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Invesco’s AT1 CoCo bond ETF passes $1 billion AUM milestone

The Invesco AT1 Capital Bond UCITS ETF has surpassed $1 billion in assets under management as investors have continued to seek out income and diversification opportunities for their portfolios. Paul Syms, Head of EMEA ETF Fixed Income Product Management..

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The Invesco AT1 Capital Bond UCITS ETF has surpassed $1 billion in assets under management as investors have continued to seek out income and diversification opportunities for their portfolios.

Invesco’s AT1 CoCo bond ETF passes $1 billion AUM milestone

Paul Syms, Head of EMEA ETF Fixed Income Product Management at Invesco.

Around $500 million of net new assets have been invested in the ETF since the height of the pandemic volatility in March 2020, with AUM now representing an 85% share of the AT1 ETF market in Europe, according to data from Invesco.

Competing products in the contingent convertible (CoCo) bond space include the UC Axiom Global CoCo Bonds UCITS ETF (CCNV GY), a collaboration of UniCredit and Axiom Alternative Investments, and the WisdomTree AT1 CoCo Bond UCITS ETF (CCBO LN) from WisdomTree. A China Post Global ETF providing exposure to the asset class was closed down in 2019.

Invesco notes that AT1s are a specific type of debt instrument issued by European banks and other financial institutions. Their yields are not driven by the riskiness of the issuer, as with other high-yield bonds, but by a contingency element that triggers a conversion into cash or common equity if the issuer’s capital drops below a pre-set level. AT1s are intended to act as a buffer in extreme conditions and will have a lower credit rating, and in turn higher coupon, than the senior debt issued by the same issuer.

The Invesco AT1 Capital Bond UCITS ETF aims to follow the performance of the iBoxx USD Contingent Convertible Liquid Developed Market AT1 (8/5% Issuer Cap) Index, calculated by IHS Markit. The index focuses exclusively on the USD-denominated AT1 bond market, the deepest and most liquid in which European banks issue AT1 bonds. Through the ETF, investors get exposure to over 80% of European banks by market cap, including all the largest issuers.

The fund trades on the London Stock Exchange in USD (AT1 LN) and sterling (AT1P LN), on Borsa Italiana in euros (AT1 IM), and on SIX Swiss Exchange in USD (IAT1 SW). It comes with an annual ongoing charges figure of 0.39%.

Commenting on the milestone, Paul Syms, Head of EMEA ETF Fixed Income Product Management at Invesco, said: “Our ETF has grown to such scale that it has opened the door to larger investors who may have holding limits and require a vehicle that can accommodate bigger trade sizes.”

He added: “The first AT1 bonds were launched in 2013 and for the first few years, when the market was relatively small and largely unknown, there were more opportunities to add value through security selection. However, the market has matured since then. More is known about AT1s and the market is more liquid, especially for the $140bn worth of issues denominated in dollars. The market has all the ingredients you need to develop a passive strategy. And although we have the largest AT1 ETF in Europe, its AUM is less than 1% of the value of the USD-denominated AT1 market. That means there is still huge growth potential.”

A recent report published by Invesco entitled ‘AT1 bonds: Better as beta?’ underscored the increasing difficulties to deliver real outperformance through an actively managed approach given the maturity of the AT1 market. The report concluded that the correlation between the bonds in the sector is so high that it dramatically reduces the opportunities for portfolio managers to generate excess returns through security selection.

The analysis showed that between June 2018 and the market sell-off in March 2020, the median pairwise correlation across a sample of 20 of the largest and most liquid USD AT1 bonds over six-month rolling periods was 78%. During the sell-off, the correlations spiked to nearly 100%. A likely reason for this high correlation, the report found, was that financial sector credit is an unusually narrow and homogenous investment universe.

Gary Buxton, Head of EMEA ETFs and Indexed Strategies at Invesco, commented: “We aim to provide investors the tools they need to construct better portfolios, which often involves a combination of passive and active strategies. The key is knowing where and when to use one or the other. AT1s are an interesting example, as they have transitioned from being purely an active play to now being arguably more suited to a passive approach. The recent flows into our ETF are testament to investors recognising and taking advantage of these developments.”

The post Invesco’s AT1 CoCo bond ETF passes $1 billion AUM milestone first appeared on ETF Strategy.

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Futures Surge To All Time High As Earnings Supercharge Market Meltup

Futures Surge To All Time High As Earnings Supercharge Market Meltup

The wall of worry that preoccupied traders just weeks ago has melted away, and has been replaced with a global market melt up (just as Goldman predicted again this weekend),

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Futures Surge To All Time High As Earnings Supercharge Market Meltup

The wall of worry that preoccupied traders just weeks ago has melted away, and has been replaced with a global market melt up (just as Goldman predicted again this weekend), which pushed US index futures to a new all time high this morning when spoos hit 4,580.75, while propelling European and Asian stocks higher as corporate earnings helped boost sentiment amid lingering concerns about inflation and growth. As of 715am ET, US equity futures were up 0.42% or 19.25 points, Dow Jones futures were up 126 points or 0.35% and Nasdaq futures jumped 0.61%, extending cash market gains boosted by Tesla’s rally to a $1 trillion market value on a big order and Facebook’s results announcement revealing strong user growth and a $50 billion stock buyback. 10-year Treasury yields dropped by 1 basis point while the dollar slid to session lows. Bitcoin traded around $63,000.

The barrage of earnings reports continued on Tuesday morning, with United Parcel Service, General Electric and 3M all gaining in pre-market trading after strong results. Eli Lilly advanced after raising full-year forecasts. Bakkt shares jumped 36% in the U.S. premarket session after more than tripling Monday when Mastercard said it has inked a deal with the firm to help banks offer cryptocurrency rewards on their debit and credit cards.  Facebook also rose after pledging to buy back as much as $50 billion more in stock, with tech heavyweights Twitter, Alphabet and Microsoft reporting after the market close on Tuesday. Here are all the notable premarket movers:

  • Facebook (FB US) rises as much as 2.5% in premarket as analysts stay bullish despite a third-quarter revenue miss and an outlook that was below consensus. Advertising growth is seen improving in 2022.
  • Tesla (TSLA US) gains 1% after stock closed at a record high, boosted by several factors on Monday including a large car order from rental firm Hertz and Morgan Stanley lifting its price target.
  • Creatd (CRTD US) was up 27% adding to a 50% gain over the past two trading sessions amid a rally in a growing number of retail-trader favorite stocks linked to former U.S. President Donald Trump.
  • Redbox (RDBX US) rises as much as 130% after the firm completed a business combination with Seaport Global Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company.
  • Cryptocurrency-exposed stocks rise, with Eqonex (EQOS US), previously known as Diginex, more than doubling in value after listing Polkadot on its platform and Bakkt (BKKT US) extending Monday’s gains.

Earnings season is helping to counter concerns that elevated inflation and tightening monetary policy will slow the recovery from the pandemic. Some 81% of S&P 500 members have reported better-than-expected results so far, though CitiGroup Inc. warned that profit growth may be close to peaking.

Equity markets are “continuing their recovery and we expect this process to continue past big-tech earnings” and this week’s European Central Bank meeting, where policy makers may flag the end to their pandemic bond-buying program, Sebastien Galy, senior macro strategist at Nordea Investment Funds, wrote in a note.

Still, some analysts voiced caution over the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chains: “Even though this has been a good earnings season in aggregate we are starting to see more companies with supply backlogs, hiring difficulties, and rising input prices that are eating into profits,” Deutsche Bank analysts wrote.

