Euro above 1.18 against the dollar

1 August, 2017

Asian stock markets moved higher, with a rally in banks underpinned by earnings reports and helping to offset pressure on exporters and automakers. The ASX outperformed after the RBA left rates on hold and warned the strong currency will impact growth and inflation.100 and U.S. stock futures are also moving higher. The FTSE already managed to rescue slight gains into the close yesterday, while Eurozone markets mostly ended in the red. With the EUR above 1.18 against the dollar and political pressure on German carmakers mounting, the DAX is likely to continue to struggle. Bund yields ended little changed yesterday, while Gilt yields climbed ahead of tomorrow’s BoE announcement and positive sentiment on stock markets should keep core yields underpinned. Eurozone spreads narrowed as peripheral markets outperformed, so at least so far Draghi is managing to keep tapering nerves under control. Today’s local calendar has final Eurozone manufacturing PMI readings for July which are not expected to bring any revisions and German Jul jobless numbers. Preliminary Eurozone Q2 GDP is seen steady at 0.6% q/q and the calendar also has the U.K. manufacturing PMI for July.

FX Action: USDJPY has eased to new trend lows after reports that newly minted White House communications director Scaramucci is out of a job after just 10-days. The pairing fell under 110.00, before recovering to 110.20. The EURUSD continues to edge higher to north of 1.1830. Initial market take is the U.S. administration is off the rails, though the W.H. staff move may ultimately be a positive, perhaps indicating that new Chief of Staff Kelly is in charge.

US Data Yesterday: U.S. Chicago PMI dropped 6.8 points to 58.9 in July, more than giving back the surprising 6.3 point jump to 65.7 in June. The latter was the highest since the 66.1 from May 2014. The 2017 low is 50.3 from January. The index was at 51.8 in October. The 3-month moving average edge up to 61.3 from 61.1. U.S. pending home sales index bounced 1.5% to 110.2 in June, better than expected, after tumbling 0.7% to from 108.6 in May (revised from 108.5). The high for the year was hit in February at 112.3 with the low at 106.4 from January (with the cycle high at 113.6 on April 2016 and a low of 76.4 from June 2010). The index is still well off the all-time peak of 127.0 from July 2005. Lack of inventory remains a problem. On an annual basis, the index is up 0.7% y/y, the same as in May. U.S. Dallas Fed manufacturing index rose 1.8 points to 16.8 in July after sliding 2.2 points to 15.0 in June. The latter was the weakest since the 12.5 in November. Note that the index was at 0.6 in October and had been basically in negative territory from January 2015 through September 2016. It hit a cycle high of 24.5 in February.

Main Macro Events Today                

Eurozone Q2 GDP –   The preliminary reading of Q2 GDP is expected to show a quarterly growth rate of 0.6% q/q, unchanged from the previous quarter. Consumption remains supportive for growth as the labour market continues to recover and low inflation is underpinning real disposable income. At the same time investment is starting to pick up as spare capacity shrinks and PMI readings, while starting to level off, suggests still high orders and a backlog of work. So a robust start to the third quarter that underpins the ECB’s cautious move towards exit steps, although remaining risks and modest wage growth mean Draghi is still keeping his options open for now.

U.S. Manufacturing ISM  – The July ISM is expected to tick up to 55.5 from 57.8 in June. Forecast risk: upward, given strong component data in early month sentiment. Market risk: downward, as weakening in data could impact rate hike timelines. The ISM has shown a recent high of 60.0 in February ’11 and a low of 33.1 in December of 2008.

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