Macro Events & News for November 20, 2015

20 November, 2015

FX News Today

ECB Heading for 20 bp Deposit Rate Cut: The ECB is heading for additional stimulus measures in December, with governing council members clearly pushing for further easing as Draghi and Praet once again raise the specter of deflation fears even as core inflation is moving higher. But while officials are not tiring of highlighting that the ECB cannot be the only player supporting growth, it seems pretty clear that central bankers are having their eye more on equity markets than the traditional long term inflation indicators the Bundesbank focused on. Boosting growth and keeping markets happy has become the centre focus and despite the fact that a move further into negative territory will put additional pressure on insurers and banks, a deposit rate cut in December, and likely a sizeable one is coming into focus.

Atlanta Fed centrist Lockhart said he’s comfortable raising rates assuming there’s no marked downturn in the economic outlook, but the path after lift-off may be “slow and halting” as the Fed attempts to find a potentially lower equilibrium. He said the criterion for lift-off has been met on the labor front, while inflation is expected to pick up amid little evidence of disinflation. He’s encouraged that the economy is growing at a moderate pace despite weak energy and export sectors. The rate complex has largely already bought into a December hike and is discounting this via curve flattening, though Lockhart is seen as the fourth most credible at the Fed, according to the WSJ survey, just behind Yellen, Fischer and Dudley

Fed funds futures continue to point to a 25 bp hike in December with close to 70% probability in the wake of the FOMC minutes on Wednesday, and along with recent Fedspeak and data. At this point it might take something extra ordinary to again delay a move, though we won’t put it past the markets to try via a tightening tantrum heading into the December 15-16 policy meeting. The futures market is also pricing in a shallow trajectory of hikes over the first half of 2016, with the implied March contract trading at 0.37% and July at 0.56%. The Fed has indicated it won’t follow the predictable 25 bp hikes seen during Greenspan’s tenure, but we don’t look for any outsized rate boosts in the early goings. Note that hawks take over the voting rotation in 2016 with Bullard, George, and Mester coming on board.

US leading indicators bounced 0.6% to 124.1 in October after falling 0.1% to 123.3 (August was revised slightly lower to 123.4 from 123.5). The index has risen in 6 of the 10 months to date and is above 124.0 for the first time since April 2006. Nine of the 10 components made positive contributions, led by the yield curve (0.22%), stocks (0.16%) and building permits (0.12%).

Main Macro Events Today

ECB Draghi’s Speech: marketsexpect clues on the next month’s ECB meeting and to get Draghi’s view on how recent terrorist attack in Paris will impact on confidence in Europe.

Canada Retail Sales Preview: We expect retail sales, due today, to fall 0.1% m/m in September (median +0.2%) after the 0.5% gain in August. The ex-autos sales aggregate is seen falling 0.4% m/m (median same at -0.4%) versus the flat reading in August, as a 7.9% plunge in gasoline prices drives both measures lower.

Canada CPI Preview: We expect CPI to slow to a 0.9% y/y pace in October following the 1.0% y/y growth rate in September as lower gasoline prices again exert a drag. Core CPI is projected to grow at 2.1% y/y in October, matching the 2.1% in September.

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