US stock futures steadied following a rollercoaster move earlier in the session and after Friday’s sharp rally as traders assessed moves by Chinese President Xi Jinping to tighten his grip on the nation’s leadership while keeping an eye on macro data now that the Fed is in a chatterbox blackout. Contracts on the S&P 500 edged 0.7% higher at 7:30a.m. in New York after earlier rising as much as 1.3% and dropping 0.7%, while the yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped for a second session. Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.4% after bouncing between gains and losses earlier. Both underlying gauges are coming off their best week since June, and are entering the busiest week of the earnings season with 46% of the S&P 500’s market cap due to announce third-quarter results.
A gauge of the dollar’s strength rose sharply unwinding some of Friday's losses, supported by a risk-off mood sparked by a rout across Chinese markets which saw the Hang Seng plunge 6.4%, the biggest one day drop since 2008!
The offshore yen resumed its decline, tumbling by 1.3% - the biggest one-day slide since August 20019, to a record of 7.31, while the pound outperformed on bets for fiscal caution from the next UK prime minister.
“Market sentiment could remain cautious near-term on China, on concerns of a shift of focus toward more state control versus a market-driven approach under the new leadership team,” said Xiaojia Zhi, the chief China economist at Credit Agricole CIB. “The exit path from zero-Covid is not yet clear.”
Chinese economic data that was delayed last week and published Monday showed a mixed recovery, with unemployment rising and retail sales weakening despite a pickup in growth. Yet Xi’s Covid-zero campaign looks likely to continue to drag on the economy and there has been speculation that his “common prosperity” goal may even lead to property and inheritance taxes.
“It’s clear demand is slowing but so far we’ve seen pockets of tech like software, cloud computing still being quite resilient,” said Laura Cooper, a senior investment strategist at BlackRock International Ltd., on Bloomberg TV. “We will be watching for any signs of cracks coming through that could put a dent to some of these earnings expectations.”
In premarket trading, US-listed Chinese stocks tumbled, dragged lower by major internet and EV names including Alibaba, Baidu and Li Auto, which closed down more than 11%; search company Baidu was 12% lower while food delivery firm Meituan tanked more than 14%. The moves come after Chinese President Xi Jinping paved the way for an unprecedented third term as leader and packed the Politburo standing committee with loyalists. Tesla shares dropped after the company cut prices in China, reversing hikes imposed earlier this year.US stock futures steadied after Friday’s rally as traders assessed moves by Chinese President Xi Jinping to tighten his grip on the nation’s leadership. Other notable premarket movers:
- US-listed Macau casino stocks are also down, declining along with Chinese ADRs. Las Vegas Sands (LVS US) -7.9%, Wynn Resorts (WYNN US) -6.8%, Melco Resorts (MLCO US) -8.6%
- FedEx (FDX US) declines 1.9% in premarket trading after it was cut to equal-weight from overweight at Wells Fargo on concern that the revenue implications are not yet “fully captured” as the company pivots from growth and toward efficiency.
- Keep an eye on Williams-Sonoma (WSM US) stock as it was downgraded to underperform from hold at Jefferies, with broker saying it sees the home furnishing store operator underperforming ahead of a softer macroeconomic environment.
- Watch NXP Semiconductors (NXPI US) and Analog Devices (ADI US) shares as they were downgraded at Barclays, with the brokerage saying it expects cuts in the analog chip sector in the coming year and recommended “rotating out of the sub-sector sooner rather than later.”
US investors have begun looking beyond the Federal Reserve’s ongoing tightening to a stage when it may begin to slow rate hikes. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and his San Francisco counterpart Mary Daly made it clear they expect discussion at the November meeting to include debate on how high to raise rates and when to ease the pace.
At the same time, Morgan Stanley’s Michael Wilson expects stocks to grind higher as markets transition to expectations of falling inflation and lower interest rates. The strategist, who correctly predicted this year’s slump, sees the S&P 500 Index bouncing as much as 15% if it breaches its 200-week moving average of 3,605 points, about 4% below Friday’s close. A similar view is held by Stifel Nicolaus & Co. strategists, who said in a separate note they see the benchmark rallying to 4,300 points in the next 6 months.
"With the back end of the bond market offering real value for the first time since early 2021, rates are poised to come in," Wilson in a note on Monday. “Such a move could provide the necessary fuel for the next leg of the tactical rally in stocks until we get full capitulation on 2023 earnings estimates, something we think may take a few more months.”
By contrast, Goldman Sachs Inc. strategists led by David Kostin are more cautious, seeing rising rates and slowing US growth hurting cyclicals and tech stocks. They recommend being overweight defensive sectors, as well as energy.
In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index held an advance of about 1.3%. Media, utilities and travel are the strongest-performing sectors in Europe while miners and energy lag. IBEX outperforms peers, adding 0.9%, FTSE 100 lags, dropping 0.4% after Boris Johnson pulled out of the race to lead the UK’s ruling Conservative Party, placing Rishi Sunak closer to becoming the next prime minister. A 12% slump in Prosus NV shares amid the China concerns pushed the technology sector into the red, while basic resources and energy stocks weighed on the benchmark amid lower commodity prices. Michelin shares rose as much as 3.7% in Paris trading and are the day’s top performers on the Stoxx 600 Automobiles & Parts Index, with the French tiremaker set to give a quarterly sales update on Tuesday. Here are the biggest European movers:
- Pearson shares jump as much as 7.8%, reaching the highest since January 2019, after the publishing and education company reported a 7% increase in underlying revenue in the first nine months of the year.
- Indivior gains as much as 7.6%, the most since February, after Morgan Stanley upgrades to overweight from equal-weight, describing the stock as a “value, growth and margin expansion story.”
- Auto Trader rises as much as 4.3% after announcing the disposal of Webzone Ltd. Peel Hunt upgrades to buy from hold, saying the sale shows the company’s “dedication to its key market.”
