Following a week that was filled with critical updates with the US-China trade war, markets will now focus on the beginning of earnings season, Brexit negotiations, a wrath of Chinese data that will look to see if GDP growth will test below 6% for the first time, and annual meetings from the IMF, which will deliver downward revisions to global growth forecasts when they present the latest World Economic Outlook.

Over the weekend, Chinese President Xi and Indian Prime Minister Modi hold informal meetings.  On Sunday, Poland will hold elections were the ruling Law & Justice party are heavy favorites to win.  Hungary also holds municipal elections.

Earnings season kicks off with the big banks (JP Morgan, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley) and financial firms.  We also see results from Johnson & Johnson, Netflix, IBM, Coca-Cola and United Airlines.  If we see drastic cuts to guidance early this earnings season, we could see that be the trigger that finally turns the recent 5% pullback into a 10% correction.

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We could see the fourth Democratic debate on Tuesday be a pivotal turning point for former Vice President Joe Biden as he looks to regain momentum from a surging Elizabeth Warren. If Senator Warren continues to rise in the polls, we could start to see diminishing forecasts for a bright 2020 for US stocks and that could weigh on USD/JPY.

On Friday, there are ratings reviews on UK (Fitch), Oman (S&P), and Croatia (Moody’s).

Monday, October 14

  • Chinese trade data
  • Singapore MAS Monetary Policy Statement
  • US Holiday
  • 2:30 am INR India Wholesale Price Index
  • 3:15 am EUR ECB’s De Guindos speaks in Madrid
  • 5:00 am EUR Eurozone Industrial Production
  • 8:00 am INR India Inflation data
  • 8:10 am GBP BOE’s Cunliffe speaks in London
  • 11:30 am SEK Riksbank’s Ohlsson speaks
  • 8:30 pm AUD RBA Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes
  • 8:30 pm JPY BOJ Kuroda speaks
  • 9:30 pm CNY China Inflation data

Tuesday, October 15

  • Earnings Season Begins
  • 12:30 am JPY Industrial Production data
  • 3:00 am NOK Norges Bank Deputy Gov Nicolaisen speaks
  • 4:25 am USD Fed’s Bullard speaks in London
  • 4:30 am GBP UK Employment and Wage data
  • 4:30 am GBP BOE Gov Carney speaks in Parliament
  • 5:00 am EUR German ZEW survey
  • 5:00 am EUR Eurozone ZEW survey
  • 6:15 am SEK Riksbank Gov Ingves speaks
  • 8:30 am USD Empire Manufacturing Index
  • 8:30 am GBP BOE’s Vlieghe speaks
  • 9:00 am USD Fed’s Bostic speaks
  • 12:45 pm USD Fed’s George speaks
  • 15:30 pm USD Fed’s Daly speaks

Wednesday, October 16

  • 4:30 am GBP UK Inflation data
  • 5:00 am EUR Eurozone Inflation data
  • 8:30 am USD Retail Sales data
  • 8:30 am CAD Canada Inflation data
  • 8:30 am EUR ECB’s Knot speaks in NY
  • 9:00 am GBP BOE Gov Carney takes part in panel at IMF event
  • 10:45 am USD Fed’s Evans speaks
  • 11:00 am EUR ECB’s Lane speaks
  • 1:00 pm EUR Bundesbank President Weidmann speaks
  • 2:00 pm USD Beige Book
  • 4:00 pm SEK Riksbank Gov Ingves speaks
  • 5:00 pm ECB’s Villeroy speaks
  • 6:00 pm GBP BOE’s Carney speaks at Harvard Kennedy School
  • 6:10 pm AUD RBA’s Debelle speaks
  • 8:30 pm AUD Australia Employment data

Thursday, October 17

  • 4:30 am GBP Retail Sales data
  • 8:30 am USD Philly Fed Manufacturing Index, Housing data, Jobless claims
  • 8:30 am CAD Manufacturing sales data
  • 9:15 am USD Industrial Production data
  • 11:00am USD Crude Oil Inventories
  • 1:30 pm ECB’s Villeroy speaks
  • 2:00 pm USD Fed’s Evans takes part in a panel
  • 2:00 pm EUR ECB’s Visco speaks in DC
  • 4:20 pm USD Fed’s Williams speaks
  • 4:30 pm EUR ECB’s Knot and De Cos speaks in DC
  • 7:30 pm JPY National CPI data
  • 10:00 pm CNY China Q3 GDP data
  • 10:00pm CNY China Industrial Production and Retail Sales data