The debate over price pressures continued when former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said officials are unlikely to deal with “inflation reality” successfully until it’s fully recognized.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 50 countries, added 0.1%

European shares hit the highest level in seven weeks: the Stoxx Europe 600 index rose more than 0.5% led by gains in travel stocks and insurers, and edging close to a the record high reached in September while German stocks gained 0.9%. Reckitt Benckiser gained more than 5% after the maker of Strepsils throat lozenges raised its sales forecast. Swiss lender UBS Group AG climbed after posting a surprise jump in profit, while Novartis AG advanced on news it may spin off its generic-drug unit. After a stellar quarter for U.S. and British banks, Switzerland’s UBS rose over 2% on its highest quarterly profit since 2015, helping the financial services sector climb about 1%.

Earlier in the session, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index traded 0.3% higher in afternoon trading, paring an earlier gain of as much as 0.7% which pushed it to its highest level in six weeks.  Asian stocks rose as investors focused on encouraging earnings reports from some of the world’s biggest technology companies. The advance was driven by a subgauge of IT names including South Korean memory chipmaker SK Hynix, which climbed after reporting record sales and forecasting further demand growth. Japanese electronics giants Nidec Corp. and Canon Inc. reported results after Tuesday’s close. “The earnings season so far continues to meet investor expectations and assuage inflationary concerns,” said Justin Tang, head of Asianresearch at United First Partners. Tesla’s order from Hertz, good prospects for the $550 billion U.S. infrastructure bill and the latest talks between U.S. and China officials also helped “inject some risk appetite,” Tang said. Japan led gains among national benchmarks, with the Topix rising more than 1%. The market was helped by a local media report that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party may be able to win a majority of seats on its own in the general elections scheduled for next week. Key gauges in tech-heavy South Korea and Taiwan also jumped more than 0.5%, while benchmarks fell in Hong Kong and China.

In China, Modern Land China Co. became the latest builder to miss a payment on a dollar bond, in a further sign of stress in the nation’s real estate sector. Defaults from Chinese borrowers on offshore bonds have jumped to a record.

Japanese stocks advanced as investors looked toward earnings reports from major companies and political stability after the upcoming election. Electronics makers and telecommunications providers were the biggest boosts to the Topix, which gained 1.2%. Fast Retailing and Tokyo Electron were the largest contributors to a 1.8% rise in the Nikkei 225. Asian stocks and U.S. futures also rose, following the S&P 500’s climb to a record high, amid positive news from Tesla and Facebook. Japanese companies reporting results today include Canon, Nidec and Hitachi Construction Machinery.  Meanwhile, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party may be able to exceed a majority of 233 seats on its own in the general elections scheduled for Oct. 31, a poll conducted by Asahi showed. “There’s a lot of noise out there but for stocks, it’s about fundamentals, which are corporate earnings,” said Hiroshi Matsumoto, head of Japan investment at Pictet Asset Management. “We’re starting to see some pretty good earnings figures, so I’m thinking we’ll see the Nikkei 225 consolidate around the 29,000 level this week.”

In rates, Treasuries were cheaper across front-end of the curve, fading a portion of Monday’s gains even as corporate earnings propel stock futures to new highs. The 10-year TSY yield is lower by less than 1bp at 1.622%; 2-year yields are cheaper by ~1bp on the day while long-end of the curve is richer by ~1.5bp, flattening 2s10s, 5s30s spreads by ~2bp. The TSY curve is flatter with long-end yields richer on the day, unwinding Monday’s steepening move. Treasury auction cycle begins with sale of 2-year notes, followed by 5- and 7-year offerings over next two days. 

In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was mixed but slumped to session lows as US traders walked in. The pound led gains followed by other risk-sensitive currencies such as the Australian and New Zealand dollars. Sterling gained even as overnight index swaps show traders trimmed back bets for BOE tightening, pricing in 14 basis points of hikes in November, down from 15 points previously. The yen was the worst performer as demand for haven assets receded following talks between U.S. and Chinese officials on the economy and cooperation in which some incremental progress was made. The euro inched up after gyrating toward the $1.16 handle; the euro’s volatility skew flattened in the past two weeks, suggesting a rebound in the spot market. Given the latter has stalled at a key resistance area, risk reversals could show downside risks once again. The Turkish lira rallied the most in more than four months after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dropped his demand for 10 Western ambassadors to be expelled from the country.

China’s offshore yuan gained for a fourth straight day, lifted by a phone call between the U.S. and China on trade and economic issues. Overnight borrowing costs sunk to one-month lows after the central bank boosted cash injections into the financial system. 

In commodities, WTI crude oil was steady around $84 a barrel and Brent traded above $86 as investors weighed the outlook for U.S. stockpiles and prospects for talks that may eventually help to revive an Iranian nuclear accord, allowing a pickup in crude exports.
Gold held above $1,800 an ounce and Bitcoin hovered around $62,500.

Looking at today's calendar, we get the August FHFA house price index, September new home sales, October Conference Board consumer confidence and Richmond Fed manufacturing index. In central banks, ECB’s Villeroy and de Cos will speak. In corporate earnings, we will get results from Microsoft, Alphabet, Visa, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Texas Instruments, UPS, General Electric, UBS and Twitter

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.4% to 4,576.25
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.6% to 474.91
  • MXAP up 0.4% to 200.93
  • MXAPJ up 0.2% to 662.77
  • Nikkei up 1.8% to 29,106.01
  • Topix up 1.2% to 2,018.40
  • Hang Seng Index down 0.4% to 26,038.27
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.3% to 3,597.64
  • Sensex up 0.4% to 61,232.14
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 little changed at 7,443.42
  • Kospi up 0.9% to 3,049.08
  • German 10Y yield little changed at -0.12%
  • Euro little changed at $1.1609
  • Brent Futures down 0.3% to $85.76/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.3% to $1,802.76
  • U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.86

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • Traders are wagering on rate hikes of as much as 158 basis points over the next year in countries including the U.K., New Zealand and South Korea amid soaring costs of living and commodity prices. Yet a flattening in yield curves -- historically seen as the market’s assessment of economic health -- indicates rising concern that such a rapid withdrawal of support will hurt the nascent recovery
  • Financial markets have stubbornly ignored recent warnings from ECB policy makers including Chief Economist Philip Lane that they’re wrong to anticipate a rate hike at the end of next year. The task of persuading people otherwise will fall to President Christine Lagarde as she presents the Governing Council’s latest decision on Thursday

A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

Asia-Pac stocks were lifted by the tailwinds seen stateside, whereby the SPX and DJIA both notched fresh all-time-highs, although the NDX outperformed as Tesla shot past the USD 1000/shr mark and USD 1trl market cap milestone. US equity futures overnight drifted higher with the NQ narrowly outperforming its peers. European equity futures also posted mild gains. Back to APAC, the ASX 200 (+0.1%) was kept afloat by tech names as the sector saw tailwinds from the stateside performance. The Nikkei 225 (+1.8%) outperformed following the prior session’s underperformance, and as the JPY drifted lower during the session. The KOSPI (+0.9%) was also firmer with SK Hynix rising some 3% at the open as chip demand supported earnings. The Hang Seng (-0.4%) and Shanghai Comp (-0.3%) opened flat but the latter was initially underpinned following another chunky CNY 190bln net liquidity injection by the PBoC. The Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index fell almost 5% in early trade, whilst Modern Land noted that it will not be able to meet payments and shares were halted until future notice. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower amid spillover selling from T-notes and Bund futures.