- Temenos climbs as much as 8.2%, the most intraday since mid-June, after Dealreporter reported that Goldman Sachs and Citi are sounding out interest in the buyout of the Swiss banking software developer.
- Prosus falls as much as 14% in Amsterdam and parent Naspers sinks as much as 14% in Johannesburg, with both declines the sharpest since March. Naspers holds a 28% stake in Tencent, which plunged in Hong Kong trading following President Xi Jinping’s move to stack his leadership ranks with loyalists.
- Galp drops as much as 6.1% after reporting third-quarter profit that missed the average analyst estimate.
- Philips falls as much as 4.5% to the lowest since 2011 after saying it would cut 4,000 jobs as part of a EU300 million cost-saving package, which analysts say may imply liquidity problems for the Dutch medical technology firm.
Asian stocks fell, dragged by Chinese shares as President Xi Jinping’s move to tighten his leadership deepened investor worries, offsetting advances in Australia, South Korea and Japan. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index erased an earlier gain to drop as much as 1.2%, with Internet giants Tencent and Alibaba the biggest drags. A selloff in Chinese stocks deepened in afternoon trading, as the Hang Seng plunged by more than 6%, its biggest drop since Lehman while the Hang Seng Tech Index crashed 9.7% to the lowest since February 2016, after Xi filled China’s most powerful bodies with close allies while securing a precedent-breaking third term. He installed six trusted associates alongside him on the Politburo’s supreme Standing Committee and put his former chief of staff Li Qiang in line for the premiership.
Investors remained jittery as a leadership reshuffle highlighted Xi’s unquestioned grip over the ruling party, with allies set to take up key economic posts. An early loosening of Covid restrictions seemed less likely, while a set of long-delayed economic data showed a mixed recovery, further damping market sentiment.
“The latest rally underlines our view that markets will remain volatile, and investors should prepare for large moves in both directions,” said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. “Incremental improvements in inflation or labor market data, indications of economic resilience, any softening of language from the Fed, has the potential to drive a market bounce, as we have seen in recent days.”
“Markets may be hoping now that the leadership transition is finalized, the focus will turn to the economy and mending the property sector,” said Marvin Chen, a strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence, adding that property investment is still a weak spot for the economy. “Still, these may take time. We may not see much change to Covid policies in the near term.” The declines in Chinese shares contrasted with the upbeat mood elsewhere in Asia, buoyed by declines in US Treasury yields and Federal Reserve officials’ indications of a potential slowing of rate hikes. Markets were closed for holidays in Singapore, India, Malaysia, Thailand and New Zealand
In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose, paring some of Friday’s losses and the greenback was steady or higher against all of its Group-of-10 peers.
- The pound jumped and gilts led Treasuries and European bonds higher as investors bet that Rishi Sunak would bring more stability to the country’s financial markets. Initial moves were however tempered, and the pound inched lower, sliding back under 1.13 after earlier rallying by as much as 0.9% to $1.1409.
- China’s offshore yuan led the decline in most emerging Asian currencies as traders assessed the impact of President Xi Jinping’s consolidation of power. Indonesia’s rupiah outperformed peers, supported by higher nickel prices. China’s onshore yuan weakened to a 14-year low while stocks headed for their biggest daily plunge in Hong Kong since the 2008 global financial crisis. Market setbacks following the reshuffle highlighted President Xi Jinping’s unquestioned grip over the ruling party and showed deep disappointment over a likely continuation of policies staked on Covid Zero and state- driven companies.
- The euro retreated after earlier rising to more than a two-week high of $0.9899. Eurozone composite PMI fell to 47.1 in October; economists had expected 47.6
- The yen fell by more than 1%, to trade above 149 per dollar, after earlier surging to as much as 145.56 after suspected interventions by Japanese authorities
- Australian dollar declined against all of its G-10 peers after the Reserve Bank said it isn’t yet worried about the risk of imported inflation from a falling currency. Reports of fresh Covid restrictions in Guangzhou helped fuel a drop in China stocks and the yuan, pushing the Aussie even lower
In rates, Treasuries trade off best levels of the session, although intermediate and long-end yields remain richer by 5bp-6bp. Gilts lead a global bond market rally, with front-end yields down nearly 40bp after Rishi Sunak emerged as the frontrunner to become new UK Prime Minister. 10-year TSY yields trade around 4.15%, richer by ~7bp on the day, trailing gilts by 18bp, bunds by 4bp in the sector; US 2s10s is ~5bp flatter on the day while gilt curve steepens. Treasuries extended their late-Friday rally during Monday’s Asia session, adding to a move sparked by comments from Fed’s Daly, who said policy makers should start planning for a reduction in the size of interest-rate increases, and a WSJ article predicting they will debate the size of future hikes in November. According to Bloomberg, dollar issuance slate includes OKB $1b 3Y and Cades 3Y; $20b of new bond sales are expected this week as companies emerge from earnings blackout periods; banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. could all come to market soon.
Commodities were clipped as the USD rebounded and recessionary concerns mount (again); crude benchmarks are hampered on such factors, though similarly to US equity futures have recently eased off lows. Specifically, WTI and Brent benchmarks post downside of circa. USD 1.00/bbl compared to losses just shy of USD 2.00/bbl at worst. Both precious and base metals are broadly speaking under pressure; currently, Gold is impaired by circa. USD 10/oz and has been pushed back below the 10-DMA at USD 1650/oz. QatarEnergy head said the Co. is open to discussing working with Shell (SHEL LN) in all energy sectors, via Reuters.
Looking at today's calendar, we get the US October PMIs, and September Chicago Fed national activity index, we also get PMI updates from Japan, UK, Germany, France and the Eurozone.
