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European Outlook: Asian stock markets are hanging on to modest gains, as investors hold back ahead of today’s U.S. jobs report. Hang Seng and CSI stabilized, after being knocked back by profit taking yesterday and Hong Kong is set for a third weekly gain. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index completed is posting an eight-straight month of gains. U.S. futures are also slightly higher, U.K. futures are down, however, after European stocks were knocked back from highs in the PM session yesterday but still managed to close with solid gains. Today’s calendar focuses on manufacturing PMI readings, with the Eurozone number expected to be confirmed at 57.4, and the U.K. reading seen nudging higher to 55.0 from 55.1.

US reports: revealed a largely as-expected personal income report, though with modestly stronger than expected path for “real” consumption, a small PCE chain price undershoot, and a savings rate drop to just 3.5%, alongside a 1k initial claims uptick to a still-lean 236k that signals upside risk for190k August nonfarm payroll estimate. The Chicago PMI remained at the lofty 58.9 July reading, versus a 37-month high of 65.7 in June, and this adds to Friday’s upside risk. Next Thursday an outsized spike in claims is expected with the impact of hurricane Harvey, given shutdowns across the Houston port and petro-chemical complex that could have far-reaching effects across the transportation sector. An assumption of 39k claims rise to 275k has been taken, but with risk of a much larger gain. For prior spikes, we saw gains of 96k with Katrina, 34k with Ike, 25k with Rita, and 22k with Isaac.

Canada‘s second half GDP outlook improved following the strong Q2 and June GDP reports. Consumption revealed the anticipated strong gain in Q2 after a robust Q1. Yet the June GDP report showed another solid month of retail output (+0.8%) after the firm 0.9% May gain, defying expectations that the households would temper spending going into Q3. M&E investment did slow to a 3.6% pace in Q2 (q/q, saar) but after a massive 28.9% surge in Q1. Also, this is the first back to back increase in M&E investment since Q3 and Q4 of 2014. And exports picked-up to a 9.6% clip in Q2 after anemic growth in Q1 (+1.5%) and Q4 (+0.8%). There were no tricks or special factors in Q2, Canada’s growth was/is simply robust. The  Q3 GDP estimate has been lifted to 2.5% from 2.1% and Q4 forecast to 2.3% from 2.1%. Growth is on track for a 3.1% pace in 2017, more than double the 1.5% rate in 2016 and above the BoC’s 2.8% estimate. Yet core inflation remains well below target and risks from abroad have perhaps intensified since July, which should keep the BoC on a gradualist rate hike path. Also, the loonie is likely a concern, as a more hawkish/aggressive path would strengthen the currency and temper the outlook for exporters.

Europe: revealed a steady unemployment rate at 9.1% in July. Jobless numbers have improved steadily and on the whole the labour market is looking better than hoped a year ago, although further structural reforms remain necessary to reduce underlying unemployment and bring countries closer together. At the moment jobless numbers still range from 2.9% in the Czech Republic to over 20% in Greece. The harmonised German rate stands at just 3.7%, while neighbouring France still reports a rate of 9.8%, which is actually up from 9.6% in the previous month. Macron’s government is set to present its plans for a reform of the labour market today, but so far the new French President has failed to live up to expectations. Eurozone Aug HICP inflation rose to 1.5% y/y, a tad higher than initially expected, but not a surprise after national data from Germany, Spain and France. The uptick in the headline rate was mainly driven by a renewed acceleration in annual energy price inflation, which jumped to 4.0% y/y from 2.2% y/y in July.

Main Macro Events Today                

  • EU & UK PMI – The final August Manufacturing PMI is likely to be confirmed at a very strong 57.4 suggesting a fresh acceleration in activity over the summer. In UK, the manufacturing PMI has us anticipating a 55.0 outcome after 55.1 in the prior month. The manufacturing sector has been the relative bright spot in the UK economy, with businesses in the sector benefiting from the increased competitiveness the weaker pound has brought them in export markets, although the consequential cost pressures are being felt on bottom lines, while eroding real wages is curtailment on domestic market potential.
  • US NFP & Employment Rate – Payrolls should rise 180k after July’s 209k gain. That would bring the 2017 average to 185k, not too different than the 194k increase over the same eight months in 2016. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 4.3%, tying the lowest rate since May 2001. Earnings are expected to rise 0.2% following the 0.3% July increase. Data in line with forecasts would be consistent with solid economic growth as the second half of the year begins.
  • US Manufacturing ISM – The August ISM is expected to ease to 56.5 in August after sliding 1.5 points to 56.3 in July. The index is still holding firm and well above the 52.0 in November.


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Andria Pichidi

Market Analyst


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