Top Asian News

  • MediaTek Sees 2021 Revenue Growing by 52%; 3Q Profit Beats
  • UBS Going ‘Full Bull’ on China Despite Outflows, Growth Worry
  • China’s IPO Flops Raise Red Flag Over Shares Pricing: ECM Watch
  • Asian Stocks Rise as Investors Focus on Major Tech Earnings

European equities (Stoxx 600 +0.6%) trade on a firmer footing after extending on the tentative gains seen at the cash open with the Stoxx 600 at its best level in around seven weeks. The APAC session saw some support via the tailwinds seen in the US after the SPX and DJIA both notched fresh all-time highs and the NDX outperformed and Tesla shot past the USD 1000/shr mark and USD 1trl market cap milestone. The Nikkei 225 (+1.7%) led gains in the region alongside a firmer JPY whilst the Shanghai Comp (-0.3%) was unable to benefit from another chunky liquidity injection by the PBoC. Stateside, futures are indicative of a firmer cash open with the NQ (+0.6%) continuing to outpace peers with Facebook +2.4% in pre-market trade post-results which saw the Co. announce a USD 50bln boost to its share buyback authorisation. From a macro perspective, with the Fed in its blackout period and events on Capitol Hill not providing much impetus for price action, the equity landscape will likely be dominated by earnings with the likes of Alphabet, Microsoft, General Electric, 3M, Visa, AMD and Twitter all due to report today. Earnings are also playing a pivotal role in Europe today with Reckitt (+6.4%) top of the FTSE 100 and supporting the Personal and Household Goods sector after Q3 results prompted the Co. to raise its sales outlook. UBS (+0.6%) is off best levels but still firmer on the session after reporting its highest quarterly profits in six years. Countering the upside from UBS in the Banking sector is Nordea (-4.0%) with shares weighed on by Sampo selling 162mlnn shares in the Co. to institutional investors. Novartis (+1.6%) shares are trading broadly inline with the market after opening gains were scaled back post-Q3 earnings which saw the Co. report a 10% increase in operating profits and announce a strategic review of its generic drug unit Sandoz. Telecoms are near the unchanged mark and unable to benefit from the broader gains seen across the region as Orange (-2.7%) acts as a drag on the sector after announcing a decline in Q3 earnings.

Top European News

  • UBS Going ‘Full Bull’ on China Despite Outflows, Growth Worry
  • Adler Sells Real Estate Portfolio Valued at More Than EU1B
  • Europe Gas Extends Gains With Weak Russian Flows, Norway Outages
  • Latest Impact of Europe’s Energy Crisis is a Plunge in Trading

In FX, the 94.000 level remains tantalisingly or agonisingly close, but elusive for the Dollar index, and it could simply be a psychological barrier as a breach would clear the way for a complete comeback from trough to 94.174 peak set last week. However, the Greenback has lost some yield attraction and the broad risk tone is bullish to dampen demand on safe-haven grounds, while chart resistance and option expiries are also preventing the Buck from staging a more pronounced rebound ahead of a busier US agenda including housing data, consumer confidence, several regional Fed surveys and the first slug of issuance in the form of Usd 60 bn 2 year notes. Back to the DXY, 93.965-795 encapsulates trade thus far, and the 21 DMA stands at 93.966 today, just 3 ticks shy of Monday’s high.

  • AUD - In similar vein to its US counterpart, the Aussie is finding 0.7500 a tough round number to crack, convincingly, but Aud/Usd is deriving support from the ongoing recovery in industrial metals awaiting independent impetus via Q3 inflation data tomorrow.
  • JPY/CHF - The Yen and Franc continue to lag their major peers and retreat further vs the Dollar, with the former now struggling to keep sight of the 114.00 handle even though hefty option expiries reside from 113.85 to the big figure (1 bn), and Usd/Jpy faces more at the 114.50 strike (1.1 bn), while the latter is sub-0.9200 and unwinding more gains relative to the Euro as the cross probes 1.0700.
  • GBP/NZD - Conversely, Sterling remains primed for further attempts to extend gains beyond Fib resistance and breach 1.3800, while eyeing 0.8400 against the Euro irrespective of some UK bank research suggesting that BoE Governor Bailey may not back up recent hawkish words with a vote to hike rates at the November MPC. Elsewhere, the Kiwi is still hovering above 0.7150 and defending 1.0500 vs its Antipodean rival with a degree of traction via RBNZ Governor Orr warning that climate change could culminate in a lengthy phase of stronger inflation that needs a policy response.
  • EUR/CAD - Both rather flat, as the Euro continues to pivot 1.1600 and rely on option expiry interest for underlying support (1.5 bn rolling off from the round number to 1.1610 today), but also anchored by the 21 DMA that aligns with the big figure, while the Loonie has lost its crude prop on the eve of the BoC, though should also receive protection from expiries at 1.2400 (1 bn) within a 1.2394-68 range.
  • EM - The Try has reclaimed more lost ground to trade above 9.5000 vs the Usd on a mix of corrective price action and short covering rather than any real relief about Turkey’s latest rift with international partners given another blast from President Erdogan who said statements issued by ambassadors on Kavala target his country’s judiciary and sovereignty, adding that the Turkish judiciary does not take orders from anyone. On the flip-side, the Zar is softer alongside Gold and ongoing issues with SA power supply provided by Eskom.

In commodities, WTI and Brent have been softer throughout the European morning dipping from the initially steady start to the APAC session after yesterday’s pressured; nonetheless, prices haven’t dipped too far from recent peaks. Newsflow for the complex and broadly has been sparse thus far as focus remains very much on earnings and events due later in the week. Specifically for energy, we had commentary from Russian Deputy PM Novak that he wants OPEC+ to stick to the agreement to increase production by 400k BPD at the November gathering, commentary which had little impact on crude at the time. Elsewhere, the weekly Private Inventory report is due later in the session and expectations are for a build of 1.7mln for the headline crude figure; for reference, both distillates and gasoline stocks are expected to post a draw. Moving to metals, spot gold and silver are pressured this morning with initial downside perhaps stemming from a short-lived resurgence in the USD; however, while the metals do have a negative bias, the magnitude of this – particularly in spot gold – is fairly minimal. Separately, base metals are softer with LME copper hindered and still shy of the 10k figure. Again, newsflow this morning has been limited but we did see a production update from Hochschild who confirmed FY21 production guidance of 360-370k gold-equivalent ounces after reporting that Q3 was the strongest period of the year, thus far.

US Event Calendar

  • 9am: Aug. S&P Case Shiller Composite-20 YoY, est. 20.00%, prior 19.95%; 9am: MoM SA, est. 1.50%, prior 1.55%
  • 9am: Aug. FHFA House Price Index MoM, est. 1.5%, prior 1.4%
  • 10am: Oct. Conf. Board Consumer Confidenc, est. 108.2, prior 109.3
    • Present Situation, prior 143.4
    • Expectations, prior 86.6
  • 10am: Oct. Richmond Fed Index, est. 5, prior -3
  • 10am: Sept. New Home Sales, est. 758,000, prior 740,000; MoM, est. 2.5%, prior 1.5%; 

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

If you’ve never seen Lord of the Flies feel free to come round to our house where you’ll get a live performance that gets more authentic the longer this two week half-term holiday we’re in goes on. Yet again working is the safest option. We have the option to “purchase” extra holiday each year but I’m thinking of seeing if I can give some back and take the money instead. They are hard work when put into a room together for any period of time.

