European Outlook: The stock market recovery continued in Asia overnight, with Japan outperforming after underperforming yesterday, while gains were more muted elsewhere. Still, U.K. and U.S. futures are also moving higher, indicating that abating fears over North Korea are keeping markets underpinned, while earnings optimism are helping financials, even as lower oil prices are hitting energy producers. Following the German GDP data (see below) the European session sees U.K. and Sweden release inflation numbers with the former seen nudging higher to 2.7% y/y (med same) from 2.6% y/y in June.
German Q2 GDP: It rose 0.6% q/q a little under forecast and a tad below consensus, but with Q1 revised up to 0.7% q/q from 0.6%, which leaves a stronger overall trajectory. There is no full breakdown with the preliminary number, but the stats office reported that private as well as government consumption improved markedly and that machinery as well as construction investment also picked up. Net exports meanwhile made a negative contribution as imports rose stronger than exports. All in all pretty much in line with expectations and confirming the robust German recovery, which judging by confidence data and the strong orders inflow in Q2 continues in the third quarter. The ECB has acknowledged the improved growth environment, but remains focused on low inflation and moderate wage growth and the most recent rise in the EUR will only add to the arguments for a very cautious approach to QE tapering.
FX Update: USDJPY extended its rebound for a third session, today making a one-week high at 110.45. EURJPY also rose, logging a one-week peak just above 130.0, and other yen crosses are up. The recovery in risk appetite, as cooler heads prevail in the North Korean situation, has remained the central theme behind broad yen weakening. USDJPY support is at 109.84-45, and resistance is at 110.80-82. EURUSD ebbed to a two-session low at 1.1786, as did Cable, at 1.2954, with the dollar now more than having recouped the losses seen on Friday following tepid CPI data. The dollar also gained ground versus the Canadian and Australian dollars, and most emerging market currencies.
Fedspeak: Dudley said he backs another rate hike this year, assuming the economy evolves as expected, in an AP interview. And he added his outlook is little changed from the start of the year. It’s not unreasonable to expect action on the balance sheet next month. He still forecasts growth around 2%, which will tighten the job market. Inflation should move somewhat higher. He thinks asset prices are consistent with the economy’s performance. So far the Fed has been “very, very gentle” in removing accommodation. President Trump has respective the monetary policy process. And he said Gary Cohn would be a “reasonable candidate” for Fed chair.
Main Macro Events Today
- UK CPI – Expectations are for a rise in UK CPI later today back to 2.7% from the surprised dip in July to 2.6%. The June 2.9% reading remains the current peak and fueled speculation of a UK rate hike which has now all but disappeared following the BOE’s suggestion of a lot more caution surrounding tightening following the inflation slip.
- US Retails Sales – Expectations are for a 0.4% retail sales bounce in July with a 0.3% rise for the ex-auto figure, following vehicle and price-led declines in May and June. We saw a modest 0.6% vehicle sales rise in July, construction jobs and hours worked rose by 6k and 0.1% respectively, chain store sales posted moderate gains, and gasoline prices stabilized after two months of declines. The various consumer confidence and producer sentiment indexes remained strong on the month, though with modest drop-backs for some measures, and we saw big stock price gains
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