European, Asian stocks have rebounded as investor anxiety over Trump economic policy and US tax reform eased following yesterday’s remarkable comeback in the US market. S&P futures point to a slightly higher open, with oil higher and the dollar rebounding off fout month lows. It is a relatively quiet day in the US with the economic calendar focusing on wholesale inventories, consumer confidence and the Case-Shiller index.
European and Asian equities rose and S&P 500 futures edged higher as investor bullishness returned after the failure of U.S. President Donald Trump’s health-care bill. Hopes that the Trump administration will now prioritize tax reforms coupled with still-robust economic data and corporate earnings forecasts spurred some investors to look past creeping doubts about Trump’s ability to deliver on campaign promises.
According to Bloomberg, the resumption of demand for risk assets signals investors are still pinning hopes on Trump’s ability to push through tax cuts and regulatory changes, pledges that helped trigger a reflationary upswing in global markets after his election. “Bond and FX market participants’ reaction to the failure of the health-care bill has been to re-price Treasuries and the dollar under the assumption that President Trump has lost a little of his shine,” Kit Juckes, a London-based global strategist at Societe Generale SA, wrote in a note.
“Equity market participants have taken a look at the lower yields and weaker dollar and decided that since absurdly low rates are the elixir that the equity bull market lives on, they might as ‘buy the dip’ yet again.”
Europe’s Stoxx 600 rose 0.4% helped by financials and pharmaceutical stocks. Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent. The underlying gauge dropped 0.1 percent Monday, paring a loss of as much as 0.9 percent.
In FX, the dollar index against a basket of major currencies edged up 0.1 percent to 99.252, after plumbing a trough of 98.858 overnight, its lowest level since Nov. 11. “Risky asset markets have rebounded from yesterday’s opening low, supporting our view of the current market setback as a risk pause and not a turning point towards generally lower risk valuations,” analysts at Morgan Stanley said in a note to clients. Morgan Stanley said that given some of the savings that were to come from replacing Obamacare would be lost, the upcoming tax reform may turn out to be a smaller package or result in a higher fiscal deficit.
The dollar steadied after its worst week since Trump’s election after talk of more rises in Federal Reserve interest rates this year. “Clearly we shouldn’t forget we are going to see at least two more hikes by the Fed this year and that there is still the potential for the next one to be pulled forward to June,” said CIBC strategist Jeremy Stretch. Sterling edged up a notch, trading within a narrow range as Britain prepared to start formal divorce proceedings with the European Union on Wednesday.
Recent weakness in the dollar underpinned crude oil prices though persistent worries about oversupply kept gains in check. Prices for front-month Brent crude futures were up 0.6 percent. In the United States, WTI crude futures rose 0.7% .
Yields on 10-year TSYs were unchanged at 2.38% after falling three basis points on Monday. European bonds mostly rose, with 10-year German yields falling one basis point to 0.39 percent.
On today’s calenar, Fed Chair Yellen will make a speech on workforce development in low-income communities. Although it does not seem like she will address monetary policy, we will watch her speech for any clues about the Fed’s thinking. Otherwise, Tuesday looks set to be a very quiet day. In the US, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence index for March will probably rise further.
Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk
- A brighter spark for European equities today with much of the upside attributed to an unwind of yesterday’s flight to quality price action
- The USD recovery has been a modest one this morning, with limited upside traction seen in USD/JPY as focus falls on EM amid ZAR softness
- Looking ahead, highlights include potential comments from Fed’s Yellen, George, Kaplan & Powell and ECB’s Coeure
- S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 2,340.50
- STOXX Europe 600 up 0.3% to 376.11
- MXAP up 0.8% to 148.71
- MXAPJ up 0.6% to 480.79
- Nikkei up 1.1% to 19,202.87
- Topix up 1.3% to 1,544.83
- Hang Seng Index up 0.6% to 24,345.87
- Shanghai Composite down 0.4% to 3,252.95
- Sensex up 0.6% to 29,399.95
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.3% to 5,821.23
- Kospi up 0.4% to 2,163.31
- Brent Futures up 0.7% to $51.11/bbl
- German 10Y yield fell 1.2 bps to 0.39%
- Euro down 0.1% to 1.0850 per US$
- Brent Futures up 0.7% to $51.11/bbl
- Italian 10Y yield fell 2.7 bps to 2.197%
- Spanish 10Y yield fell 0.5 bps to 1.683%
- Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,253.74
- U.S. Dollar Index up 0.1% to 99.29
Top Overnight News
- Amazon Wins Battle to Buy Middle East E-Commerce Firm Souq.com
- Trump to Kill Suite of Obama-era Climate Change Policies
- Akzo Pledges Plan for Profitable Split to Repel PPG Takeover
- Credit Suisse Progress Buys Swiss Bank Room on Capital
- Ericsson Sees Up to $1.7 Billion in Costs as Revamp Begins
- Engie Aims to Fill U.S. Power and Gas Trading Gap Left by Banks
- American Air to Invest $200 Million in China Southern Deal
- Manhattan Landlords Turn to Retailer Giveaways as Stores Go Dark
- Brookfield Finds Solar ‘Entry Point’ After SunEdison’s Collapse
- Dakota Access Oil Line Outlasts Protests, Readies for Service
- Huntsman Sees Venator Spinoff on Time Despite Damaged Ti02 Plant
Asian market sentiment improved as the region’s major indices shrugged-off the subdued Wall Street lead and traded mostly positive. ASX 200 (+1.1%) outperformed with the index led by financial and energy sectors, while Nikkei 225 (+1.1%) was underpinned as exporters found early respite from the recent JPY advances and with participants noted be on the bid ahead of ex-dividend dates. China traded mixed as the Hang Seng (+0.5%) conformed to the upbeat tone seen in its major regional counterparts, while Shanghai Comp. (-0.4%) lagged after the PBoC refrained from open market operations for the 3rd consecutive session, which resulted in a daily net liquidity drain of CNY 70bIn. 10yr JGBs traded slightly lower with demand dampened amid an improvement in risk sentiment and also following the enhanced liquidity JGB auction which saw weaker demand than the prior. PBoC refrained from open markets operations for a 3rd consecutive session, for a daily net drain of CNY 70bIn.
Top Asian News
- Didi Said to Be Weighing $6 Billion SoftBank-Backed Funding
- Malaysia Central Bank Sees March Inflation Exceeding 8-Year High
- Unreachable Huishan Executive Exposes China Debt Woes, Bank Risk
- Philippine Central Bank Chief Says Successor Must Be Named Soon
Europe likewise has seen a brighter spark for equities with much of the upside attributed to an unwind of yesterday’s flight to quality price action. The reprieve in commodity prices has seen energy and material names among the best performers. However, market moves have been somewhat contained ahead of the invoking of A.50 tomorrow. Of note, Members of the Scottish Parliament are to vote on giving First Minister Sturgeon authority to call a second independent referendum. In credit markets, French opinion polls keep OATs afloat with polls showing Macron would ease to victory ahead of Le Pen. In turn, this has alleviated concerns of the French political risk, subsequently narrowing the GE-FR spread (currently 57.5bps).This has also accounted for 2yr German Schatz yields rising, although the upside will likely be capped given the ongoing collateral squeeze as we approach month-end and financial year-end, the Schatz also saw a particularly soft auction today, which was technically uncovered (1.1) and saw a retention of 27.75%.
Top European News
- Tesco to Pay $269 Million Over U.K. Accounting Scandal
- U.K. Businesses Prepare Brexit Wish Lists as EU Talks Commence
- Le Pen 25%, Macron 24%, Fillon 18% in 1st Round: Ipsos Poll
- Dufry Rallies After Report China’s HNA May Buy Stake in Retailer
In currencies, the rand slid 1.9 percent to 12.98 against the dollar at 10:38 a.m. in London following Monday’s 2.5 percent decline. Prior to this drop, the currency had gained 9.5 percent year-to-date, making it a top emerging-market performer. The British pound climbed 0.2 percent to 1.2581. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1 percent after dropping 0.4 percent Monday. The USD recovery has been a modest one this morning, with limited upside traction seen in USD/JPY. Gains have extended to a little over 110.80, but with the market waiting for the next move from the Trump administration,
Treasuries find some near term support. The key 10yr rate is holding off 2.40%, and is only 3-4 bps higher from EUR/USD has pulled back off the 1.0900 level, and the market may sense the response to the policy shift at the ECB is now adjusted for. This is not to preclude a move on 1.0950 or 1.1000, but with French election fever hotting up from next week, gains may prove tough. Similar price action seen in GBP today as we saw Monday, though Cable gains towards 1.2600 are struggling amid modest USD buying. EUR/GBP continues to press for 0.8600-10 on the downside, the support here is likely to be aided by the familiar month end flow from Europe. Article 50 set to be triggered tomorrow, and even though this looks priced in, we cannot account for the subsequent rhetoric from Europe which may or may note add some colour to the negotiations which lie ahead.
