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European Outlook: Asian stock markets are mixed, with Hang Seng and CSI 300 outperforming amid a rebound in tech stocks. Nikkei and ASX are in the red, the former dragged down by companies trading ex-dividend. U.K. and U.S. stock futures are moving higher, pointing to early gains on European stock markets, which are likely to keep upward pressure on Bund yields also as the most recent dip in the EUR won’t prevent the ECB from reigning in asset purchase volumes from next year. Today’s calendar has Eurozone M3 and credit growth numbers, as well as Italian confidence data and the U.K. CBI retailing survey. In Germany the focus will remain on the fallout from the election as Merkel faces tough coalition talks.

US reports: U.S. consumer confidence slipped to 119.8 from 120.4 (122.9) in August but a similar 120.0 in July, as the measure takes a likely hurricane hit. All the confidence surveys have strengthened sharply in 2017 despite some moderation from Q1 peaks, and what is now a small September setback after an August updraft. Consumer confidence remains close to the 16-year high of 124.9 in March. Confidence, producer sentiment and small business optimism have climbed since October of 2016 in the face of a factory rebound that is trimming excess capacity, equity and home price gains, and fiscal policy relief. The rise has defied restraint in GDP growth from ongoing inventory weakness. The 3.4% August U.S. new home sales drop to an expected 560k rate followed net downward revisions to leave a slightly weaker than expected report. The August new home sales drop included a 4.7% decline in the south, and Harvey and Irma will likely depress sales through September before a Q4 bounce.

Fed Chair Yellen: said the Fed should be “wary of moving too gradually,” in her written remarks on Inflation, Uncertainty, and Monetary Policy before the NABE annual conference. So far the gradual approach has been appropriate due to the subdued pace of inflation, but low prices likely reflect factors that should fade. Meanwhile, she added that it is “imprudent” to keep policy on hold until inflation hits the 2% target. There are risks of overheating without modest rate hikes over time. Persistent easy policy can hurt financial stability. There was the usual caveat, however, that persistently low inflation could lead to a slower pace of tightenings. Nevertheless, the gist of her comments, and the leanings of the FOMC back at the September 19, 20 meeting, pretty much confirm a December tightening, unless there is some development between now and then to take if off the table. She also noted that the Fed’s inflation goal is symmetric and that the 2% level is not a ceiling. It would not be a tragedy to see inflation overshoot, she said.

Main Macro Events Today

  • US  Goods & Home Sales – ECB’s Praet speaking in “ Good Pension Design” lecture at 2nd ECB Annual Research Conference in Frankfurt
  • BOC– Bank of Canada Governor Poloz speaks today. His speech follows Deputy Governor Lane’s speech last week, who perhaps signalled a more gradualist approach to rate hikes ahead. Lane said the Bank is paying close attention to the impact of the stronger Canadian dollar and that possible changes to NAFTA are a key source of uncertainty for Canada’s outlook. The loonie has seen a slight unwinding relative to the greenback since the Sep 8 announcement while the downside risk from NAFTA changes has been in play since last November’s U.S. election. Of course, mention of both those subjects (loonie, NAFTA) could be meaningful.
  • RBNZ Rates – The Case-Shiller home price index is forecast to rise 0.1% in July. Consumer confidence is set to slip to 120.0 in September vs 122.9. And new home sales may drop 1.9% to a 588k pace in August.


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Andria Pichidi

Market Analyst


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