Markets primed for US inflation, FOMC minutes, JPM kick off earnings season proper

European stocks were off half a percent this morning in early trade after another fragile day on Wall Street saw selling into the close and another weaker finish. All eyes today on the US CPI inflation number, minutes from the FOMC’s last meeting and the start of earnings season with numbers due out from JPMorgan. Asian equities mixed after Chinese trade data was better than expected.

Markets in Europe turned more positive after the first half-hour but it’s clear sentiment is anaemic The FTSE 100 is chopping around its well-worn range, the DAX is holding on to its 200-day moving average just about. Possible bullish crossover on the MACD needs confirming – big finish required.

Dax Chart 13.10.2021

JOLTS: We saw a marked jump in the «quits rate» with 4.3m workers leaving their jobs, with the quits rate increasing to a series high of 2.9%. Tighter labour market, workers gaining bargaining power = higher wages, more persistent inflation pressures.

But… 38% of households across the US report facing serious financial problems in the past few months, a poll from NPR found. Which begs the question – why and how people are not getting back into work and quitting. One will be down to massive asset inflation due to central bank and fiscal policy that has enabled large numbers of particularly older workers to step back sooner than they would have down otherwise. Couple of years left to retire – house now worth an extra 20% and paid off, 401k looking fatter than ever, etc, etc. Number two is something more sinister and damaging – people just do nothing, if they can. Working day in, day out is like hitting your head against a brick wall – you get a headache, you die sooner, and you don’t go back to it once you’ve stopped doing it. Animal spirits – people’s fight to get up and do things they’d prefer not to do – have been squashed by lockdowns.

More signs of inflation: NY Fed said short and medium-term inflation expectations rose to their highest levels since survey began in 2013.

NY Fed inflation expextations 13.10.2021

UoM preliminary report on Friday – will give us the latest inflation expectation figures. This is where expectations stand now. Today’s CPI print is expected to show prices rose 0.4% on the month to maintain the annual rate at 5.4%.

University of Michigan inflation expectations 13.10.2021

The Fed’s Clarida said the bar for tapering was more than met on inflation and all but met on employment. FOMC minutes will tell us more about how much inflation is a worry – we know the taper is coming, the question is how quickly the Fed moves to tame inflation by raising rates.

Watch for a move in gold – it’s been a fairly tight consolidation phase even as rates and the USD have been on the move – the inflation print and FOMC minutes could spur a bigger move. Indicators still favour bulls.

Gold Chart 13.10.2021

US earnings preview: banks kick off the season

Wall Street rolls into earnings season in a bit of funk. The S&P 500 is about 4% off its recent all-time high, whilst the Nasdaq 100 has declined about 6%, as the megacap growth stocks were hit by rising bond yields. S&P 500 companies are expected to deliver earnings growth of 30%, on revenue growth of 14%.

JPMorgan Chase gets earnings season underway with its Q3 numbers scheduled for Oct 13th before the market open. Then on Thursday we hear from Bank of America, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, before Goldman Sachs rounds out the week on Friday. JPMorgan is expected to deliver earnings per share of $3, on revenues of $29.8bn. Note JPM tends to trade lower on the day of earnings even when it beats expectations for revenues and earnings.

Outlook: Nike and FedEx are among a number of companies that have already issued pretty downcast outlook. Supply chain problems are the biggest worry with a majority of companies releasing updates mentioning this. Growth in the US is decelerating – the Atlanta Fed GDPNow model estimates Q3 real GDP growth of just 1.3%. Higher energy costs, rising producer and consumer inflation, supply bottlenecks, labour shortages and rising wages all conspiring to pull the brake on the recovery somewhat. Still, economic growth has not yet given way to contraction and after a global pandemic it will take time to recovery fully.

Trading: Normalisation of financial markets in the wake of the pandemic – ie substantially less volatility than in 2020 – is likely to weigh somewhat on trading revenues, albeit there was some heightened volatility in equity markets towards the end of September as the stock market retreated. Dealmaking remains positive as the recovery from the pandemic and large amounts of excess cash drove business activity.

Costs: The biggest concern right now for stocks is rising costs. Supply-side worries, specifically rising input and labour costs, pose the single largest headline risk for earnings surprises to fall on the downside. The big banks have already raised their forecasts for expenses this year on a number of occasions. It’s not just some of the well-publicized salary hikes for junior bankers that are a concern – tech costs are also soaring.

Interest rates: Low rates remain a headwind but the recent spike in rates on inflation/tapering/tightening expectations may create conditions for a more positive outlook. The 10s2s spread has pushed out to its widest since June. Rising yields in the quarter may have supported some modest sequential net interest income improvement from Q2.

Chart: After flattening from March through to July, the yield curve is steepening once more.

Yield Curve 13.10.2021

Loan demand: Post-pandemic, banks have been struggling to find people to lend to. Commercial/industria loans remain subdued versus a year ago, but there are signs that consumer loan growth is picking up. Fed data shows consumer loan growth has picked up as the economy recovers. However, UBS showed banks were lowering lending requirements in a bid to improve activity, which could impact on the quality, though this is likely a marginal concern given the broad macro tailwinds for growth. Mortgage activity is expected to be substantially down on last year after the 2020 surge in demand for new mortgages and refinancing.

Chart: Consumer loan growth improving

Consumer Loan chart 13.10.2021

Other stocks we are watching

The Hut Group (THG) – tanked 30% yesterday as its capital markets day seems to have been a total bust. Efforts to outline why the stock deserves a high tech multiple and what it’s doing with Ingenuity and provide more clarity over the business seemingly failed in spectacular fashion. The City has totally lost confidence in this company and its founder. No signs of relief for the company as investors give it the cold shoulder. Shares are off another 5% this morning.

Diversified Energy – the latest to get caught in the ESG net – shares plunged 19%, as much as 25% at one point after a Bloomberg report said oil wells were leaking methane. Rebuttal from company seemed to fall on deaf ears. Shares recovering modestly, +3% today.

Analysts are lifting their Netflix price targets, partly on the popular «Squid Game.» Netflix will report its third-quarter earnings next week.

