Central banks to be called upon again
The final months of the year are going to be extremely challenging for the global economy, with experts predicting another significant wave of Covid-19 which risks further restrictions around the world at the expense of businesses that are already struggling to cope. Central banks are likely to be called upon again before the end of the year and while the ECB opted against laying the groundwork for more stimulus, others may not be so hesitant. With the Fed adopting a slightly modified framework, more easing could be coming.
Key Economic Events
Saturday, Sept. 5
-Italian think tank the European House continues its forum in Cernobbio. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, and German Deputy Finance Minister Joerg Kukies are expected to speak
Monday, Sept. 14
-OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report is released with updates to their demand forecasts and production estimates.
-ECB Chief Economist Philip Lane participates in a fireside chat hosted by SUERF, the European Money and Finance Forum.
-Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party is expected to vote Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s replacement.
- New Zealand performance of services index, Westpac consumer confidence, net migration
- Euro-area industrial production
- China new home prices
- Japan tertiary industry index, industrial production, capacity utilization
- India wholesale prices, CPI
- Turkey industrial production
- Hong Kong industrial production, PPI
Tuesday, Sept. 15
-The Federal Open Market Committee begins their two-day policy meeting.
-ECB Executive Board member Panetta delivers a recorded video statement at the 24th Annual Economist Government Roundtable in Athens.
- US empire manufacturing, industrial production
- Canada manufacturing sales
- Germany ZEW survey
- UK unemployment
- South Korea export and import price indexes
- Australia Roy Morgan consumer confidence
- Australia RBA minutes of policy meeting, house price index
- China industrial production, fixed assets, property investment, jobless, retail sales
- India trade
- Poland CPI, rate decision
Wednesday, Sept. 16
– The upcoming Fed meeting could reveal some hints as to what needs to happen before policymakers are ready to raise rates.
-The OECD presents new economic forecasts for G-20 economies.
– EIA crude oil inventory report
-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears before Parliament’s powerful liaison committee to discuss the coronavirus crisis and tricky Brexit negotiations.
-ECB Governing Council member Robert Holzmann speaks in New York.
- US retail sales, net TIC flows
- U.K. inflation rate
- Canada CPI
- New Zealand BoP
- Japan trade
- South Africa retail sales
- Australia Westpac leading index
Thursday, Sept. 17
– Bank of England rate decision. BOE policy makers are expected to keep policy unchanged while laying the groundwork for more easing later in the year.
– Bank of Japan expected to keep rates unchanged and to keep supporting the corporate sector.
– The South African central bank (SARB) is likely to cut rates by 25 bps and downgrade their outlook for the rest of the year.
– ECB Governing Council member Olli Rehn speaks in Helsinki.
– The Economic Club of New York hosts a webinar with Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser.
- US Weekly jobless claims, housing starts
- New Zealand GDP, non-resident bond holdings
- Singapore non-oil domestic exports, electronics exports
- South Africa rate decision
- China Swift global payments yuan
- UK retail sales
- Australia unemployment, RBA FX transactions
- Japan rate decision, condominium sales, department store sales
- Hong Kong unemployment
- Hong Kong rate decision
Friday, Sept. 18
– Quadruple witching day for US markets means trading volatility will be elevated.
- US leading index, Univ. of Michigan sentiment, Baker Hughes rig count
- Canada wholesale trade sales, retail sales
- Japan CPI
- Russia rate decision: Expected to keep Key Rate unchanged at 4.25%
Sovereign Rating Updates:
– Belgium (S&P)
– Spain (S&P)
– European Union (Moody’s)
– Spain (Moody’s)
Following Jackson Hole, the Fed’s September policy decision will likely emphasize policymakers are ready to do more, but will wait to see if the economic recovery completely stalled and if Capitol Hill was able to accomplish anything with the next round of fiscal stimulus. Many investors will pay close attention to the Fed’s forecasts which will have them improve their employment outlook. At the June meeting, the Fed estimated unemployment will be at 9.3% by the end of 2020. After the August nonfarm payroll report, Wall Street and the Fed were stunned to see the unemployment rate improved dramatically to 8.4%. The Fed will have to acknowledge the improvement with the labor market and traders will look to see if low interest rates might only last a couple years.
Not much has changed in the polls following the Republican convention as President Trump still trails Joe Biden in six swing states. Right now, Biden has low-single digit leads in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The first Presidential debate is not until September 29th, so the focus will fall on the several upcoming campaigning events.
The European Central Bank offered a more upbeat view on the outlook for growth and inflation than had been expected and warned that deflationary pressures are only temporary. In the days leading up to the meeting, it had been rumoured that policy makers were falling in line with that train of thought and it turned out to be correct. The euro rallied strongly on Thursday in response before going into reverse.
The central bank made clear that it doesn’t target fx rates, effectively telling the market it’s safe to take a run at 1.20 against the dollar. Traders may decide there’s no rush though, with the pair having rallied strongly in recent months and shaping up for a possible correction in the near term. Plenty of time to see whether the data improves, particularly on the inflation side, and how bad the Covid situation becomes heading into the dreaded winter months.
