Wed, Jan 22, 2020 @ 01:32 GMT

BoJ Kuroda pledges again to take additional easing if risks heigten

    BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda remained optimistic that inflation, at around 0.5% currently, would accelerate toward the 2% target. Though, he reiterated again that “we will adjust policy as necessary to maintain momentum toward our price stability target while examining risks.”

    And, “we will not hesitate to take additional easing steps if risks heighten to an extent that the momentum toward the price target is undermined.”

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    US, EU and Japan to push WTO rules on subsidies and forced technology transfers

      After a trilateral meeting yesterday, US, EU and Japan agreed to propose new global trade rules to the WTO address issues including subsidies and forced technology transfers. A joint statement was issued by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan and Japan Economy Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama. No specific country is mentioned in the statement, but the context is clearly directed to China.

      Under the proposal four banned subsidy types would be added to WTO rules, including unlimited guarantees, subsidies to ailing enterprises without a restructuring plan, subsidies to firms unable to obtain long-term financing and certain forgiveness of debt. The three representatives also agreed to urge WTO members to address forced technology transfer issues and their commitment to effective means to stop harmful forced technology transfer policies and practices, including through export controls, investment review for national security purposes, their respective enforcement tools, and the development of new rules.

      Full statement here.

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      Mnuchin: No further tariff relief on China until phase 2 trade deal

        US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated yesterday that there was “no side agreements”, “no secret agreements”, regarding the trade deal phase one with China. That is, whether the US will further remove tariffs on Chinese goods “has nothing to do with the election or anything else”. Instead, “these tariffs will stay in place until there’s a phase two. If the president gets a phase two quickly, he’ll consider releasing tariffs as part of phase two.”

        Mnuchin also reiterated that President Donald Trump has been very clear with his demand on China. “One was he wanted to reduce the trade deficit, and two — he wanted structural changes particularly around technology and other issues.”

        The English version of the agreement is expected to be released today. Mnuchin said “people will be able to see there’s a very detailed dispute resolution process,” and “this is an enforceable agreement just as the president dictated it would be.”

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        SNB: Currency intervention not aimed at bringing advantage for Switzerland

          After a statement by the Swiss Finance Ministry, the SNB also issued a statement in response to US putting Switzerland into currency manipulation watchlist.

          SNB said, “the SNB’s interventions in the currency market are motivated purely by monetary policy considerations”. “They are not aimed at bringing an advantage for Switzerland by making the franc undervalued.”

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          US CPI accelerated to 2.3%, core CPI unchanged at 2.3%

            US CPI rose 0.2% mom in December, matched expectation. Core CPI rose 0.1% mom, slightly below expectation of 0.2% mom. Annually, CPI accelerated to 2.3% yoy, up from 2.1% yoy, matched expectation. Core CPI was unchanged at 2.3% yoy, matched expectation too.

            Full release here.

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            Swiss tells US it’s not engaging in currency manipulation

              In the US Treasury Department’s semiannual foreign-exchange report to Congress, Switzerland was added to the monitoring list regarding currency manipulation, along with China, Japan, Korea, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam. The Treasury urged Swiss officials to publish intervention data more frequently.

              In response, Swiss Finance Ministry said in a statement, “it should be stressed that Switzerland does not in any way engage in manipulation of its currency to prevent adjustments to the balance of payments or gain unjustified competitive advantage.”

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              ECB Mersch: Economy giving goods signs of stabilization

                ECB Executive Board Member Yves Mersch said that the economy is “certainly giving good signs of stabilization”, and “the same goes a little bit for inflation.” Current development could prompt reassessment on whether growth risks are still skewed to the downside.

                However, he noted, “it will be premature to give you an answer, but we are certainly moving in the right direction, and for us central bankers, it means that we were proven right to have very accommodative monetary.”

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                Gold dips as correction from 1611 extends

                  Gold correction from 1611.37 extends lower today and hits as low as 1535.91 so far. At this point, we’re seeing such decline as corrective the whole five way sequence from 1160.17. Deeper fall could be seen to 55 day EMA (now at 1501.65) first. Sustained break there will affirm our view and target 1145.59, which is close to 38.2% retracement of 1160.17 to 1611.37 at 1439.01. However, break of 1563.11 will dampen our view and turn focus back to 1611.37 high instead.