Adelanto semanal: ya está aquí la lluvia de resultados del 3T

Wall Street vibrará al son de los inminentes informes de resultados cuando esta semana dé comienzo la temporada de ganancias del 3T. En cuanto a los datos, se publicará el IPC estadounidense y podremos ver qué pasa por la cabeza de la Fed en las últimas actas del FOMC.

El principal indicador de inflación: el informe del IPC de EE. UU.

Los primeros datos que conoceremos serán los del informe del Índice de precios al consumo (IPC), que se publicará el miércoles, y en los que se mide la inflación en EE. UU.

Tras la publicación en septiembre de los datos de agosto, Jerome Powell y compañía siguen con la misma cantinela: que estos altos niveles de inflación actuales son tan solo transitorios. ¿Vendrán a confirmar los datos del miércoles esta teoría?

Pongámonos en contexto: el último informe del IPC publicado en septiembre reflejó que un ligero empeoramiento de la situación en agosto. Los precios subyacentes aumentaron a su ritmo más bajo durante los seis meses previos. En general, el IPC se incrementó un 0,3 %, tras la subida del 0,5 % de julio. En los 12 meses previos a agosto, el IPC aumentó un 5,3 % tras registrar un incremento interanual del 5,4 % en julio.

Sin embargo, algunos miembros de la Fed están tranquilos.

«No me incomoda pensar que estos son precios altos que descenderán en cuanto se solucionen los cuellos de botella de la oferta», afirmó en unas declaraciones a la CNBC el presidente de la Fed de Chicago, Charles Evans. «Creo que puede durar más de lo que preveíamos, no cabe ninguna duda. Pero opino que es poco probable que los precios sigan aumentando de forma continua».

Los que sí están en aumento son los precios del combustible. La semana pasada, el petróleo y el gas se dispararon. Por lo general, unos precios del petróleo más altos sugieren un aumento de los costes de materiales y de producción en múltiples sectores, lo que posteriormente puede repercutir en el consumidor, dando lugar a una subida de precios generalizada. No obstante, los altos costes de la energía y su efecto dominó podría articularse más claramente en el IPC del mes que viene y no tanto en el del miércoles.

Las actas de la reunión de la FOMC, una ventana a los criterios de la Fed

Este miércoles también se publican las actas de la reunión de septiembre del FOMC.

Ya nos sabemos esa canción: los tipos permanecerán bajos y la reducción de las medidas llegará pronto.

Dicho esto, también sabemos que algunos de los miembros de la Fed más conservadores prevén una subida de tipos más temprana de lo previsto. Se cree que los tipos podrían empezar a incrementarse el próximo año.

El presidente Powell también se sumó a las voces que advierten del error que supondría no elevar el techo de deuda. A finales de septiembre, Janet Yellen, la secretaria del Tesoro, avisó de que el gobierno estadounidense podría quedarse sin liquidez si no se tomaban medidas.

El impago de la deuda en el país podría provocar un «daño significativo» a la economía estadounidense, según Powell. El presidente Biden ha indicado que existe una posibilidad real de un aumento de la deuda, por lo que se podría evitar la crisis.

Sin embargo, en lo que respecta a dirigir la economía, probablemente la principal acción sea la reducción de las medidas de apoyo. Se considera que la Fed aplicará una eliminación incremental de las medidas de soporte hasta su completa desaparición a finales de 2022.

Que EE. UU. pretenda regresar a la normalidad económica tan rápidamente es una señal importante. Sin embargo, la amenaza de nuevas variantes de Covid-19 aún se cierne. Esperemos que no venga otra nueva variante delta que obligue a imponer una nueva tanda de medidas de confinamiento en 2022 o la Fed se quedará sola ante el peligro una vez más.

Comienza la temporada de ganancias

Nos desplazamos a Wall Street donde los resultados del tercer trimestre están a punto de ver la luz de la mano de las «mega-caps» (o empresas con una ingente capitalización) en una nueva temporada de ganancias que se inicia esta semana.

Como viene siendo habitual, los primeros en estrenar la temporada son los grandes bancos de inversión, que el trimestre pasado reportaron sustanciales ganancias. ¿Se mantendrá el impulso? JPMorgan será la que dé el pistoletazo de salida a la temporada de ganancias con la publicación de su informe este miércoles, seguido de Wells Fargo, Citigroup y Goldman Sachs, entre otros.

Aunque parece que el crecimiento ha empezado a desacelerarse desde los aciagos resultados del 2T de 2021, el trimestre puede que haya sido muy favorable. Según el grupo de datos financieros de EE. UU. FactSet, las empresas del S&P 500 habrían aumentado sus resultados el 3 % un 27,6 %, la tercera mayor tasa de crecimiento de ingresos interanual del índice desde 2010.

No obstante, en el 3T también ha habido problemas con la cadena de suministro, los cuales llevan coleando desde la primera mitad del año, pero dado el aumento de los precios de materias primas y de la energía, puede que veamos una reducción en los resultados.

Bien es cierto que Apple y otras compañías advirtieron que el crecimiento de las ventas caería hacia finales de año, pero todo está por ver.

Con nuestro calendario de la temporada de ganancias de EE. UU., sabrá en todo momento qué «mega-cap» publica su informe, para que pueda planificar sus operaciones en función de estos resultados trimestrales. Descubra qué compañías darán a conocer sus resultados esta semana a continuación.

Principales datos económicos

Date  Time (GMT+1  Asset  Event 
Tue Oct-12  10:00am  EUR  ZEW Economic Sentiment 
  10:00am  EUR  German ZEW Economic Sentiment 
  3:00pm  USD  JOLTS Job Openings 
  6:01pm  USD  10-y Bond Auction 
Wed Oct-13  1:30pm  USD  CPI m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Core CPI m/m 
  6:01pm  USD  30-y Bond Auction 
  7:00pm  USD  FOMC Meeting Minutes 
Thu Oct-14  1:30am  AUD  Employment Change 
  1:30am  AUD  Unemployment Rate 
  1:30pm  USD  PPI m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Core PPI m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Unemployment Claims 
  4:00pm  USD  Crude Oil Inventories 
Fri Oct-15  1:30pm  USD  Core Retail Sales m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Retail Sales m/m 
  1:30pm  USD  Empire State Manufacturing Index 
  3:00pm  USD  Prelim UoM Consumer Sentiment 
  Tentative  USD  Treasury Currency Report 


