Week Ahead: FOMC’s symmetric minutes, German sentiment, UK inflation
The last meeting of the Federal Reserve Committee saw policymakers reaffirming their commitment to letting inflation run hot in order to make up for years of lacklustre price growth. Jerome Powell told reporters after the meeting that “we wanted to underscore our commitment to 2% not being a ceiling, to inflation running symmetrically around 2% and we’re not satisfied with inflation running below 2%”. Expect more underscoring in the minutes, and perhaps more softening of the economic assessment – the post-meeting statement revised its view of consumer spending to “moderate” from “strong” in December.
Germany ZEW sentiment
Industrial production data last week raised further questions over the outlook for the Eurozone. Production fell 4.1% during 2019, and now there’s the added threat of disrupted supply chains thanks to the coronavirus outbreak. Last month’s ZEW sentiment index surged to 26.7 from 10.7 in December, but recent developments suggest that optimism may have been premature.
A soft inflation reading in December had seen markets divided over whether or not the Bank of England was finally about to cut interest rates, having been on hold so long due to Brexit uncertainty. In the end Governor Mark Carney left things unchanged before passing the baton to Andrew Bailey. Another round of soft inflation data this week might not be enough on its own to persuade the Monetary Policy Committee that a rate cut is necessary, but if Friday’s preliminary Markit PMIs also show weakness markets are likely to raise bets on easing soon.
Eyes on OPEC
Oil markets had been hoping that OPEC would ride to the rescue this month, bringing forward its March meeting as the coronavirus outbreak hammers global oil demand. It now seems that this is unlikely, but any rumours to the contrary will still have a strong impact on oil. A change in diagnostic methods last week saw the number of coronavirus cases and deaths race higher, but equities largely shrugged this off. It’s commodities that are bearing the brunt of the economic impact, so key risks remain for oil on virus and OPEC-related headlines.
Heads-Up On Earnings
The following companies are set to publish their quarterly earnings reports this week:
|17th Feb – 21.30 GMT||BHP Billiton||Q2 2020|
|18th Feb – 00.30 GMT||Reserve Bank of Australia Meeting Minutes|
|18th Feb – 04.00 GMT||HSBC Holdings||Q4 2019|
|18th Feb – 09.30 GMT||UK Unemployment Rate, Average Earnings|
|18th Feb – 10.00 GMT||Eurozone/Germany ZEW Survey Results|
|18th Feb – Pre-Market||Walmart||Q4 2020|
|18th Feb – Pre-Market||Medtronic||Q3 2020|
|18th Feb – Pre-Market||Glencore||Q4 2019|
|19th Feb – 09.30 GMT||UK Consumer Price Index|
|19th Feb – 13.30 GMT||Canada Consumer Price Index|
|19th Feb – 19.00 GMT||FOMC Meeting Minutes|
|20th Feb – 00.30 GMT||Australia Employment Change/Unemployment Rate|
|20th Feb – 01.30 GMT||People’s Bank of China Interest Rate Decision|
|20th Feb – 07.00 GMT||Germany GfK Consumer Confidence|
|20th Feb – 09.30 GMT||UK Retail Sales|
|20th Feb – 12.30 GMT||ECB Monetary Policy Meeting Accounts|
|20th Feb – 15.30 GMT||US EIA Natural Gas Storage|
|20th Feb – 16.00 GMT||US EIA Crude Oil Inventories|
|20th Feb||BAE Systems||Q4 2019|
|21st Feb – 06.00 GMT||Allianz||Q4 2019|
|21st Feb – 09.30 GMT||UK Market Flash Composite (Inc Flash Manufacturing/Services PMIs)|
|21st Feb – 10.00 GMT||Eurozone Consumer Price Index|
|21st Feb – Pre-Market||Deere & Co||Q1 20202|
Watch the Week Ahead on XRay
Highlights on XRay this week:
|Daily||08.15 GMT||European Morning Call||Free||Register|
|18th Feb||14.15 GMT||Live Trading Room with Trendsignal||Free||Register|
|18th Feb||16.30-17.10 GMT||Asset in Focus: Oil Gold and Silver||Free||Register|
|19th Feb||12.00 GMT||Midweek Lunch Wrap||Free||Register|
|21st Feb||13.00 GMT||Live Trade Setups with Mark Leigh||Free||Register|
Week Ahead: Inflation headlines heavy data week
Welcome to your guide to the week ahead in the markets.
US & Eurozone inflation
As markets weigh the prospect of more stimulus from global central banks, hard economic data this week will be eyed for any signs that the premise on which market expectations are based is wrong.
