US flash Markit PMI jumped 1.7 points to 53.2 in October

25 October, 2016

European Outlook: Asian stock markets are mostly down, as the positive confidence indicators out of Europe and the U.S. yesterday were overshadowed by weak GDP numbers from South Korea, which weighed on most markets. Topix and Nikkei outperformed, with a weaker Yen underpinning exporters. U.S. and U.K stock futures are also moving higher, oil prices are little changed, and the front end WTI future is trading at USD 50.51 per barrel. After the strong round of PMI readings for the Eurozone yesterday markets will be looking for upside surprises in the German Ifo and French business confidence data, which would keep pressure on Bund futures and continue to underpin Eurozone stocks. The FTSE 100 meanwhile seems set to recover some of yesterday’s losses as the Pound drops against USD and EUR, although Gilt futures should continue to outperform Bunds as strong confidence data fuels ECB tapering speculation.

BoC’s Poloz “Wait and See approach to rate cuts”:  saying that the bank’s “…best plan right now, we think, is to wait for the next 18 months or so.” A two track economy makes monetary policy more difficult, as it is challenging to speed up fast growing parts to offset the slower growing parts, he explained. He said the bank has to “weigh the risk of waiting longer against what are the costs associated with doing something more immediate.” He acknowledged that more easing would put the bank “very close to using unconventional tools. And that’s of course not a decision we take lightly.” As for last week, those uncertainties prevented a rate cut. The comments came in response to questions in his ongoing Q&A with the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. His comments appear to squash the prospects for a near term rate cut, which seemed to ramp up significantly with his dovish remarks following the announcement. The loonie firmed, as USDCAD backtracked from nearly 1.3400 to 1.3286 following his comments. Overnight the pair recouped the 1.3300 handle and currently trades at 1.3335.

US Data Reports: US flash Markit PMI jumped 1.7 points to 53.2 in October, after falling 0.5 points to 51.5 in September from 52.0 in August. This is the highest since last October’s 54.1 print. New orders rose to 54.7 from 51.1, though the employment component declined. The better than expected headline is consistent with expectations for a pick up in activity in Q4.

Fedspeak: Chicago Fed dove Evans was true to his leanings – the near-term growth outlook is relatively good, and the labor market improvement is solid. And though those should support higher inflation projections, he remains worried that inflation is still too low while the outlook is uncertain. That’s been his concern for some time, and he continues to stress the need for the Fed to show a commitment to its 2% inflation target. The FOMC should undershoot its employment projection, and overshoot on its inflation goal. Evans is not a voter this year, but he does vote in 2017, along with Harker, Kaplan and Kashkari. Fed’s Bullard reiterated one 25 bp rate hike is likely, though he gave no timing. He thinks that should be sufficient for now and expects the low rate environment to be the norm for the next several years. But he acknowledged that the St Louis Fed’s rate forecast is flatter than those of others on the Committee. That’s pretty much the market’s assessment, where implied Fed funds futures are pricing in about a 67% chance for one 25 bp rate increase in December, with the move not fully priced in until 2018.


Main Macro Events Today                

German Ifo Business Climate – Expected to tick up slightly to 109.6 from 109.5 last time. A survey of 7,000 German businesses that has a strong track record of correlation to the German and wider Euro area economy. Other figures relate to current business Assessment and Expectations.

US Consumer Confidence – September Consumer Confidence is expected to decrease to 101.0 from 104.1.This compares to a low of 25.3 in February of 2009. Forecast risk: downward, given the drop in the Michigan headline. Market risk: downward, as weaker data could impact rate hike timelines.

Carney & Draghi  Speeches – The BOE Governor is up first at 14:30 in front of the House of Lords Economic Affairs committee around 14.30 GMT. He’s there to answer questions on “The economic consequences of the vote to leave the EU and the BOE’s response”. This will be one to keep an eye on as we might see Carney walking that fine line between politics and being an independent central bank.  The ECB President is scheduled at 15:30 for a lecture on stability, equity and monetary policy to the German DIW Economic Institute.

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