Macro Events and News for January 21, 2016

January 21, 2016

FX News Today

The risk roller-coaster resumed in Asia where shares snapped back after Wall Street cut savage Wednesday losses into the close, with Japan’s Nikkei up 1.5% and Hong Kong Hang Seng +1.3%. China’s Shanghai Comp opened over 1.4% lower before rebounding 0.6% into the green after the PBoC injected a heavy dose of 110 bln yuan via 7-day reverse repos and 290 bln via 28-day reverse repos in the largest open market operation in 3-years. Commodities bounced back with crude oil back over $28 bbl, while copper and other industrial metals strengthened. The yen gave up some of its new-found strength as the dollar rose above 117.00 to highs of 117.47, while gold retreated below $1,100.

The 0.111% December US CPI drop with a lean 0.127% core price increase undershot estimates despite the expected 2.4% energy price slip and 0.2% food price decline thanks to a 0.2% apparel price drop that marked a fourth consecutive decline, a 0.1% new vehicle price dip, and a lean 0.1% medical care service price rise.

US housing starts declined 2.5% to 1.149 mln in December following the 10.1% jump in November to 1.179 mln (revised from 1.173 mln), while October’ pace was boosted to 1.071 mln from 1.062 mln. On an annual basis starts are up 6.4% y/y versus 17.1% y/y previously. Single family starts declined 3.3%. Multifamily starts slid 1.0%. Building permits fell 3.9% to 1.232 mln from a revised 1.282 mln (was 1.289 mln). Housing completions bounced 5.6% after two months of declines. The headline starts figure is disappointing, which won’t help investors’ shaky mindset.

Bank of Canada Holds Rates Steady and maintains constructive Outlook: The Bank of Canada held rates steady at 0.50%, maintaining their constructive view on domestic growth as the ongoing adjustment to lower oil and commodity prices is facilitated by already implemented rate cuts and the decent in the loonie. The outlook for global and domestic growth was cautiously upbeat. Our base case remains for no change in rates through year end, although a continuation of rock-bottom oil prices will keep the conversation skewed toward the possibility of another reduction as soon as March.


Main Macro Events Today

ECB: Draghi likely to take wait and see stance for now,in line with other central banks. Even the doves at the ECB seem to think it is too early to react to the rout in global markets and that one needs to wait if current trends continue or if things settle down again. But even if the ECB is likely to stay on hold for now, Draghi will be very eager to keep the door wide open to additional measures later on and the tone of the press conference will almost certainly be more dovish than in December. The sharp drop in oil prices in particular will be a focus, but also the fact that Eurozone spreads are widening sharply again in line with the pickup in risk aversion, which highlights that the risk of a renewed flaring up of the Eurozone debt crisis has not been banned yet. March will be the next date to focus on as that will bring the updated set of staff projections. 

US Philadelphia Fed Index: January Philly Fed is expected to improve to -7.0 (median -5.5) from -10.2 in December and -5.7 in November. This compares to the already releasedEmpire State index which plunged to -19.4 in January from -6.2 in December. Overall, we expect producer sentiment to trend sideways in January with and ISM-adjusted average of all major measures holding at 50 where it has remained since September. 

US Initial Jobless Claims: Claims data for the week of January 16th are out today and are expected to show a decline to a 269k (median 272k) headline from 284k in the week prior. There is some downside risk to the release as post-holiday layoffs occur. January claims look poised to average 271k for the month, down from 277k in December.

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