Macro events & news for October 22, 2015

October 22, 2015

FX News Today

French business confidence mixed, with the overall headline number unexpectedly rising to 101 from 100, but manufacturing confidence falling to 103 from 104 and the production outlook indicator slumping to 2 in October, while the September reading was revised down to 5 from 7 reported initially. The own company production outlook held up better, with the reading declining only slightly to 13 from 14 in the previous month, highlighting that concerns about global developments and the slowdown in emerging markets rather than actual weakness at company level are the main factors.

Bank of Canada Constructive on Growth as Forces Awaken. The Bank of Canada maintained the 0.50% setting for the overnight rate target, matching widespread expectations. While the growth projections for 2016 and 2017 were trimmed, the outlook remains constructive as the projected recovery in Canada’s economy takes hold. The return to full capacity was moved ahead to mid-2017 but Governor Poloz explained that the shift was within the range anticipated in July. The bank is comfortable with the current state of policy and the economy, content to remain on the sidelines as the forces unleashed by 50 basis points in rate cuts in the first half of this year continue to ease the adjustment to lower oil and commodity prices.

BoC Poloz praised the constructive evolution of the economy, answering a question on just how high the debt to income ratio can go. He noted that Canada does not have much experience with ratios this high, but that other countries run higher ratios (not that he’s saying higher ratios are ok, he added). But he is pleased the Bank identified the right forces in the economy when things were uncertain in January. Those forces continue to growth, he noted, and the constructive evolution gets the economy back to better growth. On the CAD, he said the currency has been moving roughly in-line with the terms of trade (ToT), which it has done historically. He noted that “roughly” comes with lots of advisement, as the zone around ToT movements is not trivial. Further solidifying his status as one of the most entertaining of the current crop of central bankers, he likened these moves to walking a dog with a stretchy leash — you get footprints (from the dog) that are not straight like a railroad track. His Q&A has ended.

Main Macro Events Today

ECB Rates Decision: ECB seen on hold, focus on presser. We expect the central bank to stay on hold today, as does the overwhelming majority of analysts in the latest Bloomberg survey, with only one expecting further easing measures already this week. This does not mean that an extension or expansion of the QE program will be off the table however and Draghi’s comments at the press conference will likely strike a fine balance between justifying the current wait and see stance and assuring markets that the ECB is ready and willing to act again if necessary. Comments suggest that the low inflation environment is once again becoming a concern and December, when the updated set of economic projections is due, will become a major focal point for a decision on additional steps. US Initial Jobless Claims: Claims data for the week of October 17 is out today and should reveal an increase to 264k (median 265k) from 255k last week. We expect the average for October to be 270k from 269k in September. This supports our call for a 190k employment headline which would follow a 142k increase in September. US Existing Home Sales: September existing home sales data today should reveal a 1.7% increase to a 5.400 mln (median 5.350 mln) headline following a 5.310 mln August figure and 5.580 mln in July which set a high back to 2007. Other housing measures are coming in mixed for the month with the NAHB holding steady at 61 in September, starts rising to 1.206 mln but permits slowing to 1.103 mln

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