European Outlook: Markets are back in the grip of risk aversion and Asian stock markets headed south after losses on Wall Street and Europe yesterday. Eurozone stocks in particular sold off Thursday after the unexpected rise in German HICP rekindled ECB tapering concerns. Quarter end positioning that saw tech shares leading declines added to pressure on stock markets, while central bank concerns means bond futures are falling in tandem with stocks. Eurozone spreads blew out yesterday again and with global central banks eying exit steps yields are likely to continue to trend higher going ahead. Today’s busy calendar has June inflation data for France and the Eurozone, French consumer spending, the Swiss KOF leading indicator as well as German labour market data and the final reading of U.K. Q1 GDP.
US reports: revealed an upside Q1 GDP surprise led by big upward consumption and net export revisions and a downward set of deflator adjustments that also lifted Q1 “real” growth. We also saw surprising Q1 inventory weakness that boosts prospects for GDP growth in Q2 and Q3, though we will keep these estimates at 2.8% and 3.4% respectively. We saw a disappointing 2k uptick in initial claims to 244k to leave a relatively elevated start to the annual vehicle sector retooling period, which we still think will depress initial claims into mid-July, and the weekly Bloomberg consumer comfort index fell to 48.6 from 49.4.
Japan’s core CPI improved to an 0.4% y/y pace in May from the 0.3% growth rate in April. The modest pick-up was roughly as expected. National CPI grew at a 0.4% y/y clip in May, matching the 0.4% rate in April. But Tokyo core CPI (ex-fresh food, but energy is included in Japan “core”) was flat (0.0%) in June after the 0.1% gain in May. Tokyo CPI was also flat in June on the heels of the 0.2% y/y gain in May. The lack of growth in both measures of Tokyo CPI during June suggests a similar sputtering of national CPI growth in June, which could further distance the BoJ from the hawkishness that has gripped the BoC, Fed and ECB recently. The unemployment rate rose to 3.1% in May from 2.8% in April. Household spending dipped 0.1% y/y in May following the 1.4% drop in April. Industrial production tumbled 3.3% m/m in May (preliminary) after a 4.0% rise in April. USD-JPY saw minimal movement on the reports — the pair ticked above 112.0 from just below, reversed at 112.11 to slip back to 112.0 currently. The Nikkei 225 is 1.1% lower, taking its cue from the losses on Wall Street during New York’s session Thursday.
German May retail sales came in a tad better than anticipated, with sales rebounding 0.5% m/m, after falling -0.2% m/m in April. The three months trend rate rose to 1.1% from 1.0% in the three months to April. The annual rate still fell back to 1.2% y/y from 1.4% y/y. Nevertheless, a robust number, although official retail sales are a volatile indicator and only cover a part of consumption. Consumer confidence indicators meanwhile have been buoyant, suggesting ongoing support from private consumption to domestic demand and overall growth.
Main Macro Events Today
- UK Final GDP & Current Account – The final release of Q1 GDP, expect to come in unrevised at 0.2% q/q and 2.0% y/y (medians same). The Current Account for Q1 expected at £-17.250 B from £-12.088B.
- EU CPI – A slight deceleration expected in the Eurozone headline rate to 1.2% y/y from 1.4%. The ECB already scaled down its inflation projections thanks to lower oil prices and even if there is an upside surprise, as with the German numbers yesterday, it won’t change the ECB policy path, as the QE schedule is already laid out for the rest of the year and tapering is widely expected to start in January 2018.
- CAD GDP – GDP expected to improve 0.2% m/m in April after the 0.5% run-up in March. Projection is a notable slowing from the 3.7% growth rate in Q1, it would equate to still solid momentum in Canada’s economy. An as-expected report will underpin the Bank’s “encouraging” narrative on the economy, supportive of the BoC’s aggressively hawkish turn this month.
- US PCE, Chicago PMI & UoM Sentiment (Revised) – Personal income is set to rise 0.3% in May from 0.4%, while PCE spending rises 0.1% from 0.4%. Also out are Chicago PMI, which may dip to 58.0 in June from 59.4, with Michigan sentiment (final) June read seen steady at 94.5.
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