- S&P 500 futures up 0.7% to 3,792
- STOXX Europe 600 up 0.5% to 398.32
- MXAP down 1.1% to 134.36
- MXAPJ down 2.0% to 431.12
- Nikkei up 0.3% to 26,974.90
- Topix up 0.3% to 1,887.19
- Hang Seng Index down 6.4% to 15,180.69
- Shanghai Composite down 2.0% to 2,977.56
- Sensex up 0.2% to 59,307.15
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.5% to 6,779.36
- Kospi up 1.0% to 2,236.16
- German 10Y yield down 0.2% at 2.41%
- Euro down 0.3% to $0.9831
- Brent Futures down 1.8% to $91.86/bbl
- Gold spot down 0.6% to $1,647.67
- U.S. Dollar Index up 0.25% to 112.29
Top Overnight News from Bloomberg
- A sense of exasperation swept across Chinese markets as President Xi Jinping moved to stack his leadership ranks with loyalists, with stocks capping their worst day in Hong Kong since the 2008 global financial crisis and the yuan weakening to a 14-year low
- The ECB is priming another hefty hike in interest rates this week as the attention increasingly switches to how high it will eventually push
- Japan’s government will set out its expectation that the central bank watches the impact of moves in financial markets while emphasizing the two sides’ cooperation on policy, according to a draft of an upcoming stimulus plan obtained by Bloomberg
- Most of Japan’s currency intervention, confirmed and suspected, took place outside of regular trading hours, with the exception of probable action Monday -- unlike moves in 2010 and 2011 to weaken the yen. In contrast to that period, the government has only stated it intervened once, with the reluctance to do so seen as an additional tool to deter speculators
- Much of continental Europe is poised for an unusually warm end to the month, with Paris seeing temperatures more common on a summer day than well into the heating season
A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk
Asia-Pacififc stocks traded mixed after the initial optimism from Wall Street on Friday began to fade. ASX 200 was boosted by its commodities sector as the rise in underlying metals supported mining names in the region. Nikkei 225 was also firmer but lagged behind peers (ex-China) following the touted FX intervention on Friday and again on Monday. KOSPI was led by gains in its IT names, but the region felt some jitters following an exchange of fire between North and South Korea after a North Korean boat crossed the South Korean maritime border. Shanghai Comp. initially traded flat after Chinese President Xi secured an unprecedented third term as the party leader, as expected. Chinese President Xi also suggested China's economy has high resilience and sufficient potential. The index also saw some brief upside after China released a myriad of delayed economic data, with Q3 GDP Y/Y topping forecasts and Trade Balance printing a larger surplus than expected, whilst exports also increased more than forecast, although these gains pared back. Hang Seng buckled as Xi’s leadership overhaul could prove to result in prolonged oversight and less autonomy for Hong Kong, with the Hang Seng Tech Index slumping over 5% and Alibaba, Tencent, JD.com, Baidu and Meituan shedding as much as 7-10%.
Asia Data Recap
- Chinese GDP (Q3) Y/Y 3.9% (Exp. 3.3%, Prev. 0.4%); Q/Q 3.9% (Exp. 3.5%, Prev. -2.6%)
- Chinese Trade Balance (Sep) (USD) Y/Y 84.7bln (Exp. 80.3bln, Prev. 79.39B); Exports +5.7% (Exp. +4.0%, Prev. 7.1%), Imports +0.3% (Exp. 1.0%, Prev. 0.3%)
- Chinese Retail Sales (Sep) Y/Y 2.5% (Exp. 3.0%, Prev. 5.4%); YTD Y/Y 0.7% (Exp. 0.9%, Prev. 0.5%)
- Chinese Industrial Output (Sep) Y/Y 6.3% (Exp. 4.8%, Prev. 4.2%); YTD Y/Y 3.9% (Exp. 3.7%, Prev. 3.6%)
- Chinese Fixed Investments (Jan-Sep) 5.9% (Exp. 6.0%)
- Australian Composite PMI (Oct) 49.6 (Prev. 50.9); Services PMI (Oct) 49.0 (Prev. 50.6); Manufacturing PMI (Oct) 52.8 (Prev. 53.5)
- Japanese Jibun Manufacturing PMI (Oct) 50.7 (Prev. 50.8); Services PMI (Oct) 53.0 (Prev. 52.2); Composite PMI (Oct) 51.7 (Prev. 51.0)
Top Asian News
- China suspended in-person schooling and dining-in at restaurants in a district in Guangzhou, "stoking concerns about the potential for disruption in the southern Chinese manufacturing hub that’s home to about 19mln people", Bloomberg reported.
- PBoC injected CNY 10bln via 7-day reverse repos at a maintained rate 2.00% for a daily injection of CNY 8bln.
- Japan's Top Currency Diplomat Kanda will not comment on whether they intervened in FX markets and said there is no change in stance that "we are ready to take action 24/7" and will continue to take appropriate action, via Reuters. Japan's Top Currency Diplomat Kanda offered no comments on intervention on Monday morning.
- Japanese Finance Minister Suzuki said no comment on FX intervention; currently trying to confront speculators; monitoring FX with a high sense of urgency.
- USD/JPY drop on Monday likely due to intervention, according to market participants cited by Reuters.
- Japanese government urges the BoJ to remain vigilant to the impact of sharp market moves, according to a draft document cited by Reuters.
- The Japanese government and the BoJ decided to intervene in FX on Friday by buying the Yen and selling the Dollar, according to Nikkei sources citing sources.
- Japan's FX intervention on October 21st is estimated at JPY 5.4-5.5tln, according to market sources and calculations cited by Reuters.
- BoJ Governor Kuroda said CPI growth beyond next FY likely to fall below 2%, will continue to put all effort into achieving price target along with rise in wages.
