FX News Today
European Outlook: Stock markets in Japan continued to rally, and the Yen weakened as Abe’s election victory cleared the way for more “Abenomics”. Gains in other Asian markets were more modest and while U.S. stock futures are moving higher, FTSE 100 futures are in the red, despite the fact that the BoE is expected to cut rates once again on Thursday. The U.K. may have a new Prime Minister by tomorrow evening and Theresa May, poised to take over from Cameron, could start exit talks earlier than previously thought. So far she hasn’t taken a soft approach and refused to rule out the deportation of EU citizens already working and living in the U.K., which will not go down well in the city. EU finance ministers will meet today and after the Eurogroup yesterday backed the Commission’s recommendations for fines on Spain and Portugal budget overshoots, this is likely to be approved by the Ecofin today. The issue of Italy’s plans to recapitalize Italian banks without bail-ins remains open. The data calendar has German final June inflation at the start of the session, more inflation data from Sweden and Portugal and Irish GDP numbers for Q1. Nothing that would change key central bank outlooks for now. The BoE releases the minutes of the Financial Policy Committee, which was held on June 28, that is after the referendum and may attract more attention than usual if there are more warnings on the possible fallout.
US Data Reports: The stock market got another free pass from prospects of fresh stimulus in Japan following the landslide election of Abe, as investors hoped to collect $200 in “helicopter” money, not go directly to jail or at least get some free parking near historic highs. News that Japan machinery orders plunged and former Fed chief Bernanke was paying a visit to BoJ buddies fueled that speculation and related asset rebalancing. This took some starch out of bonds, gold and the yen, while WTI crude also eased 1%, back under $45. S&P 500, hit fresh record highs at 2,143, The NASDAQ cleared 5,000, and the Dow marked a session high 18,283.
Brexit Aftermath: The uncertainty surrounding the new UK Prime Minister evaporated yesterday as Theresa May became the only candidate, following the withdrawal of Andrea Leadsom. David Cameron will tender his resignation to the Queen on Wednesday after chairing his last Cabinet meeting today. Brexit means Brexit, May has said. The GBP and the FTSE both rallied yesterday with some of the uncertainty over the government, post-Brexit, now out of the way. GBPUSD currently trades significantly north of 1.3000 at 1.3074.
Fedspeak: The Fed’s Esther George welcomed the good news from Friday’s jobs report and said it shows the resilience of the economy. She said consumers are continuing to spend, while household confidence is up. However, business investment has been relatively weak, though it’s been holding up ok outside of the energy and manufacturing sectors. She added that the strong dollar and weaker global growth may hurt exports. Keeping rates too low carries risks, reminded the long-time Fed hawk (and 2016 voter), and said the current level of Fed policy is too soft, in her opinion. There are limits to what monetary policy can achieve, but it’s getting closer to achieving its goals. Core inflation has been firming and the pace of job creation has been noteworthy. But demand for middle-skilled workers has dropped sharply and the recovery has not been evenly spread across the workforce. She thinks that gradual rate increase will help the FOMC achieve its goals. Though she’s one of the more hawkish on the FOMC, her comments don’t suggest she’ll push for a rate hike as soon as the July 26, 27 FOMC meeting due to Brexit fallout, but she is likely to argue for a hike at the September 20, 21 meeting if the markets are stable and Brexit fears have diminished.
Main Macro Events Today
- BOE Governor Carney Speaks – Testifies before the Treasury Select Committee about the Bank of England Financial Stability Report. Unlikely to reveal anything particularly new ahead of Thursdays MPC meeting announcement.
- JOLTS Job Openings – This data point is a particular favourite FED Chair Mrs. Yellen so will have added interest today in particular following the strong NFP data on Friday. Last month there were 5.79m job openings posted with expectations that his month the number will be slightly lower at 5.74m.
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