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                  US, EU and Japan urged to launch trilateral effort against China’s mercantilist trade practices

                    The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation called on the US, EU and Japan to “band together in strong trilateral partnership to pressure China into rolling back the mercantilist trade practices it uses to grow advanced, innovation-driven industries”.

                    In a report released on Monday, the think tank warned “without aggressive, coordinated action, leading economies in Europe, Asia, and North America are likely to face a crushing wave of unfair competition”. Jobs are also threatened in industries as diverse as aerospace, automobiles, biopharmaceuticals, chemicals, electronics, digital media, Internet services, machine tools, semiconductors, and others.

                    “China has progressed enough economically and technologically that it no longer fears bilateral pressure against its mercantilist trade violations, but it sees collective action as a real deterrent,” said ITIF’s associate director for trade policy, Nigel Cory, who co-authored the report with ITIF President Robert D. Atkinson. “Neither the United States nor the European Union nor Japan can make China change its ways alone, but together, through a stronger trilateral agenda, they can.”

                    US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Japan Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshi Kajiyama and EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan are having bilateral and trilateral meetings this week.

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                    USTR Lighthizer is no Pollyanna on how China adheres to trade commitments

                      US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told Fox Business Network that the US-China trade deal to be signed on Wednesday is a”a really good deal for the United States”. But he’s no “Pollyanna” on how China would follow through the commitments. He just noted that “we’re tough, hard people, and we expect them to live up to the letter of the law.”

                      He added, “we will have people looking at whether or not they’re living up to their commitments on tech transfer, on IP, on financial services, opening on agriculture standards issues and the like.” “So, this is something that we’ll have to monitor.”

                      Lighthizer also said “we are about finished with the translation. It always takes time.” He was holding the English version of the deal and “we’re going to make it public on Wednesday before the signing.”

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                      Yuan surges as US drops China currency manipulator label

                        US Treasury dropped designation of China as currency manipulator on Monday, just two day ahead of the signing of trade agreement phase one. In the latest report, Treasury said with the deal, China had made “enforceable commitments to refrain from competitive devaluation”.

                        It’s noted that the Yuan has depreciated as far as 7.18 per U.S. dollar in early September. However, since then, the currency has rebounded. “In this context, Treasury has determined that China should no longer be designated as a currency manipulator at this time,” the report said.

                        USD/CNH’s decline accelerates to as low as 6.8648 after the news. 61.8% retracement of 6.6704 to 7.1964 at 6.8713 is already taken out. Focus will turn to long term fibonacci level of 38.2% retracement of 6.2358 to 7.1964 at 6.8295. This would be the key level to define the medium term trend.

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                        NIESR: UK on course to zero growth in Q4

                          The NIESR said UK is on course to post zero growth in Q4, with 1.4% growth in 2019 as a whole. Recent surveys suggest that economic activity was little changed in December, though there is some evidence of an improvement in business sentiment after the election.

                          Dr Garry Young, Director of Macroeconomic Modelling and Forecasting, said: “The latest data confirm that economic growth in the United Kingdom had petered out at the end of last year. GDP was virtually flat in the three months to November and the latest surveys point to further stagnation in December.  While there is some evidence of an improvement in business optimism following the general election, it is doubtful that this will do much to change the short-term economic outlook of further lacklustre growth.”

                          Full release here.

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                          US Chamber: A sigh of relief with China trade deal

                            US Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Myron Brilliant welcomed the phase one US-China trade deal. He said there is “clearly a sigh of relief from both sides” with the agreement. Also, “implementation of Phase 1 will be important to building trust and certainty, building off the success of the negotiation”.

                            Nevertheless, he emphasized it’s important that the two sides demonstrate a commitment to moving forward on the Phase 2 negotiations”. “Significant challenges” remain regarding the core structural issues.

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                            GB/CHF dives as poor UK data adds to BoE easing case

                              GBP/CHF drops sharply today as poor GDP and production data add to the case of imminent BoE easing. Technically, rise form 1.1674 should have completed at 1.3310, on bearish divergence condition in daily MACD, ahead of 1.3399 structural resistance.

                              Now, with 38.2% retracement of 1.1674 to 1.3310 at 1.2865 firmly taken out. Deeper fall should be seen to 61.8% retracement at 1.2299. However, such decline is currently seen as a correction. We’d expect strong support from 1.2299 to contain downside to bring rebound. Meanwhile, but break to 1.2854 resistance is needed to indicate completion of the fall. Otherwise, risk will remain on the downside in case of recovery.