In commodities, gold fell 0.1 percent at $1,253.50 an ounce after rising 0.9 percent Monday. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.8 percent at $48.11 per barrel following a 0.5 percent drop the previous day. As the USD recovers on the modest drop off in Treasuries, precious metals have come back off better levels, but not to any notable degree. The tenuous recovery in risk assets is largely behind this, as the market awaits the next move from the Trump administration — on tax reform. Gold still above USD1250.00, silver USD18.00. In contrast, base metals have recovered, though perhaps unconvincingly as yet — for the same reasons as above. Iron ore prices have come under pressure from Chinese stockpiles also, and this naturally impacts across the board. Copper is tentatively back above USD2.60. Oil prices also stabilise, with further comments — from Iran — that an extension to the production cuts agreed to late last year is on the table. Inventory levels and prospective shale production continues to counterbalance any relief rally. Iranian oil minister says that extending the OPEC and non-OPEC deal is likely but time is required in order to evaluate the decision.
Looking at the day ahead, the early data is the advance goods trade balance reading for February and the preliminary wholesale inventories data for February. Following that we’ll get the S&P/Case- Shiller house price index print in January before we then get the March consumer confidence print (expected to nudge down to 114.0 from 114.8) and Richmond Fed manufacturing survey. Away from the data it is a busy day for Fedspeak. The Fed’s George speaks this afternoon at 12.45pm before Fed Chair Yellen speaks shortly after at 12.50pm. The Chair is however scheduled to speak on workforce development challenges so there is little suggestion that she will touch on monetary policy. Also due up today is Kaplan at 1pm and Powell at 4.30pm. The other potentially interesting event today is the Scottish Parliament debate on a independence referendum.
US Event Calendar
- 8:30am: Advance Goods Trade Balance, est. $66.4b deficit, prior $69.2b deficit, revised $68.8b deficit
- 8:30am: Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 0.2%, prior -0.2%; Retail Inventories MoM, prior 0.8%
- 9am: S&P CoreLogic CS 20-City YoY NSA, est. 5.6%, prior 5.58%
- 10am: Conf. Board Consumer Confidence, est. 114, prior 114.8; Present Situation, prior 133.4; Expectations, prior 102.4
- 10am: Richmond Fed Manufact. Index, est. 15, prior 17
- 12:45pm: Fed’s George Speaks in Midwest City, OK
- 12:50pm: Fed Chair Janet Yellen Speaks
- 1pm: Fed’s Kaplan Speaks in Dallas
- 4:30pm: Fed Governor Jerome Powell Speaks
* * *
DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
After a bad start to the US session it felt like the market had its own sugar hit as the day wore on yesterday. Indeed whether you’re shocked at the fact that the S&P 500 only fell -0.10% yesterday (after being as low as -0.94% intra-day) perhaps depends on how much you think Trump’s most radical policies were priced into markets. There is an argument for saying that such trades weren’t actually priced in much anyway. The examples discussed yesterday within DB were that the 1) Fed funds market pricing are well below the FOMC dots; 2) the Dollar index is now back to where it was at the end of October; 3) the S&P 500 has been performing similarly to how it normally does after a close election even if there was a small pop up in February; and 4) that global PMIs are all consistent with where equities should be given the recent strength – a point we’ve made in previous EMRs. What we don’t know though is if some of the strong survey data contains some element of animal spirits only there because of Trump optimism. The fact that global numbers have been strong perhaps indicates that a lot of the optimism is in fact a global story and not a Trump one. So unless the global story turns then the healthcare debacle shouldn’t be too big a hit. Having said that, failure in the tax reform agenda will surely have more impact on animal spirits given its economic importance. So all to play for even if on some measures little obvious indication of success is priced in.
In markets the leader of the big selloff at the US open yesterday were Banks which tumbled over -2.50% within the first 10 minutes or so of trading. In doing so that meant US Banks briefly entered correction territory after plummeting -10.70% from the early month highs. After that, like the broader index, the sector bounced back impressively into the close and although finished a shade in the red by the end of play at -0.37% still recouped over 2% of the early losses. That move also came in the face of another day of tumbling Treasury yields with the 10y finishing the day 3.4bps lower at 2.379%. That is the lowest closing yield now since February 27th although yields did briefly dip below 2.350% at one stage yesterday. It’s worth noting that Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said yesterday that he sees the possibility of the Fed only hiking one more time this year should uncertainty continue to linger around the outlook for inflation and government spending.