- Japanese gov't expects the BoJ to watch the impact of market moves, via Bloomberg citing a document; to collaborate closely with the BoJ on the policy mix; Finance Minister will not comment on FX intervention.
- Japan is to ease rules in relation to brokerages offering investment advice, according to reports citing Nikkei.
- Japanese Economy Minister Yamagiwa is planning to step down, according to NHK.
- South Korea is to expand its corporate-bond buying program, according to the finance minister cited by Reuters.
- RBA's Kent reiterated the Board expects to increase interest rates further in the period ahead; size and timing of rate increases in Australia will depend on incoming data.
European bourses are mixed, though are well off lows, as initial strength faded following the open amid renewed USD strength and as PMIs flash ongoing recessionary/inflationary concerns. Sectors are a touch mixed amid the above action, Energy remains the standout laggard amid the complex's broader price action. US futures have managed to make their way back to being essentially unchanged on the session, as the initial bout of underperformance eases as US participants enter the fray pre-PMIs.
Top European News
- UK's Boris Johnson has pulled out of the Conservative Party leadership contest, according to The Times' Swinford. UK's Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak failed to strike a deal in talks on Saturday, according to the Times.
- UK leadership candidate Rishi Sunak so far received support from 147 MPs vs 24 for Penny Mordaunt. The deadline to reach the 100 threshold is at 14:00BST/09:00EDT on Monday.
- UK leadership candidate Penny Mordaunt will stay in the race as she reportedly sees a route to 100 nominations now Boris Johnson is out, according to sources cited by Bloomberg's Wickham.
- UK Chancellor Hunt backs Rishi Sunak for PM, via The Telegraph.
- UK Chancellor Hunt is said to be mulling up to GBP 20bln of tax rises in the October 31st budget, according to The Telegraph. The October 31st fiscal statement could be delayed after PM Truss' resignation, according to the FT.
- UK Chancellor Hunt is expected to extend the current freeze in income tax and allowances into the next parliament, according to FT citing sources.
- BoE's Mann said bond purchases for financial stability were targeted and temporary, and the start of bond selling on Nov 1st shows the BoE does not feel like its hands are tied. Mann said it is the BoE's job to address financial stability risks.
- Moody's affirmed UK's rating at Aa3; revised outlook to "Negative" from "Stable.
- Dollar regroups after Friday's reversal on less hawkish Fed dynamic and reports of Japanese intervention, DXY above 112.500 at best vs 111.760 low.
- Sterling underpinned ahead of deadline in race to be next UK PM with Sunak hot favourite to succeed, Cable holding within 1.1400-1.1300 range.
- Yen reverses from peaks as official buying momentum wanes, USD/JPY up to 149.70 from sub-145.50 at one stage.
- Aussie underperforms ahead of Budget that is expected to see growth forecast downgraded, AUD/USD under 0.6300 and Kiwi down in sympathy on NZ Labour Day as NZD/USD declines through 0.5700.
- Offshore Yuan below 7.3000 vs Buck as China tightens COVID restrictions in key southern manufacturing hub.
- Euro fades from a fraction below 0.9900 towards 0.9800 after broadly weak PMIs and amidst heavy option expiry interest.
- PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 7.1230 vs exp. 7.1173 (prev. 7.1186); weakest fix since June 1st 2020.
- Commodities clipped as the USD regains poise and recessionary concerns mount; crude benchmarks are hampered on such factors, though similarly to US equity futures have recently eased off lows.
- Specifically, WTI and Brent benchmarks post downside of circa. USD 1.00/bbl compared to losses just shy of USD 2.00/bbl at worst.
- Both precious and base metals are broadly speaking under pressure; currently, Gold is impaired by circa. USD 10/oz and has been pushed back below the 10-DMA at USD 1650/oz.
- QatarEnergy head said the Co. is open to discussing working with Shell (SHEL LN) in all energy sectors, via Reuters.
- China sold 100% of wheat offered at auction of state reserves on Oct 19th, according to Reuters citing the traded centre; sold at an average price of CNY 2,829/t.
CCP National Congress
- Chinese President Xi secured an unprecedented third term as Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader, as expected.
- The CCP amended its constitution to include "two establishes" and "two safeguards" to "cement" Xi Jinping's status as the core of the party, according to Reuters.
- Chinese President Xi is to head the communist party's central commission for discipline inspection, according to state media.
- The new CCP Politburo Standing Committee includes Li Qang, Li Xi, Ding Xuexiang, Cai Qi, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, according to state media. The new Central Committee (comprising of 171 alternate members) does not include Liu He, Han Zheng, Sun Chunlan, Yi Gang, Guo Shuoing,
- Chinese President Xi said China's economy has high resilience, sufficient potential and has room for manoeuvre. Xi said China will open its doors even wider. Xi said China must ensure the CCP continues to be the backbone people can lean on, according to state media.
- Russian Defence Minister held phone calls with the US Pentagon Chief, UK Defence Minister, and the French Armed Forces Minister, according to Interfax and Reuters.
- French Armed Forces Minister has confirmed Russian Defence Minister told him Russia fears that Ukraine may use a "dirty bomb" on Russian territory. Russia's Shoigu warns of 'uncontrolled escalation' in Ukraine conflict, via Reuters.
- Ukraine's Foreign Minister spoke with US Defence Secretary Blinken and said they both agreed the Russian rhetoric on "dirty bombs" is aimed at creating a pretext for a false flag operation. They also discussed further practical steps to boost Ukraine’s air defense.
- Russian forces continued to target Ukraine's energy and military infrastructure over the weekend, according to the Russia Defence Ministry cited by Interfax.
- Russian authorities said two pilots died in a military plane crash into a residential building in Irkutsk, Russia, according to Interfax.
- Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said Russia completely reject any demilitarized zones in the vicinity of the Zaporozhye station, Via Al Jazeera.
