Yields and central banks on the move

Central banks on the move: Norway’s central bank became the first in the G10 to raise rates after the pandemic, Turkey’s central bank – an outlier – lowered rates (to 18%), whilst the Bank of England and Federal Reserve sat on their hands but indicated they too are about to start moving. Yields are on the move too as bonds sell off on tightening expectations. Something has clearly changed and positioning on rates is shifting. US 10yr yields jumped to 1.44%, posting their biggest one-day gain since March, whilst 30yr bond yields jumped the most in a single day since March 2020. European bond yields are also marching higher.

Although the Fed and BoE remain fairly cautious and the dogma of transitory inflation persists, they’re starting to move beyond pandemic-era emergency mode. Investors see this and are moving too – rates steepening again as they did earlier this year. As we noted yesterday morning, whilst the initial reaction to the Fed’s announcement on Wednesday saw the yield curve flatten, the steepening as the long end picks up is the natural response to the Fed turning more hawkish – it was not just earlier for lift-off but also more hikes in 2023/24. Investors are also betting on higher inflation for longer. US inflation expectations ticked higher too, hitting a month high, helping gold to fend off the move in nominal rates to trade around $1,750, having put in a near-term low at $1,737. The dollar also made a strong move lower yesterday, adding further support.

Stocks rallied on Wall Street, mega cap growth just underperforming a bit as yields rose, helping financials do well. The S&P 500 recovered the 50-day SMA at 4,437 and closed above at 4,448.98. Small caps outperformed with the Russell 2000 picking up almost 2% as reflation trade thinking resurfaced. Energy was the top performer on the S&P 500 again as crude oil (Nov) broke through $73, whilst Brent is testing a 3-year high. Natural gas is back above $5 this morning.

Stocks trade weaker in the early part of the session in Europe as investors digest the selloff in global bonds and look ahead to the uncertainty of the German election on Sunday, which may be a factor for the DAX today. Helen Thomas of BlondeMoney has an excellent preview on the topic for us. The FTSE 100 sits around 7,050, slap in the middle of the range it’s treaded since April. AstraZeneca shares rose 3% as its Lynparza cancer drug performed well in its PROpel Phase III trials. Shares in Hong Kong fell over 1% with Evergrande down 13% as it apparently missed a deadline for an interest payment of $83.5m on an offshore bond.

The US dollar is drifting higher this morning after yesterday’s selloff with near-term momentum positive having briefly hit its highest since Aug 20th. Tweeted yesterday about topping pattern for USD and yesterday’s (just about) outside day candle could be the reversal signal.

Dollar Index 24.09.2021

GBPUSD is holding most of yesterday’s gains but has just pared back a touch to trade at 1.3710 after hitting 1.3750.

GBPUSD Chart 24.09.2021

Sterling HOD, FTSE weaker as markets digest slightly hawkish BoE

After a bit of time to digest the Bank of England decision, it looks to have provided that hawkish pivot we’d anticipated. But I would not say it’s enough to really tell the market that it will fulfil its mandate to keep inflation in check and ensure longer-term inflation expectations remain in check. A missed opportunity, I would say, to get a better grip on inflation expectations.

Key points

• MPC votes 7-2 to maintain QE, unanimous on rates
• Ramsden joins Saunders in voting to scale back the QE programme to £840bn, ending it immediately
• CPI inflation is expected to rise further in the near term, to slightly above 4% in 2021 Q4 – and the BoE signalled greater risk it would be above target for most of 2022
• Overall, Bank staff had revised down their expectations for 2021 Q3 GDP growth from 2.9% at the time of the August Report to 2.1%, in part reflecting the emergence of some supply constraints on output
• Shift in forward guidance: MPC noted ‘some developments … [since the August Monetary Policy Report] … appear to have strengthened’ the case for tightening monetary policy.
• Rate hikes could come early, even before end of QE: “All members in this group agreed that any future initial tightening of monetary policy should be implemented by an increase in Bank Rate, even if that tightening became appropriate before the end of the existing UK government bond asset purchase programme.”

Market reaction thus far

• GBPUSD has rallied to highest since Monday off a month low and is looking to hold above 1.37, having risen one big figure today. Needs 1.3740 for bulls to regain control, big test here with trend support recently tested at the neckline. Question is this mildly hawkish pivot is enough to put the floor under GBP. I would still argue for softer dollar into year end allow GBP (and EUR) some scope to strengthen, particularly if the BoE is progressing towards raising rates sooner than previously thought.
• That sterling strength sent the FTSE 100 lower after a solid morning session, leaving the blue chips flat on the session, around 45pts off the highs of the day. Looking now for a lift from Wall St with US futures indicated higher: S&P 500 around 4420, Dow Jones at 34,460.
• 2yr gilt yields jumped to +0.3435% from around 0.28% earlier in the day as markets moved expectations for the first 15bps rate hike forward to Feb 2022.