It was not only the fighting that was the same as last week, markets were pretty similar yesterday too as we saw fresh equity highs alongside renewed multi-year highs in breakevens. There are a few subtle changes in company reporting trends though. Even though this has been a good earnings season in aggregate we are starting to see more companies with supply backlogs, hiring difficulties, and rising input prices that are eating into profits. Indeed yesterday saw a few consumer staples companies lower full year profit outlooks in their earnings releases.

Nevertheless, major equity indices marched higher, with the small cap Russell 2000 (+0.93%) and Nasdaq composite (+0.90%) outperforming the S&P 500 (+0.47%). Consumer discretionary stocks were the clear outperformer, driven by news of Tesla (+12.66%) receiving a 100k car order from Hertz. Tesla’s big day saw it become the first automaker to cross 1 trillion dollar market cap and also drove the outperformance of the FANG index ahead of Facebook’s after hours earnings release.

Speaking of which, Facebook missed revenue estimates but beat on earnings. Shares were slightly higher in after-hours trading, where they are betting big on virtual reality technology.

Overnight in Asia, the Nikkei 225 (+1.75%) and the KOSPI (+0.61%) are outperforming the Hang Seng (-0.42%) and Shanghai Composite (+0.01%). The sentiment in China is being clouded by the news of another developer, Modern Land China Co., missing a payment on a $250 million dollar bond. This news came as Bloomberg reported that Chinese firms set a yearly record on offshore bond defaults. Another development in the region is that Hong Kong has pushed back against yesterday’s calls for an easing in its virus rules which the banks in particular were calling for. In geopolitics, China’s Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen held a call about trade and economic concerns, boosting sentiment in Asian markets, while the S&P 500 mini futures (+0.24%) is trading higher. The yield on 10y Treasury (+0.7bps) is also up. In data releases, South Korean preliminary GDP for Q3 came in at +4.0% versus +4.3% expected, while Japan’s services PPI for September declined to +0.9%, missing estimates of +1.1%.

Back to yesterday and in fixed income, as mentioned at the top inflation breakevens continued their march higher. In the US, 10-year Treasury breakevens (+2.7 bps) closed at 2.67%, just shy of their widest levels since 10-year TIPS began trading in 1997. 10yr nominal yields were -0.2 bps lower as real yields slipped -2.3bps to their lowest levels since mid-September. European breakevens kept pace, with 10-year German breakevens increasing +1.9bps to 1.93% and UK breakevens increasing +1.2 bps to 4.20%. As was the case with the US, real yields fell as nominal 10-year yields decreased across Europe. Bunds (-0.9bps), Gilts (-0.5bps), OATs (-1.1bps) and BTP (-3.4bps) yields all fell.

Crude oil futures put in a mixed performance. Multiple OPEC+ members signaled they won’t increase supply at their upcoming meeting leading to gains in crude, yet the gains were short lived, as headlines noted that Iran and the EU will stage talks to restore the 2015 nuclear deal, paving a way for Iranian oil supply to return to the market. Brent futures finished +0.54% higher while WTI futures were unchanged. Natural gas prices were on a one-way track higher, however. US natural gas prices had their biggest one-day gain in a year, increasing +11.70%, on the back of a colder forecast for the upcoming winter as supply issues still abound. European and UK natural gas prices were only modestly higher by comparison, increasing +1.27% and +1.86%, respectively. European leaders are gathering in Luxembourg today for an emergency meeting on the energy crisis.

European equities were almost unchanged, with the STOXX 600 (+0.07%) finishing with marginal gains with energy (+1.27%) leading. The German DAX (+0.36%) gained with the help of stronger IT (+1.76%) performance despite Ifo expectations (95.4) coming in below consensus (96.6).

In other data releases, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index came at -0.13 versus 0.20 expected. The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity Index (14.6), however, surprised on the upside by coming above expectations (6.0). Delivery times remained elevated in the survey, and a special question showed that labour supply issues got slightly worse.

In virus news, Moderna reported that its vaccine showed a strong immune response for children from 6 to under 12 years old. Meanwhile, China announced in its initial guidelines that unvaccinated athletes at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing would have to quarantine for 21 days, while Hong Kong was pressured by banks to relax its zero-COVID policy.

In today’s data releases, August FHFA house price index, September new home sales, October Conference Board consumer confidence and Richmond Fed manufacturing index are due from the US. In central banks, ECB’s Villeroy and de Cos will speak. In corporate earnings, we will get results from Microsoft, Alphabet, Visa, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Texas Instruments, UPS, General Electric, UBS and Twitter

 

Tyler Durden Tue, 10/26/2021 - 07:47

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Evergrande Fallout: Modern Land Defaults On US$250 Million Bond As Investors Question Chinese Developers’ Willingness To Pay

Modern Land (China) added to a string of defaulters among Chinese property developers after it reneged on a US$250 million bond on Monday, highlighting investor concerns about the willingness to pay within the industry.
The Beijing-based developer…

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Modern Land (China) added to a string of defaulters among Chinese property developers after it reneged on a US$250 million bond on Monday, highlighting investor concerns about the willingness to pay within the industry.

The Beijing-based developer did not repay the principal or interest on the 12.85 per cent bond when it matured on October 25, according to a Hong Kong stock exchange filing on Tuesday. The firm cited unexpected liquidity issues, blaming macroeconomic and industry conditions and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision to renege on the offshore debt came after it cancelled a repayment proposal last week. Under the plan first unveiled on October 11, Modern Land had offered to repay only 35 per cent of the face amount on October 25, while delaying the rest by three months.

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"The recent bond defaults have hurt confidence," Industrial Securities said in a report dated October 23. "Given the large amount of maturities in the first quarter next year, investors in dollar bonds sold by Chinese firms expect fluctuations in the property segment to be relatively high."

While the Modern Land subject reignited concerns about widening defaults in China's US$2.7 trillion property market amid China Evergrande Group's distress, it also raised a few questions about Chinese developers' willingness, rather than their ability, to repay offshore investors.

Los Angeles-based TCW Group, for example, has trimmed its holdings in Chinese property debt, according to a Morningstar report, saying recent events have altered the team managers' perspective on the situation and raised doubts about reliability of financial statements in the industry.

"The [emerging-market debt] team members expressed concern at the recent slew of requests by Chinese real estate companies with stated large cash positions to delay payments to bondholders," according to the Morningstar report issued on October 19.

"The managers worry that recent events might be a signal that companies are being urged by the government to use cash to finish projects and pay suppliers at the expense of bondholders."

Modern Land's decision to default came as a bit of a surprise after its chairman and controlling shareholder Zhang Lei and company president Zhang Peng both offered to loan the company 800 million yuan (US$125.4 million) "within the next two to three months", according to a "voluntary announcement" to the stock exchange earlier this month.

Contracted sales grew 52 per cent in the first six months to 21.6 billion yuan from a year earlier, according to its interim report. It received credit lines of more than 100 billion yuan from lenders during the period, citing the stability of its ratings at home and abroad.

It raised US$398 million from a green-bond offering, and got a green loan of HK$100 million (US$12.9 million) from Hang Seng Bank. The group's unrestricted cash and bank balances grew 26 per cent to 13.3 billion yuan on June 30 from December 31 last year. The company last month spent some cash to buy back bonds due in 2022 and 2023.

The defaulted 12.85 per cent bond was indicated at about 35 cents on the dollar as of 12.35pm local time. Its next bond due February 26 was priced at 19 cents on the dollar, according to Bloomberg data. The Hang Seng Properties Index of stocks tumbled 1.9 per cent as of 3.13pm on Tuesday.

"Assessing companies' willingness to pay [not just their ability to do so] could become a much more important factor when analysing the Chinese property sector than it was in the past," Morningstar said, citing the TCW managers. Lower property demand and tight government policies are likely to depress pricing and impact funding for homebuyers and developers, they added.