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                              UK GDP dropped -0.3% mom in Nov, weakening services and lackluster manufacturing

                                UK GDP dropped -0.3% mom in November, well below expectation of 0.0% mom. Services dropped -0.3% mom. Production dropped -1.2% mom, manufacturing dropped -1.7% mom. Construction and agriculture rose 1.9% mom and 0.1% mom respectively.

                                In the three months to November, GDP grew only 0.1% 3mo3m. Services grew 0.1% 3mo3m, contributing 0.08% to the rolling three months GDP growth. Production contracted -0.6% 3mo3m, contributing -0.08% fall in GDP growth. Construction rose 1.1% 3mo3m, contributing 0.07% to GDP growth.

                                Head of GDP Rob Kent-Smith said: “Overall, the economy grew slightly in the latest three months, with growth in construction pulled back by weakening services and another lacklustre performance from manufacturing. The UK economy grew slightly more strongly in September and October than was previously estimated, with later data painting a healthier picture. Long term, the economy continues to slow, with growth in the economy compared with the same time last year at its lowest since the spring of 2012. The underlying trade deficit narrowed as exports grew faster than imports.”

                                Also released from UK, industrial production dropped -1.2% mom, -1.6% yoy in November, below expectation of -0.2% mom, -1.4% yoy. Manufacturing production dropped -1.2% mom, -2.0% yoy, below expectation of -0.2% mom, -1.6% yoy. Goods trade deficit narrowed to GBP -5.3B in November versus expectation of -11.8b.

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                                China auto sales forecast to contract -2% this year

                                  China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said auto sales dropped -0.1% yoy in December. That’s the 18th straight month of decline. For the whole of 2019, auto sales dropped -8.2%. The association also said sales will drop further by -2% in 2020.

                                  Shi Jianhua, a senior official at CAAM, said: “We have moved away from the high-speed development stage. We have to accept the reality of low-speed development… We had high-speed growth for a consecutive 28 years, which was really not bad, so I hope everyone can calmly look at the market.”

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                                  BoE Vlieghe: Imminent and significant improvement in data need to justify waiting

                                    BoE policymaker maker Gertjan Vlieghe told Financial Times on Sunday that it’s been a “close call” on whether he’d vote for a rate cut. And, “it doesn’t take much data to swing it one way or the other”. He added, “I really need to see an imminent and significant improvement in the UK data to justify waiting a little bit longer.”

                                    Vlieghe noted there will be a lot of information coming in “as soon as the end of January”. “We’ll get a lot of business and some household surveys that cleanly relate to the period after the election, so that will give us an initial read as to how people are responding.”

                                    Outgoing Governor Mark Carney said last week that BoC could cut interest rate in economic weakness persists in to 2020. Another MPC member Silvana Tenreyro also said she could be inclined to a cut a sluggishness remains. The upcoming data from UK this week will be important tests for the Pound.

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                                    S&P affirms Australia’s AAA rating despite bushfires

                                      S&P Global Ratings said Australia’s AAA sovereign rating is not at immediate risk from the devastating bushfires. Credit analyst Anthony Walker said, “we do not believe that these bushfires will affect credit metrics enough to trigger rating changes in the next one to two years”.

                                      “We believe there is capacity within our current ratings on the sovereign and state governments to absorb the fiscal costs, which are relatively small compared with their budgets,” he noted.

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                                      Mnuchin: English version of US-China trade deal to be released at the day of signing

                                        US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox News Channel that the US-China trade deal phase one is a “very, very extensive agreement”. And, “it is USD 200B of additional products across the board over the next two years, and, specifically in agriculture, USD 40B to USD 50B.”

                                        He also emphasized that the deal “wasn’t changed in translation”. The translation process was a “technical issue”. At the day of signing, the administration “will be releasing the English version”. It’s reported that the final Chinese text was not completed yet.

                                        China Vice Premier Liu He will lead a delegation to the US today and is set to sign the trade deal in Washington on Wednesday.

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                                        Canada employment rose 35.2k, unemployment rate down to 5.6%

                                          Canada employment rose 35.2k in December, above expectation of 20.0k. Unemployment rate dropped to 5.6%, down from 5.9%, beat expectation of 5.8%. In the 12 months to December, employment increased by 320k (+1.7%), the result of gains in full-time work (+283k or +1.9%).

                                          Full release here.

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