Revealed a larger than expected consumer confidence drop to 98.6

26 October, 2016

European Outlook: Asian stock markets are mostly down, with Japan a notable outperforming (closing up  and indices holding on to modest gains as the Yen continued to decline against the Dollar. U.S. and U.K. stock futures are also heading south as oil prices are down and the front end WTI future is trading below USD 50 per barrel, which has been hitting energy producers. Investors continue to watch earnings reports. ECB’s Draghi once again defended the ECB’s policy in a speech in Germany yesterday evening, while once again calling for support from the fiscal side. Nothing new there that would change the policy outlook.

German GfK consumer confidence: Dropped to 9.7 in November, from 10.0 in October. There is no breakdown for the November projections but the fall back was unexpected and disappointing, especially after the stronger than expected Ifo and PMI readings this week. The breakdown for October showed a marked improvement in business cycle expectations, which jumped to 13.0 from 6.8, the highest reading since June, which suggests that the Brexit shock was short lived. Despite this income expectations declined sharply as did the willingness to buy, although the willingness to save also slumped amid the low interest rate environment. Mixed messages then and at least in Germany it seems Draghi’s policy of easy money is not lifting consumption.

Australian CPI: The Australian dollar rallied following an above-forecast headline in Australian Q3 CPI, which rose 0.7% q/q, above the median expectation for a 0.5% rise. Most expect this should keep the RBA, which had cited concerns about disinflation as prime reasons for cutting rates in May and August this year, from any temptation to cut rates at its policy meeting next week. Core inflation painted a more benign picture, remaining unchanged at 1.5% y/y. AUDUSD lifted to a one-week high at 0.7708, which was a gain of just over 1%, before settling around 0.7690.

US Data reports: Revealed a larger than expected consumer confidence drop to 98.6 in October from a 103.5 (was 104.1) September figure that now sits marginally below the 103.8 cycle-high in January of 2015, alongside a Richmond Fed rise to -4.0 from -8.0 in September and a 3-year low of -11.0 August. We also saw big gains in two August home price indicators of 0.4% for Case-Shiller and 0.7% for the FHFA. The ISM-adjusted Richmond Fed rose to 51.5 from 50.8 in September and a 43-month low of 49.7 in August, as we’re seeing a renewed uptrend in producer sentiment with the bounce in oil prices and a recovery in mining and factory output as the big six-quarter inventory headwind reverses course. Confidence faces a headwind from the November elections, though we have an ongoing lift from low gasoline prices, stock market and home price gains, and an expected GDP bounce after a three-quarter string of lean 1% growth rates through Q2.

Main Macro Events Today                

US Flash Services PMI  – Expectations are for a slight uptick to 52.4 from a positively revised 52.3 last time.

US New Home Sales –  New home sales are expected to decrease 1.5% to a 600k unit pace in September from 609k in August. Forecast risk: upward, given the higher NAHB for the month. Market risk: downward, as a run of weak data could impact the path of further rate hikes.

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