Asian stock markets recovered from yesterday's drop

August 30, 2016

European Outlook: Asian stock markets recovered from yesterday’s drop and are posting broad gains, following on from a positive close on Wall Street and ahead of earnings data from Chinese banks. Japanese markets underperformed after yesterday’s rally and indices have closed flat (Nikkei 16,725) having swung between gains and losses despite a weaker Yen, as data showed retail sales and household spending declined. U.S. stock futures are narrowly mixed, while the FTSE 100 future is down on the day after yesterday’s holiday and following losses on other European markets yesterday. Oil prices are slightly higher with the front end WTI future holding slightly above USD 47 per barrel. The calendar is heating up today, with the Eurozone ESI economic confidence indicator, (see below) as well as preliminary Aug inflation data from Spain and Germany. The U.K. has BoE lending data and money supply figures.

The Yen still in focus:. Chief Japanese cabinet secretary Suga “says government watching markets closely and ready to respond appropriately”. The government is ready to take decisive steps against excessive fx moves. Government and the BOJ “as one” in defeating deflation. Reiterated the BOJ’s independence and confident that Abenomics will exert positive effects and that Japans banks will benefit  in the long term. Markets are not convinced USDJPY struggling to hold rally over 102.10 following comments. Earlier data releases that although better than expected (unemployment at 21 year low of 3.0%) household spending is still very weak and  disappointed.  Even more stimulus to be expected which may be enough to flip USDJPY into buy the dip mode, from sell the rally seen for the past couple of weeks.

US Data Reports: Fed funds futures rallied a yesterday after crashing lower on Friday’s Fedspeak. The concurrent dip in implied rates is suggesting second thoughts about the likelihood of a September rate hike. The Sep contract now reflects about a 36% chance for a 25 bp hike next month, down from 42% at the close. Dec is still showing about a 59.9% risk for a tightening by the end of the year. Mondays PCE price data helped assuage fears for Fed action next month, as the inflation rate continues to disappoint. Meanwhile, there are potential headwinds to the August jobs report, especially from the auto sector, and a tame report would also lessen the potential for an imminent hike. We still believe December is the better bet.

Main Macro Events Today        

Eurozone ESI  So far, confidence indicators have been very mixed. The German ZEW recovered and preliminary PMIs came in higher than anticipated. But the latter also showed that the manufacturing sector is feeling the sting from the Brexit fallout and the stronger EUR and the German Ifo slumped. Against that that background there are expectations that there will be a slip in the August ESI economic confidence indicator to 104.4 from 104.6 in July, although that would still be a fairly robust level and like the PMIs still signals ongoing expansion.

German Aug HICP Inflation in the Eurozone is creeping higher and expectations for preliminary August German HICP to move up to 0.5% y/y from 0.4% y/y in July. However, headline rates, but also core inflation remain considerably below the ECB’s target of below but close to 2% and while the numbers at such don’t argue for further easing, they leave Draghi room to maneuver especially as the appreciation of the EUR against the Pound will add to downward pressures going ahead.

US Consumer Confidence  August consumer confidence is out today and should reveal a slight headline decline to 97.0 from 97.3 in July and 97.4 in June. Other measures of confidence have been mixed so far in August with Michigan Sentiment falling to 89.8 from 90.0 in July but with an IBD/TIPP Poll increase to 48.4 from 45.5 in July.

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