- Russia continues to use Iranian uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) against targets throughout Ukraine, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.
US Event Calendar
- 08:30: Sept. Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. -0.10, prior 0
- 09:45: Oct. S&P Global US Manufacturing PM, est. 51.0, prior 52.0
- 09:45: Oct. S&P Global US Composite PMI, est. 49.2, prior 49.5
- 09:45: Oct. S&P Global US Services PMI, est. 49.5, prior 49.3
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
Morning from the middle of a forest in Center Parcs. We’ve had a biblical amount of rain, flash flooding in the resort and a weekend of over excitable children. We’re off to a safari park today where monkeys jump on your car. Only 24 hours before I can escape on a plane to New York.
As we start a new week where we’re now in the Fed blackout period ahead of next week’s FOMC, we’re perhaps starting the 6th attempt this year at the Fed pivot trade. This only started on Friday as well-connected Nick Timiraos (WSJ) suggested that while a 75bps hike at the Fed’s next meeting was set to go ahead, officials were also likely to discuss “whether and how to signal plans to approve a smaller increase in December.” Whether this gets any further than the previous failed attempts to reprice markets only time will tell but with markets pricing in a terminal rate of over 5% prior to this, at least this is the first one that starts from anything vaguely resembling a realistic starting point given where inflation is. San Fran Fed President Daly also said on Friday that the Fed should start planning for a shift down in the pace of hikes but added that they are not there yet.
The news helped price -8.0bps less Fed tightening by year-end on Friday, whilst also triggering a significant one-day decline in the 2yr Treasury yield of -13.8bps (-16bps post Timiraos). In turn the S&P 500 completed its strongest weekly performance since June, advancing +4.74% (+2.37% Friday). Futures are +0.3% this morning. The longer end rallied 12bps off the highs but was only -1.2bps on Friday as the same article discussed how the Fed could also signal a higher dot plot for 2023. Net net this left the biggest curve steepening since the pandemic (-12.2bps) which given that its not a huge move shows how massively flatter the curve has been since then. This morning in Asia 2 and 10yr yields are -4.3bps and -6.7bps lower respectively and this continuing the momentum from Friday.
In the cold light of day (and it’s cold and dark in the forests of Center Parcs this morning), these more dovish stories are all plausible but between next week’s FOMC and the December equivalent we have CPI and NFP twice. So plenty of cold or hot water to flow under the bridge before then. On balance there are few signs at the moment that core inflation is about to see a rapid about turn and the Fed will be data dependent so it'll be impossible to have high conviction on what they do next without a strong view on the data.
Before we examine the week ahead we should note that overall the 10yr yield ended last week up by +19.8bps (-1.2bps Friday), which marked its 12th consecutive weekly rise, and is also its longest run since 1984 when Paul Volcker was Fed Chair. So we need to put things into some perspective.
In light of all this maybe the most interesting data this week comes on Friday with the Q3 employment cost index (DB at +1.1% vs. +1.3% last month) and the September personal income (+0.1% vs. +0.3%) and consumption (+0.3% vs. +0.4%) report, including the core PCE deflator (+0.58% vs. +0.56%). With respect to core PCE, our economists expect the Fed's preferred measure of inflation to rise by 40bps to 5.3%. Our economists highlight that as the median forecast for 2022 core PCE inflation in the Fed's Summary of Economic Projections from the September 21st meeting was 4.5%, it’s going to be tough to signal a downshift in December.
Elsewhere this week the main highlights are the ECB (Thursday) and the BoJ (Friday) decisions and a huge round of earnings with big Tech the highlight. We’ll also have a new UK Prime Minister by Friday with a possibility we may have one after today’s ultra compressed rounds of Parliamentary votes. After Boris Johnson pulled out late last night it is possible that only tactical voting will stop ex-Chancellor Sunak being declared PM tonight. We’ll also see US Q3 GDP (Thursday) and flash PMIs in the US and Europe (today) and October CPIs and GDP for many European countries (Friday). There are other data which are in the day by day guide at the end as usual for a Monday but let’s take a brief look at the highlights outside the already discussed PCE. The ECB's decision on Thursday will be a big event with our European economists expecting another +75bps hike (72.3bp priced in), followed by +75bps in December (c.62bps priced in), +50bps in February (c.38bps priced), and +25bps in March, reaching a terminal rate of 3%. The press conference as ever will be a focal point and there’ll be lots of attention on technical things surrounding TLTROs and excess reserves. For more on the options here see our fixed income strategists blog from Friday here.
Staying with central banks, over in Japan, the BoJ announces its decision on Friday amidst continued downward pressure on the yen, which hit a 32-year low against the dollar of 151.95 on Friday before surging again to end the week at 147.65 - c.3.5% swing while the Japanese slept after Nikkei reported fresh intervention from the Japanese authorities. The Yen has again seen a wild session in Asia. After falling again to 149.67 it surged to 145.65 and now trades at 148.88 as we go to press with no clarity on if and what intervention has been done.
For US Q3 GDP this week, our US economists expect real growth to rebound to +3.0% from Q2's -0.6%. Q3 GDP figures will also be out for European countries on Friday, including for Germany and France with the former likely to be slightly negative and the latter slightly positive. Overall it’s likely to be the start of growth grinding towards or below zero and then staying negative for a few quarters. On European CPI on Friday remember September readings saw Germany's CPI reaching 10% for the first time since 1950.
Earnings will come thick and fast this week, featuring the big tech, oil majors and key automakers and staples. In tech alone we have Microsoft, Alphabet (tomorrow), Meta (Wednesday) and Apple and Amazon (Thursday). A huge slug (20% by market cap) of the S&P 500 in 48 hours. Other notable tech firms reporting results will include Intel, Twitter, SAP and Samsung. The other main reporters are in the day by day week ahead at the end.
