U.S. reports: Bund futures moved higher in after hour trade yesterday after the Fed minutes showed that the Fed discussed scaling back its balance sheet later in the year, which knocked U.S. stocks off highs and weighed on markets in Asia. The Nikkei is down -1.45%, ASX and Hang Seng is also in the red as are U.K. stock futures. The DAX already underperformed yesterday and is likely to continue to head south against that background, which will underpin European bond futures and keep a lid on yields. Investors also remain cautious ahead of the Trump Xi meeting. In Europe, the ECB will release its minutes and ECB President Draghi will speak at the opening of a conference, with markets looking for clues on the state of the debate on the future of asset purchases and the assessment of Nowotny’s call to hike the deposit rate ahead of the end of QE. Data releases include Swiss inflation data and Eurozone retail and construction PMIs.
US reports: 263k March ADP rise beat 187k estimation, following a trimming in the February ADP rise to 245k (was 298k) that narrowed the gap to the 227k private payroll increase in that month. There was a surprisingly large 82k March goods employment gain with outsized increases of 49k for construction and 30k for factories that explained the March overshoot, alongside a 4k rise for mining and an expected 181k service employment gain. The ADP figures overshot private payrolls by a whopping 71k in February, after overshoots of 25k in January, 3k in December, 38k in November, and 15k in October to leave an average overshoot since the October methodology change of 30k, hence diminishing the significance of today’s 38k overshoot of our March nonfarm payroll estimates. Additionally,the U.S. ISM-NMI drop to a 5-month low of 55.2 reversed the February climb to a 16-month high of 57.6 in February from 56.5 in January, while declines in the employment and new order components allowed a drop in the ISM-adjusted reading to a 7-month low of 53.9 from a 16-month high of 56.5 in February and 54.8 in January.
FOMC minutes: “most” participants could see a change in the reinvestment policy later in the year, but views were mixed on how and when the changes would occur. The minutes to the March 14, 15 FOMC meeting also indicated “many” emphasized that shrinking the size of the balance sheet should be done in a “passive and predictable manner.” Also, both Treasuries and MBS should be a part of the reinvestment changes. But, there was also discussion of costs and benefits of phasing out or ceasing all at once the reinvestment of principal. Meanwhile, on interest rates, nearly all officials thought the U.S. was at full employment. Overall economic risks were generally balanced, but many saw upside risk to the economy from fiscal policy. There were various views on the extent of labor market slack, as well as how close inflation was to the 2% goal. And while there were no clear indications that policymakers were ready to pull the tightening trigger again as soon as May, there weren’t any signs the FOMC was ready to abandon its tightening path either.
Germany: Feb manufacturing orders rose 3.4% m/m, slightly less than anticipated, but with January revised up to -6.8% m/m from -7.4% m/m, the annual rate nevertheless jumped to 4.6% y/y. Domestic orders rebounded strongly from the slump at the start of the year, while export orders stagnated as a dip in orders from other Eurozone countries, the second in a row, counterbalanced a rise in orders from non-EMU countries. All in all broadly in line with expectations, and together with confidence data confirming that the recovery remains on track, which adds to Weidmann’s calls for a phasing out of asset purchases.
Main Macro Events Today
- ECB – ECB president Draghi will speak in Frankfurt today, while and the minutes of the March ECB Monetary Policy Meeting Accounts are also today as well.
- Trump-Xi – Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Florida to meet President Trump, with the President saying North Korea will be high up on the agenda.
- US Unemployment Claims – Initial jobless claims may retreat 8k to 250k for the April 1 week.
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