Modern Land said it was working with its legal advisers at Sidley Austin and will engage independent financial advisers soon to help formulate a plan to resolve its debt.

Property developers assessed by S&P Global Ratings face around 480 billion yuan of both onshore and offshore maturities within one year, it said in a report last month. For Evergrande, a 30-day grace period for an interest payment on a US$1 billion ends on October 29.

China's top economic planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission, has summoned top developers for a meeting in Beijing to discuss issues related to their dollar borrowings.

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Futures Rise Ahead Of Deluge Of Big Tech Earnings

Futures Rise Ahead Of Deluge Of Big Tech Earnings

One day after Goldman doubled down on its call for a market meltup into year-end, futures on the Nasdaq 100 edged higher, while contracts on the S&P 500 were modestly higher on Monday,…

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Futures Rise Ahead Of Deluge Of Big Tech Earnings

One day after Goldman doubled down on its call for a market meltup into year-end, futures on the Nasdaq 100 edged higher, while contracts on the S&P 500 were modestly higher on Monday, approaching record highs again as investors braced for a flood of earnings (164 of 500 S&P companies report this week) while weighing rising inflation concerns, Covid-19 risks and China’s deteriorating outlook (Goldman slashed China's 2022 GDP to 5.2% from 5.6% overnight). The FOMC enters quiet period ahead of next week's FOMC meeting, which means no Fed speakers as attention shifts to economic data and corporate earnings. At 745 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 3 points, or 0.01%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 4.25 points, or 0.1%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 36.25 points, or 0.25%. Bitcoin bounced back over $63,000 after sliding below $60,000 over the weekend, the 10-year US Treasury yield rose and the dollar also rose after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell flagged that inflation could stay higher for longer, fueling investor concern that sticky price increases may force policy makers to raise borrowing costs.

Global markets have remained resilient despite risks from price pressures stoked by supply-chain bottlenecks and higher energy costs. On Sunday, Janet Yellen was among those counseling the inflation situation reflects temporary pain that will ease in the second half of 2022 even as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey warned hyperinflation is coming. Investors are wary that tighter monetary policy to keep inflation in check will stir volatility

“Inflation concerns will continue to dominate markets this year as the price of crude oil remains elevated,” while “the pandemic remains a central concern,” said Siobhan Redford, an analyst at FirstRand Bank Ltd. in Johannesburg. “This will add further complexity to the already difficult decisions facing policy makers around the world.”

All of FAAMG - Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet and Amazon.com - are set to report their results later this week. The companies shares, which collectively account for over 22% of the weighting in the S&P 500, were mixed in trading before the bell.

Facebook shares fell in premarket trading, extending six weeks of declines, after Bloomberg reported that the social-media company is struggling to attract younger users and that employees are concerned over the spread of misinformation and hate speech on its platform. The company is scheduled to report quarterly results after the market closes. “After Snap got an Apple caught in its throat, markets will have an itchy trigger finger over the sell button if the social network says the same,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA. “Additionally, this week, it is a FAANG-sters paradise ... that decides whether the U.S. earnings season party continues, before the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) reasserts its dominance next week.”

PayPal jumped 6.4% as the company said it wasn’t currently pursuing an acquisition of Pinterest, ending days of speculation over a potential $45 billion deal. Shares of Pinterest plunged 12.5%. Tesla gained 2.2% in premarket trading after Morgan Stanley raised its price target for the stock by a third, citing “extraordinary” sales growth. The stock then surged to new all time highs after Bloomberg reported that Hertz placed an order for 100,000 Teslas in the first step of an ambitious plan to electrify its rental-car fleet.

Oil firms including Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil rose about 0.5% each, tracking Brent crude prices to three-year high.

Cryptocurrency-exposed stocks gain in premarket trading as Bitcoin climbs back above the $63,000 per token level after slipping from its record high last week. Crypto-linked stocks that are climbing in premarket include Bakkt +6.6%, Hive Blockchain +3.9%, Hut 8 Mining +2.8%, Riot Blockchain +2.2%, MicroStrategy +2.3%, Marathon Digital +2.8%, Coinbase +1.9%, Silvergate +1.8%, Bit Digital +1.2% and Mogo +0.8%

Strong earnings reports helped lift the S&P 500 and the Dow to record highs last week, with the benchmark index rising 5.5% so far in October to recoup all of the losses suffered last month.  However, market participants are looking beyond the impressive earnings numbers with a focus on how companies mitigate supply chain bottlenecks, labor shortages and inflationary pressures to sustain growth. Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to grow 34.8% year-on-year for the third quarter, according to data from Refinitiv.

On the economic data front, readings on U.S. third-quarter GDP - the Federal Reserve’s favored inflation gauge, the core PCE price index and consumer confidence data will be released later this week.

In Europe, mining companies and banks gained but the telecommunications and industrial goods and services sectors declined, leaving the Stoxx 600 index little changed. Banks rose on HSBC’s bright outlook. Spain’s Banco de Sabadell SA jumped more than 5% after rejecting an offer for its U.K. unit. Telecoms and industrials were the biggest losers. Volvo Car slashed its initial public offering by a fifth, making it the latest in a string of European companies to pull back from equity markets roiled by soaring energy costs and persistent supply chain delay. Here are some of the biggest European movers today:

  • Banca Monte dei Paschi slides as much as 9.5% after the Italian government and UniCredit ended talks over the sale of the lender.
  • Exor shares gain as much as 5.6% in Milan trading to the highest level on record after a report that the Agnelli family’s holding co. revived talks with Covea for the sale of Exor’s reinsurance unit PartnerRe.
  • Banco Sabadell jumps as much as 5.6% after it said it rejected an offer for its TSB Bank unit in the U.K. from Co-operative Bank.
  • SSAB rises as much as 5.2% after the Swedish steelmaker posted 3Q earnings well above analysts expectations. Handelsbanken analyst Gustaf Schwerin said the figures were “very strong.”
  • Weir Group rises as much as 3.7% after Exane BNP Paribas raised the stock to outperform. Analyst Bruno Gjani says the stock’s underperformance YTD provides a “compelling entry opportunity.”
  • Darktrace drops as much as 26% after Peel Hunt initiated coverage of the cybersecurity firm with a sell rating and 473p price target that implies about 50% downside to Friday’s close.
  • Nordic Semiconductor declines as much as 8.8% after ABG Sundal Collier downgraded to hold.

German business morale deteriorated for the fourth month running in October as supply bottlenecks in manufacturing, a spike in energy prices and rising COVID-19 infections are slowing the pace of recovery in Europe’s largest economy from the pandemic. The Ifo institute said on Monday that its business climate index fell to 97.7 from an upwardly revised 98.9 in September. This was the lowest reading since April and undershot the 97.9 consensus forecast in a Reuters poll.

“Supply problems are giving businesses headaches,” Ifo President Clemens Fuest said, adding that capacity utilisation in manufacturing was falling. “Sand in the wheels of the German economy is hampering recovery.”

The weaker-than-expected business sentiment survey was followed by a grim outlook from Germany’s central bank, which said in its monthly report that economic growth was likely to slow sharply in the fourth quarter. The Bundesbank added that full-year growth was now likely to be “significantly” below its 3.7% prediction made in June.

