FX News Today
European Outlook: The global stock market recovery continued in Asia overnight, (Nikkei 225 closed up +0.84% at 16,231) but U.S. and U.K. stock futures are heading south, suggesting that it is starting to run out of steam. Oil prices are off highs, but the front end WTI future is holding above USD 46 per barrel, Eased uncertainty about the U.K. as the domestic situation seems more settled and preparations for exit talks can start sooner than previously expected, coupled with hopes of further global stimulus is helping to underpin sentiment, but as GDP bounces back Gilt futures and FTSE 100 have been underperforming, even as the more domestically oriented FTSE 250 is doing better. The European data calendar as final June inflation data from France, Spain and Italy, which should hold any surprises. Eurozone production data for May meanwhile is set to show a sizeable contraction, thus confirming again that overall growth slowed down in the second quarter of the year. Events include the BoE’s credit condition survey, as the MPC starts its two day meeting, with tomorrow’s announcement expected to bring a 25 bp rate cut.
US Data Reports: U.S. JOLTS report showed job openings dropped 345k in May to 5,500k, after rising 175k to 5,845k in April (revised from 5,788k). That left the rate at 3.7% from 3.9%. Hirings also declined 49k to 5,036k, a third consecutive monthly drop (hirings have fallen in four of the five months this year). The rate was steady at 3.5%. Quitters also dipped 14k to 2,895k after the 39k decline in April to 2,909k (revised from 2,912k) and the 7k slip in March. The rate was unchanged at 2.0%. The data are old, especially in light of the recent gyrations in employment. The data seem consistent with some of the weakening trend in the job market this year, though it’s not clear if that is more a function of the economy being near full employment, or an indication of a slowing in the overall economy. Note that Yellen is a fan of the quit rate, and looks for increases in that statistic to suggest a strengthening labor market. So the declines there in recent months may be another reason for her increasingly cautious outlook.
Discount Rate Hike preferred: Six Fed banks favored a discount rate hike by 25 basis points the Fed’s discount rate minutes revealed, with the vote taking place just ahead of the last meeting where rates were held steady following the May jobs miss and Brexit anticipation. A quartet of four had already requested a hike previously, including the KC, Richmond, Cleveland and SF Feds, and they were joined by Boston and St. Louis. The rationale: “expected strengthening in economic activity and their expectations for inflation to gradually move toward the 2% objective.” This shouldn’t come as a surprise to the bond market, which is already on a bearish tear anyway.
Fedspeak: Bullard: QE gives the Fed some “ammunition” in the event of another downturn, while his new view on rates is closer to what the market is pricing, with low probability of a rate increase. On productivity, he said the poor education system was not to blame in the 1990s, nor today, which could be at its root a demographic shift as older experienced workers retire. The labor force participation rate is continuing to fall for this reason as well. He said that yield curve flattening is not a sign of slowing growth but more likely a flight to safety after the Brexit vote, said the St. Louis Fed president. Talk of further U.S. stimulus is wrong and Fed calls for a better growth (fiscal) policy have been falling on deaf ears. He forecasts continued slowing in job growth in coming months as a normal development, while the ultimate impact of Brexit on the U.S. may be close to nil. Bullard continues to align himself more closely with swings in market sentiment.
Main Macro Events Today
- US Import & Export Prices June trade price data is out today and should show import prices up 0.6% (median 0.5%) on the month while export prices grow by 0.3%. This compares to May figures which had import prices up 1.4% and export prices up 1.1%. After a long run of negative figures over the winter the rebound in oil prices is now helping to lift headlines.
- BOC Outlook We expect no change in the policy rate, with the current 0.50% setting seen as unaltered in today’s announcement. Recent economic data suggest the Bank could inject more caution in its cautiously optimistic outlook. But lofty June housing starts were a timely reminder that the Bank did highlight housing in the May announcement. A repeat of that announcement’s emphasis on strong regional divergences in housing performance would contrast with a more cautious outlook on growth and inflation. Meanwhile, the robust U.S. jobs report for June suggests growth south of the border is chugging along, supportive of the Bank’s scenario for improving domestic growth in the second half.
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