GBPUSD chart 23.09.2021

Summary view

The BoE trying to tell what we already know without telling us what we already know; ie, that inflation is way stickier than they thought it would be. The BoE said “there are some signs that cost pressures may prove more persistent. Some financial market indicators of inflation expectations have risen somewhat”. Somewhat what? It’s all a bit wishy washy. The problem is the dogma of transient inflation is hard to shake without admitting that they were plain wrong on a very basic assessment of the economic outlook. “The committee’s central expectation continues to be that current elevated global cost pressures will prove transitory,” the statement from the BoE said.

Earlier, PMIs show across Europe and Britain growth momentum is waning, inflation is sticking. The UK composite PMI revealed further loss of growth momentum as output slowed to the weakest in 7 months, whilst the rate of input cost inflation accelerated and charges raised to the greatest extent on record.

Taken together with the PMIs this morning and the Fed last night we are presented with a very simple picture: growth is slowing, supply constraints are deepening, inflation is proving way more persistent than central banks anticipated. This could have important consequences for monetary policy going forward, but for now the CBs are still waiting it out and getting further behind the curve. A bitter pill today has been avoided, but the medicine required will be harder to swallow when it finally comes. Rates are going to need to rise to tame inflation.

Bank of England responds to hot inflation print

The Bank of England will need to respond to biggest jump in inflation on record when it convenes this week. Inflation accelerated to 3.2% in August from 2% in July, well above the central bank’s 2% target. Could this force the BoE to tighten monetary policy sooner than had been expected? A hawkish-sounding Bank of England would be a boost for sterling. In order to be hawkish enough to nudge sterling higher and show it’s prepared to kill inflation as required, the Bank probably ought to end QE now – as the now ex-MPC hawk Andy Haldane argued for last time around. There is a clear risk inflation will overshoot the 4% forecast, let alone the 2% goal. Unanchored inflation expectations are the worst possible outcome for a central bank they’ve been too slow to recognise the pandemic has completely changed the disinflationary world of 2008-2020. Hikes will be required too in the not too distant future and the bank should appreciate that a bitter pill now would be better than even harsher medicine later on. A jobs market with 1m vacancies does not suggest the UK economy is in trouble at the moment. Wage growth remains strong – albeit the picture is very complex due to furlough, the pandemic and base effects + inflation on real wages.

Does the bank go for a more hawkish signal? That is harder to say: it’s already well into a taper and markets anticipate the BoE will be raising rates 2-3 times over the next couple of years – does it need to do more than that? The question is whether the inflation ready has got the right kind of attention that it deserves or whether the BoE is ignoring the red flags. My own view, for what it’s worth, is that the Bank, just like the Fed, has allowed inflation overshoots to allow for the recovery, but it’s been too slow and too generous. Much like the response to the pandemic itself, the medicine (QE, ZIRP) being administered may be doing more harm (inflation) than good (growth, jobs).

Volgende week: zal de Fed haar opkoopprogramma afbouwen?

Alle ogen zijn gericht op de Federal Reserve en of de FOMC-vergadering van september zal worden aangegrepen om de langverwachte afbouw van het obligatie-opkoopprogramma aan te kondigen. Ondertussen zullen de hoge inflatiecijfers van vorige week de Bank of England aan het denken hebben gezet over de vraag of een meer opportunistische houding niet gepast is.

Zal de Fed afbouw van QE aankondigen?

Hoewel de markten niet verwachten dat de Federal Reserve snel zal overgaan tot het afbouwen van haar obligatie-opkoopprogramma, wordt de verwachting dat het tempo van de QE vanaf november zal worden afgezwakt breed gedragen. Dat betekent dat de vergadering van deze week een uitgelezen moment is voor de Fed om de markten tijdig te waarschuwen.

De CPI-inflatiecijfers van vorige week vertroebelden de verwachtingen enigszins: de cijfers waren beter dan verwacht, waardoor de Fed wat ademruimte heeft gekregen. Belangrijker is dat de zwakken banencijfers van augustus aanleiding kunnen zijn voor de Fed om nog geen duidelijke stelling te nemen voorafgaand aan november. Men zou juist kunnen aangeven dat afbouw dit jaar gepast is, is zonder een vaste datum te noemen.

Investeerders zullen vooral geïnteresseerd zijn in hoe de beleidsmakers het tempo van het herstel van de arbeidsmarkt beoordelen, en of zij geloven of de inflatoire druk minder tijdelijk is dan in eerste instantie werd vermoed. De aandacht zal uitgaan naar de nieuwste economische verwachtingen en of dit aanleiding zal zijn voor de Fed om anders te kijken naar het inflatie- en groeitempo.