Key earnings data 

Wed 13 Oct  Thu 14 Oct  Fri 15 Oct 
JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) PMO  Bank of America Corp (BAC) PMO  Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS) PMO 
Wells Fargo & Co (WFC) E  Citigroup Inc (C) PMO  Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS) PMO 
  Morgan Stanley (MS) PMO   


European stocks rally as US breaks for Labor Day holiday

European stock markets edged higher this morning towards the top of recent ranges at the start of what’s set to be a fairly quiet day as US markets are shut for the Labor Day holiday. Meanwhile, this week’s European Central Bank meeting looms in the near distance. Investors are still digesting the huge jobs report miss last Friday and what it means for the Federal Reserve’s plans to scale back its bond purchases. Stocks just about fell and the dollar was weaker in the wake of the report, whilst gold rallied. It was far from a straight line down for stocks though as large cap growth and tech helped the Nasdaq Composite to rally 0.21% whilst the Dow Jones fell by the same amount. 


This morning the main indices are heading higher by around half of one percent. The euro is lower against the dollar as the latter catches some bid in early trade. Data from Germany has been mixed, with factory orders +3.4% vs -0.7% expected, while the construction PMI slipped deeper into contraction territory at 44.6, a three-month low.


Stagflation: Friday’s US jobs report was bad, indicating growth rolling over and delta taking its toll on the reopening of the economy. With revisions to the last two months the net add was not as bad as the headline print, but it was nevertheless a poor signal for the US economy at this stage. Of note, employment in leisure and hospitality was unchanged, after increasing by an average of 350,000 per month over the prior 6 months. 


One jobs miss does not mean the economic recovery is in trouble, but it could foster a more cautious approach among the FOMC members, who could be apt to delay plans to taper asset purchases. Or rather they may prefer to wait and see how the data goes into November. Against the backdrop of warning consumer confidence and stalled jobs growth, the chances of the Fed announcing a taper of bond purchases at its September meeting have receded but does mean it won’t start later in the year.  The question is to what extent rising cases of the delta variant in the US hit the rebound. 


Looking ahead to this week, the Reserve Bank of Australia is in a pickle over its plans to taper asset purchases. Ongoing lockdowns make it likely the central bank will reverse its previously announced taper, leaving bond purchases at A$5bn a week.  


The ECB meanwhile is more likely to go the other way and could announce a slower rate of PEPP asset purchases. Inflation is running at 3% and chief economist Lane has suggested the central bank could be closer to tapering than the market assumed. Hawks have their tails up a bit more these days that the European economy is in relatively good shape, but they worry about inflation. Of note this week will be the latest inflation forecasts for the bloc, which are likely to be revised higher. 


Oil is weaker after Saudi Arabia cut selling prices for Asia, nudging WTI and Brent down by more than 1%. The kingdom said it would reduce October official selling prices for all grades exported to Asia by at least $1 a barrel. 

Adelanto semanal: el criterio de la Fed al descubierto con las actas del FOMC

Esta semana se publicará la última tanda de actas del FOMC, con las que conoceremos los mecanismos internos de la Fed. Aunque también nos depara otras interesantes publicaciones: las ventas minoristas de EE. UU. acapararán la atención tras su inesperado repunte de junio, así como los últimos datos del IPC británico.

Las actas de la reunión de julio del FOMC se publican esta semana.

La situación no ha cambiado mucho desde la reunión de dos días que mantuvo la Fed el mes pasado.

No aumentaron los tipos de interés desde su mínimo histórico actual, ni la Fed anunció en qué momento tiene pensado modificar su programa de compra de bonos de 120 000 millones de dólares mensuales.

En una declaración, el FOMC afirmó: «El pasado diciembre, el Comité señaló que continuaría aumentando sus participaciones de valores del Tesoro en, al menos, 80 000 millones de dólares mensuales y de valores con titulización hipotecaria de agencias en, al menos, 40 000 millones de dólares al mes hasta que se produjeran avances significativos con respecto a sus objetivos de máximo nivel de empleo y de estabilidad de los precios. Desde entonces, la economía está más cerca de lograr estos objetivos y el Comité seguirá evaluando estos avances en próximas reuniones».

Esencialmente, el trasfondo es que la economía se está recuperando, pese al rápido aumento de los casos de Covid-19. Sin embargo, los cambios imperantes en la economía, derivados de la pandemia, podrían obligar al presidente Powell a actuar con más agilidad de lo previsto.

Hemos asistido a un aumento de la inflación subyacente en sucesivas publicaciones del IPC, pero también hemos visto una caída de la tasa de empleo. Las nóminas no agrícolas del mes pasado arrojaron uno de los datos más sólidos en años, con la creación de 943 000 puestos de trabajo en EE. UU. La tasa de desempleo también cayó al 5,4 %.

La tasa de actividad es uno de los parámetros principales que la Fed emplea para medir la salud económica del país de cara a realizar ajustes en la política. En charlas informales, se ha sugerido que el endurecimiento de las medidas está próximo, por lo que esto podría imponerse a la información que obtengamos de las actas del FOMC el próximo miércoles.

En el ámbito de los datos, esta semana se conocerán las cifras de las ventas minoristas de EE. UU. Los mercados querrán saber si el inesperado aumento de junio fue aislado o el inicio de una nueva tendencia.

En junio, las ventas minoristas subyacentes crecieron un 1,1 % y, en su conjunto, un 0,6 %, lo que pilló por sorpresa a los mercados. A nivel interanual, las ventas aumentaron un 18 % con respecto a los niveles de junio de 2020.

El Departamento de Comercio de EE. UU. afirmó que los factores que apuntalaron las ventas minoristas fueron la administración de vacunas contra la Covid-19, los bajos tipos de interés y el ingente estímulo fiscal. Sin embargo, como ya se ha mencionado, los economistas estadounidenses no lo vieron venir. Con la reapertura de la economía estadounidense, el gasto de los consumidores se decantaba más por las experiencias que por los bienes de consumo.

De hecho, en la última publicación de datos minoristas, las cifras de mayo se revisaron a la baja. Ese mes, se produjo un descenso mensual del 1,7 %, y no del 1,3 %, como se publicó en un primer momento. Una vez más, esto se debió al cambio de preferencia de los bienes de consumo a las experiencias.