Another unsuccessful week of talks this week that was overshadowed by the UK government’s baffling decision to introduce legislation into Parliament that undermines the Withdrawal agreement struck earlier this year and break international law. The Internal Market Bill has struck a nerve not just in Brussels but in the UK as well, including among some Brexit backing Conservatives, both in the House and the Lords. If this is a negotiating tactic by the UK government, it doesn’t seem a very good one as it tells anyone they’re hoping to strike a trade deal with, including the EU, that the country isn’t good for its word. Puzzling to say the least and maybe one of the more embarrassing u-turns facing the government in the coming weeks.
The UK grew by 6.6% month on month in July, the third consecutive positively monthly reading as it continues to bounce back from the devastation of the second quarter as the country went into lockdown. The economy remains 11.7% smaller than it was in February though so there’s still a long way to go. With more restrictions likely over winter, it may take some time to make up the deficit.
On a more upbeat note, the UK struck its first post-Brexit trade deal with Japan as it seeks to make a success of leaving the EU. The deal puts zero tariffs on 99% of exports to Japan and reportedly expands on the agreement negotiated with the EU.
The Bank of England meeting next week will be eyed for hints about further easing later this year, with the last increase in the QE program in need of a boost. The central bank has discussed negative rates but more purchases is currently viewed as the preferred option.
TikTok sales deadline this week. They will inevitably have to ask for an extension from the US. A refusal and outright shutdown in the US will ratchet up the geopolitical temperature once again.
China Industrial Production and Retail Sales are expected to show slight improvements which should confirm that China’s recovery is on track and lift sentiment in the region.
China and India’s Himalaya standoff is a potential negative shock not priced by markets.
Arrests continue under new HK security law, but are being completely ignored by financial markets. Industrial Production expected to shrink by 9.50% highlighting Hong Kong’s recession and the challenges it has ahead in the new world order.
Social distancing measures may be lifted next week, boosting domestic consumption, and possibly, HK consumer discretionary stocks.
Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on the domestic economy, heightening fears about growth as the stability of the banking system. India has become the no 2 infected country with no end in sight.The Indian Rupee’s appreciation has stalled over economic concerns and with Dollar strength last week.
India inflation data is released on Monday with CPI expected to climb to 7.0%, well above the 6% RBI target. With falling growth and rising prices, India’s immediate economic threat is stagflation. A high print for inflation will escalate those fears possibly leading to selling of Indian equities and currency. Having said that, international interest remains high in accessing India’s e-commerce sector.
China and India’s Himalaya standoff is a potential negative shock not priced by markets.
The New Zealand covid-19 outbreak is bartering but the New Zealand Dollar is coming under pressure as expectations rise that the RBNZ will move to negative interest rates by the year’s end. NZ GDP to show 7% QoQ fall this week, although more recent data shows activity rebounding quickly.
A rise in Covid-19 cases in Auckland, or their emergence elsewhere in the country, will have a strong negative impact on the NZD and NZ equities.
Trade relations with China continue to worsen with two Australian reporters evacuated by the government last week from Beijing. The deteriorating relations are weighing on Australian equities with the currency retreating in the face of a stronger US Dollar.
Australian Employment Change on Thursday expected to show a 90k jump. Notoriously volatile, poor numbers will cause short-term selling pressure on the currency and equities.
Victoria State’s lockdown seems to have been priced into Australian markets now..
Abe’s successor will be announced this Monday September 14th with Cabinet Secretary Suga the favorite. Little will change fiscally. The new PM will almost certainly have to fight a new general election in October.
Bank of Japan rate decision on Thursday. We expect unchanged at -0.10% with little to no new insight into future monetary policy. With a new Prime Minister selected on Monday, the BoJ is unlikely to rock the boat in his first week in the office.
Heavy data schedule. Industrial Production will recover slightly, core inflation will ease but the Balance of Payments will rise sharply. None of this will be enough to move the BoJ’s hands.
Oil is in correction mode but has steadied over the last couple of days after plunging more than 15% late last week and early this. Numerous reasons were given for the fall but the reality in situations like this is that there were a lot of stale long positions that bailed the minute it started looking a little weak.
That’s fine, perfectly healthy in fact. And we are heading into a challenging winter period for the global economy. A vaccine is needed or it could be a tough few months for oil producers. With prices back below $40, I can’t imagine there’ll be a great rush among producers to further trim output cuts in any significant way.
Gold has enjoyed a decent week after looking very vulnerable early on. A bullish dollar breakout that appeared to be triggering a correction was very problematic for gold but the breakout has stalled quickly, aided by the ECB opting to take a more considered approach than had been previously rumoured.
As we saw immediately after yesterday’s decision though, the dollar quickly bounced back and with some force, potentially signalling that it’s not giving up the correction easily. Gold remains vulnerable and the path of least resistance looks below. It may just take a little time for the dollar to overcome some of the stubborn shorts.
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