European Outlook: Asian stock markets are mostly posting losses. Japanese stocks dropped as the Yen surged to the highest level in more than a month, but it was Australia’s ASX that posted the sharpest losses, as the RBA left rates on hold as expected and highlighted that “slow growth in real wages” is weighing on consumption. Hang Seng and CSI 300 managed to move higher, underpinned by developers. U.S. and U.K. stock futures, however, are also heading south. After a long run, higher equity markets are turning cautious amid lingering concerns over the global growth outlook and ahead of key monetary policy decisions in Europe and the U.S. as well as the U.K. election on Thursday, with the latter looking tighter than expected. Oil extended declines as traders shrugged off the impact of Qatar’s isolation. The front end WTI future is currently trading at USD 47.12 per barrel.
US reports: revealed a firm round of May ISM-NMI figures, while March U.S. factory goods data fell slightly short of assumptions in April after small upward March revisions across factory orders, shipments and inventories to leave a neutral report. The April data for factory orders, shipments, and inventories were a tad light, and though the expected Q1 productivity boost to a flat figure from a 0.6% decline, there was also a huge downwards Q4 revisions in hourly compensation and unit labor costs that were a bit bigger than expected after the last income report. For the ISM-NMI, the headline slipped to a still-firm 56.9 in May from 57.5, while the ISM-adjusted ISM-NMI fell slightly to 56.3 from an 18-month high of 56.5.
Eurozone May composite PMI confirmed at 56.8, as expected, with the services reading revised up slightly to 56.3 from 56.2 reported initially. The services PMI still fell back slightly in April, but the composite held steady not just versus the preliminary number but also April. Readings suggest a consolidation of overall growth at high levels, with growth continuing to run at the fastest pace in six years and supported by strong growth of incoming new business, which will add to the arguments of the hawks at the ECB on Thursday. Germany and France were the main driver, with German growth underpinned by a robust manufacturing sector and French growth driven by the services sector. Both countries also reported stronger rates of overall job creation, which is encouraging, and suggests companies continue to invest in the recovery.
UK Election: Conservatives lead at 11 points according to the latest survey by ICM, with support for the Conservative Party’s at 45% versus 34% for the Labour Party. The survey was conducted between Friday and Sunday, with some of the response coming after the terrorist attack on Saturday night in London. The outcome is down 12 point lead that the previous ICM poll showed, though is well up on the poll by Survation that showed the Conservatives with only a 6 point advantage over Labour, and is more consistent with the FT’s poll tracker, which shows the Conservatives at 44% versus Labour’s 36%.
Main Macro Events Today
- US JOLTS – April JOLTS, a favorite of Chair Yellen, will nevertheless be overlooked as the report is two months in arrears. April JOLTS, expected at 5.650M from 5.743M reported for March.
- Canadian Ivey PMI – The Ivey PMI is expected to improve to a seasonally adjusted 62.0 in May from 62.4 in April.
- NZD GDT – New Zealand’s Q1 manufacturing report may be of some interest today, which expected to present a 0.3% rise from 0.8% presented last time.
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