European Outlook: Asian stock markets headed south even as rate hike expectations are being pushed out, as investors turn their focus on U.S. politics and rising doubts over Trump’s reform agenda. In China markets continued to fret about the prospect of tighter regulations and Sunac China Holdings Ltd came under pressure in Hong Kong amid media reports that banks are looking into the company’s credit risk. A stronger Yen meanwhile weighed on exporters as markets re-opened after a long weekend, although it was the AUD that outperformed. U.K. and U.S. stock futures are also down, while oil prices are holding marginally above USD 46 per barrel. Today’s calendar has German ZEW investor sentiment as well as the ECB’s bank lending survey, while the U.K. has inflation numbers for June. The ECB meeting on Thursday continues to hang over Eurozone markets, with investors concerned that Draghi may already drop the easing bias on QE.
U.S. reports: U.S. Empire State manufacturing index dropped 10.0 points to 9.8 in July, lower than expected, after rebounding 20.8 points to 19.8 in June. The latter was the highest since September 2014. Declines were broad-based. The employment component fell for a third consecutive month, sliding to 3.9 from 7.7, with the workweek at unchanged from 8.5. New orders fell to 13.3 from 18.1. But, prices paid edged up to 21.3 from 20.0, with prices received at 11.0 from 10.8. The 6-month general business outlook index eased to 34.9 from 41.7, with employment at 11.8 from 12.3. The future new order index was 33.4 from 42.2, with prices paid at 30.7 from 33.1 and prices received at 15.7 from 13.8. Capital expenditures are at 15.0 from 20.8, with technology spending at 11.8 from 11.5.
Final June EMU HICP inflation was confirmed at 1.3% y/y, in line with the preliminary number and down from 1.4% y/y in May. The breakdown confirmed that the deceleration in the headline rate was mainly due to lower energy price inflation, which dropped back to just 1.9% y/y from 4.5% y/y in the previous month. Services price inflation meanwhile accelerated to 1.6% y/y. Still, while core inflation moved up from the 0.9% y/y in May, at 1.1% y/y it remains far below the ECB’s 2% limit for price stability and prices for non-energy industrial goods rose just 0.4% y/y, so plenty there for the doves at the ECB to argue with. Against that background Draghi is likely to stick to the message from June at this week’s council meeting and try to calm tapering nerves ahead of the summer break.
Main Macro Events Today
- German ZEW – ZEW investor confidence today is likely to reflect market concerns about the impact of tapering as global central banks eye exit steps. A slight decline in the headline July number to 18.3 is expected from June’s 18.6. Those are still strong level, indicating that optimists outnumber pessimists, and so should not spark fresh growth concerns, although after some disappointing U.S. data and cautious comments from Yellen, it will underpin the halt in the rise in yields.
- UK PPI & CPI – The June inflation report expected with headline CPI to remain at 2.9% y/y, a four-year high. The sharp y/y weakening in sterling following the Brexit vote in June last year has kindled inflation, and at least three of the current eight-member MPC committee (normally nine, with one position currently vacant) are now itching to reverse last August’s 25 bp cut in the repo rate. The PPI for June expected to decrease at -1.0% from -1.3% last month.
- BoE Gov. Carney – BoE Governor Carney will give a speech today at the unveil of the new £10 note, in Hampshire.
- US Trade Data & NAHB – The June trade price data will be of interest. Import prices are forecast falling 0.5% after dipping 0.3% in May, with petroleum the main factor behind the weakness. Export prices should edge up 0.1% following a 0.7% drop in May where declines in food and ag prices weighed. Other releases for today are the NAHB homebuilder survey for July and May Treasury capital flows .
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