 2022. By 2022, a large share of the baby boomer generation had entered retirement, leading to a significant increase in the number of individuals retired, as indicated by the blue bars.

Retirements within Specific Age Groups Have Increased Compared to Pre-Pandemic Levels

We next examine retirements within age groups in more detail. The previous chart suggests that retirement shares by age group have risen only modestly, as shown by the height of the blue bars relative to the gray bars. To substantiate this point, we break the population into groups of individuals aged 60-69, 70-79, and over 79. We focus on individuals aged 60 and older since these account for more than 90 percent of all retirees in the United States. For those aged 60-69, the retirement share has risen from an average of 39.7  percent in 2018-19 to 40.0 percent over the second half of 2022. The retirement share for those aged 70-79 has increased from 77.5 percent in 2018-19 to 78.8 percent in the more recent period. Finally, among those over 79, the retirement share has gone up from 88.5 percent to 90.5 percent. Here we consider the average over 2018-19 as our pre-pandemic reference point to remove shorter-term movements in the retirement shares.

How does this change in retirement behavior affect overall retirements? The share of retired workers in the U.S. population has risen substantially, from an average of 18 percent in 2018-19 to nearly 20 percent at the end of 2022. However, once we control for the overall aging of the population, the changes in the age-specific retirement shares reported above imply an increase in the overall share of retirees in the population of only about 0.3  percentage point.

Share of Workers with Disability and Not in the Labor Force Has Actually Fallen

We finally analyze the effect of disability on the participation gap. To capture a broad notion of disability, we focus on a set of six questions in the CPS that ask respondents whether because of a physical, mental, or emotional condition they have serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.

We start by considering the number of disabled individuals in the labor force as a share of the total population. The share of workers with disability (based on the above definition) rose from an average of 2.5 percent of the population in 2018-19 to about 2.9 percent in the last six months of 2022. While the rise in disability among workers in the labor force may have implications for the intensity of work effort, a recent study has found relatively little change in average hours worked by workers with disability. Therefore, there may be relatively little effect on the LFPR since these workers are still in the labor force. For this reason, we focus on the share of disabled individuals not in the labor force. This share has risen slightly, from about 9.2 percent in 2018-19 to 9.4 percent in the second half of 2022. Once we adjust for aging, we find that the share of disabled individuals not in the labor force has, in fact, marginally declined. This result arises because disability shares have slightly fallen for the older age groups.

Impact on Labor Force Participation

How have the three channels affected labor force participation? We first analyze the impact of population aging in isolation by constructing a counterfactual LFPR that keeps constant the share of the population in each age group at February 2020 levels. The gold line in the chart below shows this age-adjusted participation rate. Removing the effect of aging can explain the entire participation gap, lifting LFPR by 0.9 percentage point in February 2023. This big effect arises because the large baby boomer cohort is right at the retirement cutoff. As the chart above shows, the retirement share rises dramatically with age around the age of 65. Consequently, the aging of the baby boomers between 2020 and 2022 led to a significant rise in retirements, reducing participation.

Second, we analyze the effect of excess retirements on participation, in addition to the effect of aging. To do so, we analyze how the overall age-adjusted retirement share would change if we went back to the retirement shares in each age group of 2018-19. In other words, we ask what LFPR would prevail if retirement behavior went back to pre-COVID levels, controlling for aging. Since about half of new retirees in 2020-22 were already out of the labor force prior to retirement (for example, a stay-at-home partner who transitions into retirement), we multiply the effect of excess retirement by one half. The red line in the chart below shows that additionally removing excess retirements increases LFPR by a further 0.2 percentage point in February 2023. This effect is smaller than in a recent study that finds a 0.6 percentage point effect. The difference arises mainly because we assume that only half of all excess retirees could return to the labor force, since the rest were already out of the labor force prior to retirement.

Finally, the increase in disability has virtually no effect on the participation gap because, as discussed above, the increase is entirely accounted for by individuals that remain in the labor force. We do not separately plot this effect on the chart below. Overall, our results imply that undoing the effects of population aging and excess retirements would raise the LFPR by 1.1 percentage point from 62.5 percent to 63.6 percent, more than making up for the participation gap.

Participation Rate Is Higher after Adjusting for Aging and Excess Retirements

Liberty Street Economics chart showing the headline labor force participation rate reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the counterfactual labor force participation rate that keeps the share of the population in each age group constant at February 2020 levels, and the surplus of retired workers in the recent period compared to 2018-19.
Sources: Current Population Survey; authors’ calculations.
Notes: The blue line shows the headline labor force participation rate (LFPR) reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The gold line is the counterfactual LFPR holding fixed the population age structure in February 2020. The red line further adds the surplus of retired workers in the recent period compared to 2018-19, at the fixed age structure of February 2020.


In this blog post we show that demographic trends, specifically population aging, exert a powerful influence on labor force participation. In other words, the participation gap largely disappears once we control for population aging, indicating that participation has recovered a great deal since the large shock induced by the pandemic. Other possible contributing factors, such as elevated retirement rates or disability, play only a minor role in explaining the participation gap. Population aging is likely to continue to exert strong downward pressure on participation going forward, as more of the baby boomer generation continue to enter retirement.

Chart data

Mary Amiti is the head of Labor and Product Market Studies in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Research and Statistics Group.

Sebastian Heise is a research economist in Labor and Product Market Studies in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Research and Statistics Group. 

Giorgio Topa is an economic research advisor in Labor and Product Market Studies in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Research and Statistics Group.

Julia Wu is a research analyst in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Research and Statistics Group.

How to cite this post:
Mary Amiti, Sebastian Heise, Giorgio Topa, and Julia Wu, “What Has Driven the Labor Force Participation Gap since February 2020?,” Federal Reserve Bank of New York Liberty Street Economics, March 30, 2023,

The views expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the author(s).

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