Seguimos en el plano de los datos con la publicación del índice de precios al consumo (IPC) de julio en Reino Unido, que tendrá lugar la mañana del miércoles.

En junio, el IPC alcanzó un máximo de 3 años. Actualmente, la inflación de precios al consumo se encuentra en su mayor nivel desde 2018 tras pasar del 2,1 % en mayo al 2,5 % en junio. Este hecho podría llevar al Banco de Inglaterra (BoE) a cambiar su posición en cuanto a las subidas de tipos antes de lo previsto.

No obstante, el gobernador Bailey mantuvo una postura acomodaticia en su reunión de agosto, en la que tildó a la inflación del IPC de temporal. Esta vez, no se realizaron ajustes significativos en la política monetaria del Reino Unido.

No obstante, el BoE ha revisado sus perspectivas de inflación a largo plazo: a día de hoy, considera que la inflación se situará en el 3,1 % durante los próximos 12 meses —en junio, la predicción era del 2,8 %—.

¿Asistiremos de nuevo este mes a otro IPC que supera todas las expectativas? ¿Será suficiente para hacer que Bailey y compañía entren en acción?

Hablando de bancos centrales, el Banco de la Reserva de Nueva Zelanda (RBNZ) dará a conocer su declaración de tipos de agosto la próxima semana.

Circulan rumores de que el RBNZ podría aumentar los tipos este mismo mes. El banco central ya se ha comprometido a retirar su programa de compra de bonos, en un movimiento que sorprendió al público en julio.

«Nuestra previsión actual es que el RBNZ aumentará los tipos de interés en la Declaración de política monetaria [Monetary Policy Statement (MPS)] de agosto, a lo que le seguirán sucesivas subidas en cada una de las MPS hasta que el tipo de interés alcance el 1,75 % en 2022», afirma Finn Robinson, economista de Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ).

Actualmente y durante el último año, el tipo de efectivo de Nueva Zelanda es del 0,25 %.

Probablemente, esta sea una respuesta al aumento de la inflación del IPC. En la publicación de julio, el índice de precios al consumo neozelandés subió en un 1,3 %, lo que situó a la inflación total en el 3,3 %, superando el objetivo del RBNZ de entre el 1 y el 3 %.

Si se avecinan subidas de tipos, Nueva Zelanda será uno de los primeros países, si no el primero, en subirlos.

Esta semana también es la última de la temporada de ganancias de este trimestre. No esperamos que ninguna empresa de gran capitalización publique sus resultados —aunque Walmart es la única gran empresa que aún no lo ha hecho—, pero puede consultar qué empresas compartirán sus resultados trimestrales en nuestro calendario de la temporada de ganancias.

Principales datos económicos

Date  Time (GMT+1)  Asset  Event 
Tue 17-Aug  2.30am  AUD  Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes 
  1.30pm  USD  Core Retail Sales m/m 
  1.30pm  USD  Retail Sales m/m 
Wed 18-Aug  3.00am  NZD  Official Cash Rate 
  3.00am  NZD  RBNZ Monetary Policy Statement 
  3.00am  NZD  RBNZ Rate Statement 
  4.00am  NZD  RBNZ Press Conference 
  7.00am  GBP  UK CPI m/m 
  1.30pm  CAD  CPI m/m 
  3.30pm  OIL  US Crude Oil Inventories 
  7.00pm  USD  FOMC Meeting Minutes 
Thu 19-Aug  2.30am  AUD  Employment Change 
  2.30am  AUD  Unemployment Rate 
Fri 20-Aug  7.00am  GBP  Retail Sales m/m 


Principales informes de resultados

Mon 16 Aug  Tue 17 Aug  Wed 18 Aug 
Roblox Corporation  Walmart   Lumentum Holdings 
Cisco Systems 


European stocks slide in wake of Fed minutes

European stock markets continue to trip the ranges – sliding sharply this morning following yesterday’s jump. The FTSE 100 dropped 1.3% in early trade to the 7,050 level, whilst the Euro Stoxx 50 declined 1.7% to test 4,000. Asian shares were broadly weaker overnight, with a steep fall in South Korea registered as daily Covid cases there surged. Bonds are still bid as weaker hands get washed out with the 10yr Treasury note yielding 1.28%, a new 5-month low in the wake of the Fed meeting minutes – it’s either sending a warning signal or it’s just a flush before the move higher. US stock markets were mildly higher yesterday, with futures pointing to a drop at the open. Apple shares hit a fresh record, whilst meme stock favourites such as GME, WISH and AMC fell sharply. In London, money transfer app Wise got off to a solid start as shares rallied on the first day of trade. Shares in troubled Chinese ride hailing app Didi fell another 5% as it faces a lawsuit from US shareholders.

Minutes from the FOMC’s meeting in June showed pretty much what we knew; policymakers are moving but with a degree of caution. “Various participants mentioned that they expected the conditions for beginning to reduce the pace of asset purchases to be met somewhat earlier than they had anticipated” but it is “their intention to provide notice in advance of an announcement to reduce the pace”. Meanwhile China is back in the game – the State Council issued a statement saying it would seek “to increase financial support to the real economy” by using “monetary policy tools such as RRR cuts”.

Deliveroo reported a better-than-expected rise in revenues in the second quarter but cautioned it would not lead to better profits. Gross transaction value (GTV) rose 76% year-on-year to £1.7bn. For the full year, the company raised its GTV growth estimate to 50-60% from 30-40%. However, gross margins are seen in the lower range of what was previously communicated, with management citing investment and lower average order spend. Looks to me like it should be making more money if GTV growth is a full 20 percentage points higher than expected. Poses serious questions about the model if it cannot at least deliver margins in the upper range of expectations on such impressive sales growth.

Oil prices slipped as the gulf between OPEC and the UAE showed no signs of closing. The UAE signalled it could open the spigots to pump at will. The fear is the supply deal could unravel, heaping more crude on the market. WTI (Aug) held at $73 the first time but cracked on the second attempt and quickly declined and found support at $71. Another test at this level can be expected.

Oil chart showing prices of crude on 08.07.2021.

