This week has been a little slow, trade deal speculation and baffling UK election gaffs aside. There’s a lot more economic data to come over the next week, with particular focus it seems on the UK and China. Unfortunately, both countries have a lot bigger issues to contend with that investors are far more concerned with than a few data pieces, even if one could – albeit not expected to – put the UK in recession.
Two central bank meetings next week, with a rate cut heavily priced in from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, while Banxico in Mexico is expected to hold. Central banks have become a lot more active in the last 12 months, investors will be keen to see whether this will continue or if, like the Fed, the mid-cycle adjustment has run its course.
The sun is setting on earnings season, with more than 85% of S&P 500 companies having already reported. Only 16 companies reporting next week including Walmart.
Voters in Spain head to the polls this weekend but no party is expected to secure a majority.
Central Banks this week
- Monday – No meetings
- Tuesday – No meetings
- Wednesday – RBNZ (New Zealand – High expectation of 25bps rate cut)
- Thursday – Banxico (Mexico – High expectation of 25bps rate cut)
- Friday – No meetings
Central Bank Head Speakers
- Monday – No speeches
- Tuesday – No speeches
- Wednesday – Jerome Powell (Federal Reserve)
- Thursday – Adrian Orr (RBNZ)
- Friday – Stephen Poloz (BoC)
The US dollar has somewhat stabilized following last month’s Fed signal that interest rates will be on hold. The mid-cycle adjustment playbook from the 1990s suggest we could see no changes in policy for a couple of meetings, but that should not suggest that the Fed is anywhere close to tightening.
Investors will closely watch the Wednesday release of inflation data followed by Friday’s retail sales report. Persistent low inflation will motivate the Fed into delivering further rate cuts and possible additional measures in the coming year. Inflation on a month over month basis is expected to rise 0.3% in October, while the reading 12-months through last month will remain steady at 1.7%.
Retail sales is widely expected to bounce back following last month’s surprise drop, which was the first decline in seven months. Consecutive retail sales misses will yield calls that US consumer is weakening. If we see softer inflation data and another miss with retail sales, Fed rate cut bets will rise sharply.
Rising Fed rate cut bets combined with a bottom in the German industrial slowdown could be what is needed to help EUR/USD breakout above its tight range.
The Mexican peso could see extended losses as investors abandon peso exposure as the prospects of deeper cuts from the Banxico will grow as the economy continues to deteriorate. The peso has been relatively stable over the last few weeks after making considerable gains in the dollar in the previous six weeks.
Bitcoin has been relatively stable over the last couple of weeks since it bounced back towards $10,000. It’s coming under pressure at the end of the week but nothing outside the kind of moves we’ve been witnessing. It goes without saying that bitcoin is always prone to huge moves at any moment, regardless of how calm it’s looking.
What’s good for trade is good for oil prices. Brent rallied on Thursday as trade optimism spread but like it’s stock market buddy, it is paring gains already today on the back of those conflicting reports. The rally on Thursday wasn’t particularly strong, which may reflect waning momentum after a strong rebound from the early October lows.
Brent prices are up more than 10% from those lows and while sentiment has improved, the expectation is still that the global economy is going to slow next year, even if the US avoids recession.
Gold has finally broken out! The trade headlines over the last 24 hours triggered strong demand the dollar and risk, neither of which bode well for the yellow metal. It was already trading around the lower end of the range and this provided the catalyst to break the month-long consolidation and test the $1,460 lows of early last month.
We’ve already seen some profit taking but this will certainly give gold bears encouragement, while bulls may have had the wind knocked out of them just as optimism was starting to build. Support below here may be found around $1,440.
It’s been a remarkable start to the UK election campaign, one in which no party is yet to look anything other than inadequate. I’d be amazed but having watched the political drama play out over the last few years, it’s actually rather in-keeping with the nonsense we’ve become accustomed to. Even still, we are already seeing some quite incredible things unfold.
I don’t expect the next five weeks will be any different and, if anything, it will likely become more bitter and fierce. The BoE yesterday has already been forgotten, with future decisions likely to be dictated by events over the next few months. Even the new Governor can’t be chosen until we have a new government.
Sterling has consolidated since the extension was secured. While that can change in the coming weeks, traders are currently content in the belief that the Conservatives will secure the majority they need.
Voters in Spain head to the polls this weekend but no party is expected to secure a majority. The Socialists have a lead in the polls but are likely to be forced to try again to engage in negotiations with parties to avoid another election next year. Minimal, if any, market impact is expected with hung parliament the likely outcome.
We are well under 90 days until the Iowa Democratic caucuses which takes place on February 3rd 2020. Right now, it appears to be a four-person race between Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg.
Fears of a progressive candidate such as Warren or Sanders being the Democratic nominee are growing, but even if that happens, radical changes to healthcare and regulation seem unlikely as the Republicans will still hold the Senate. Wall Street will eventually to start to price in the risk of Democratic candidate, with Biden likely being the most market friendly choice.
The base case remains that US President Trump will be re-elected, however impeachment drama and a never-ending trade war could finally start to weigh on some of the voters in the key battleground states.
Bank of Japan unchanged. In watch and wait mode. Trade sensitive to negative US-China headlines.
Student dies today from fall in last weekend’s protests. Hong Kong elections 24th Nov, possibly postponed. China direct intervention remote. Protests may escalate this weekend after the student’s death.
Phase 1 trade deal looks locked and loaded with staged mutual reduction in tariffs. White House changes mind over weekend leads to sharp risk selloff on Monday morning.
Reserve Bank of Australia quarterly implies more easing needed with recovery slow and wage growth not on the horizon. Housing bubble. Increased chances of QE soon could combine to lower AUD.