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Market panorama. 10 décembre 2018

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I. Market focus

The U.S. dollar weakened against other currencies at the beginning of a new week. Pressure on the dollar continued to exert expectations that the Fed could slow the pace of monetary policy tightening. This trend was triggered by the comments of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who said on November 28 that “interest rates are still low by historical standards, and they remain just below the broad range of estimates of the level that would be neutral for the economy”. Previously, many expected that the Fed would raise rates four times in 2019 (at each extended meeting), like this year. Now it’s very likely that the Federal Reserve will take a pause after the December meeting, and there will be no hike in March. The U.S. labor market data, which were released on Friday, turned out to be weaker than expected, raising the possibility that the Fed might go slow on interest rate. In the near future, the downward trend of the U.S. dollar is likely to preserve.

The focus of market participants was also on the statements of U.S.Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who said on Sunday that the U.S.-China trade negotiations need to reach a successful end by March 1 or new tariffs will be imposed. He also noted that the arrest of a top executive at China’s Huawei Technologies Co. would not derail the trade talks with China. In his opinion, this issue is under the exclusive jurisdiction of law enforcement agencies.

Among the macroeconomic reports received by the beginning of the European session, attention should be paid to the statistics on China's trade balance. The recorded trade surplus was higher than expected, but the report components were less bright. In particular, they showed a significant slowdown in the growth rates of both exports and imports last month, which is a direct consequence of the trade war between Washington and Beijing.

Markets were also awaiting a vote in the UK Parliament on a draft Brexit agreement, set to be held tomorrow. At the moment, everything indicates that the British Parliament will not support this agreement.

Today, attention should be paid to the publication of the UK’s data on industrial production and GDP for October (09:30 GMT), as well as the U.S. statistics on job openings and labor turnover (the JOLTs report; 15:00 GMT).


II. The market highlights are:

Statistics Canada reported on Friday that the number of employed people rose by 94,100 m-o-m (+0.5 percent m-o-m) in November, exceeding economists’ forecast for an 11,000 increase and after an unrevised advance of 11,200 in the previous month. Meanwhile, Canada's unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points m-o-m to 5.6 percent last month. That was the lowest jobless rate since comparable data became available in 1976. Economists had forecast the reading to remain unchanged. According to the report, full-time employment increased by 89,900 (+0.6 percent m-o-m) in November, while part-time jobs edged up 4,100 (+0.1 percent m-o-m). In October, the number of private sector employees climbed 78,600 (+0.7 percent m-o-m), while the number of public sector employees rose by 8.300 (+0.2 percent m-o-m). At the same time, the number of self-employed increased by 7,200 m-o-m (+0.3 percent m-o-m) last month. Sector-wise, there were more people working in professional, scientific and technical services (+1.8 percent m-o-m),  business, building and other support services (+1.8 percent m-o-m), construction (+1.0 percent m-o-m), transportation and warehousing industry (+0.9 percent m-o-m), health care and social assistance (+0.8 percent m-o-m), agriculture (+2.6 percent m-o-m). At the same time, employment decreased in information, culture and recreation (-1.3 percent m-o-m), continuing the downward trend that started in August.


The U.S. Labor Department announced on Friday that nonfarm payrolls increased by 155,000 in November after a downwardly revised 237,000 gain in the prior month (originally an increase of 200,000). According to the report, employment rose in health care (+40,100 jobs), in manufacturing (+27,000), and in transportation and warehousing (+25,400). At the same time, the unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent in November for the third month in a row, which was the lowest rate since December of 1969. Economists had forecast 200,000 new jobs and the jobless rate to stay at 3.7 percent. The labor force participation rate was unchanged 62.9 percent in November, while hourly earnings for private-sector workers rose by 0.2 percent m-o-m (6 cents) to $27.35, following a downwardly revised 0.1 percent m-o-m gain in October. Economists had forecast a 0.3 percent m-o-m advance in the average hourly earnings. The average workweek edged down by 0.1 hours to 34.4 hours in November, while economists had forecast the reading to be 34.5 hours.


A report from the University of Michigan revealed on Friday the preliminary reading for the Reuters/Michigan index of consumer sentiment remained at 97.5 in early December. Economists had expected the index would fall to 97.0 this month from October’s final reading of 97.5. The report noted that the last time the Sentiment Index was consistently above 90.0 for at least as long was from 1997 to 2000, recording a four-year average of 105.3. According to the report, the index of current U.S. economic conditions rose to 115.2 in December from 112.3 in the previous month. Meanwhile, the index of consumer expectations fell to 86.1  this month from 88.1 in November.


The weekly report from Baker Hughes, which was released on Friday, showed that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil fell by 10 to 877 during the week ended December 7. In the prior week, the oil-rig count rose by two. Meanwhile, the total active U.S. rig count, which includes oil and natural-gas rigs, also decreased by one to 1,075, as the gas rig count increased by nine to 198 last week, and the miscellaneous rig count remained at 0. The U.S. rig count is up 144 rigs from this time last year when it stood at 931.


