European Outlook: Asian stock markets are mixed, with Japan outperforming today, as the dollar strengthened. Hang Seng and CSI 300 moved sideways as investors seemed to hold back ahead of a long holiday starting next Monday. The ASX was slightly higher as are FTSE 100 and U.S. futures. The European calendar has Eurozone ESI economic confidence, but political events and central banks remain in focus as traders assess U.S. tax plans, the fallout from the German election, Brexit talks, and now also the risk of a trade war between the U.K. and the U.S. So far both ECB and BoE remain on course to reduce the degree of monetary accommodation somewhat and that should keep yields on an uptrend, especially as stocks move higher.
Germany: German GfK consumer confidence unexpectedly fell back slightly to 10.8 in the October projection from 10.9 in September, suggesting that the election cast its shadow. The full breakdown for the September reading showed a marked improvement in economic sentiment, but a sharp setback for income expectations and the willingness to buy also eased slightly, while inflation expectations turned less negative. Still strong confidence numbers that suggest consumers continue to underpin the recovery, but also indicate that energy price variations quickly leave a mark.
RBNZ held the policy rate at 1.75%, as expected. Low for long remains in place, with Acting Governor Spencer saying “Monetary Policy will remain accommodative for a considerable period.” And a dovish bias was retained, as the Acting Governor concluded that “Numerous uncertainties remain, and policy may need to adjust accordingly.” This was the same as in August, June and May. In other words, it looks like they won’t hesitate to add accommodation if downside risk to the economy manifest. The onus remains on the inflation and growth data, with additional undershoots setting the stage for further easing. But our base case is for no change into 2018. Notably, they observed that Q2 GDP was as expected while the slowing in Q2 annual CPI kept the measure inside the target range.
BoC’s Poloz: “it is a case of feeling your way as you go” he summarised when asked about what will happen to rates going forward. Indeed, his now concluded presser maintained the cautious tone seen in his prepared speech. He reiterated that we are in “uncharted territory for what economies have been through.” As for the rate hikes we’ve seen so far this year, it was a case of data dependence declared–data much stronger than expected–appropriate to move (and move again). He repeated that they are not on a predetermined course and must watch for important unknowns. As for the projected overshoot of the 2% inflation target in 2019, he nonchalantly said they have the 1-3% band for just that reason. Also of interest, he noted that it is typical at this point in the cycle to over-predict inflation The bank needs to “watch it unfold, fell the way with the data.” It seems that for 2018, the aggressive scenario has been uprooted by a “cautious” scenario until the data says otherwise, with two to three rate increases now factored in to leave a 1.75% to 2.00% setting by the end of the 2018. They “will continue to feel their way cautiously” as we get closer to “home.” Policy will be “particularly data dependent.” The Governor said “at a minimum” the two 2015 rate cuts are no longer needed. USDCAD shot up to 1.2431 from near 1.2350, the highest seen since September 1, following the release of BoC governor Poloz’s prepared remarks.
Main Macro Events Today
- EU ESI– Eurozone ESI Economic Confidence is seen rising to 112.1 from 111.9., while Industrial and consumer confidence seems to stay unchanged.
- US GDP, Jobless Claims & Goods Trade– The third and final print for Q2 GDP, shows a slight upward revision to a 3.1% clip from 3.0%. Advanced indicators goods trade deficit is expected to widen to -$65.0 bln vs -$65.1 bln, while initial jobless claims may or may not settle 11k higher at 270k after a relatively smooth ride last week despite the hurricane impact the week prior.
- Speeches of the day – BOE Gov Carney and RBA Deputy Governor Debelle deliver a speech at the Bank of England conference in London today. Meanwhile, Thursday brings also Feds KC’s George who is due to discuss on monetary policy and the economy on BoE conference along with Fed VC Fischer, who is retiring next month. Significant is the fact that Prime Minister May is due to speak as well.
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