Asian stock markets are mostly down

August 2, 2016

European Outlook: Asian stock markets are mostly down, with the Shanghai Composite Index managing slight gains, but the Nikkei closed down -1.47% and Australia’s ASX also down, despite a rate cut from the RBA, which lowered the cash rate by 25 bp to 1.50%. Negative leads then for European stock markets which already closed in the red yesterday, which should give Bund futures some chance to recover some of yesterday’s losses. The European calendar is relatively quiet today, with only the U.K. construction PMI, the Swiss manufacturing PMI and Eurozone PPI numbers.

RBA Cuts rates by 25bp to a record low 1.50%: As expected and already largely priced in by the markets, AUDUSD fell but then immediately recovered, currently trading at 0.7548. “Moderate” repeated a lot in the statement, concerning Chinese growth, local domestic growth including housing and labour market. Key problem remains stubbornly low inflation and is expected to “remain so for some time”. The RBA report their quarterly forecast update on Friday.

Japan: Consumer confidence has slipped again, from 42.0 to 41.3 for July. Finance Minister Aso and BOJ Governor Kuroda will meet later today to “confirm cooperation over policy”. Also due today is PM Abe fiscal stimulus announcement. USDJPY 102.14 in anticipation.

US Market Reports: Yesterday they revealed only a small July ISM drop to a still-firm 52.6 from a 16-month high of 53.2 in June, and it’s now likely that the ISM-adjusted average of the major surveys will bounce to 52 in July from 50 in both May and June, as this aggregate reclaims the 52 eight-month high in March. Yet, we also saw a surprisingly weak round of Q2 construction spending figures that trimmed our Q3 GDP growth estimate to 2.6% from 2.8%, after a likely downward bump in Q2 growth to just 1.1% from 1.2%. We saw June construction drops in every major component except home improvement, after widespread downward bumps in both April and May.

Energy Action: WTI crude gapped to $40.20 lows after breaking Friday’s three-plus month base of $40.57. The contract now stands at levels last seen on April 20, when the printed base was $39.85. Fresh selling can be expected under there, with stop loss orders noted. Technically the key 50 and 200 DMA have been broken.

Main Macro Events Today        

US Personal Income –  June personal income data is out today and should reveal a 0.3% (median 0.3%) headline with consumption up 0.3% (median 0.3%) as well. This follows respective May figures which had income up 0.2% on the month with consumption up 0.4%. Vehicle sales plunged in June but the employment report and aggregate income measure were both stronger, lending some upside risk to the release.

UK Construction PMI – More poor data expected a fall to 44.2 from 46.0 last time is anticipated. UK home ownership now at 35 year lows as demand out strips supply and generation rent continue to enter the market.

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