European Outlook: Asian stock markets are narrowly mixed. Chinese stocks initially moved higher after returning from holiday and following better than expected PMI readings, which showed steady expansion in the manufacturing sector and improvement in non-manufacturing. But Hang Seng and CSI 300 are now marginally in the red and the Nikkei is down -0.27%, while the ASX is clinging on to a marginal gain. Not much enthusiasm amid investors then in Asia, although FTSE 100 and U.S. futures are moving higher. Sterling remains under pressure as the election gets nearer and May’s lead in the polls declines, but that is supporting the FTSE 100, which is dominated by large multinationals. Better than expected consumer confidence data overnight, also adds support. And so far the weaker Pound hasn’t hurt Gilts, which outperformed again yesterday. In the Eurozone, yesterday’s source story suggesting that the ECB will up its growth assessment in June helped to counterbalance Draghi’s dovish comments from Monday, which had rekindled concerns about the health of the economy, and that helped Bund futures to come back from lows and spreads to come in and today’s expected decline in the Eurozone HICP reading to just 1.4% will add further support. The data calendar also has French and Italian inflation numbers, as well as German retail sales and labour market data.
FX Update: Sterling took a 0.5% clobber on a UK election poll form YouGov suggesting that the support for the Tory party had fallen again, to the point that the governing party would loose its majority at the June-8 election and leave Britain with a hung parliament (with the Tories at 310 seats, down from the 330 seats it presently has and below the 326 level needed for a majority, and versus 257 seats for Labour). The poll does contrast other surveys pointing to the Conservatives wining, though will likely see sterling continue to underperform into the election. Cable logged a 1.2787 low, bringing last week’s near six-week low at 1.2774 back into scope. Elsewhere, the narrow USD index is showing a modest gain on the day after falling yesterday following a mixed-bag of U.S. data. EURUSD lifted above 1.1100 during the Asia session before settling in the upper 1.10s, up on yesterday’s 13-day low at 1.1066. USDJPY popped back above 111.0 during Tokyo trade, extending the rebound from yesterday’s 13-day low at 110.66. Japanese industrial production rose 4% m/m in the preliminary estimate for April, up form the 1.9% m/m decline in March but below the Reuters median forecast for a 4.3% growth outcome.
U.S. reports: revealed a firm April round of personal income figures with a strong trajectory of consumption into Q2, though the report also incorporated big downward Q2-Q3 income revisions seen in Friday’s GDP report. We saw a May consumer confidence drop to a still-robust 117.9 from 119.4 in April and a 16-year high of 124.9 in March, leaving confidence above prior readings of 116.1 in February and 111.6 in January. The Dallas Fed index rose 17.2 from 16.8 in April, versus an 11-year high of 24.5 in February, while the ISM-adjusted Dallas Fed rose more sharply to a 2-year high of 55.4 from 53.8 in April, with a 6-year high of 15.7 for the workweek.
Main Macro Events Today
- Eurozone HICP – The Eurozone number is expected to fall to 1.5% y/y from 1.9% y/y in April. If this is confirmed this would be once again firmly below the ECB’s 2% limit for price stability and thus give Draghi and Praet, who remain cautious with regard to any changes in the forward guidance something to argue with at the June meeting. Growth may be stabilising and strengthening, but the inflation trajectory still looks subdued, especially as oil price forecasts on which the March ECB staff projections were based, turned out to be too high.
- Canada Q1 GDP – Q1 GDP expected to accelerate to a 3.9% pace (q/q, saar) from the 2.6% growth rate in Q4. The expected gain would be close to the BoC’s estimate of 3.8% but well short of the 4.5% pace implied by the monthly GDP series.
- US Chicago PMI and Pending Homes – May Chicago PMI, seen slipping to 57.0 from 58.3, along with April NAR pending home sales at 0.3% rise from -0.8%.
- Fedspeak & Fed’s Beige Book – Dallas Fed hawk Kaplan (voter) will speak on international economics at 12 GMT. Additionally, the Beige Book for the June 13-14 FOMC will be released and should retain the modest-to-moderate mantra with reference to growth, with all 12 Districts likely repeating gains
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