Bank of England reageert op hoge inflatie

De Bank of England zal moeten reageren op de grootste inflatiesprong ooit genoteerd wanneer men deze week om de tafel zal gaan zitten. De inflatie steeg in augustus tot 3,2 procent vergeleken met 2 procent in juli, ruim boven de doelstelling van 2 procent van de centrale bank. Zou dit de BoE ertoe aanzetten het monetaire beleid sneller dan verwacht te verkrappen? Een opportunistische Bank of England zou het Britse pond zeker een boost kunnen geven.

Belangrijke economische gegevens

Naast het bovenstaande kan de markt deze week een groot aantal economische cijfers verwachten, waaronder de flits-PMI’s op donderdag voor de eurozone, het VK en de VS. Ook de Bank of Japan zal vergaderen; gouverneur Kuroda stelde onlangs nog dat de centrale bank haar monetaire beleid indien nodig verder kan verruimen door de rentetarieven te verlagen.

Winstcijfers Nike, FedEx

Qua bedrijfsresultaten is het nog rustig, al zullen onder andere Nike en FedEx met nieuwe kwartaalresultaten komen. In juni publiceerde Nike buitengewoon sterke resultaten voor het vierde kwartaal, waarna de koers van het aandeel tot recordhoogte steeg. De verkopen in Q4 waren maar liefst 96 procent hoger dan een jaar eerder, en 21 procent hoger vergeleken met 2019. De marges verbeteren bovendien snel, nu de omslag van het bedrijf naar directe levering aan consumenten resultaat begint op te leveren. “FY21 was een belangrijk jaar voor Nike, waarin we onze Consumer Direct Acceleration-strategie naar de markt brachten,” aldus CEO John Donahoe. De aandelenkoers is de laatste tijd echter wat ingezakt door zorgen over problemen in de toeleveringsketen, met miljoenen eenheden verloren productie in Vietnam als gevolg van COVID-19.

“Historisch gezien is de koers van het aandeel Nike nauw verwant aan de groei van de verkopen. Door toenemende indicaties dat de verkoopgroei zal afnemen, geloven wij dat het aandeel Nike vooral zijwaarts zal bewegen totdat er meer duidelijkheid is over de productieproblemen. In het slechtste geval zal de koers verder dalen als gevolg van lagere verkoopverwachtingen en daaropvolgende meervoudige compressie,” aldus analisten van BTIG, die hun advies voor het aandeel bijstelden naar neutraal.

Daarnaast verwachten we ook nieuwe cijfers van Adobe, General Mills en Costco.

Belangrijke economische data

Mon Sep 20  12:01am  GBP  Rightmove HPI m/m 
  All Day  JPY  Japan Bank Holiday 
  All Day  CNH  China Bank Holiday 
  7:00am  EUR  German PPI m/m 
  Tentative  EUR  German Buba Monthly Report 
  3:00pm  USD  NAHB Housing Market Index 
  All Day  CAD  Canada Federal Election 
  10:00pm  NZD  Westpac Consumer Sentiment 
Tue Sep 21  All Day  CNH  China Bank Holiday 
  2:30am  AUD  Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes 
  7:00am  CHF  Trade Balance 
    GBP  Public Sector Net Borrowing 
  11:00am  GBP  CBI Industrial Order Expectations 
  1:30pm  CAD  NHPI m/m 
    USD  Building Permits 
    USD  Current Account 
    USD  Housing Starts 
  2:00pm  CNH  CB Leading Index m/m 
  3:30pm  AUD  CB Leading Index m/m 
  Tentative  NZD  GDT Price Index 
Wed Sep 22  Tentative  JPY  Monetary Policy Statement 
  Tentative  JPY  BOJ Policy Rate 
  Tentative  JPY  BOJ Press Conference 
  2:00pm  CHF  SNB Quarterly Bulletin 
  3:00pm  EUR  Consumer Confidence 
    USD  Existing Home Sales 
  3:30pm  Oil  Crude Oil Inventories 
  7:00pm  USD  FOMC Economic Projections 
    USD  FOMC Monetary Policy Statement 
  7:30pm  USD  FOMC Press Conference 
Thu Sep 23  12:00am  AUD  Flash Manufacturing PMI 
    AUD  Flash Services PMI 
  All Day  JPY  Japan Bank Holiday 
  Tentative  EUR  German Import Prices m/m 
  8:15am  EUR  French Flash Manufacturing PMI 
    EUR  French Flash Services PMI 
  8:30am  CHF  SNB Monetary Policy Assessment 
    CHF  SNB Policy Rate 
    EUR  German Flash Manufacturing PMI 
    EUR  German Flash Services PMI 
  9:00am  EUR  Flash Manufacturing PMI 
    EUR  Flash Services PMI 
    EUR  ECB Economic Bulletin 
  9:30am  GBP  UK Flash Manufacturing PMI 
    GBP  UK Flash Services PMI 
  12:00pm  GBP  Bank of England monetary policy decision 
  1:30pm  CAD  Core Retail Sales m/m 
    CAD  Retail Sales m/m 
    USD  US unemployment Claims 
  2:45pm  USD  US Flash Manufacturing PMI 
    USD  US Flash Services PMI 
  3:00pm  USD  CB Leading Index m/m 
  3:30pm  Nat Gas  Natural Gas Storage 
  10:45pm  NZD  Trade Balance 
Fri Sep 24  12:01am  GBP  GfK Consumer Confidence 
  12:30am  JPY  National Core CPI y/y 
  1:30am  JPY  Flash Manufacturing PMI 
  7:00am  EUR  German GfK Consumer Climate 
  9:00am  EUR  German ifo Business Climate 
  3:00pm  USD  New Home Sales 

