European Outlook: Stock markets stabilized yesterday, after “ECB sources” played down Draghi’s comments on possible policy changes and after Eurozone peripherals bounced back during the PM session, Wall Street also closed higher, followed by broad gains on Asian markets overnight. U.K. stock futures are also up, after the FTSE 100 underperformed yesterday on hawkish Carney comments. That doesn’t seem to have curtailed the wider bounce back in risk appetite. Eurozone yields also came off the highs seen in the wake of Draghi’s original comments and Bund futures moved sideways during after hour trade. Gilts moved higher again yesterday and even if there are periods of stabilization, yields are likely to continue to trend higher as global central banks cautiously eye exit steps. Today’s will give both doves and hawks something to argue with as EMU ESI confidence is seen rising again, while German June HICP inflation is expected to fall back further below the 2% mark. The U.K. has BoE lending data.
US reports: U.S. pending home sales fell 0.8% to 108.5 in May following the 1.7% decline in April to 109. This is a third straight monthly decline and the index has fallen in four of the five months of 2017 to date. The National Association of Realtors blames much of the weakness in sale to a lack of inventory. U.S. goods trade deficit narrowed to -$65.9 in May, surprising forecasts for little change, after widening to -$67.1 bln in April. May exports increased 0.4% to $127.1 bln after dropping 0.9% to $126.6 bln in April. Imports dipped 0.4% to $193.0 bln following the prior 1.0% increase to $193.8 bln. The data suggest upside risk to GDP forecasts. Lastly, U.S. MBA mortgage market index sank 6.2% in data released earlier, along with a 4.1% drop in the purchase index and a 8.6% plunge in the refinancing index for the week ended June 23. Yet the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage was unchanged at 4.13%. That could be a risky omen considering that home prices remain elevated and inventories low, even as the Fed continues to push on a string in terms of interest rates.
ECB officials suggest markets misjudged Draghi comments. According to a Bloomberg reports citing unnamed ECB policy makers Draghi’s speech yesterday was intended to strike a balance between recognizing economic strength and warning that monetary support is still needed. So after Draghi’s reference to possible policy changes served as a reminder that tapering announcements were merely postponed, not cancelled at the last meeting, we are now likely to get more comments from officials referencing Dragh’s insistence that any change will be prudent and gradual and that in times of strengthening growth, this could still mean that the degree of stimulus will remain unchanged. Draghi clearly remains eager to dampen the impact of tapering talk, despite yesterday’s comments
Main Macro Events Today
- Eurozone ESI – ESI Economic Confidence is seen rising slightly to 109.5 from 109.2, after better than anticipated preliminary consumer confidence data and as PMI readings suggested improving manufacturing confidence and a soberer assessment in the services sector.
- German HCPI – Italian HICP readings suggest downside risks to the remaining June inflation numbers, so German HICP expected to come with a downside bias of 1.3% y/y. Still, the ECB has already acknowledged the fact that oil prices are lower and adjusted its inflation projections accordingly.
- U.S. GDP, Jobless Claims – US Q1 GDP may stay unchanged on the third revision at 1.2%. Similarly, initial jobless claims expected to slightly drop to 240K from 241K.
- JPY CPI, Jobless Rate, Prel. Industrial Production – CPI is expected to reveal ongoing sluggishness in Japan’s inflation backdrop, consistent with no change in BoJ accommodation for quite some time yet. May consumer prices are seen improving to a 0.5% y/y rate of increase from 0.4% in April. May unemployment is anticipated at a 2.8%, identical to April. PCE is expected to post a 0.8% y/y decline in May after the 1.4% April drop. Industrial production is pegged to reverse 3.2% m/m in the preliminary report for May after the 4.0% final gain for April.
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