The excitement for volatility also peaked fairly early in the day yesterday after the VIX touched an intraday high of 15.11 and the highest since November, before then settling back to finish at 12.50 and down over 3% on the day. Meanwhile Gold (+0.91%) found a bid amongst the risk-off moves and in doing so has now rebounded nearly 5% from the early month lows. Elsewhere metals had a day to forget with Copper (-0.76%), Aluminium (-0.46%) and Iron Ore (-4.10%) all down, while in FX the Greenback retreated -0.46% although as we noted above is back to pretty much where it was in October last year. It’s worth noting that the biggest mover in currencies yesterday was the South African Rand which tumbled -2.57% following the news that President Zuma ordered Finance Minister Gordhan to return home early from investor meetings in the UK and US. While there was no reason provided much of the chatter was that Zuma is preparing for an imminent cabinet reshuffle, raising uncertainty further around what is already a fragile situation.
As we refresh our screens this morning it appears that the positive momentum which saw Wall Street pare early losses has continued into Asia. The Nikkei (+1.07%), Hang Seng (+0.52%), Kospi (+0.28%) and ASX (+1.12%) are amongst the bourses higher while markets in China are largely flat. US equity index futures are also up about +0.20% while Gold has eased back a touch and rates markets are generally holding in around yesterday’s levels.
Moving on. Yesterday we saw the latest ECB CSPP numbers where the average daily rate of purchases of €308mn last week was the lowest outside of the summer and Xmas lull (average since start of €365mn). One week’s numbers do not make a trend but with the ECB tapering as of next week there will be some speculation that they are preparing to lower purchases. We’ll know in two weeks when the first week of April numbers are in. These will be important in working out the direction of spreads as this will give us an idea of whether they are planning tapering credit purchases as well as Governments. At the moment I would say the consensus is that they taper credit less.
The rest of the data yesterday was a little less exciting. In Germany the IFO survey surprised to the upside after the headline business climate reading rose 1.2pts in March to 112.3. Expectations had been for no change. The details also revealed a relatively equal contribution from both the expectations (+1.5pts to 105.7) and current assessment (+0.9pts to 119.3) components. Our economists in Germany made the point that the survey corroborates the strength of the PMI’s heading into Q2 and that both indices point to about 0.7% qoq GDP growth in Q1. The hard data continues to tell a different story though and the February hard data points will be important to gauge when and how this divergence will be resolved. Meanwhile the other data out in Europe yesterday was the ECB’s money and credit aggregates for February. M3 money supply growth was reported as slowing slightly to +4.7% yoy from +4.8% and as a result roughly staying in the range of the last couple of years. The credit side of the numbers also saw some retreat following strong January data. Banks lending to households slowed while lending to corporates saw its slowest pace in 5 months with the annual growth of corporate lending retreating to +2.0% yoy from +2.3%. Markets in Europe largely ignored the data yesterday and instead followed much of the lead from across the pond with the Stoxx 600 closing -0.40% but paring early heavier losses. In the US yesterday the sole release was the Dallas Fed’s manufacturing survey which was reported as falling 7.6pts in March to 16.9 (vs. 22.0 expected).
Looking at the day ahead, this morning in Europe it’s a particularly quiet start with no notable data due out, although we will hear from a couple of ECB speakers in Coeure and Makuch. Over in the US this afternoon the early data is the advance goods trade balance reading for February and the preliminary wholesale inventories data for February. Following that we’ll get the S&P/Case- Shiller house price index print in January before we then get the March consumer confidence print (expected to nudge down to 114.0 from 114.8) and Richmond Fed manufacturing survey. Away from the data it is a busy day for Fedspeak. The Fed’s George speaks this afternoon at 4.45pm GMT before Fed Chair Yellen speaks shortly after at 4.50pm GMT. The Chair is however scheduled to speak on workforce development challenges so there is little suggestion that she will touch on monetary policy. Also due up today is Kaplan at 5pm GMT and Powell at 8.30pm GMT. The other potentially interesting event today is the Scottish Parliament debate on a independence referendum.