 

 

Stocks start the session weaker

Stocks in Europe are a tad weaker at the open after Monday’s rally, sticking to the recent well-worn ranges. US trading returns today with futures indicating a flattish open. There was a decent session in Asia overnight spurred on by strong data from China with the Nikkei 225 touching 30,000 for the first time since April, and the Topix hitting a 31-year high as the technical breakout from last week continues. Stocks in Shanghai and Shenzen were also up +1%. Despite all the worries about supply chains and Delta, Chinese exports surged in August by 25.6% year-on-year, up from the 19.3.% increase in July and beating the forecast of 17.1%. Sticking with China for a moment, shares in Evergrande, the indebted real estate giant, sank further to the weakest since 2015 as the fallout from its default risk continues to ripple through the property sector, where bond yields are rising fast. 

 

With stock futures doing little in the US and coming off the back of a three-day weekend, the focus will be on the cash equity open later on Wall Street in the wake of Friday’s disappointing jobs report and the lapsing of those last $300 stimulus cheques.  Still the relentless low-vol grind up is holding and Barclays today has lifted its S&P 500 price target to 4600 from 4400. Question is whether Sep/Oct produces a spike in volatility. A 3% drawdown – mild by anyone’s standards – takes you back to the 50-day SMA support that has held up so well this year, while a 10% correction tests the 200-day SMA. Technicals at the moment indicate sideways action and a loss of upwards momentum – merely a question of timing as to when we get a rollover. 

 

Interesting comments from the Bank of England’s Michael Saunders this morning, who said it might be right to think of rates going up in the next year or so. He indicated that the economy was already about the same size as it was before the pandemic, that inflation has been stronger than expected, and that the country does not need as much stimulus as previously. However, it should be noted that Saunders is about the most hawkish on the nine-member MPC so does not speak for the central consensus. I don’t think it tells us much we don’t already know but it underscores the conundrum facing central banks today as to when to ease off the gas. Saunders makes an important point in noting that continuing asset purchases when inflation is 4% might cause medium-term inflation expectations to drift higher, which could cause a more severe monetary policy response down the road. If central banks don’t get a grip on it now, they could be faced with bigger problems later – but they are all deeply paranoid about choking off recovery too soon. GBPUSD tried to rally on the comments but quickly reversed to hit its weakest since Sep 2nd. 

 

E-commerce winner DS Smith shares rose after the company said trading remains strong with solid box volume growth over 2019 levels, particularly in the US and southern Europe. But input costs continue to rise with management mentioning notable increases in the cost of energy and transportation. ‘Given the strong demand for our packaging we have seen good progress towards recovering these increases,’ the company said. Shares rallied over 2% in early trade.

 

The Reserve Bank of Australia stuck to its taper but will extend the purchase of bond purchases at $4bn a week from Nov 2021 to Feb 2022.  The RBA said the decision ‘reflects the delay in the economic recovery and the increased uncertainty associated with the Delta outbreak’. Looks like the RBA is trying to neutralise the taper they announced recently without actually rowing it back.  

 

Oil prices just tracking sideways after running into the near-term trend resistance last week. Bullish MACD crossover is still in play but momentum clearly drifting. Saudi price cut has tamed bulls but growth in Chinese exports is a +ve.

Spot Oil Chart 07.09.2021

Bank of England maintains dovish stance, raises inflation forecasts

The Bank of England today confirmed it would continue with its economy-boosting measures but said higher inflation is on the way.

Bank of England statement

Staying the course

Today, the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to keep the historic low-interest rate in place. There will be no move from the current 0.1% base rate. Additionally, members voted 7-1 to keep the £895bn quantitative easing programme in place.

