23 March, 2016
FX News Today
European Outlook: Asian stock markets were mostly slightly lower, U.S. and U.K. stock futures are also heading south. European markets managed to close with a slight gain yesterday, after recovering from the initial bout of risk aversion following the Brussel’s terror attacks. Today’s calendar is pretty empty, with a German 30-year Bund sale and comments from Bundesbank President Weidmann.
Fed’s Evans looks for 2016 growth of around 2% to 2.5%: The economic fundamentals are quite good, sharing the views of his FOMC colleagues, while adding that international developments have been a drag. But, he seems a little more cautious in terms of future rate hikes. And unlike Williams or Lockhart who underscored that April is a live policy meeting in recent comments, he said a “wait and see” approach is more appropriate so that risks can be assessed. Remember though, that he has been one of the more ardent doves (though so was Williams). The economic and financial risks in 2016 are somewhat higher than he had hoped. He also suggested 2 rate hikes this year is a decent assumption. The non-voter also said the Fed needs rates to go up organically, as a result of a stronger economy.
U.S. Markit flash manufacturing PMI up to 51.4: It rose 0.1 in March, after declining 1.1 points to 51.3 in February. However, this is a 5th straight month the index has held a barely expansionary 51, 52 handle. The index topped out last year at 55.7 in March and generally eroded from there. Both employment and new orders increased. The improvement is consistent with the trend in Eurozone PMI data earlier yesterday which mostly beat expectations.
Iraq plans to accept the oil freeze proposal: According to the Iraqi oil ministry they will accept the proposed freeze at January output levels. This followed news that marginal producer Libya did not plan to attend the Doha OPEC meeting in April. WTI crude oil (USOil) lost 1% overnight but remain close to three month highs, it is currently trading at $41.00. US weekly crude inventories are released later today and are expected to increase to 2.5m bbls.
Main Macro Events Today
US New Home Sales
February new home sales are out later today and should reveal a 1.2% increase to a 500k (median 520k) pace from 494k in January and 544k in December. Other data for the month were mixed with the MBA purchase index down 4.9% after rising 1.4% in January and existing home sales dropping 7.1% to 5.080 mln from 5.470 mln in January. New Homes Sales are a leading indicator of economic activity due to its impact on other sectors such as mortgages, furniture and appliance sales and general confidence.
Jens Weidmann the President of the Deutsche Bundesbank is due to speak at the Liechtenstein Finance Forum. He is a full voting and very influential member of the ECB Governing Council. He is likely to remain critical of any further ECB activism.
Nikkei gained 1.09% after a strong close on Wall Street and with the earnings season starting to overshadow lingering trade jitters at least for now. A weaker...
U.S. trade tariffs tightened market conditions. Coeure said that “while the effects of any tariffs on output and inflation may take time to materialise, falls...
China and Hong Kong alongside other markets were closed for Lunar New Year holidays, which muted trading, but the Nikkei gained 1.19%...
The U.S. currency has been correlating inversely with global stock market direction of late on the causation that risk-on phases have seen investors...
U.S. personal income rose 0.3% in November with spending up 0.6%. The 0.4% increase in October income was not revised. The 0.3% spending increase..
The FOMC meeting is front and center this week following the solid November jobs report on Friday, which provided the final bit of cover for...
Asian stock markets headed south again, as declines and energy and mining stocks led shares lower amid a further drop in metal prices. Concern China’s regulators may limit the flow...
The rout on Chinese bond and stock markets that dominated Thursday’s session faded and the Nikkei managed a 0.12% gain as the yen...
After a couple of panicky moments in global equities over the past week, the markets will keep a wary eye on political developments. In Washington...