Asian markets are higher outside of China/HK this morning with the Nikkei (+0.62%) and the KOSPI (+0.87%) up but with the Hang Seng (-4.99%) and the Shanghai composite (-0.89%) lower as markets worry about the policy direction of travel after the ending of the 20th Party Congress. We've also finally seen the monthly data dump out of China and despite a beat on Q3 GDP (+3.9% vs +3.3% expected) and industrial production (+6.3% vs 4.8%), we saw weaker retail sales (+2.5% vs +3.0%) and jobless rate (5.5% vs 5.2%).
Looking back to last week, we've already discussed the US rates and equities pricing at the top. Over in Europe, gilts outperformed other sovereign bonds over the week as a whole thanks to the government’s Monday U-turn on the mini-budget. However, they became a major underperformer again on Friday as investors contemplated the likelihood that former Prime Minister Johnson could return to office. All-in-all that left 10yr yields down -28.2bps over the week (+14.1bps Friday), and after the close we heard that Moody’s had affirmed the UK’s credit rating but cut the outlook to negative. Elsewhere in Europe though there was a similar pattern to Treasuries, with 10yr bund yields also rising for a 12th week in a row with a +7.0bps gain over the week (+1.4bps Friday). At the same time, the STOXX 600 put in its best week since July, with a +1.27% advance (-0.62% Friday).
Finally last week, European natural gas futures fell -20.02% (-10.67% Friday) to €114 per megawatt-hour after EU leaders endorsed a plan to cap gas prices.
EY Eyes Comeback for Biopharma M&A
EY noted that the total value of biopharma M&A in 2022 was $88 billion, down 15% from $104 billion in 2021. The $88 billion accounted for most of the…
A recent trickle of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) announcements in the billion-dollar-and-up range suggests that biopharma may be ready to resume dealmaking this year—although the value and number of deals isn’t expected to return to the highs seen just before the pandemic.
2022 ended with a handful of 10- and 11-figure M&A deals, led by Amgen’s $27.8 billion buyout of Horizon Therapeutics, announced December 13. The dealmaking continued into January with three buyouts announced on the first day of the recent J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference: AstraZeneca agreed to acquire CinCor Pharma for up to $1.8 billion, while Chiesi Farmaceutici agreed to shell out up to $1.48 billion cash for Amryt, and Ipsen Group said it will purchase Albireo Pharma for $952 million-plus.
EY—the professional services firm originally known as Ernst & Young—recently noted that the total value of biopharma M&A in 2022 was $88 billion, down 15% from $104 billion in 2021 [See Chart]. The $88 billion accounted for most of the $135 billion in 124 deals in the life sciences. That $135 billion figure is less than half the record-high $313 billion recorded in 2019, including $261 billion in 70 biopharma deals.
The number of biopharma deals fell 17% to 75 deals from 90. EY’s numbers include only deals greater than $100 million. The other 49 deals totaling $47 million consisted of transactions in “medtech,” which includes diagnostics developers and companies specializing in “virtual health” such as telemedicine.
“We expect this to be a more active year as the sentiment starts to normalize a little bit,” Subin Baral, EY Global Life Sciences Deals Leader, told GEN Edge.
Baral is not alone in foreseeing a comeback for biopharma M&A.
John Newman, PhD, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity, predicted last week in a research note that biopharma companies will pursue a growing number of smaller cash deals in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion this year. He said rising interest rates are discouraging companies from taking on larger blockbuster deals that require buyers to take on larger sums of debt.
“We look for narrowing credit spreads and lower interest rates to encourage larger M&A ($50 billion and more) deals. We do not anticipate many $50B+ deals that could move the XBI +5%,” Newman said. (XBI is the SPDR S&P Biotech Electronic Transfer Fund, one of several large ETFs whose fluctuations reflect investor enthusiasm for biopharma stock.)
Newman added: “We continue to expect a biotech swell in 2023 that may become an M&A wave if credit conditions improve.”
Foreseeing larger deals than Newman and Canaccord Genuity is PwC, which in a commentary this month predicted: “Biotech deals in the $5–15 billion range will be prevalent and will require a different set of strategies and market-leading capabilities across the M&A cycle.”
Those capabilities include leadership within a specific therapeutic category, for which companies will have to buy and sell assets: “Prepared management teams that divest businesses that are subscale while doubling down on areas where leadership position and the right to win is tangible, may be positioned to deliver superior returns,” Glenn Hunzinger, PwC’s U.S. Pharma & Life Science Leader, and colleagues asserted.
The Right deals
Rising interest and narrowing credit partially explain the drop-off in deals during 2022, EY’s Baral said. Another reason was sellers adjusting to the drop in deal valuations that resulted from the decline of the markets which started late in 2021.
“It took a little bit longer to realize the reality of the market conditions on the seller side. But on the buyer side, the deals that they were looking at were not just simply a valuation issue. They were looking at the quality of the assets. And you can see that the quality deals—the right deals, as we call them—are still getting done,” Baral said.
The right deals, according to Baral, are those in which buyers have found takeover targets with a strong, credible management team, solid clinical data, and a clear therapeutic focus.
“Rare disease and oncology assets are still dominating the deal making, particularly oncology because your addressable market continues to grow,” Baral said. “Unfortunately, what that means is the patient population is growing too, so there’s this increased unmet need for that portfolio of assets.”
Several of 2022’s largest M&A deals fit into that “right” category, Baral said—including Amgen-Horizon, Pfizer’s $11.6-billion purchase of Biohaven Pharmaceuticals and the $6.7-billion purchase of Arena Pharmaceuticals (completed in March 2022); and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s $4.1-billion buyout of Turning Point Therapeutics.