Friday sees the release of the flash CPI estimate for the Eurozone. Indications so far do not suggest inflation in the bloc is moving higher. The same day the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, the core PCE measure, is released. Core CPI has been moving up lately but the PCE indicator has remained subdued.
After the G7 summit over the weekend, markets are looking to the EU and Britain for where the next move is on Brexit. MPs return on September 5th but there will be plenty of politicking going on behind closed doors before then.
With Aussie traders looking to the next RBA meeting at the start of September, this week’s download of data will be closely assessed for clues about future rate cuts. Construction work done, building approvals and capital expenditure figures are all set for release in the coming days.
After the end of the trading week on Saturday we get the latest manufacturing and services figures out of China. The key question for risk assets is whether the trade war is still biting down on Chinese expansion.
A batch of US figures are out including core durable goods (Monday), the second reading of the Q2 GDP print (Tuesday), while on Friday we get the Chicago PMI and University of Michigan consumer sentiment reports.
Earnings season is wrapping up, with just a couple of releases this week.
|Aug 26th||Dollar General|
|Aug 28th||Tiffany & Co|
|Aug 28th||Hewlett Packard|
|Aug 29th||Pernod Ricard|
|Aug 29th||Best Buy|
There are plenty of things to look forward to on XRay this week. You can watch live, or subscribe to view on catch up.
|07.15 GMT||Aug 27th||European Morning Call|
|15.30 GMT||Aug 27th||Asset of the Day: Bullion Billions|
|15.45 GMT||Aug 27th||Asset of the Day: Oil Outlook|
|13.00 GMT||Aug 28th||Asset of the Day: Indices Insight|
|07.00 GMT||Aug 29th||Live Trading Room|
There are a lot of dates for the diary this week, including US Core Durable Goods and Eurozone Flash CPI.
|08.00 GMT||Aug 26th||German IFO Business Climate|
|12.30 GMT||Aug 26th||US Core Durable Goods|
|14.00 GMT||Aug 27th||US CB Consumer Confidence|
|01.30 GMT||Aug 28th||Australian Construction Work Done|
|14.30 GMT||Aug 28th||EIA Weekly Crude Oil Inventories|
|01.00 GMT||Aug 29th||ANZ Business Confidence|
|01.30 GMT||Aug 29th||Australia Private Capital Expenditure|
|12.30 GMT||Aug 29th||US Q2 GDP (2nd Reading)|
|09.00 GMT||Aug 30th||Eurozone Flash CPI|
|12.30 GMT||Aug 30th||US PCE Inflation|
Payrolls day: eyes on wage inflation
Data this week from the US has offered some mixed signals. Employment via the ADP private payrolls number was strong, coming at 275k, well ahead of expectations. One cannot always see a direct correlation between the ADP print and the NFP number, but nonetheless it suggests another print at least in line with the 3-month average. Census hiring might skew the numbers to the upside – prepare for a 250k+ print this time as a result, which could cause a little volatility.
Meanwhile the Chicago and ISM PMIs were soft, coming in around their weakest in two years and suggesting some drag in some employment sectors.
Within the ISM numbers the Employment Index fell to 52.4%, a decrease of 5.1 percentage points from the March reading of 57.5%. The Chicago PMI also highlighted weaker employment, with the decline in demand and production matched by reduced demand for labour. The Employment Indicator fell to its lowest level since October 2017, and below the three- and 12-month averages.
PCE figures meanwhile, shows spending accelerated at the fastest pace in almost ten years, rising to 0.9% in March after a 0.1% gain in February. Personal incomes, rose 0.1% in March. Inflation fell to 1.6% from 2%. All told there is perhaps a sense that wages are not squeezing higher as much as expected.
Unemployment shows tightness
On unemployment, initial jobless claims were steady at a seasonally adjusted 230,000 for the week ended April 27th, after jumping 37k the week before, the biggest rise in two years. The four-month moving average of claims has inched up 6,500 to 212,500.
Last month marked a recovery in the headline number as the March figure climbed to 196k from the wobble in February. Wage growth however was much softer than expected, rising 0.1% MoM versus the 0.3% expected. This left annual average wage growth at 3.2%, short of the 3.4% expected which was printed the prior month.
Post-FOMC, the USD is firmer with a push off the 96 handle back towards the 98 handle. For a drive higher for USD we would like require a beat on wage growth more than anything else as big headline jobs number is easy to disregard month to month. In fact it’s hard to get quite as excited about the main NFP print these days, particularly as the numbers can be quite volatile month to month. Focus on the three-month average and the wage data. Also unemployment, should it fall further and highlight further tightening in the labour market will get the Fed’s attention.
GBPUSD is holding the 1.30 handle but a big number on wages may pressure the pair lower and a retreat to the 200-day line around 1.2960.
190k jobs created