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UK unemployment comes in at highest in over two years

 

European Elections and Markets, New Highs  

European stock markets rose a little early on Tuesday after a tough session for risk in the wake of European Parliament elections. French-German bond spreads hit the widest this year on rising fiscal and political risk premia; far-right done good = fragmentation tail risks, policymaking trade-offs and inertia, lower immigration, higher fiscal deficits, protectionism.  

I think you get the higher spending anyway – deficits are not coming down – and protectionism is what the EU is all about. We talked about some of this yesterday. The S&P 500 index and Nasdaq Composite both hit record highs again yesterday.  

BofA tactical call after the all-time high last week:  

“The A-D line, 5-day put/call ratio, the US high yield OAS, the Corporate BAA spread, and new 52-week highs did not confirm this new high on the SPX. These negative divergences are a tactical risk for US equities in June. SPX supports are 5191 and 5000-4953.”  

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UK Unemployment Jumps to 4.4%, BoE Too High for Too Long?

Higher for longer? UK wage growth remained steady at +6.0% — not necessarily going to change things for the Bank of England (BoE) as it knows that headline inflation is coming down and there will eventually be a moderation in pay growth. Remember that rising real wages are a positive.  

The worry is that the BoE stays too high for too long because it is looking at the lagging wage data rather than the weakening labour market with UK unemployment unexpectedly jumping to a two-year high at 4.4%. It was the biggest monthly jump since the global financial crisis, outside of the Covid era.  

"This month's figures continue to show signs that the labour market may be cooling, with the number of vacancies still falling and unemployment rising, though earnings growth remains relatively strong," the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said after the UK unemployment figures were released.

Markets think this makes a cut by August more likely. I fail to see any reason for the BoE to hold off any longer — time to take a leaf out of the European Central Bank’s playbook. GBPUSD was reasonably steady after a bit of a move lower on Monday was recovered — cable seems to be back to the lows from Friday in the wake of the NFP report.  

 

Fed Day Tomorrow  

Watch the dot plot. In March it signalled three rate cuts this year. By tomorrow it could be down to one. I think it comes down to a case of delaying the cuts rather than raising the neutral rate (that may come later). The NFP data on Friday was suspect.  

The Fad may be looking at slowing economic growth and higher unemployment now – unemployment has risen from 3.4% to 4.0%. Q1 GDP revisions were not great, consumer spending down and Q2 is not shooting the lights out. The NFP data was a bit of a red herring – the case for cutting is building. The Fed wants to stay ahead of the curve this time and the easing bias remains. Remember that inflation is good for the deficit.  

The Apple of my AI

 

The Apple of my AI  

Apple is partnering with ChatGPT creator OpenAI to roll out AI in its phones. At its annual WWDC developers conference, the company said it will integrate ChatGPT to roll out “Apple Intelligence” in its iPhones. Will this spark a fresh upgrade cycle? IT seems to answer worries about whether Apple was keeping up with the Jones in terms of AI.  

Market reaction was modest – Apple shares declined 2% yesterday and extended lower in after-hours trading. Its forward P/E ratio has been higher than the SPX and NDX for a couple of years now and the market seems to think that it can execute on a lot of different fronts – however, AAPL shares have not done much in that time.

 

Telsa Shares Dip, Euro Pressured by French Election News

Tesla shares were also off by 2% as investors fret over Musk’s future. Shareholders need to vote on his $56bn pay deal on June 13th. Seems to be a big ‘no’ group building...will be hard to pass with several big shareholders coming out against the deal. Musk has dangled a rather sticky-looking carrot by implying he won’t apply himself to running Tesla if he doesn’t get the cash, instead prioritising other businesses he runs. It’s likely a case of the big funds saying no and all a lot of retail saying yes – question is whether the retail investors actually vote.  

EURUSD: The euro couldn’t rally yesterday as bond spreads widened and the market looked to a possible win by Rassemblement National in France.  

European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde wants more data – negotiated wages, productivity and unit labour costs all due ahead of the September ECB meeting will be crucial.


When considering shares, indices, forex (foreign exchange) and commodities for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant degree of risk and could result in capital loss.  

Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be construed to be investment advice. 

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