Euro recovers overnight against Dollar and remains generally firm this week. It's just overpowered by Sterling which was shot up by strong Q3 GDP data. ECB policy decision and press conference will be the main highlight for today. The central bank is widely expected to announce recalibration of its EUR 60B a month asset purchase program, after it expires by the end of this year. The general consensus is that ECB will half the program to EUR 30B per month, but give it a 9-month extension till end of September 2018.
Showing genuine concerns over the downside risks to inflation, BOC indicated it would be more 'cautious' over future rate hike decisions. In the concluding statement, policymakers stressed that 'while less monetary policy stimulus will likely be required over time, Governing Council will be cautious in making future adjustments to the policy rate'. The tone in this October appears more dovish than previous ones, likely resulting from recent developments of disappointing progress in NAFTA negotiations, household debt levels and appreciation of Canadian dollar. USDCAD jumped about +1% after the announcement.
Sterling is the star performer today as stronger than expected GDP data boosts the chance of November BoE rate hike. Euro and Dollar are not too far behind though. The common currency is supported as German Ifo business climate hit record high. That clears another hurdle for ECB to announce tapering of asset purchase tomorrow. Meanwhile, Dollar also remains firm on tax plan hope and expectation of December Fed hike. Data from US are also Dollar supportive. Headline durable goods orders rose 2.2% in September versus expectation of 1.0%. Ex-transport orders rose 0.7% versus expectation of 0.5%. Meanwhile, Aussie remains the weakest one as selloff accelerates after CPI data. Canadian Dollar is also soft ahead of BoC rate decision.
The 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party culminated with the announcement of the new Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) - the group of officials leading the country in the coming five year. Five out of seven members of the previous PSC were replaced, with only President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang staying in power. The five new members are Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng.
US equities surged to new record highs again while treasury yields jumped as tax plan and Fed chair position continued to be the theme that drove the markets. The developments also took Dollar generally higher. DOW closed up 167.80 pts or 0.72% at 23441.76, hitting all time high. S&P 500 and NASDAQ gained 0.16% and 0.18% too but lagged DOW in the record runs. 10 year yield jumped 0.030 to close at 2.406, above 2.396 key resistance, which is see as a bullish signal. TNX could now be heading to retest 2.621 high made back in December.
Dollar and Euro are both trading firm today. The greenback is supported by hope of passing Republican's tax plan by the end of the year. US President Donald Trump will visit Senate Republicans for lunch today for talks on tax cut. Meanwhile, Solid PMI data fro Eurozone supports that case for ECB to announce tapering later this week. New Zealand Dollar trades broadly lower as markets react negatively to the labor led coalition's policies. Yen and Aussie follows closely and as the second and third weakest.
Once again securing a super majority (two-third of seats) in the snap election on October 22, Japan's LDP/ Komeito coalition would continue to lead the lower house, possibly until 2021. The landslide victory indicates that PM Shinzo Abe would likely be re-elected for a third presidential term in the LDP next year, allowing him to push forward his political and economic policies with a stronger mandate. There are several reasons for the rally in Nikkei and USDJPY after the election outcome. Just like the previous elections we have seen before, the stock market and currency of a country usually weaken amidst of political uncertainty. Re-election of the ruling party has removed of uncertainty at least in the near-term. This bodes well for the stock market and currency. Unlike other currencies which tend to rise on lessened uncertainty, Japanese yen fell on diminished demand for safe-haven asset. Another reason for the rise in Japanese stock market and yen was expectations of lengthy monetary easing by BOJ. Meanwhile, widening US-Japan yield spread would also continue to support USDJPY in the medium term.
Dollar trades generally lower in quiet markets today. Economic data released this week so far are generally shrugged off by traders. The more important events are BoC and ECB meeting, as well as UK and US GDP. Waiting for the key events, traders seem to be spending their time on speculating who will US President Donald Trump nominate for the post of Fed chair. Current Fed chair Janet Yellen is still in the race and would provide status quo stability. But it's clear that Yellen is never a favorite of Trump. Fed Governor Jerome Powell is seen as the favorite by bookies, as he has knowledge of Fed and monetary policy. Stanford University economists John Taylor is so far the dark horse. Former Fed governor Kevin Warsh and White House economic advisor Gary Cohn are out of the race already
Euro is trading broadly lower today as markets are awaiting the highly anticipated ECB meeting later in the week. The common currency is even weaker than the Japanese Yen, which gapped down after Japanese election. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's coalition retained absolute majority in the parliament, paving him the way to push for strong fiscal and monetary stimulus. Meanwhile, Dollar is generally firmer today with support from hope on tax cut/reform in the US. New Zealand Dollar and Sterling are also among the strongest ones.
Nikkei surges today while Yen tumbles on landslide victory of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) at the snap election on Sunday. At the time of writing, Nikkei is gaining over 1% and more than 220 pts. On the other hand, Yen is trading broadly lower. Removing political uncertainty is a key factor in lifting Japanese stocks. Meanwhile, continuation of ultra-loose monetary policies under Abenomics is a factor pressuring Yen. The forex markets are a bit mixed in initial trading, with Sterling leading the way up. Euro and Swiss Franc are slightly lower, following Yen.