Finally, it was great to see Wembley almost full last night with tens of thousands of fans. No masks, plenty of singing, social distancing forgotten. So why can’t my kids have a school sports day? The inequities of opening up are legion, almost as much as the inequality of lockdown. We can only pray the mask-wearing Covid Stasi are silenced for good and we can get on with our lives.

Adelanto semanal: ¿Confirmarán las actas del FOMC la reconsideración de la política monetaria de la Reserva Federal?

Esta es una semana de mucho ajetreo para los bancos centrales. Primero, comenzamos con las actas del Comité Federal de Mercado Abierto (FOMC) correspondientes a sus conversaciones en materia de política monetaria. La retirada gradual de estímulos estaba en la orden del día, pese a que los responsables abogaban por el aumento de las tasas, por lo que ponerse en su lugar es fundamental para comprender el movimiento del mercado.

Además, el Banco de la Reserva de Australia (RBA) comparte su última actualización al evidenciarse el aumento de los casos de coronavirus y los subsecuentes confinamientos. ¿Inspirará esto una reconsideración de la política?

El efecto negativo de la variante delta en la recuperación de la zona del euro también será el centro de atención a medida que la UE comparte sus más recientes previsiones económicas.

Las actas de reunión del FOMC constituyen el gran anuncio de la semana, el cual se dará a conocer el miércoles.

Será interesante conocer las discusiones internas de la Reserva Federal tras la reunión de junio. Además, la Reserva Federal manifestó que no permitirá que la inflación avance sin cesar y que un aumento del índice podría ocurrir un poco antes de lo anticipado.

La proyección media de la Reserva Federal mostró que esta verá elevarse su índice de análisis comparativo a un 0,6 %, desde prácticamente cero, a finales de 2023. En marzo, se esperaba que los índices se mantuvieran invariables durante todo ese año.

La reducción gradual de estímulos también se contemplaba en la agenda. Sabemos que el presidente de la sesión, el señor Powell, y demás miembros discutieron una posible reducción en el programa de compra de bonos; no obstante, en la declaración tras la reunión, no se hizo ninguna alusión sobre cuando podría ocurrir esto.

La Reserva Federal sigue empleando cerca de 120 000 millones de dólares para la realización de compras mensualmente como parte de su estrategia económica global contra la COVID-19.

Para los observadores del mercado, resulta esencial una mayor transparencia en lo que respecta a la filosofía de cualquier banco central. Los inversores se ven obligados a recalibrar sus apuestas en materia de fuerte inflación en respuesta a la férrea estrategia de inversión de la Reserva Federal de junio.

Lo que presenciamos en la actualidad es una economía estadounidense en fase de transición. Ninguna economía, independientemente de su envergadura, puede permitirse conformarse simplemente con ser optimista en tiempos de bonanza. Es necesario prestar atención y reaccionar oportunamente. Así lo ha hecho la Reserva Federal; sin embargo, será interesante escudriñar en su seno en esta crucial coyuntura.

Siguiendo con el tema de los bancos centrales, el Banco de la Reserva de Australia se pronunciará el miércoles. La COVID-19, en un país que parecía tenerla prácticamente bajo control, comienza ha mostrar nuevamente sus efectos. La variante delta ha empezado a propagarse por Australia. Se instrumenta una nueva oleada de confinamientos.

Aproximadamente un 80 % de la población de Australia vuelve al confinamiento o a verse limitada en sus desplazamientos.

¿Podría esto dar pie a una planificación por adelantado del RBA antes de su reunión del 6 de julio? El gobernador Lowe y su equipo ya han asumido una apaciguadora postura económica. Los índices no han variado desde el histórico nivel de 0,10 % desde noviembre.

Tras la reunión del mes pasado, el gobernador Lowe manifestó: «La recuperación económica en Australia es más sólida de lo previsto y se pronostica que seguirá siendo así. Como escenario principal del banco, se contempla un crecimiento del 4,75 % del producto interior bruto durante este año y del 3,5 % en 2022. Este pronóstico está respaldado por medidas fiscales y condiciones financieras sumamente adaptables».

Por supuesto, la declaración se hizo cuando el camino hacia la recuperación no estaba bloqueado. El RBA deberá actuar con transparencia y precisión para garantizar poder mantener la economía de Australia por la buena senda. Sabremos más cuando el RBA emita el debido comunicado el miércoles.

Las previsiones económicas de la UE también se publicarán esta semana.

El bloque parece salir relativamente fuerte de lo peor de la pandemia. Hemos visto cifras sólidas del índice de gestores de compra (PMI) y, además, los pronósticos del producto interior bruto son muy positivos. También es de nuestro conocimiento que algunos miembros del Banco Central Europeo sugieren que tirar del paquete de estímulos del PEPP es cosa segura.

En lo que respecta al PEPP, Jens Weidmann —miembro del consejo del BCE y presidente del Banco Federal Alemán— sugirió que el programa podría finalizar antes de la fecha límite original prevista para marzo de 2022. Para entonces, el BCE habrá inyectado 2,2 billones de euros en la economía de la zona del euro a través de su PEPP. Sin embargo, cambiar esta situación requeriría una sólida recuperación económica y una completa eliminación de las restricciones causadas por la COVID-19.

Debido a los efectos de la variante delta que comienzan a notarse, no parece factible la total eliminación de las restricciones. De hecho, la forma en la que la UE responda a la nueva ola de casos será crucial. ¿Será necesario replantear la forma de pensar y las previsiones económicas para actuar consecuentemente?

Aun así, el pronóstico de los analistas es ampliamente positivo. Por ejemplo, S&P Global ha realizado algunos cambios.

Citando lo expresado por la agencia de calificación de riesgos: «Hemos revisado más nuestra previsión en lo que respecta al crecimiento del 4,4 % en la zona del euro para este año y del 4,5 % en 2022, verificándose una instrumentación más amplia del estímulo fiscal en virtud del plan de vanguardia de la UE y una contracción más débil del producto interior bruto en el primer trimestre.

Hacer mella en la economía de forma prolongada supone estar limitado por la reacción a la política fiscal y monetaria coordinada de Europa, allanando el camino para cerrar la brecha de producción en 2024».