Policymakers struck a cautiously optimistic tone at today’s Bank of England press conference. However, Governor Bailey and council members did signal policy will be subject to modest tightening from here on out.

The BoE also raised its inflation forecasts. Economists were expecting this, given CPI has passed targets for two consecutive months.

In its monetary policy report, the Bank of England said: “Overall, Bank staff now expect inflation to rise materially further in the near term, temporarily reaching 4% in 2021 Q4 and 2022 Q1, 1½ percentage points higher than in the May projection.”

The report also outlined that the recent acceleration in CPI inflation is mainly due to volatility in energy and the prices of other goods. In the medium term, the Bank said it expects inflation to peter out and fall back to around its current 2% target.

Looking to GDP, the BoE forecasts 5% growth in Q2 2021 after a 1.6% contraction in the first quarter. This is slightly above what the Bank predicted in its May report. Even so, this would leave UK GDP some 4% lower than pre-pandemic levels.

GDP growth is forecast at 3% for Q3, in response to thousands of workers needing to isolate after Delta variant COVID-19 cases surged across the UK in recent weeks. However, COVID cases and hospitalisations have broadly fallen in the last month, giving some hope that the “pingdemic” is just a bump on the road to recovery.

According to the MPC, the economy will return to its pre-pandemic levels in the last quarter of the year. The pandemic’s impact is expected to have substantially lessened by then. At this time, GDP growth will cool and return to levels more normally seen in mature economies.

Unwinding QE

Quantitative easing-related purchases will be scaled back once the base rate reaches 0.5%, according to today’s policy outlook. At this time, the Bank will stop investing in maturing UK government bonds, but only if economic conditions are good enough.

This rate is substantially lower than the 1.5% rate earmarked in 2018.

In its policy report, the MPC forecast that its main interest rate would reach 0.5% in the third quarter of 2024, after hitting 0.2% in the third quarter of 2022 and 0.4% for the same period in 2023.

This comes after the Bank of England was recently dubbed “addicted to QE” by a House of Lords committee – something which Governor Bailey strenuously denies.

In all, a fairly positive report for the UK then. Sterling was up around the $1.925 level against the dollar after the Bank’s plans were made public and continued to build momentum at writing.

European stocks mixed ahead of earnings & BoE statement

Investors showed mixed sentiment this morning on a day that promises much in the way of earnings and central bank announcements.

At the time of writing, the FTSE 100 had retreated by over seven points. The DAX and CAC were performing much better, adding 17.8 and 22.38 points respectively. From a pan-European perspective, the Stoxx 50 was trading 17.00 upwards.

Many UK investors are essentially waiting for today’s Bank of England statements. Governor Bailey is due to outline the central bank’s monetary policy at midday today. Inflation is expected to be the day’s running theme.

Inflation has so far overshot established target levels for two consecutive months. The Bank’s response will be critical today. So far, there are two schools of thought predicting what the BoE might do. On one side, economists broadly think Bailey will up inflation targets. Investors, on the other hand, believe that the Bank will stick to a dovish tack, leaving its interest and QE stance unchanged.

UK CPI was up 0.5% in June on a month-by-month basis. This was way ahead of estimates and the fastest CPI growth rate reported since May 2018.

It’s likely the Bank of England is still feeling cautiously optimistic. It has predicted that inflation will peak at 3% in 2021 before falling away next year. The BoE says it has yet to see any evidence that the current acceleration in CPI is anything but transitionary.

Despite the surge in Delta variant COVID-19 cases across the last month, UK infection rates have broadly trended down throughout July and August. That gives some hope that the country will be able to return to full normality quicker than other economies. Pretty much all restrictions have been removed.

Ahead of today’s BoE announcement, GBP/USD had recaptured the 1.390 level. At the time of writing, cable had reached 1.394 and was up 0.19% on the day. Its future course will be decided later when we get more info on the Bank of England’s QE bond-buying stance.

EUR/USD had stayed mostly flat at 1.1837.

In terms of earnings, European large caps reporting today include Siemens, Adidas, Merck, Bayer, Intesa Sanpaolo and WPP.

Looking to US markets, the Nasdaq was showing positive movements, trending up nearly 20 points. The Dow Jones and S&P 500, however, were down pre-market, with the Dow sliding 0.9%. The S&P 500’s downward trend was in the 0.5% region at the time of writing.

On Wall Street, large caps reporting include Square and Virgin Galactic. You can find a rundown of the companies sharing earnings today with our US earnings season calendar.

Volgende week: alle ogen op de Amerikaanse arbeidsmarkt

De markten gaan een drukke week tegemoet met de Amerikaanse niet-agrarische salarisstrookjes als het hoogtepunt, evenals twee belangrijke verklaringen van centrale banken.