Friday, October 18

  • 9:00 am EUR Bank of Italy (BOI) release quarterly economic bulletin
  • 9:00 am USD Fed’s Kaplan speaks
  • 10:00 am USD CB Leading Index
  • 10:05 am USD Fed’s George speaks

Markets

USD

The fate of the dollar firmly lies in the hands of the leaders of the world’s two largest economies. The dollar could see a major reversal if we see a trade truce that leads to greater optimism that a broader deal will be reached before the 2020 election. Monetary policy also plays an important, but for now the Fed’s lackluster pace of rate cuts is doing little to boost bearish USD bets. The interest rate differential is narrowing, but the dollar is still delivering a positive return and that will make life harder for traders to keep longer term bets against it. The next Fed policy meeting is on October 30th and we won’t see any major releases except for the advance Q3 GDP which isn’t released until hours before the Fed makes their next policy decision.

The dollar remains primarily focused on any major update with the trade war, Fed policy, and any significant risk-off trading days. Geopolitical risks could drive a strong haven bid for the dollar and we could see a temporary dollar rally on a flare up with Iran or further intensification with the Turkey/Syria war.

Bitcoin 

Bitcoin seems to have found strong support around the $8,000 level. Regulatory scrutiny has heavily been priced in and we could see the crypto space focus more on both institutional and mainstream acceptance in the coming weeks.

With no major updates on the regulatory environment, pending ETF proposals or crypto conferences, we could see Bitcoin remain in broadening channel

Oil

Geopolitical risks from Ecuador, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia should keep oil traders nervous about maintaining any longer-term bearish bets. A possible trade truce could provide a boost for demand outlooks globally. The steady build we have seen in recent weeks with US stockpiles is having less of an impact of late.

Oil trade should remain volatile but be slightly tilted for further upside. A major collapse in trade talk remains the main risk for another selloff with energy prices.

Gold

Political drama, trade tensions and risks of global military conflicts should provide a strong enough backdrop for gold to remain bid.  The partial trade deal will likely be scrutinized and the only see a limited selloff.  Volatility to remain high for gold traders and we could see some exaggerated moves on the break of the $1,530 an ounce level. To the downside, $1,465 remains critical support.

USD/MXN

US-China trade negotiations will set the direction of the Mexican peso. The MXN was on a downward spiral at the beginning of the week as China was seen talking a harder stance on trade with the US ahead of their talks in Washington. On Wednesday the position has softened somewhat by comments showing an open mind to a limited agreement, similar to the one just signed between the US and Japan.

Inflation remains tame in Mexico, giving the central bank room to cut its benchmark rate. The interest rate stands at 7.75% and leaves the Banxico plenty of flexibility going forward. Economic red flags have been popping up as foreign and domestic investment is down, and the gains in exports will not be enough to return the country to expansion. Mexico avoided a technical recession by having no growth in the second quarter. If it had fallen it would have marked two quarters of negative growth.

Immigration pressure from the US as 2020 presidential elections get underway. USMCA under the microscope as Democrats will not give Trump and easy political win. Domestic reforms have lagged rest of the region and political decisions are making investors uneasy.

Politics

Brexit

One week to go until the EU council meeting, at which it was hoped a Brexit deal would be agreed and ready to be signed off by all sides prior to the 31 October deadline. That is now looking very unlikely although talks will continue over the next week to work through the significant issues that still exist. Ultimately, it’s in neither side’s interest to compromise until much later in the day so we can expect more movement either later in the week or, more likely, later in the month.

The next week is likely to be comment heavy, with both sides aggressively stepping up the PR offensive which means more headlines and more volatility. UK instruments remain vulnerable to no-deal, while a short extension could provide near-term reprieve for the pound.

Spain 

Snap elections scheduled for 10 November after the Socialist Party failed to form a coalition government, five months after winning the election.   Minimal risk. EUR not responsive to Spanish politics, election will be fourth in four years.