The report from the National Bureau of Statistics of China showed on Saturday the Chinese trade surplus unexpectedly widened in November. According to the report, China’s exports surged 5.4 percent y-o-y last month to $227.42 billion compared to a 15.6 percent y-o-y increase in October and economists’ forecast of a 10.0 percent y-o-y growth. Meanwhile, the country’s imports rose 3.0 percent y-o-y in November to $1182.67 billion after a 21.4 percent y-o-y climb in the prior month, while economists had forecast a 14.5 percent y-o-y surge. Those trade flows produced a trade surplus of $44.74 billion in November, compared to a surplus of $34.01 billion in October and a surplus of $38.43 billion in November of 2017. Economists had expected a trade surplus of $34.00 billion in November.


The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed on Sunday that China’s producer price index (PPI) rose 2.7 percent y-o-y in November, after gaining 3.3 percent y-o-y in the prior month. That was the lowest producer inflation since October 2016. Economists had expected PPI would increase by 2.7 percent y-o-y in November. Compared with a month ago, costs increased at a slower pace for production materials (+3.3 percent y-o-y in November versus +4.2 percent y-o-y in October), while consumer goods inflation accelerated (+0.8 percent y-o-y in November versus +0.7 percent y-o-y in October). The PPI dropped 0.2 percent m-o-m in November, following a 0.4 percent m-o-m advance in October. At the same time, the consumer price index (CPI) increased 2.2 percent y-o-y in November, following a 2.5 percent y-o-y advance in October. That was the lowest rate since July and was below economists’ forecast for a 2.4 percent y-o-y increase. The food prices jumped 2.5 percent y-o-y in November after climbing 3.3 percent y-o-y in October, while non-food costs increased 2.1 percent y-o-y, following a 2.4 percent y-o-y growth a month ago. On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell 0.3 percent in November after a 0.2 percent gain in October.


The final data from the Cabinet Office showed on Sunday the Japanese gross domestic product (GDP) fell more than initially estimated in the third quarter of 2018. According to the revised data, Japan’s economy expanded 0.3 percent q-o-q in the third quarter, following a 0.8 percent q-o-q increase in the prior quarter. That was the steepest contraction since the second quarter of 2014. Economists had forecast a drop of 0.5 percent q-o-q, compared to the preliminary figure of a 0.3 percent q-o-q decline. In y-o-y terms, GDP fell 2.5 percent in the third quarter, also worse than the preliminary estimate of -1.2 percent. That marked the steepest decline since the second quarter of 2014. Economists had forecast a 1.9 percent y-o-y decrease in the third quarter, following a 3.0 percent y-o-y advance in the prior quarter.


III. Market Situation
Currency Market

The currency pair EUR/USD rose significantly, approaching a three-week high, as the U.S. weakened amid concerns about the outlook for the US economy. The weaker-than-expected monthly job report fueled fears of the economy slowing and raised expectations the Federal Reserve will tighten monetary policy at a slower rate than previously forecast. Today, investors will pay attention to the U.S. statistics on job openings and labor turnover (the JOLTs report), and focus on the dynamics of the U.S. currency and the general market sentiment toward risky assets. Resistance level - $1.1471 (high of November 20). Support level - $1.1360 (low of December 7).

The currency pair GBP/USD traded near the opening level, as investors were preparing for the release of the UK’s data on industrial production and GDP for October. It is expected that industrial production in October fell by 0.4 percent m-o-m and by 0.2 percent y-o-y.  The GDP is projected to show an increase of 0.1 percent for October after a flat performance in September. Investors remained cautious ahead of parliamentary debates on a draft Brexit agreement. Theresa May’s government faces a difficult struggle for parliament to support a deal it has agreed with the EU. If May loses the key parliamentary vote on the Brexit deal on December 11, it will open up a  huge range of possible outcomes, including a “no-deal” Brexit, snap election or a second referendum. Resistance level - $1.2926 (high of November 22). Support level - $1.2659 (low of December 4).