Earlier in Asia, stocks dipped in Japan and were mixed in China, where the central bank boosted a daily liquidity injection and officials expanded a property-tax trial. Signs that it would take at least five years before authorities impose any nationwide property tax bolstered some industrial metals.  Asia-Pac equities kicked off the week with a downside bias as the region adopted a similar lead from Friday’s Wall Street session, although sentiment marginally improved. The ASX 200 (+0.3%) was kept afloat by its energy sector as oil prices drifted higher, whilst index heavyweight Telstra was boosted after partnering with the Australian government to acquire Digicel Pacific in USD 1.6bln deal - for which Telstra contributed only USD 270mln. The Nikkei 225 (-0.7%) opened lower by around 1% with Softbank and Fast Retailing the biggest losers, although the index initially trimmed losses as the JPY remained on the backfoot. The Hang Seng (+0.1%) and Shanghai Comp (+0.8%) were mixed at the open, with the latter supported by a net PBoC injection of CNY 190bln, while the Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index (-2.9%) was pressured by reports China's State Council is to expand the property-tax reform trials to more areas. On the flip side, China Evergrande and Evergrande New Energy Vehicle opened higher after the chairman said the group is to complete its transition to the NEV industry from real estate within 10 years. Finally, 10yr JGBs trade subdued and in contrast to its US and German counterparts.

In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after earlier inching lower to touch the weakest level since Sept. 27; the greenback was mixed against its Group-of-10 peers with commodity currencies performing best, led by the Australian dollar and Norwegian krone. The euro hovered around $1.1650 even as German business confidence took another hit in October as global supply logjams damp momentum in the manufacturing-heavy economy. Ifo business confidence fell to 97.7 in October, from 98.9 in the prior month. The pound inched up, rising alongside other risk- sensitive Group-of-10 currencies, having trailed all its peers on Friday after Brexit risks reared their head late in the London session. A quiet week for U.K. data turns focus to the upcoming government budget. The Australian dollar rose against all its Group-of-10 peers, tracking commodity gains, with market sentiment also boosted by the People’s Bank of China’s move to inject additional cash into the banking system. The yen declined after rising for three consecutive days; Economists expect the BoJ to keep its policy rate unchanged Thursday. Turkey’s lira fell to a record low as the country’s latest diplomatic spat gave traders another reason to sell the struggling currency. Day traders in Japan have started trimming their bullish wagers on the Turkish lira, with forced liquidation a growing threat as the currency tumbles.

In rates, Treasuries were under pressure again, with the yield curve steeper as US trading begins Monday. They’re retracing a portion of Friday’s swift flattening, which occurred after Fed Chair Powell said rising inflation rates would draw a response from the central bank. 5s30s curve is back to ~89bp vs Friday’s low 85bp, within half a basis point of the lowest level in more than a year. Long-end yields are higher by as much as 3bp, 10-year by 2.7bp at 1.66%, widening vs most developed-market yields; yields across the curve remain inside Friday’s ranges, which included higher 2- and 5-year yields since 1Q 2020. Curve-steepening advanced after an apparent wager via futures blocks.

In commodities, Brent oil rallied above $86 a barrel after Saudi Arabia urged caution in boosting supply. Gold rose for a fifth day, the longest run of gains since July, as risks around higher-for-longer inflation bolstered the metal’s appeal.

Facebook will report its third quarter results after the market today, followed by Alphabet, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon later in the week.  On the economic data front, readings on U.S. third-quarter GDP - the Federal Reserve’s favored inflation gauge, the core PCE price index and consumer confidence data will be released later this week.

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 4,542.25
  • STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 472.03
  • MXAP little changed at 200.13
  • MXAPJ up 0.1% to 661.46
  • Nikkei down 0.7% to 28,600.41
  • Topix down 0.3% to 1,995.42
  • Hang Seng Index little changed at 26,132.03
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.8% to 3,609.86
  • Sensex up 0.4% to 61,038.76
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.3% to 7,441.00
  • Kospi up 0.5% to 3,020.54
  • Brent Futures up 0.7% to $86.14/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.4% to $1,800.45
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.10% to 93.55
  • Euro up 0.1% to $1.1655

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen defended Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s record on regulating the financial system, which has been a target of criticism from progressive Democrats arguing he shouldn’t get a new term. Yellen said she expects price increases to remain high through the first half of 2022, but rejected criticism that the U.S. risks losing control of inflation.
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened the door to Democrats using a special budget tool to raise the U.S. debt ceiling without the support of Senate Republicans, whose votes would otherwise be needed to end a filibuster on the increase.
  • President Joe Biden and fellow Democrats are racing to reach agreement on a scaled-back version of his economic agenda, with a self-imposed deadline and his departure later this week for summits in Europe intensifying pressure on negotiations.
  • Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann’s surprise announcement last week that he will leave on Dec. 31 has hit Berlin at a sensitive time, with Chancellor Angela Merkel currently running only a caretaker administration in the aftermath of an election whose outcome is likely to remove her CDU party from power.
  • Some holders of an Evergrande bond on which the embattled developer had missed a coupon deadline last month received the interest before the end of a grace period Saturday, according to people familiar with the matter.

A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

Asia-Pac equities kicked off the week with a downside bias as the region adopted a similar lead from Friday’s Wall Street session, although sentiment marginally improved with the region now mixed heading into the European open. US equity futures overnight opened trade with a mild negative tilt before drifting higher, with a broad-based performance experienced across the Stateside contracts, whilst European equity contracts are marginally firmer. Back to APAC, the ASX 200 (+0.3%) was kept afloat by its energy sector as oil prices drifted higher, whilst index heavyweight Telstra was boosted after partnering with the Australian government to acquire Digicel Pacific in USD 1.6bln deal - for which Telstra contributed only USD 270mln. The Nikkei 225 (-0.7%) opened lower by around 1% with Softbank and Fast Retailing the biggest losers, although the index initially trimmed losses as the JPY remained on the backfoot. The Hang Seng (+0.1%) and Shanghai Comp (+0.8%) were mixed at the open, with the latter supported by a net PBoC injection of CNY 190bln, whilst the Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index (-2.9%) was pressured by reports China's State Council is to expand the property-tax reform trials to more areas. On the flip side, China Evergrande and Evergrande New Energy Vehicle opened higher after the chairman said the group is to complete its transition to the NEV industry from real estate within 10 years. Finally, 10yr JGBs trade subdued and in contrast to its US and German counterparts.

Top Asian News

  • Xi Takes Veiled Swipe at U.S. as China Marks 50 Years at UN
  • Hong Kong Convicts Second Person Under National Security Law
  • Gold Extends Gain as Inflation Risks and Virus Concerns Persist
  • Amnesty to Quit Hong Kong Citing Fears Under Security Law

A tentative start to the week for European equities (Stoxx 600 U/C) as stocks struggle to find direction. On the macro front, the latest IFO report from Germany was mixed, with commentary from IFO downbeat, noting that Germany's economy faces an uncomfortable autumn as supply chain problems were causing trouble for companies, and production capacities were falling. The overnight session was a mixed bag with the Shanghai Composite (+0.8%) supported by a liquidity injection from the PBoC whilst the Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index (-2.9%) was pressured by reports China's State Council is to expand the property-tax reform trials to more areas. Stateside, US futures are marginally firmer with newsflow in the US in part, focused on events on Capitol Hill with CNN reporting that the goal among Democratic leaders is to have a vote Wednesday or Thursday on the infrastructure package. Note, the Fed is currently observing its blackout period ahead of the November meeting. From an earnings perspective, large-cap tech earnings dominate the slate for the week with the likes of Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Amazon (AMZN) all due to report. Back to Europe, sectors are somewhat mixed as Basic Resources is the marked outperformer amid upside in underlying commodity prices. It’s been a busy morning for the Banking sector as HSBC (+1%) reported a 74% increase in Q3 earnings, whilst Credit Suisse (+0.7%) is reportedly mulling the sale of its asset management unit. Less encouragingly for the sector, UniCredit (-0.5%) and BMPS (-3.2%) shares are lower after negations on a rescue plan for BMPS have ended without an agreement. Finally, Airbus (-1.2%) and Safran (-2.3%) sit at the foot of the CAC after reports suggesting that the CEO's of Avolon and AerCap have, in recent weeks, written to the Airbus CEO expressing their concerns that the market will not support Airbus' aggressive plans to increase the pace of production; subsequently, Airbus has rejected their proposal, according to sources.