Principales datos económicos

Date  Time (GMT+1)  Asset  Event 
Mon 05-Jul  3.30pm  CAD  BOC Business Outlook Survey 
Tue 06-Jul  5.30am  AUD  RBA Rate Statement 
  5.30am  AUD  Cash Rate 
  10.00am  EUR  EU Economic Forecasts 
  10.00am  EUR  ZEW Economic Sentiment 
  10.00am  EUR  German ZEW Economic Sentiment 
  3.00pm  USD  ISM Services PMI 
Wed 07-Jul  3.00pm  CAD  IVEY PMI 
  3.00pm  USD  JOLTS Job Openings 
  7.00pm  USD  FOMC Meeting Minutes 
Thu 08-Jul  2.30am  AUD  Retail Sales m/m 
  1.30pm  USD  Unemployment Claims 
  3.30pm  GAS  US Natural Gas Inventories 
  4.00pm  OIL  US Crude Oil Inventories 
Fri 09-Jul  1.30pm  CAD  Employment Change 
  1.30pm  CAD  Unemployment Rate 


Principales informes de resultados

Date  Company  Event 
Tue 06-Jul  Ocadao Group  Q2 2021 Earnings 
Wed 07-Jul  Aeon  Q1 2021 Earnings 
Thu 08-Jul  Levi’s  Q2 2021 Earnings 
Fri 09-Jul  Tryg  Q2 2021 Earnings 

Stocks up, Fed floats trial balloon, Kingfisher sales surge

Markets in Europe have opened broadly higher this morning as they recover some of the losses from the swathe of selling on Wednesday, whilst the Federal Reserve underscored it’s in no rush to tighten monetary policy, minutes from its April meeting showed. Focus remains on the broader pace of inflationary pressures and recovery in the US with the weekly unemployment claims data (f/c +453k) and the Philly Fed manufacturing index. Iron ore and other industrial commodities linked to steel making feel as China said it would step in to curb rampant prices, though copper is rallying this morning. Focus also remains on the volatile crypto space after a dramatic day.

Crypto prices collapsed, with Bitcoin tumbling 30% to $30k on the nose before staging a big rally off this level. Outages at the Coinbase and Binance exchange didn’t help, fuelling a sharp leg lower around midday to the lows at $30k, but chiefly this seems to have been a run on stops triggering margin calls in the wake of China’s regulatory crackdown, which followed a period of steady losses seemingly brought about by a toppy market chart pattern and Elon Musk somewhat walking back his prior enthusiasm for the crypto. Institutional options activity seems to have further accelerated some of the moves as strikes were hit. As of this morning, the rout had stabilised, with Bitcoin trading around 30% off yesterday’s low, above $40k. There will be a lot of stranded longs now selling into any kind of strength. Stocks exposed to crypto prices like MicroStrategy, Coinbase and Tesla, were caught up in the storm, though they too closed well above their low of the day as the market recovered some of the losses.

Michael Saylor of MicroStrategy said he’s not selling. “Entities I control have now acquired 111,000 #BTC and have not sold a single satoshi. #Bitcoin Forever,” he tweeted. I expect him to keep Martingaling until it all unravels. Tesla boss Elon Musk tweeted that the emoji for ‘diamond hands’, following up by saying ‘Credit to our Master of Coin’, aka the CFO, Zach Kirkhorn. (I now check Elon’s Twitter the way I used to check the Donald’s each morning). Cathie Wood stuck to her $500,000 ‘target’ for Bitcoin, and suggested there were multiple signs the market is in a capitulation phase, which is often a good time to buy. Har har, Cathie would say any time is a good time to buy if it’s what she is pumping. The Innovation ETF ended the day down by almost 2%, and is roughly 34% below its all-time high struck in Feb.

The Fed floated a trial balloon, as minutes from its April meeting indicated some policymakers are thinking about thinking about tapering asset purchases. “A number of participants suggested that if the economy continued to make rapid progress toward the Committee’s goals, it might be appropriate at some point in upcoming meetings to begin discussing a plan for adjusting the pace of asset purchases,” the minutes said. This was the first pointer – the first signal. It was done on purpose. Members of the FOMC also stressed the importance of “clearly communicating its assessment of progress toward its longer-run goals well in advance of the time when it could be judged substantial enough to warrant a change in the pace of asset purchases”. Tentative – the question remains: when does the Fed think it’s hit the landing area for the economy, and does inflation take off in the meantime? US 10-year yields looked to test the 1.70% level again, trading at 1.672% this morning. Gold remains held up by technical support at the 50% retracement around the $1,870 mark, though real rates moved slightly higher – taper talk could make life trickier for gold bulls in the near term. Meanwhile the ECB warned of financial stability risks stemming from rising levels of sovereign debt. Vice president de Guindos warned of a “legacy of higher debt and weaker balance sheets which … could prompt sharp market corrections and financial stress”.

Markets were in a broad risk-off mode yesterday. There is talk of greater correlation between crypto and risk assets these days – certainly when you see a big move in either direction they tend to follow each other. The FTSE 100 ended the day down more than 1% at 6,950. The rub for the FTSE 100, as we witnessed from yesterday’s concentrated selling in consumer cyclicals, miners and energy, is that whilst the reflationary environment and reflation trade may still broadly said to be ‘on’, the index is really quite exposed to emerging market growth – so rising cases across Asia – India, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan and Thailand in particular – may pose a risk to the market’s ability to regain the kind of 7,700 handle we saw pre-pandemic. Whilst the situation in the UK, Europe and US is improved greatly, the risk to emerging markets from the pandemic remains. Stocks like oil majors, miners and big consumer goods companies rely a lot on emerging markets for growth. Materials continued to roll over yesterday but copper firmed this morning after hitting its weakest since May 6th, while WTI  oil is also firmer around $63.50 after hitting its weakest since Apr 26th. However iron ore amid concerns China will act to keep a lid on surging prices. Again I’d be encouraged by the flat rejection of anything sub-6,900.

