European Outlook: Asian stock markets managed another broad move higher, after gains on Wall Street yesterday. Hopes for U.S. tax cuts and a weak Yen underpinned a nearly 1% rise in the Yen. Gains in Europe had moderated on Tuesday after the initial rally following the French election result, but global equity markets still seem more relaxed. In the Eurozone though more stability on the political front also means that the pressure on Draghi to change the forward guidance is increasing and a Reuters source story yesterday confirmed that while the ECB may want to wait for the second round in France, it could change tack and start laying the ground for exit strategies at the June Meeting. We don’t expect Draghi to tweak the already announced QE schedule for this year, but real tapering will be on the cards in 2018 and the easing bias is likely to be finally scrapped in June. Today’s calendar is empty. German preliminary HICP, EMU ESI economic confidence and the U.K. CBI retailing survey are all due alongside the ECB meeting tomorrow.
U.S. reports: revealed a strong data set for housing, confidence and sentiment. For new home sales, we saw a 5.8% March surge to a robust 621k rate after net upward revisions, though the pace remained a tick below the 622k cycle-high in July of 2016 despite the winter weather-lift. Both the FHFA and S&P/Case-Shiller home price indexes rose in February by 0.8% and 0.4% respectively. Consumer confidence fell in April to a still-robust 120.3 after a March pop to a 16-year high of 124.9 (was 125.6), as confidence fluctuates around its highest levels since December of 2000. Producer sentiment has remained firm in April despite headline drops, as seen with a Richmond Fed downtick to 20.0 from a 7-year high of 22.0 in March and 17.0 in February, versus a 3-year low of -11.0 last August, and Dallas Fed downtick to 16.8 from 16.9 in March and an 11-year high of 24.5 in February. Treasury receipts thus far in April are slightly disappointing however, with a 7% y/y gain despite a lift from last year’s big capital gains.
Australia: Today Australia reported a rise in CPI at 0.5% in Q1 (q/q, sa), matching the growth rate in Q4 and undershooting projections. CPI did accelerate to a 2.1% y/y pace in Q1 from the 1.5% y/y rate in Q4. But that was a touch below projections, but does regardless lift the annual rate above 2.0%. The annual core CPI measures improved: the trimmed mean CPI accelerated to a 1.9% y/y clip in Q1 from 1.6%, while the weighted median CPI picked up to a 1.7% rate from a revised 1.4% growth rate in Q4 (was +1.5%). Notably, the trimmed mean is nearing the bottom of the RBA’s 2.0% to 3.0% target band. The report underpins expectations for steady rates from the RBA through the turn of the year. AUDUSD has dropped to 0.7511 from the 0.7545 level seen just ahead of the report.
Main Macro Events Today
- Canadian Retail Sales – Expected at 0.1% gain in February retail sales values. The report, is expected to reveal a 0.2% dip in the ex-autos sales aggregate. There is more forecast risk than usual around this report, as Statistics Canada will present revised figures going back to 2012 that are based on a new sample for the survey.
- Pr. Trump Tax Announcement – President Trump plans an announcement Wednesday on his tax code overhaul. As Reuters reported that maybe the biggest Tax Cut since he will propose small business partnerships and sole proprietorships to 15% from 39.6 %.
- US Crude Oil Inventories – US Crude Oil Inventories expected to slightly fall to -1.1M from 1M last week.
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