“Quality companies are still getting funded one way or the other. So, while the valuation dropped, people were all expecting a flurry of deals because they are still companies with a shorter runway of cash that will be running to do deals. But that really didn’t happen from a buyer perspective,” Baral said. “The market moved a little bit from what was a seller’s market for a long time, to what we would like to think of as the pendulum swinging towards a buyers’ market.”
Most biopharma M&A deals, he said, will be “bolt-on” acquisitions in which a buyer aims to fill a gap in its clinical pipeline or portfolio of marketed drugs through purchases that account for less than 25% of a buyer’s market capitalization.
Baral noted that a growing number of biopharma buyers are acquiring companies with which they have partnered for several years on drug discovery and/or development collaborations. Pfizer acquired BioHaven six months after agreeing to pay the company up to $1.24 billion to commercialize rimegepant outside the U.S., where the migraine drug is marketed as Nurtec® ODT.
“There were already some kind of relationships there before these deals actually happened. But that also gives an indication that there are some insights to these targets ahead of time for these companies to feel increasingly comfortable, and pay the valuation that they’re paying for them,” Baral said.
$1.4 Trillion available
Baral sees several reasons for increased M&A activity in 2023. First, the 25 biopharma giants analyzed by EY had $1.427 trillion available as of November 30, 2022, for M&A in “firepower”—which EY defines as a company’s capacity to carry out M&A deals based on the strength of its balance sheet, specifically the amount of capital available for M&A deals from sources that include cash and equivalents, existing debt, and market cap.
That firepower is up 11% from 2021, and surpasses the previous record of $1.22 trillion in 2014, the first year that EY measured the available M&A capital of large biopharmas.
Unlike recent years, Baral said, biopharma giants are more likely to deploy that capital on M&A this year to close the “growth gap” expected to occur over the next five years as numerous blockbuster drugs lose patent exclusivity and face new competition from lower-cost generic drugs and biosimilars.
“There is not enough R&D in their pipeline to replenish a lot of their revenue. And this growth gap is coming between 2024 and 2026. So, they don’t have a long runway to watch and stay on the sidelines,” Baral said.
This explains buyers’ interest in replenishing pipelines with new and innovative treatments from smaller biopharmas, he continued. Many smaller biopharmas are open to being acquired because declining valuations and limited cash runways have increased investor pressure on them to exit via M&A. The decline of the capital markets has touched off dramatic slowdowns in two avenues through which biopharmas have gone public in recent years—initial public offerings (IPOs) and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).
EY recorded just 17 IPOs being priced in the U.S. and Europe, down 89% from 158 a year earlier. The largest IPO of 2022 was Prime Medicine’s initial offering, which raised $180.3 million in net proceeds for the developer of a “search and replace” gene editing platform.
Another 12 biopharmas agreed to SPAC mergers with blank-check companies, according to EY, with the largest announced transaction (yet to close at deadline) being the planned $899 million merger of cancer drug developer Apollomics with Maxpro Capital Acquisition.
“For the smaller players, the target biotech companies, their alternate source of access to capital pathways such as IPOs and SPACs is shutting down on them. So how would the biotech companies continue to fund themselves? Those with quality assets are still getting funded through venture capital or other forms of capital,” Baral said. “But in general, there is not a lot of appetite for the biotech that is taking that risk.
Figures from EY show a 37% year-to-year decline in the total value of U.S. and European VC deals, to $16.88 billion in 2022 from $26.62 billion in 2021. Late-stage financing rounds accounted for just 31% of last year’s VC deals, down from 34% in 2021 and 58% in 2012. The number of VC deals in the U.S. and Europe fell 18%, to 761 last year from 930 in 2021.
The decline in VC financing helps explain why many smaller biopharmas are operating with cash “runways” of less than 12 months. “Depending on the robustness of their data, their therapeutic area, and their management, there will be a natural attrition. Some of these companies will just have to wind down,” Baral added.
Baral also acknowledged some headwinds that are likely to dampen the pace of M&A activity. In addition to rising interest rates and inflation increasing the cost of capital, valuations remain high for the most sought-after drugs, platforms, and other assets—a result of growing and continuing innovation.
Another headwind is growing regulatory scrutiny of the largest deals. Illumina’s $8 billion purchase of cancer blood test developer Grail has faced more than two years of challenges from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and especially the European Commission—while Congress acted last year to begin curbing the price of prescription drugs and insulin through the “Inflation Reduction Act.”
Those headwinds may prompt many companies to place greater strategic priority on collaborations and partnerships instead of M&A, Baral predicted, since they offer buyers early access to newer technologies before deciding whether to invest more capital through a merger or acquisition.
“Early-stage collaboration, early minority-stake investment becomes increasingly important, and it has been a cornerstone for early access to these technologies for the industry for a long, long time, and that is not changing any time soon,” Baral said. “On the other hand, even on the therapeutic area side, early-stage development is still expensive to do in-house for the large biopharma companies because of their cost structure.
“So, it is efficient cost-wise and speed-wise to buy these assets when they reach a certain point, which is probably at Phase II onward, and then you can pull the trigger on acquisitions if needed,” he added.congress pandemic genetic interest rates european europe
Pfizer’s Albert Bourla spells out ‘transition year’ for Covid products, with sales expected to reach a low point
On the heels of a record sales year, Pfizer is bracing for impact as it expects Covid-19 revenue to bottom out in 2023.
That’s due to lower compliance…
On the heels of a record sales year, Pfizer is bracing for impact as it expects Covid-19 revenue to bottom out in 2023.
That’s due to lower compliance with vaccine recommendations, fewer primary vaccines being administered, and a “significant” government supply that’s expected to last throughout early this year, execs said Tuesday on the company’s Q4 earnings call.
CEO Albert Bourla anticipates $13.5 billion in Comirnaty sales this year, down 64% from 2022, and just $8 billion in Paxlovid revenue, down 58% from 2022.
