European Outlook: Risk appetite turned negative during the Asian session, with equity markets, including U.S. index futures, turning lower from record highs. This backdrop will likely put pressure on EGB yields from the open. The European calendar today features a flood of data releases, highlighted by advance Q2 GDP figures out of France and Spain, and preliminary inflation figures for July from various key economies out of the Eurozone, which will be a big focus for markets given the ECB’s course to taper QE. French HICP is expected unchanged at 0.8% y/y, and German HICP is seen at holding at 1.5% y/y, which would also be unchanged from the previous month. Data in line with our expectations would not likely elicit much market reaction. The Eurozone also has the latest business climate survey for July, where the headline is expected at 100.9, down from 111.1 in the previous month.
FX Update: The Swiss franc tumbled for a four-straight session, driving EURCHF to a 1.1363 high, a level not seen since the SNB abandoned its former 1.2000 floor in January 2015. USDCHF, meanwhile, rallied to a one-month peak, at 0.9721. The price action affirms the sentiment sea-change that’s been afoot this week, underpinned by a combo of a more confident euro outlook coupled with a -0.75% deposit rate in Switzerland. Elsewhere, EUR-USD has been playing a narrow range in the upper 1.16s, roughly a big figure below the 30-month high that was seen yesterday at 1.1776. USDJPY settled back near 111.00, a level that has seemingly been exerting gravitation pull over the last week or so, with attempted rebounds failing to sustain during the week. The six-week low seen on Monday at 1110.62 remains in the frame. A tumble in equity markets, with Asian bourses and U.S. equity index futures down today, provided the yen some support. A flood of data out of Japan were mostly encouraging, though CPI remained low, with the BoJ-monitored core figure coming in at just 0.4% y/y, unchanged from May and meeting the median forecast.
U.S. reports: revealed upside surprises for the durable goods and advance indicators reports for trade and inventories that boosted Q2 GDP estimates to 3.0% from 2.6%, though another lofty initial claims reading suggests that auto retooling is unlikely to boost this year’s July data. For durables, we saw a 6.5% June orders pop thanks to a 19.0% Boeing-led transportation orders surge, though we saw a 0.2% ex-transportation rise that tracked estimates. The report was robust thanks to strong equipment data. For the advance indicators, we saw an export-led $1.0 bln upside June trade surprise and big 0.6% June gains for both wholesale and retail inventories. Initial claims rose 10k to 244k in the fourth week of July, leaving what is now a 242k July average, following similar prior averages of 243k in June, 241k in May, and 243k in April. The July nonfarm payroll forecast remains at approximately 190k.
Main Macro Events Today
- U.S. GDP & ECI – The first release on Q2 GDP is out today and should reveal a 2.6% headline for the quarter following a 1.4% pace in Q1. Consumption looks poised for stronger growth during the quarter and expected a 1.2%, up from 2.4% in Q1. Q2 employment cost data expected at 0.6% headline that follows a 0.8% clip in Q1. This would have the y/y pace of growth at 2.3%, down from 2.4% in Q1. Wages and salaries as well as benefit costs are both expected to expand at a 0.5% clip for the quarter from 0.8% and 0.7% respectively in Q1.
- Prel. German Inflation – Eurozone inflation remains far below the ECB’s definition of price stability and July preliminary HICP readings from Germany, France and Spain are likely to indicate that this won’t change soon. We see headline readings unchanged from June at 1.5% y/y in Germany, 0.8% y/y in France and 1.6% y/y in Spain, which would point to a steady Eurozone reading (due next week) of 1.3% in July.
- Canada GDP – GDP is expected to improve 0.2% m/m in May after the 0.2% improvement in April. An 1.1% rise in May retail sales volumes followed a 1.1% rise in manufacturing volumes. There was a 0.8% gain in wholesale shipment volumes during May. But housing starts tumbled to 195.0k in May from 214.8k in April, suggestive of a negative contribution from construction. The outlook for mining, oil and gas production is negative. Energy export values fell 9.0% m/m in May after growing 3.9% m/m in in April.
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