Laten we beginnen met de laatste cijfers over de Amerikaanse niet-agrarische salarisstrookjes.

Juni was een boven verwachting goede maand, en de markten zullen de nieuwste cijfers vrijdag dan ook nauwgezet in de gaten houden.

In juni werden er 850.000 banen toegevoegd aan de Amerikaanse economie, veel meer dan de 720.000 die waren voorspeld. Ook was het de zesde maand op rij waarin er sprake was van groei.

Het werkloosheidspercentage steeg echter van 5,8 naar 5,9 procent, hoger dan de 5,6 procent waar menig analist van uitging. De arbeidsparticipatie, de maatstaf bij uitstek om het tekort aan arbeidskrachten in het hele land te meten, bleef onveranderd op 61,6 procent.

De aanwerving van nieuw personeel lijkt iets te zijn gedaald in het voorjaar. Daarvoor kunnen een aantal redenen worden aangewezen: angst voor het virus, de kosten van kinderopvang, werkloosheidsverzekeringen en de stimulerings- en thuiswerkmaatregelen. Er zijn echter berichten dat bedrijven de lonen aan het verhogen zijn om werknemers te verleiden een nieuwe baan aan te nemen.

De arbeidsparticipatie is ook een belangrijke maatstaaf voor Fed-voorzitter Jerome Powel bij het beoordelen van stimulus- en ondersteuningsmaatregelen voor de Amerikaanse economie.

We weten dat Powell en co. het in principe geen probleem vinden om de economie op volle toeren te laten draaien, zelfs bij oplopende inflatie. Zoals Powell aangaf na de laatste Fed-vergadering ontbreken er nog altijd 7,5 miljoen banen in de Amerikaanse economie, al suggereren sommige rapporten dat dit cijfer dichter bij 6,8 miljoen in de buurt ligt. Totdat deze open vacatures zijn gevuld, verwachten we dat de Fed de stimulus- en ondersteuningsmaatregelen zal handhaven.

Kijken we naar de indices, dan zien we dat de S&P 500 en Nasdaq het goed deden na de uitstekende banencijfers van vorige maand en nieuwe records noteerden. Indextraders zullen hopen dat deze ontwikkeling zich ook in juli zal voortzetten.

Op Amerikaans cijfergebied zal ISM, een van de belangrijkste rapporteurs van Amerikaanse inkoopmanagersindices, deze week de verwachtingen voor de productie- en dienstensector bekendmaken.

De Amerikaanse productie bleef vorige maand robuust, aldus het PMI-rapport van ISM, maar problemen in de toeleveringsketen blijven de groei beperken. De productie-index noteerde op 60,6 punten, lager dan de 61,2 punten van mei.

Het momentum is verder sterk. Vier van de vijf subindices van ISM wezen op aanzienlijke groei. De interesse van consumenten in nieuwe producten is nog steeds hoog, ondanks stijgende prijzen. Arbeidstekorten, in combinatie met de hogere prijs van grondstoffen en materialen, hebben echter geleid tot knelpunten en tekorten nu producenten de vraag proberen bij te benen.

“Langere doorlooptijden voor grondstoffen dan ooit, grootschalige tekorten aan essentiële basismaterialen, stijgende grondstofprijzen en problemen bij het vervoer van producten blijven alle segmenten van de verwerkende industrie beïnvloeden,” aldus Timothy Fiore, voorzitter van het ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

Hetzelfde kan worden gezegd voor de dienstensector: die breidde weliswaar uit in juni, al bleef de groei achter op de fantastische notering in mei. Hier was er sprake van een daling van de index van 63,5 naar 60,1 punten.

“De uitbreiding van de dienstensector blijft sterk, ondanks de lichte terugval van het groeitempo ten opzichte van de historisch hoge cijfers van vorige maand,” aldus Anthony Nieves, voorzitter van het ISM Services Business Survey Committee. “Uitdagingen op het gebied van materiaaltekorten, inflatie, logistiek en werkgelegenheid blijven een belemmering vormen voor het ondernemingsklimaat”.

Het vasthouden van dat momentum is van groot belang voor de gezondheid van de Amerikaanse economie, zeker nu verwacht wordt dat de VS de rest van het jaar en daarna de motor van het wereldwijde economische herstel zal zijn.

Elders verwachten we ook nieuwe verklaringen van twee centrale banken.

Beginnend met de Bank of England is de stijgende inflatie het belangrijkste thema.

In juni bedroeg de inflatie 2,5 procent als gevolg van breed gedragen prijsstijgingen van consumentengoederen. Het zou kunnen dat de uitgestelde vraag in de Britse economie eindelijk wordt ontketend, maar aangezien de inflatie nu op het hoogste niveau in drie jaar staat, kan dit de zenuwen van economen aardig op de proef stellen.