Kingfisher trades at highs not seen since 2017 after raising guidance for the first half of the 2021/22 year. After a particularly strong first quarter, management now expect mid-to-high teens group like-for-like sales growth, having previously guided for growth of low double-digit growth. As a result they’ve hiked adjusted pre-tax profit guidance to between £580m and £600m. This comes after a stonking first quarter in which group  LFLs rose 23% from 2019 levels and were up 64% year-on-year. Stunning year-on-year stats can be misleading, but the performance against the 2019 comparison is noteworthy and shows how Kingfisher has not only put integration problems behind it but also managed to successfully adapt to the pandemic. Execution of the ecommerce strategy has been exceptional – online sales up 258% from two years a Of course, DIY has been a popular pandemic past time, but nonetheless, group growth is ahead of the market.

EasyJet shares fell as it reported a 90% drop in revenues and a headline loss of £701m for the six months to the end of March. Passenger numbers for the 6-month period decreased by 89.4% to 4.1 million. I’d like to know who these 4m people are and what they are doing.

Stocks slide before FOMC minutes and cryptos hit by China ban

Crypto prices shot lower with BTCUSD tumbling to a 3-month at $38.5k in early trade this morning, now looking to test the long-term trend line from the ramp at the tail end of last year. There is a major bleed across the entire crypto space today, and both Bitcoin and Ether are 30% lower across the last 7 days, and Bitcoin has now given back all the gains made since Tesla announced in early February that it invested $1.5bn in the asset. Spurring the move lower today is news that Chinese financial regulators have instructed financial and payment institutions not to accept cryptocurrencies as payment nor offer related services or products. Cryptos are “seriously infringing on the safety of people’s property and disrupting the normal economic and financial order,” three industry bodies said in a joint statement on the PBOC WeChat account. China has for some time been putting pressure on the crypto space, but this marks an intensification – other countries might follow now as central banks make strides towards their own digital currencies. Until now western regulators have been pretty relaxed about Bitcoin, but this might change soon.


The crypto bros have had a hard time lately. First, they got down on their knees to the saviour Elon Musk as he pumped up Bitcoin and Doge. Then they got mad because he called one a hustle and signalled that he wasn’t all that keen on the other after all. Musk clearly gets all the spotlight, but it’s also worth looking at Michael Saylor, founder of MicroStrategy. The company is doubling down on Bitcoin, with Saylor saying yesterday it had purchased an additional 229 Bitcoins for $10.0 million in cash at an average price of about $43,663. “As of 5/18/2021, we #hodl ~92,079 bitcoins acquired for ~$2.251 billion at an average price of ~24,450 per bitcoin,” he tweeted. YOLO.  Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted  “Legend,” in response. 


Shares in MSTR are down about 60% since the Feb peak when Tesla announced its investment in Bitcoin. Saylor has been a longer-term Bitcoin bull than many and last year led a major pivot in terms of corporate acceptance of crypto assets that helped fuel the rally through to the recent all-time highs. If you recall in February MicroStrategy said it had sold $1bn in convertible debt to buy more Bitcoin. 


So now you have a situation where a publicly listed stock with a market cap of almost $5bn is seemingly entirely dependent on the price of Bitcoin remaining above $24k. This seems entirely odd. I can barely remember what the actually does. Not a lot is apparently the answer: just $122.9m in revenue in Q1, with a net loss of $110m. As of March 31st, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $82.5 million. If Bitcoin tanks, there does not appear to much wiggle room. No wonder short interest remains at 16%. Saylor might be right, he might be wrong, but rather like we have discussed before with Tesla: are corporate balance sheets the place for Bitcoin speculation, given that people are not using it to transact? 


So now we come to the options market and what it’s telling us about Bitcoin, which is that investors feel there is further to pull back from here, or least there was before prices dropped under a huge wedge of puts at $40k. Even long-term hodlers think it can drop further. Which makes you question what kind of mark to market losses MSTR will have to report. Which comes back to the point as to why a company which is not in the business of making investment decisions, like say Berkshire Hathaway or Baillie Gifford, is busy making bold investment decisions in an asset that is at best understood by a few, and at worst a complete scam.  Moreover, the company’s investments are entirely concentrated in a single asset – like Berkshire only owning Apple, and becoming a proxy to the stock itself. This is not like a company that needs to buy 10m Deutsche marks because it’s opening a factory in Stuttgart. It’s not an airline purchasing oil futs as a hedge against its jet fuel costs. It is not even like investing in a stock like Apple, with a call on their future cash flows, dividends etc. 


Meanwhile, stocks in Europe opened weaker, with the main bourses tracking ~1% lower at the start of the session following a soft day on Wall Street as investors continue show signs of indecision as inflationary pressures, reopening uncertainty and toppy valuations just give them cause for a breather. Bund yields are at their highest in two years, close to flipping positive. US benchmark 10-year yields are hovering around 1.65% ahead of the FOMC minutes tonight. Gold is holding the 50% retracement around $1,870. WTI takes a $64 handle again after touching a high at $67 on Monday, as the API reported US crude stockpiles rose by 620k barrels last week – EIA figs due today f/c +1.5m. The annual rate of inflation in the UK rose to 1.5% in April, doubling from the +0.7% printed in March and in line with expectations. It does not signal runaway inflation just yet.


On the FTSE, Ferguson rose to the top of the blue chips as it rallied 4% as it raised its full-year guidance as Q3 numbers came in ahead of expectations, with revenues +24.5% and profits +65.4%. John Laing rose 11% on an offer of 403p a share from KKR, whilst Dunelm rose 7% as it said sales were up 59% from the same period two years ago.


Fed to let yields, inflation run; Bank of England to follow

Fresh records for Wall Street, a weaker US dollar, yields higher, volatility crushed: these were some of the outcomes from a dovish Federal Reserve yesterday as the US central bank resolutely stuck to its guns to let the economy run as hot as it needs to achieve full employment. European stocks moved higher in early trade Thursday but worries about vaccinations and Covid cases weigh. The FTSE 100 still cannot yet sustain a break north of 6,800 and is the laggard, declining a quarter of one percent this morning.  


Longer dated paper moved a lot as Powell said the Fed would look past inflation overshooting; US 10-year Treasury yields have shot about 10 bps higher today to above 1.72%, whilst 30s are at their highest in almost two years close to 2.5%. Spreads are at their highest in over 5 years. Stock markets liked it – the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.6% to close above 33,000 for the first time. The S&P 500 closed within 25pts of 4,000. The Vix fell under 20. 