Top European News

  • The Man Behind Erdogan’s Worst Spat With the West: QuickTake
  • Weidmann Succession Suspense May Last for Weeks on Berlin Talks
  • Cat Rock Capital Urges Just Eat Takeaway to Sell GrubHub
  • European Gas Jumps Most in a Week as Russian Supplies Slump

In FX, the Dollar is somewhat mixed vs major counterparts and the index is jobbing around 93.500 as a result in rather aimless fashion at the start of a typically quiet start to the new week awaiting fresh impetus or clearer direction that is highly unlikely to come from September’s national activity index or October’s Dallas Fed business survey. Instead, the Greenback appears to be reliant on overall risk sentiment, US Treasury yields on an outright and relative basis along with moves elsewhere and technical impulses as the DXY roams within a 93.775-483 range.

  • TRY - Lira losses continue to stack up, and the latest swoon to circa 9.8545 against the Buck came on the back of Turkish President Erdogan’s decision to declare 10 ambassadors persona non grata status due to their countries’ support for a jailed activist, including diplomats from the US, France and Germany. However, Usd/Try has actually pared some gains irrespective of a deterioration in manufacturing confidence and this may be partly psychological given that 10.0000 is looming with little in the way of chart resistance ahead of the big round number.
  • AUD/NZD - Iron ore prices are helping the Aussie overcome rather mixed news on the COVID-19 front, as the state of Victoria is on course to open up further from Friday, but new cases in NSW rose by almost 300 for the second consecutive day on Sunday. Nevertheless, Aud/Usd has had another look at offers around 0.7500 and Aud/Nzd is approaching 1.0500 even though Westpac sees near term downside prospects for the cross while maintaining its 1.0600 year end projection, as Nzd/Usd continues to encounter resistance and supply into 0.7200.
  • GBP/CAD - Sterling has regrouped after losing some of its hawkish BoE momentum and perhaps the Pound is benefiting from the latest rebound in Brent prices towards Usd 86.50/br on top of reports that the first round of talks between the UK and EU on NI Protocol were constructive, while the Loonie is up alongside WTI that has been adobe Usd 84.50 and awaiting the BoC on Wednesday. Cable is around 1.3750 after fading into 1.3800, Eur/Gbp is hovering above 0.8450 and Usd/Cad is pivoting 1.2350.
  • EUR/JPY/CHF - The Euro has bounced from the lower half of 1.1600-1.1700 parameters and looks enshrined by a key Fib just beyond the current high (1.1670 represents a 38.2% retracement of the reversal from September peak to October trough) and decent option expiry interest under the low (1 bn between 1.1615-00), with little fundamental direction coming from a very inconclusive German Ifo survey - see 9.00BST post on the Headline Feed for the main metrics and accompanying comments from the institute. Elsewhere, the Yen is hedging bets prior to the BoJ within a 113.83-42 band against the Dollar and the Franc seems to have taken heed of another rise in weekly Swiss sight deposits at domestic banks as Usd/Chf climbs from circa 0.9150 towards 0.9200 and Eur/Chf trades nearer the top of a 1.0692-65 corridor.
  • SCANDI/EM/PM - Firm oil prices are also underpinning the Nok, Rub and Mxn to various extents, while the Zar looks content with Gold’s advance on Usd 1800/oz and the Cnh/Cny have derived traction via a firmer onshore PBoC midpoint fix, a net Yuan 190 bn 7 day liquidity injection and the fact that China’s Evergrande has restarted work on more than 10 projects having made more interest payments on bonds in time to meet 30 day grace period deadlines.

In commodities, a modestly firmer start to the week for the crude complex though action has been contained and rangebound throughout the European session after a modest grinding bid was seen in APAC hours. Currently, the benchmarks post upside of circa USD 0.30/bbl amid relatively minimal newsflow. The most pertinent update to watch stems from China, where the National Health Commission spokesperson said China's current COVID outbreak covers 11 provinces and expects the number of new cases to keep rising; additionally, the number of affected provinces could increase. Separately, but on COVID, they are some reports that the UK Government is paving the wat for ‘plan B’ measures in England, while this are primarily ‘softer’ restrictions a return of work-from-home guidance could hamper the demand-side of the equation. Note, further reports indicate this is not on the cards for this week and there are some indications that we could see, if necessary, such an announcement after the COP26 summit in Scotland ends on November 12th. Elsewhere, and commentary to keep an eye on for alterations given the above factors, Goldman Sachs writes that the persistence of the global oil demand recovery being on course to hit pre-COVID levels would present an upside risk to its end-2021 USD 90/bbl Brent price target. Moving to metals, spot gold and silver are firmer but reside within tight ranges of just over USD 10/oz in gold, for instance. In a similar vein to crude, newsflow explicitly for metals has been minimal but it is of course attentive to the COVID-19 situation while coal futures were hampered overnight as China’s State Planner announced it is to increase credit supervision in the area.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Sept. Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. 0.20, prior 0.29
  • 10:30am: Oct. Dallas Fed Manf. Activity, est. 6.2, prior 4.6

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Well I saw Frozen twice this weekend. Once in the flesh up in London in the musical version and once on TV on Sunday at the heart of Manchester United’s defence which was breached 5 (five) times by Liverpool without reply. Regular readers can guess which I enjoyed the most.

Anyway I’ll let it go for now and prepare myself for a bumper week ahead for markets. This week we have decisions from the ECB and the Bank of Japan (both Thursday) even if the Fed will be on mute as they hit their blackout period ahead of the likely taper decision next week. Inflation will obviously remain in the spotlight too as we get the October flash estimate for the Euro Area (Friday) with some regional numbers like German (Thursday) before. In addition, the Q3 earnings season will ramp up further, with 165 companies in the S&P 500 reporting, including Facebook (today), Microsoft, and Alphabet (both tomorrow), and Apple and Amazon (Thursday). Elsewhere, the UK government will be announcing their latest budget and spending review (Wednesday), Covid will remain in the headlines in light of the growing number of cases in many countries, and we’ll get the first look at Q3 GDP growth in the US (Thursday) and the Euro Area (Friday).

Starting with those central bank meetings, we’re about to enter a couple of important weeks with the ECB and BoJ meeting this week, before the Fed and the BoE follow the week after. Market anticipation is much higher for the latter two though.

So by comparison, the ECB and the BoJ are likely to be somewhat quieter, and our European economists write in their preview (link here) that this Governing Council meeting is likely to be a staging ground ahead of wide-ranging policy decisions in December, and will therefore be about tone and expectations management. One thing to keep an eye on in particular will be what is said about the recent surge in natural gas prices, as well as if ECB President Lagarde challenges the market pricing on liftoff as inconsistent with their inflation forecasts and new rates guidance. 5yr5yr Euro inflation swaps hit 2% for the first time on Friday so if the market is to be believed the ECB has achieved long-term success in hitting its mandate. With regards to the meeting, we think there’ll be more action in December where our economists’ baseline is that there’ll be confirmation that PEPP purchases will end in March 2022. See the BoJ preview here.