Dollar surged broadly last week as Republican's tax plan overcame another hurdle. The news also sent DOW and S&P 500 to new records, with upside acceleration. Accompanying that, treasury yields closed sharply higher, reversing prior week's loss. Technical development in Dollar was not totally convincing yet. NZD/USD led the way lower as markets were unhappy with the new labour-led coalition in New Zealand. USD/CAD followed after disappointing economic data. Solid risk appetite also pushed USD/JPY and USD/CHF near term resistance to resume recent rally. But EUR/USD was kept in range only, showing much resilience in spite of political turmoil in Catalonia. GBP/USD was also held in range with support from some positive news regarding Brexit. AUD/USD also stays in recently established range.
Canadian Dollar weakens notably in early US session after a batch of disappointing data. Headline CPI rose 0.2% mom, 1.6% yoy in September, up from August's 0.1% mom 1.4% yoy. But that's below expectation of 0.4% mom, 1.7% yoy. CPI core-common was unchanged at 1.5% yoy. CPI core - trim edged higher to 1.5% yoy. CPI core median also edged higher to 1.8% yoy. Meanwhile, headline retail sales dropped -0.3% mom in August, way below expectation of 0.4% growth. Ex-auto sales was even worse and dropped -0.7% mom, versus consensus of 0.3% mom. BoC will be meeting next week and there is practically no change for a rate hike from current 1.00%. USD/CAD is staying in range of 1.2432/2598 at the time of writing. Near term outlook remains bearish as rebound from 1.2061 should resume through 1.2598 sooner or later.
Dollar regains much ground overnight as boosted by revived hopes on tax reform in the US. A critical hurdle was cleared after the Senate approved a budget blueprint for fiscal 2018. That was narrowly passed by 51-49 after marathon debate. Nonetheless, the passing of the blueprint includes instruction that would help Republicans avoid a Democrat filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that "passing this budget is critical to getting tax reform done, so we can strengthen our economy after years of stagnation under the previous administration." Senator Bob Corker, who's in feud with President Donald Trump, voted the for the budget. Meanwhile, Senator John McCain also voted yes.
Japanese Yen and Swiss Franc strike a strong come back today as markets are haunted by political developments. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announces to invoke the so called Article 155 of Constitution to suspend autonomy of Catalonia. That came after Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont refuses to withdraw the declaration of independence. Euro initially dipped against all major currencies after the news. But then, the common currency recovered strongly against all but Yen and Swiss Franc only. German DAX is trading down down more than -0.9% at the time of writing. US futures also point to a lower open.
With no single party being able to secure over half of the seats in the parliament in last month's election, the right-wing, populist NZ First party has become a kingmaker. Its leader Winston Peters has just announced that his party would form a government with the Labour Party. Kiwi's sell off after the announcement as the outcome has not been quite priced in. NZ First had cooperated with both National and Labour previously (National/ NZ First from 1996 to 1998, and Labour/ NZ First from 2005 to 2008).
Predominantly the most important political event in China, the twice-in-a-decade National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party began on October 18. As a kick start, President Xi delivered a Party Work Report which reviewed the achievements in his first five years and outlined the challenges and goals for the next five years and beyond. Xi outlined his thoughts on the 'new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics' On the economic reform, he suggested further developments in the "advanced manufacturing industry", which includes medium and high end consumption, green and low carbon industry, sharing economy, modern logistics and human capital services. He has also pledged to deepen interest rate and exchange rate reforms, develop a comprehensive financial regulation system and reduce systematic financial risk. These are nothing new as the key aspects of the monetary and fiscal policies have already been lain down at the National Financial Work Conference in July.
Euro tumbles sharply while Yen jumps on as political risks come back to markets. Passing the deadline imposed to Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, Spanish government said they will "continue with the procedures set out in Article 155 of the Constitution to restore the legality of self-rule in Catalonia." That is, the Spanish Government is going to suspend autonomy of Catalonia.
Japanese Yen and Swiss Franc remain the weakest ones for the week on strong global risk appetite. German DAX closed at new record of 13043.03 yesterday. That was followed by 160.16 pts rise in DOW to 23157.60, and 1.9pts rise in S&P 500 to 2561.26. Both were record highs. US treasury yield followed and closed up 0.041 at 2.339. But that was not followed by Dollar as the greenback reversed earlier gains in late US session. Indeed, Euro is seen to be outperforming Dollar against Swiss Franc and Yen. In other markets, Gold is now back below 1280 after recent recovery hit 1308.4 and lost steam. WTI crude oil is firm at around 52 but struggle to get through 52.86 near term resistance.
Dollar trades generally higher today, except versus Canadian Dollar. But strength of the greenback is rather unconvincing against Euro, Aussie and even Sterling. The more decisive moves are found in USD/CHF and USD/JPY. That should be more likely due to strong risk appetite. German Dax hit new record high at 13094.76 earlier today and is maintaining most of the gains at the time of writing. US futures also point to higher open as DOW would extend recent record runs. Meanwhile, weaker than expected housing data from US also limits greenback's rally . Housing starts dropped to 1.13m in September, below expectation of 1.18m. Building permits also dropped to 1.22m, below expectation of 1.27m. From Canada, manufacturing shipments rose 1.6% mom in August.
Lacking other exciting news, the market was thrilled by the media report that US President Donald Trump was impressed by Stanford University Economic John Taylor at the Fed Chair candidate interview. Bets for Taylor to be the next Fed chair increased, making him one of the top three candidates alongside Jerome Powell and Kevin Warsh. Market reaction to the rise of Taylor was USD strength and an upward shift in the UST yield curve, hinging on hopes that this creator of the Taylor rule would accelerate the pace of rate hike if he has become the Fed' chief. We believe such expectation is a bit too far-fetched.