Gouverneur Bailey heeft zijn standpunt eerder al verduidelijkt: de prijsstijgingen zijn van tijdelijke aard en de inflatie zou aan het einde van het jaar tot wel 3 procent kunnen stijgen. Daarna zou deze weer terug moeten vallen tot acceptabele niveaus. Het mandaat van de BoE is gericht op het vasthouden van een inflatie van ongeveer 2 procent.

Bailey heeft echter aangegeven dat hij open staat voor het verhogen van de rente als de inflatie uit de hand dreigt te lopen.

De Reserve Bank of Australia deelt deze week eveneens de nieuwste monetaire beleidsbeslissingen.

Het is aannemelijk dat er geen grote wijzigingen aangekondigd zullen worden. Gouverneur Philip Lowe heeft duidelijk aangegeven dat de rente in elk geval tot 2024 niet verhoogd zal worden, ondanks de sterke fundamentals van de Australische economie.

De historische lage rente van 0,1 procent zal voorlopig niet veranderen. Interessant is echter dat de vergadering van juli in een aantal kleine aanpassingen van het Australische QE-programma resulteerde. De schaal wordt afgebouwd: vanaf september zal het tempo waarin de RBA obligaties opkoopt afnemen van AUD 5 miljard per week tot AUD 4 miljard.

De basis voor aanvullende beleidswijzigingen is gelegd door gouverneur Lowe. We zijn benieuwd wat we deze week kunnen veranderen als het gaat om kleinschalige aanpassingen.

Een vooruitblik op de belangrijkste gebeurtenissen van volgende week zou niet compleet zijn zonder naar het Amerikaanse cijferseizoen te kijken.

Week drie van de Q2 2021-resultaten van de large caps begint op maandag. Hoewel het niet zo druk is als vorige week, verwachten we nog steeds belangrijke publicaties van onder andere Alibaba en Uber.

Bekijk vooral ook onze Amerikaanse cijferkalender voor meer informatie over welke grote bedrijven deze week hun resultaten bekend zullen maken.

Belangrijke economische data

Date Time (GMT+1) Asset Event
Mon 2-Aug 8.55am EUR German Final Manufacturing PMI
  3.00pm USD US ISM Manufacturing PMI
 
Tue 3-Aug 5.30am AUD RBA Rate Statement
  5.30am AUD Cash Statement
  11.45pm NZD Employment Change q/q
  11.45pm NZD Unemployment Rate
 
Wed 4-Aug 2.30am AUD Retail Sales m/m
  1.15pm USD ADP Nonfarm Employment Change
  3.00pm USD US ISM Services PMI
  3.30pm OIL US Crude Oil Inventories
 
Thu 5-Aug 12.00pm GBP Asset Purchase Facility
  12.00pm GBP BOE Monetary Policy Report
  12.00pm GBP MPC Asset Purchase Facility Votes
  12.00pm GBP Monetary Policy Summary
  12.00pm GBP MPC Official Bank Rate Votes
  12.00pm GBP Official Bank Rate
  3.30pm GAS US Natural Gas Inventories
 
Fri 6-Aug 2.30am AUD RBA Monetary Policy Statement
  1.30pm CAD Employment Change
  1.30pm CAD Unemployment Rate
  1.30pm USD Average Hourly Earnings q/q
  1.30pm USD Nonfarm Employment Change
  1.30pm USD Unemployment Rate

 

Belangrijke cijfers deze week

Mon 2 Aug Tue 3 Aug Wed 4 Aug Thu 5 Aug
Arista Networks Alibaba General Motors Ball Corp
Activision Blizzard The Kraft Heinz Co Beyond Meat
Roku Inc Illumina
Uber Technologies Square Inc
The Trade Desk
Virgin Galactic Holdings

European stocks edge higher, BoE meeting ahead

Stocks seem to be largely marking time until there is more clarity on economic data like inflation with the major European bourses a little higher this morning but well within ranges. Bonds are steady with US 10s around 1.5% and stocks are likely to remain similarly directionless until the former start to motor. Wednesday saw US indices essentially flat but they remain +1% higher on the week after a sharp turnaround from the Fed-induced selling last week. The Nasdaq rose marginally to notch another record high with subdued bond yields allowing investors to get back into big tech growth. More Fed speakers today to watch for in the shape of Bostic, Harker, Williams, Bullard and Barkin but the sentiment seems to be that if the Fed is going to more mindful of inflation than was judged for most of the last year then it ought to keep control of yields and allow for gently rising stock markets. I’d still be mindful of a tantrum later this year when yields ought to pick up some steam. 