Inflation will remain heavily in focus for markets over the week ahead, with recent days having seen investor expectations of future inflation rise to fresh multi-year highs. See the week in review at the end for more details. This week one of the main highlights will be the flash Euro Area CPI reading for October, which is out on Friday. Last month, CPI rose to 3.4%, which is the highest inflation has been since 2008, and this time around our economists are expecting a further increase in the measure to 3.8%. However, their latest forecast update (link here) expects that we’ll see the peak of 3.9% in November, before inflation starts to head back down again. The other main data highlight will come from the Q3 GDP figures, with releases for both the US and the Euro Area. For the US on Thursday the Atlanta Fed tracker has now hit a low of only +0.53%. DB is at 2.3% with consensus at 2.8%.

Earnings season really ramps up this week, with the highlights including some of the megacap tech firms, and a total of 165 companies in the S&P 500 will be reporting. Among the firms to watch out for include Facebook and HSBC today. Then tomorrow, we’ll hear from Microsoft, Alphabet, Visa, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Texas Instruments, UPS, General Electric, UBS and Twitter. On Wednesday, releases will include Thermo Fisher Scientific, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Boeing, General Motors, Santander and Ford. Thursday then sees reports from Apple, Amazon, Mastercard, Comcast, Merck, Royal Dutch Shell, Linde, Volkswagen, Starbucks, Sanofi, Caterpillar, Lloyds Banking Group and Samsung. Finally on Friday, we’ll hear from ExxonMobil, Chevron, AbbVie, Charter Communications, Daimler, BNP Paribas, Aon and NatWest Group.

Here in the UK, the main highlight next week will be the government’s Autumn Budget on Wednesday, with the Office for Budget Responsibility also set to release their latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook alongside that. In addition to the budget, the government will also be outlining the latest Spending Review, which will cover public spending priorities over the next 3 years. Our UK economists have released a preview of the event (link here), where they write that 2021-22 borrowing is expected to be revised down by £60bn, and they expect day-to-day spending will follow the path set out at the Spring Budget. They’re also expecting Chancellor Sunak will outline new fiscal rules.

Finally, the pandemic is gaining increasing attention from investors again, with a number of countries having moved to toughen up restrictions in light of rising cases. This week, something to look out for will be the US FDA’s advisory committee meeting tomorrow, where they’ll be discussing Pfizer’s request for an emergency use authorization for its vaccine on 5-11 year olds. The CDC’s advisory committee is then holding a meeting on November 2 and 3 the following week, and the White House have said that if it’s authorised then the vaccine would be made available at over 25,000 paediatricians’ offices and other primary care sites, as well as in pharmacies, and school and community-based clinics. The full day by day calendar is at the end as usual.

Asian markets are mixed this morning so far, as the Shanghai Composite (+0.38%), Hang Seng (+0.09%) and the KOSPI (+0.30%) are edging higher, while the Nikkei (-0.85%) is down. The rise in Chinese markets comes despite the news of 38 new COVID-19 cases as well as an announcement of a lockdown affecting around 35,700 residents of a county in Inner Mongolia. As China is one of the last countries in the world to still adhere to strict containment measures, a major outbreak can deal a fresh blow to the domestic economy and further reinforce global supply chain issues. Elsewhere the Turkish Lira hit fresh record lows, and is down around -1.5% as we type after last week’s surprise interest rate cut and Saturday’s news that ambassadors from 10 countries, including the US, Germany and France, were no longer welcome in the country. S&P 500 futures (+0.06%) are around unchanged and 10yr US Treasury yields are back up c.1bp.

Looking back on an eventful week now, and there was a marked increase in inflation expectations, which manifested itself in global breakevens hitting multi-year, if not all-time, highs. Starting with the all-time highs, US 5-year breakevens increased +14.9bps (-1.0bps Friday) to 2.90%, the highest level since 5-year TIPS have started trading, while 10-year breakevens increased +7.5bps (-0.7bps Friday) to 2.64%, their highest readings since 2005. 10-year breakevens in Germany increased +9.5 bps (+3.6bps Friday) to 1.91%, their highest since 2011, while in the UK 10-year breakevens increased +17.1 bps (+4.0bps Friday) to 4.19%, the highest level since 1996. Remarkable as these levels are, 5-year 5-year inflation swaps in the US, UK, and Euro Area finished the week at 2.63%, 4.00%, and 2.00%, multi-year highs for all of these measures. If you never thought you’d see the day that long term inflation expectations in Europe would hit 2% then this is a nice/nasty surprise. Overall, this suggests investors are pricing in the potential for inflation far into the future to be higher, in addition to responding to near-term stimulus and Covid reopening impacts.

Crude oil prices also climbed to their highest levels since 2014, with Brent climbing +1.07% (+1.37% Friday) and WTI gaining +2.07% (+1.79% Friday). One area where there was some reprieve was in industrial metals. Copper decreased -4.81% (-1.24% Friday), but at $449.80, remains +10.10% higher month-to-date. Bitcoin also joined the all-time high club intraweek, and finished the week +2.28% higher (-3.08% Friday). It marked a seminal week for the crypto asset, which saw ETFs and options on said ETFs begin trading in the US.

The inflationary sentiment coincided with market pricing of central bank rate hikes shifting earlier. 2-year yields in the US, UK, and Germany increased +5.9 bps (+0.1bps Friday), +8.0 bps (-4.7 bps Friday), and +4.0 bps (+0.9bps Friday) respectively. In fact, money markets are now placing slightly-better-than even odds that the MPC will raise Bank Rate as early as next week. Fed and ECB officials offered some push back against the aggressive policy path repricing, but BoE speakers seemed to confirm a hike next week was a legitimate possibility.

Rounding out sovereign bonds, nominal 10-year yields increased +6.2 bps (-6.9bps Friday) in the US, +4.0 bps (-5.6bps Friday) in the UK, +6.2 bps (-0.3 bps Friday) in Germany, +6.0 bps (-0.1bpFriday) in France, and +8.1 bps (+0.8bps Friday) in Italy. Inflation expectations didn’t fall with the big rally in the US and U.K. but real rates rallied hard.

The S&P 500 increased +1.64% over the week, but ended its 7-day winning streak after retreating on -0.11% Friday. On earnings, 117 S&P 500 companies have now reported third quarter earnings. Roughly 85% of companies have beat earnings expectations compared to the five-year average of 76%, while 74% of reporting companies have beat sales estimates. The aggregate earnings surprise is +13.05%, topping the 5-year average of +8.4%, while the sales surprise is +2.06%. Although a seemingly strong performance on the surface, our equity team, after taking a look under the hood in this note here, points out that a large part of the beats so far is due to loan-loss reserve releases by banks. Excluding those, the aggregate S&P 500 beat is running much closer to historical average, suggesting the headline beats have not been as broad based as they look at first glance.

Congressional Democrats spent the week negotiating the next fiscal package, which is set to spend more than $1 trillion on social priorities key to the Biden administration. On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi noted that 90% of the bill is agreed to and would be voted on before October was out. One of the key sticking points has been what offsetting revenue raising measures should be included in the final bill. As those details emerge, it should give us a better picture as to the ultimate additional fiscal impulse the new bill will provide.

Finally, global services PMIs out last Friday expanded while manufacturing PMIs lagged. Readings across jurisdictions were consistent with supply chain issues continuing to impact activity.

Tyler Durden Mon, 10/25/2021 - 08:09

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