October 16, 2015
FX News Today
Bund futures are outperforming and yields heading south, while Eurozone spreads narrow, as weak inflation numbers bolster hopes of further ECB easing. Pressure on Draghi to at least set the stage for a widening or extension of the QE program next week are mounting amid the uncertainty about the global growth outlook. Nowotny’s comments yesterday that even core inflation is clearly below target further fuelled speculation of additional measures, although the Austrian central bank head called for structural reforms rather than hinting at ECB action.
The Eurozone posted trade surplus of EUR 19.8 bln in August, down from EUR 22.4 bln in the previous month. Exports were up 6.0% y/y in August, versus nominal import growth of 3.0% y/y, although considering that lower oil prices are suppressing the nominal import bill, real import growth will have been higher.
Eurozone final CPI was confirmed at -0.1% y/y, in line with the preliminary number and down from 0.2% y/y in the previous month. The breakdown confirmed that the drop back into negative territory was driven by a sharp decline in energy prices, which were down -1.7% m/m and -8.9% y/y, versus -7.2% y/y in August. Core inflation remains much higher at 0.9% y/y, but as Nowotny highlighted yesterday, this is also considerably below the ECB’s 2% limit for price stability. So more arguments for the doves at the ECB although the amount of stimulus in the system is already substantial and while central bankers want to keep markets happy they also seem wary of additional action, especially as monetary policy alone can’t fix the Eurozone’s problems.
Main Macro Events Today
- Canada Manufacturing: We expect shipments, due today, to tumble 1.5% m/m in August after the 1.7% gain in July. A 3.6% plunge in exports values provides a compelling reason to forecast a pull-back in manufacturing shipments during August.
- US Industrial Production: September industrial production data is out Friday and we expect a 0.2% (median -0.2%) headline decline for the month which follows a 0.4% decline in August. This would bring capacity utilization down to 77.3% from 77.6% in August. The September employment report was weak and we saw declines in hours worked as well as employment in both manufacturing and mining which will likely weigh on the release.
- US Michigan Consumer Sentiment: The first release on Michigan Sentiment is out on Friday and should reveal a headline increase to 89.0 (median 88.4) from 87.2 in September. The already released IBD/TIPP poll for October improved to 47.3 from 42.0 in September and the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort survey is poised to average 45.0 for the month.
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