Market movers today
In Germany, focus is on the ZEW reading for April today, ahead of the important PMIs on Thursday. After a difficult start to the year, we already saw rays of light in the March ZEW reading with the expectations-current conditions spread turning positive for the first time since 2012. In April, we see scope for further upside for the expectations component in light of better recent data not least out of China, while we expect the current situation assessment to stabilise around the current level.
In the UK, the jobs report for February is due out, which will likely point to solid employment growth, after GDP growth surprised on the upside last week.
In the US, markets will keep an eye on the industrial production figures for March ahead of the first estimate of Q1 GDP growth to be released next week.
Selected market news
Equities in Asia stopped rallying below their nine-month high as markets faced sourer bank earnings in the US on Monday. In the US, stocks slid from their six-month highs. More US bank earnings are due out today. There have been some signs that the global economy is likely to slow down softly, which is keeping the markets from falling sharply.
In the US, the Empire State Manufacturing survey posted a slightly stronger-than-expected recovery in April. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans (voter in 2019) reiterated his concerns about moderate inflation, admitting hypothetically that rates could be on hold until autumn 2020. Markets also remain fuelled by expectations that a benign China-US deal would be agreed pretty soon. US Treasury data showed that China increased its holdings of US government debt for a third month in a row, reaching USD1.13tn in February 2019. The second-biggest holder, Japan, also raised its US government debt up to USD1.07tn.
The Brent oil price has hovered around USD71/bbl as global supply is becoming tighter on shrinking output in Iran and Venezuela. The US is preparing to impose tougher sanctions on those nations soon. Markets also fear that the escalating civil war in Libya is set to affect oil production in the country.
In the US Congress, Democrats issued “friendly subpoenas” to several banks to attain documents that could prove other countries aimed to influence US politics. This hints at further escalation of Congressional probes into US President Donald Trump’s finances and interaction with Russia.