“We expect 2023 to be a transition year in the US,” he said on the call, adding that the company sold more vaccine and treatment doses this year than were actually used. “This resulted in a government inventory build that we expect to be absorbed sometime in 2023 — probably the second half of the year. Around that time, we expect to start selling Comirnaty through commercial channels at commercial prices.”
Just 15.5% of eligible Americans have received bivalent booster doses, compared to 69.2% who completed their primary series, according to the CDC’s latest data. Last week, the FDA’s vaccines advisory committee voted unanimously in favor of “harmonizing” Covid vaccine compositions, meaning all new vaccine recipients would receive a bivalent shot, regardless of whether they’ve received the primary series.
Even so, only 31% of people in the US received a Covid vaccine this year, and Pfizer expects that number to dip to about 24% in 2023.
Bourla’s expecting a similar slump in Paxlovid sales, due to existing unused government supply. According to data from ASPR updated last week, states have about 4 million unused Paxlovid courses.
The antiviral significantly underperformed this year, missing Bourla’s prior full-year projections by just over $3 billion. Comirnaty seemed to pick up the slack, however, raking in roughly $37.8 billion in global sales, or about $3.8 billion more than Bourla predicted at the end of the third quarter.
“While patient demand for our Covid products is expected to remain strong throughout 2023, much of that demand is expected to be fulfilled by products that were delivered to governments in 2022 and recorded as revenues last year,” CFO David Denton said on the call.
Commercial pricing for both Comirnaty and Paxlovid will likely kick in around the second half of this year, according to Bourla. While the pharma giant previously said it expects to charge between $110 and $130 for the BioNTech-partnered shot (almost quadrupling the price), chief commercial officer Angela Hwang said the team is still “preparing what those pricing scenarios could look like” for Paxlovid and will “share more at the right time.”
The Pfizer team is expecting Covid sales to pick back up in the next couple years — and if all goes according to plan, a successful combination shot for flu and Covid-19 would “bring the percentage of Americans receiving the Covid-19 vaccine closer to the portion of people getting flu shots, which is currently about 50%,” Bourla said. The company launched a Phase I study for an mRNA-based combo vaccine back in November.
Lower projected Covid sales led Bourla to set his full-year sales expectations in 2023 at $67 billion to $71 billion, down roughly 30% from 2022, which let down some analysts.
“PFE guidance for 2023 provided with 4Q22 results was disappointing despite the company talking down financial prospects in recent weeks,” SVB Securities analysts wrote in a note to investors on Tuesday.
However, when it comes to R&D investment, Bourla’s keeping his foot on the gas. As the CEO said back in November, “It’s all about what’s next.”
That’s why he’s earmarking around $12.4 billion to $13.4 billion for R&D this year, up nearly 9% from last year. It’s all part of his effort to make up for an expected $17 billion loss due to patent expiries between 2025 and 2030.
Last quarter, he spelled out ambitious plans to bring 19 new products or indications to market over the next year and a half. The chief executive highlighted a few of those programs on Tuesday, including potential combo shots for flu, Covid-19 and RSV, an oral GLP-1 candidate for diabetes and obesity, and potential vaccines for Lyme disease and shingles.
Other programs, however, didn’t make the cut. Pfizer also disclosed on Tuesday that it cut eight programs, including recifercept, an achondroplasia drug that was the centerpiece of Pfizer’s Therachon buyout in 2019, and two Paxlovid indications that failed their respective Phase III trials.cdc covid-19 vaccine treatment fda
IMF Upgrades Global Growth Forecast As Inflation Cools
IMF Upgrades Global Growth Forecast As Inflation Cools
The International Monetary Fund published its latest World Economic Outlook on Monday,…
The International Monetary Fund published its latest World Economic Outlook on Monday, painting a slightly less gloomy picture than three and a half months ago, as inflation appears to have peaked in 2022, consumer spending remains robust and the energy crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been less severe than initially feared.
However, the IMF predicts the slowdown to be less pronounced than previously anticipated.
Global growth is now expected to fall from 3.4 percent in 2022 to 2.9 percent this year, before rebounding to 3.1 percent in 2024.
The 2023 growth projection is up from an October estimate of 2.7 percent, as the IMF sees far fewer countries facing recession this year and does no longer anticipates a global downturn.
You will find more infographics at Statista
One of the reasons behind the cautiously optimistic outlook is the latest downward trend in inflation, which suggests that inflation may have peaked in 2022.
The IMF predicts global inflation to cool to 6.6 percent in 2023 and 4.3 percent in 2024, which is still above pre-pandemic levels of about 3.5 percent, but significantly lower than the 8.8 percent observed in 2022.
“Economic growth proved surprisingly resilient in the third quarter of last year, with strong labor markets, robust household consumption and business investment, and better-than-expected adaptation to the energy crisis in Europe,” Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, the IMF’s chief economist, wrote in a blog post released along with the report.
“Inflation, too, showed improvement, with overall measures now decreasing in most countries—even if core inflation, which excludes more volatile energy and food prices, has yet to peak in many countries.”
The risks to the latest outlook remain tilted to the downside, the IMF notes, as the war in Ukraine could further escalate, inflation continues to require tight monetary policies and China’s recovery from Covid-19 disruptions remains fragile. On the plus side, strong labor markets and solid wage growth could bolster consumer demand, while easing supply chain disruptions could help cool inflation and limit the need for more monetary tightening.
In conclusion, Gourinchas calls for multilateral cooperation to counter “the forces of geoeconomic fragmentation”.
“This time around, the global economic outlook hasn’t worsened,” he writes. “That’s good news, but not enough. The road back to a full recovery, with sustainable growth, stable prices, and progress for all, is only starting.”
However, just because the 'trend' has shifted doesn't mean it's mission accomplished...
That looks an awful lot like Central Bankers' nemesis remains - global stagflation curb stomps the dovish hopes.
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