Fed VC Fischer steered clear of policy

29 September, 2017

European Outlook: Asian stock markets moved modestly higher on the last day of the third quarter. Hopes that the U.S. tax reform will boost growth underpinned investor market sentiment, and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index is heading for a third quarter of gains. Trading volumes were subdued, however, ahead of China’s week long holiday. FTSE 100 futures are up, U.S. futures narrowly mixed. Oil prices are slightly down on the day. European bond yields closed mixed yesterday, with Bunds closing up on the day, but far below intraday highs, while Gilt yields as well as Eurozone peripheral yields dropped. The chance that Eurozone inflation will hold steady today, rather than picking up again helped yields to come down from highs, but in our view won’t prevent the ECB from taking the foot off the accelerator. Already released U.K. consumer sentiment unexpectedly rose to -9 from -10. The data calendar also includes the final reading of U.K. Q2 GDP as well as consumer credit data.

FX Update: USDJPY picked up some demand while most other dollar pairings have traded narrow ranges so far today. USDJPY recovered from yesterday’s 112.25 low to the upper 112s. There had been reports yesterday of yen demand into the end of the first half of the fiscal year in Japan, though USDJPY still has rallied, returning focus on the two-and-a-half-month high seen on Wednesday at 113.25. While markets are now taking a more circumscribed view of Trump administrations tax plans, the Fed’s course further tightening is still promoting dollar demand on dips. A batch of data today out of Japan had little impact on forex markets, but encouraging. Japanese Core CPI lifted in September to 0.7% y/y, industrial production rose 2.1% m/m, and retail sales gained 2.8% y/y.

Fedspeak: Fed VC Fischer steered clear of policy and the economic outlook in remarks before the Bank of England, where he discussed “The Independent Bank of England — 20 Years On.” It is still possible those topics may come up in Q&A. As he exited stage right in his last speach as Vice Chairman, he left the markets with this thought: “Or, if I may be permitted a few final words on my way out the door, the watchwords of the central banker should be “Semper vigilans,” because history and financial markets are masters of the art of surprise, and “Never say never,” because you will sometimes find yourself having to do things that you never thought you would.” KC Fed hawk George was true to form, noting further gradual rate hikes are appropriate. The stance of monetary policy is still rather accommodative, she added. She has a brighter outlook on global growth. The U.S. economy is in reasonably good shape currently. There has been a pick-up in business investment. And while there will be a near-term impact from the hurricanes, offsets are projected down the road. George is not an FOMC voter this year nor next.

Main Macro Events Today

EU HCPI and German Unemployment -Eurozone headline HICP inflation expected unchanged at 1.5% y/y in September. The French number may still stick a tad higher, but the slight decline in the Spanish headline rate and the steady German number yesterday suggest that the overall Eurozone number also held pretty stable, despite an uptick in energy prices.

CAD GDP – GDP is expected to improve 0.1% m/m in July after the 0.3% gain in July. The 0.2% dip in retail shipment volumes added to the mixed backdrop for the July GDP report.

US PCE –   Personal income and spending are expected to have inched up 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively in August, while consumer confidence measures are expected to dip, but from high levels. Core PCE prices are seen up 0.2%.

BoE – BOE Gov Carney is due give closing remarks at the Bank of England’s conference celebrating 20 years of independence, in London. In the conference we will see today also speeches from MPC members such as Broadbent and Cunliffe.

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