Fri, Jan 27, 2023 @ 04:35 GMT
HomeContributorsFundamental AnalysisThis Morning's Risk Vibe is Related to Looser Chinese Covid-rules

This Morning’s Risk Vibe is Related to Looser Chinese Covid-rules


The reaction to Friday’s strong payrolls report is telling. Net job growth beat consensus at 263k with average hourly earnings growth accelerating to 0.6% M/M and 5.1% Y/Y. The unemployment rate stabilized at 3.7%, though a lower participation rate helped. The payrolls confirm the still red hot US labour market and seemed to serve as the perfect excuse to stop current corrections on bond/FX/stock markets going into the final Fed policy meeting of the year. In a first reaction, this all played out: the dollar firmed, the US yield curve turned more inverse with Treasuries falling and main US indices opening almost 2% lower. Strange enough, these Pavlov-moves didn’t gain traction. On the contrary, by the end of US dealings, most of them were almost completely erased. It all suggests strong market comfort regarding a Fed policy moderation, especially since last Wednesday’s speech by FOMC Chair Powell. This tide probably won’t change until that December 14 Fed meeting, with the only big data point remaining being next Tuesday’s November CPI readings. While the Fed will shrink the magnitude of its rate hike from 75 bps to 50 bps, markets remain very complacent about Fed speak about a higher peak policy rate peak and vowing against rate cuts in 2023. Perhaps the new FOMC dot plot might open some eyes.

US yield changes eventually ranged between +4.2 bps (2-yr) and -5.1 bps (30-yr). The US 10-yr yield is currently testing the June top at 3.5% with 50% retracement on the Aug/Oct move higher luring at 3.42%. Changes on the German curve varied between +8.6 bps (2-yr) and -2.9 bps (30-yr) by the European closing bell, but these don’t (completely) take into account the US market-reversal. The German 10-yr yield is at risk of losing 1.77%/1.82% support at the open this morning (October low/38% retracement on Aug/Oct move higher). The trade-weighted dollar spiked from 104.50 to 105.50 after payrolls, before returning this gain and sliding towards 104 this morning in a positive Asian risk climate. EUR/USD went from 1.0540 towards 1.0430 and currently changes hands near 1.0575. Next technical marks are 1.0747 (62% retracement on this year’s slide) and 1.0806 (March low). Main US stock markets closed unchanged. 

This morning’s risk vibe is related to looser Chinese Covid-rules with Shanghai for example scrapping PCF testing requirements to enter outdoor public venues. Measures will continue to be optimized and adjusted. Local stock markets gain up to 4% for Hong Kong while the Chinese yuan surges below USD/CNY 7 for the first time since September as CNY strength meets USD weakness. Today’s eco calendar contains US non-manufacturing ISM, but we don’t think it will be of any relevance.

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S&P changed the outlook on the French AA rating from stable to negative as it sees rising risks to the country’s public finances and the resulting reduction in fiscal space. France already has a large general government debt which faces implementation risk associated with the country’s structural reform agenda, an economic slowdown and the ECB’s monetary tightening. S&P could lower the rating if general government debt to GDP doesn’t decline over the 2023-25 period. It reduced the 2023 growth outlook to 0.2% from 1.7% while 2023 the budget deficit is expected at 5.4% of GDP. With the deficit expected to average 4.9% in 2023-25 period, government debt is expected to rise to 112% of GDP. At the same time, Moody’s kept the outlook on its French Aa2 rating unchanged at stable as the agency sees the risks to France’s credit profile as balanced. It assesses France as a wealthy and diversified economy. The country has strong debt affordability in spite of an elevated debt level, according to Moody’s.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) substantially downgraded its forecast of the UK economy. CBI now expects the economy to contract 0.4% next year due to high inflation and as companies scale back investments. CBI also doesn’t expect activity (GDP) to return to a pre-Covid level before mid-2024. Unemployment is expected to rise to 5.0% end 2023/early 2024. Inflation is only expected to ease slowly. Inflation printed at 11.1% in October this year. CBI expects average price growth of 6.7% next year and 2.9% in 2024. Business investment at the end of 2024 is still seen 9% below its pre-pandemic level and output per worker 2% lower.

KBC Bank
KBC Bank
This non-exhaustive information is based on short-term forecasts for expected developments on the financial markets. KBC Bank cannot guarantee that these forecasts will materialize and cannot be held liable in any way for direct or consequential loss arising from any use of this document or its content. The document is not intended as personalized investment advice and does not constitute a recommendation to buy, sell or hold investments described herein. Although information has been obtained from and is based upon sources KBC believes to be reliable, KBC does not guarantee the accuracy of this information, which may be incomplete or condensed. All opinions and estimates constitute a KBC judgment as of the data of the report and are subject to change without notice.

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