 

Sterling trades close to $1.40 ahead of the Bank of England monetary policy statement today. As detailed in our preview, no change is expected but there are signs that inflation might run hotter than the MPC currently forecasts so we will be watching for any commentary around this. Yesterday’s UK PMI report pointed to strong inflationary pressures that will take CPI above the bank’s 2% target – the question is how far above and for how long – and how does the Bank respond. Bailey has made clear the MPC won’t tolerate above-target inflation for long. Could he spring a hawkish surprise today and say something like ‘inflation pressures are building and the bank has the tools to respond’?  I don’t think this is the time yet to do this, but that’s why it would be a surprise.

 

GBPUSD: near term resistance at the 1.40 round number, support holding on the 100-day line at 1.3950.

WTI made a fresh high above $74 amid ongoing expectations that restrained supply and improving demand is leading to an increasingly tight crude market. Yesterday the EIA reported crude oil stocks declined by 7.6m. Stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma hub fell to their lowest since March 2020 and US total petroleum demand rose 20.75m bpd, getting close to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile OPEC is signalling a stronger oil market. Chatter is that the cartel will increase production by 500,000 bpd from August as they continue to cautiously unwind production curbs. 

 

Copper has staged a bit of comeback this week but there are some bearish indicators on the physical supply front with China releasing metal from reserves to counter rising inflation. Wednesday saw a bounce in copper as the release of 100,000 tonnes of base metals was less than expected, but this is being reversed. Import demand in the country is also reported to be the weakest since 2017, whilst LME stockpiles are 30% higher this month.  

 

Bitcoin futures just running into resistance at the 200-day line, which had acted as support during recent plunges.

Bank of England preview: when to hike?

  • No change in policy expected
  • QE on autopilot into year-end
  • Rate hike timing in focus with inflation outlook in question

Don’t expect fireworks from the Bank of England tomorrow (Thursday Jun 24th, 12:00 BST) – the Bank won’t be changing policy or announcing anything new – but there is still scope for volatility around the meeting. Inflation looks like it might be more of a problem than the Bank of England’s forecasters have led us to think.  Andrew Bailey has made it clear the MPC won’t hesitate to act on rising inflation and high frequency data indicates this could become a problem for the Bank. Considering the Fed’s move last week to signal it’s not so deaf to inflation risks as we had been led to believe, could the BoE be the next central bank to deliver a hawkish surprise? I’m not so sure – not for this meeting at least since the UK economy has a little further to go yet and the BoE is not facing any pressure to act early.

It seems unlikely that the Bank of England, absent any fresh economic projections, will seek to signal it is worried about the path of inflation at this meeting, preferring to wait for some more data over the summer as the post-lockdown spike in activity starts to wane. Nevertheless, given the QE programme seems to be an autopilot to end this year – some further tapering to be announced in due course so it keeps buying through to Dec – the market attention seems to rest firmly on the timing off lift-off for policy rates.

Current market expectations indicate hikes in Q2 next year. However, it would not be a major surprise if the Bank were to act faster due to rising inflation, with perhaps 2-3 hikes next year beginning in Q1 2022. Wage growth from a shortage of workers is one factor to consider that could make above-target more sustained without tightening so comments on the labour market will be very carefully considered. We would also need to be mindful of household savings being unleashed more than the roughly 10% the Bank expects.

CPI rose 2.1% last month on an annual basis, up from +1.5% in April. The rate of month-on-month inflation was +0.6% as the economy reopened more. Of course, base effects exert a strong influence but there are a couple of points I made at the time which I believe are important. First the core reading of +2.0% was well ahead of the consensus +1.5%. Second, watch that second consecutive +0.6% month-on-month reading, which is about more than just base effects from last year.  Couple more month-on-months like that and MPC will have to act.

Today’s PMI survey also points to strongly rising inflation. The release notes: “The rate of input cost inflation accelerated for the fifth month running and was the joint-fastest on record, equal with that seen in June 2008. While inflation continued to be led by the manufacturing sector, service providers also posted a marked increase in input prices. In turn, the rate of output price inflation hit a fresh record high for the second month running.” The evidence from the survey is strong suggestive that inflation will rise well above the Bank’s 2% – the question is how far above and for how long? Again, it’s the whole transitory question mark over inflation that is bedevilling the Fed. Anyway, right now the Bank will stand pat and not wish to deliver anything like a hawkish surprise. Tapering is underway to let QE expire by the end of the year, and this is not the time for the BoE to signal it’s in a rush to raise rates too. Over the coming weeks and months I expect markets to bring forward rate hike expectations as the BoE reacts to strong inflation readings and for this to lead to a stronger pound with cable to retest 1.4250 in Q3 2021, with a potential move to 1.45 thereafter.

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