Argentina 

Kristalina Georgieva started her mandate as head of the IMF this week and did not mention Argentina by name in her inaugural speech, but it will be top of her agenda. The country is nearing a default on its debt following the defeat of the pro-market president in the primaries. The election defeat by President Macri and the almost definitive victory by opposition candidate Alberto Fernandez has put serious doubts on the repayment of the debt already allocated to the South American nation.

The IMF has put on hold its disbursement of the next tranche of credit awaiting the results of the elections. After talking to all candidates last month it did not get enough warranties to greenlight the loan amount to be transferred.

As presidential elections approaches (October 27th) Alberto Fernandez’s lead appears insurmountable for Macri. An Argentinean default would rock emerging markets. IMF did not address Argentina, but a default could bankrupt the fund.

Hong Kong

The banning of wearing masks at anti-government rallies back-fired, resulting in rising tensions, more violence and the closing of some subway stations. The first direct interaction between protesters and mainland forces (simply a warning of arrest) has not escalated (yet) but it is difficult to see any light at the end of the tunnel.

Data releases are quite sparse into the end of the month, but there’s no doubt the protests are having an adverse impact on the economy. Last week’s rebound in the Hang Seng appears to be a blip and we’re heading lower this week. USD/HKD is almost at the top of its permitted trading band.

China

A mini-trade deal will heavily be scrutinized over the next couple of weeks as traders look to see if it will be reasonable to expect for a broader deal to be reached. On the data front it’s a busy week next week. Trade data is out on Monday, inflation numbers on Tuesday (not an issue for the PBOC at the moment) while retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment on Friday will have significant downside risks. Q3 GDP numbers also on Friday will grab the headlines. A deeper slowdown from the 6.1% expected from 6.2% in Q2 will wipe risk appetite off the slate.

PMI data was better than expected and the only data point of note next week will be new loans data on Thursday. Loans have been increasing at a tremendous lick for the past 10 months, suggesting stimulus is still flowing into the economy.

North Korea

It’s stalemate in the low-level nuclear talks between the US and North Korea with North Korea expectations and US concessions poles apart. Frictions have appeared with Japan too after a North Korean fishing trawler crashed into a Japanese patrol ship. Maybe Trump is giving up on any headline-grabbing peace deal as he focuses on impeachment, trade deals and next year’s elections.

Localised sabre rattling seems to be the norm, but an escalation in capabilities when it comes to missile firing would be a shock and negative for risk, from a geopolitical perspective.

India 

The feel-good factor from the corporate tax cuts has evaporated quite quickly. India’s Q3 reporting season started today.

Wholesale inflation is on a downward path, and so is the economy, so the RBI rate cut at the start of the month could be followed by another one. The next meeting isn’t until December 5, so we should have an idea of the impact of the last rate cut.  Kashmir still remains a powder keg that could escalate and grab the headlines very quickly.

Weak earnings would pressure the IN50 index.  While not a global game-changing economy, an eventual RBI move would add to the list of dovish central banks.  An escalation of friction between the two neighbours could hit risk appetite in the region and force superpowers from both East and West to be dragged into the skirmish and forced to choose sides. That would be a huge negative for risk appetite.

Australia 

The September employment report is due next Thursday and has become a major indictor for the RBA to focus on for its rate policy. Another weak report will heighten calls for another rate cut before year-end. Market pricing now suggests a near 50% chance of a 25 bps cut by December.

Talk of another cut post-jobs data will pressure the AUD across the board.  Without any news of a trade deal, or positive developments, this week will enhance the pressure on the commodity currency.

Canada 

The October 21st election nears and many expect the winner to be dictated by who wins the suburbs around Toronto. Trudeau’s party seems set to win the most seats, but the popular vote could be a toss up against the Conservatives.  The loonie could see some gains if the Scheer’s conservative party wins. The election results will not likely derail any major currency flows that stem from trade war updates.

Turkey

Turkey’s offensive in Northern Syria is destabilizing the region. The US is concerned that ISIS military camps are at risks and their Kurdish partners are in harms way.   The lira could see a violent move if the 6.00 handle breaks. If the situation in Syria remains unstable and the US delivers sanctions, we could see the summer highs of 6.3756 tested.

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