Tracking the move in US Treasuries, gilt yields rose this morning as markets look to the Bank of England meeting to deliver the next dose of central bank action. It will leave interest rates on hold at 0.1% and the size of the asset purchase programme at £895bn. The success of the vaccine programme – albeit now running into some hurdles – has allowed the Bank to take a more optimistic view of the UK economy beyond Q1 2021. At its February meeting the Old Lady said the UK economy will recover quickly to pre-pandemic levels of output over the course of 2021. It expects spare capacity in the economy to be eliminated this year as the recovery picks up. All this really puts the negative rate conundrum on hold – the next move should be up, if not this year certainly next. Nevertheless, Andrew Bailey stressed earlier this week that the BoE is not concerned by rising yields or temporary inflation blips. So today it will be more about what the BoE doesn’t say. Remaining silent on the rise in bond yields could be the cue for sterling. 


What did we learn from the Fed and Jay Powell? Chiefly, the Fed is staying its hand and letting the economy run hot. In a nutshell the Fed said inflation will overshoot but not for long; yields are moving up as part of the cycle as growth improves; and it won’t stop until full employment is achieved along with inflation above 2%. The Fed’s dovishness on monetary policy was contrasted by sharp upgrades to growth and inflation forecasts this year – but the Fed is in a new outcome-based regime focused on absolute employment levels, not on the Philip’s Curve. It also doesn’t really think the sharp bounce back this year is sustainable, meaning now is not the time to remove the punchbowl.


Transient: Things like supply bottlenecks and base effects will only lead to a “transient” impact on inflation, according to the Fed. The Fed plans to maintain 0-0.25% until labour market conditions achieve maximum employment and inflation is on course to remain above 2% for a sustained period. A ‘transitory’ rise in inflation above 2% as is seen happening this year does not meet criteria to raise rates. This is where things get dicey vis-a-vis yields since inflation could get a bit big this spring which would pressure (the Fed is immune so far) for hikes sooner. I think also the Fed should be looking around a bit more about where there is clear inflationary pressures and have been for some time, like in asset prices.


Stick: It seems abundantly clear that Powell and the Fed see no need and feel no pressure to carry out any kind of yield curve control or Twist-like operation to keep a lid on long-end rates.  This is a steepener move and the market reaction was plain as we saw longer-end yields rise just as the yield on shorter-dated maturity paper declined at first. The 5s30s spread widened around 9bps to 1.66%, whilst 2s10s widened 7bps to 1.5%. 


Patient: Is it time to start talking about talking about tapering? “Not yet” came the reply. Which matches expectations – any talk of tapering will not be allowed until June at the soonest when the Fed will have a lot more real data to work with post-vaccinations. That will be things get harder for the Fed as inflation starts to hit. 


Outcome-based: Focus on ‘actual’ progress rather than ‘forecast’ progress. This tallies with what know already about the Fed taking a more outcome-based approach to its policy rather than relying on Philip’s Curve based forecasts. The Fed’s rear-view policymaking will let inflation loose. It also means the dots are kind of useless, but nonetheless the lack of movement on dots kept shorter dated yields on a leash, pushing real rates down. The question about what actually constitutes a material overshoot on inflation and for how long it needs to be sustained will be dealt with another day, with Powell admitting the Fed will have to quantify this at some stage. 


SLR: Powell kept his cards close to his chest and only said something will be announced on SLR in the coming days. This may involve some kind of soft landing for the exemption to lessen any potential volatility.


Long end yields moved higher with curve steepeners doing well. I expect bond yields and inflation expectations to continue to rise over the next quarter – the Fed remains behind the market but this time, crucially, it doesn’t mind. Whilst Powell said the Fed would be concerned by a persistent tightening in financial conditions that obstruct its goal, the difference this time is that stock market stability is not what the Fed is about these days. Post 2008, the Fed fretted about market fragility since that is what caused the recession. Now it’s comfortable with higher yields and won’t be concerned if the stock market is lower from time to time.


With the long end of the curve anchored by the Fed’s dovishness, and longer-end yields and inflation expectations moving up, this creates better conditions for gold to mount a fresh move higher, but it first needs to clear out the big $1,760 resistance. MACD bullish crossover on the daily chart below is encouraging for bulls.

Gold needs to clear out the big $1,760 resistance.

Fed quickfire: Dollar trashed, stocks jump

Stocks jumped to highs of the day before paring gains as they were cheered by what looks on to be a dovish Fed decision – critically it looks as though the Fed is happy to let the economy run really rather hot and won’t intervene. It’s truly remarkable that the Fed can say the economy will rebound by 6.5% this year and not change policy. Even with growth in excess of 3% in 2022 and 2% in 2023; it still sees no need to tighten policy. This reflects what we know already about the Fed’s view on employment and inflation, but it is no less remarkable for it. I would have expected more policymakers to move their dots in a bit, but the median plot did not move into 2023. Doves rule – there is not enough of majority yet seeing any need to act to raise rates. Over to Jay Powell.

  • No hikes through 2023. 4 from 1 see a hike in 2022, whilst 7 see a hike by 2023
  • Inflation is seen at or above 2% through 2023, including 2.4% this year, 2% in 2022 and 2.1% in 2023. This is perhaps a little light and if inflation starts to move significantly higher than this it will be a problem and yields could back up further. This is the primary risk now for the Fed as AIT lets inflation expectations become unanchored.
  • Boosts GDP forecast to 6.5% in 2021 from December’s projection of 4.2%, with expansion seen at 3.3% in 2022 and 2.2% in 2023.

The Fed boosts GDP forecast to 6.5% in 2021 from December’s projection of 4.2%

Initial market reaction showed a pop in stock markets – this may get cooled if the market thinks the Fed is losing its grip on inflation by letting the economy run so hot. The Dollar dropped sharply and has held the losses. Gold broke above $1.740. 10s trade more cautiously around 1.66%, still up over 4bps today.

The Dollar dropped sharply and has held the losses.

Dots: no shift in the median: 4 of 18 see a hike next year, 7 in 2023.

Dots: no shift in the median

December dot plot – just three moved into the 2023 camp.

December dot plot – just three moved into the 2023 camp.


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