The currency pair AUD/USD dropped sharply at the beginning of the session, but then recovered all of the loss. The reason for the initial fall in the pair were mixed data on the trade balance and inflation in China (Australia’s main trading partner), while the recovery was due to the broad weakness in the U.S. currency. The report from the National Bureau of Statistics of China showed the Chinese trade surplus unexpectedly widened in November. According to the report, China’s exports surged 5.4 percent y-o-y last month to $227.42 billion compared to a 15.6 percent y-o-y increase in October and economists’ forecast of a 10.0 percent y-o-y growth. Meanwhile, the country’s imports rose 3.0 percent y-o-y in November to $1182.67 billion after a 21.4 percent y-o-y climb in the prior month, while economists had forecast a 14.5 percent y-o-y surge. Those trade flows produced a trade surplus of $44.74 billion in November, compared to a surplus of $34.01 billion in October and a surplus of $38.43 billion in November of 2017. Economists had expected a trade surplus of $34.00 billion in November. Another report from ABS revealed that China’s producer price index (PPI) rose 2.7 percent y-o-y in November, after gaining 3.3 percent y-o-y in the prior month. That was the lowest producer inflation since October 2016. Economists had expected PPI would increase by 2.7 percent y-o-y in November.  At the same time, the consumer price index (CPI) increased 2.2 percent y-o-y in November, following a 2.5 percent y-o-y advance in October. That was the lowest rate since July and was below economists’ forecast for a 2.4 percent y-o-y increase. Resistance level - AUD0.7241 (high of December 7). Support level - AUD0.7164 (low of November 13).

The currency pair USD/JPY fell sharply at the beginning of the session, reaching the low of December 6, but then erased more than half of the losses. The decline in the pair was caused by a fall in U.S. Treasury yields and a weakness in the U.S. dollar. However, disappointing revised data on Japan's GDP limited the growth of the yen. The final data from the Cabinet Office showed the Japanese gross domestic product (GDP) fell more than initially estimated in the third quarter of 2018. According to the revised data, Japan’s economy expanded 0.3 percent q-o-q in the third quarter, following a 0.8 percent q-o-q increase in the prior quarter. That was the steepest contraction since the second quarter of 2014. Economists had forecast a drop of 0.5 percent q-o-q, compared to the preliminary figure of a 0.3 percent q-o-q decline. In y-o-y terms, GDP fell 2.5 percent in the third quarter, also worse than the preliminary estimate of -1.2 percent. That marked the steepest decline since the second quarter of 2014. Economists had forecast a 1.9 percent y-o-y decrease in the third quarter, following a 3.0 percent y-o-y advance in the prior quarter. Resistance level - Y113.23 (high of December 5). Support level - Y112.00 (psychological level).


Stock Market

Index

Value

Change

S&P

2,633.08

-2.33%

Dow

27,098.06

-2.31%

NASDAQ

6,969.25

-3.05%

Nikkei

21,219.50

-2.12%

Hang Seng

25,752.38

-1.19%

Shanghai

2,584.58

-0.82%

S&P/ASX

5,552.50

-2.27%


U.S. stock indexes closed sharply lower on Friday and posted their largest weekly percentage drops since March as concerns over U.S.-China trade tensions and interest rates weighed on the market. Focus also was on weaker than expected employment report, which revealed  According to the U.S. Labor Department, nonfarm payrolls increased by 155,000 in November after a downwardly revised 237,000 gain in the prior month (originally an increase of 200,000). At the same time, the unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent in November for the third month in a row, which was the lowest rate since December of 1969. Economists had forecast 200,000 new jobs and the jobless rate to stay at 3.7 percent. The labor force participation rate was unchanged 62.9 percent in November, while hourly earnings for private-sector workers rose by 0.2 percent m-o-m (6 cents) to $27.35, following a downwardly revised 0.1 percent m-o-m gain in October. Economists had forecast a 0.3 percent m-o-m advance in the average hourly earnings. The average workweek edged down by 0.1 hours to 34.4 hours in November, while economists had forecast the reading to be 34.5 hours.

Asian stock indexes closed steeply lower on Monday, responding to negative signals from Wall Street and disappointing statistics out of China and Japan.

European stock indexes are expected to trade lower in the morning trading session.


Bond Market
Yields of US 10-year notes hold at 2.85% (0 basis points)
Yields of German 10-year bonds hold at 0.24% (-1 basis points)
Yields of UK 10-year gilts hold at 1.13% (0 basis points)

Commodity Markets
Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures traded lower. Crude oil for delivery in January settled at $52.48 (-0.25%). The crude oil prices fell slightly, as investors continued to digest a new deal of OPEC and its allies to cut oil production and boost the market. Major oil producers to cut output by 1.2 million barrels a day for the first six months of 2019. The 15-member OPEC cartel has agreed to reduce its output by 800,000 bpd, while Russia and the allied producers will contribute a 400,000 bpd reduction. The focus also was on the latest data from Baker Hughes, which showed that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil fell by 10 to 877 during the week ended December 7. In the prior week, the oil-rig count rose by two. Meanwhile, the total active U.S. rig count, which includes oil and natural-gas rigs, also decreased by one to 1,075, as the gas rig count increased by nine to 198 last week, and the miscellaneous rig count remained at 0. The U.S. rig count is up 144 rigs from this time last year when it stood at 931.

Gold traded at $1,247.50 (-0.13%). Gold prices fell slightly due to a partial profit taking after Friday's rally. However, the further fall in prices was limited by the negative dynamics of the U.S. currency. The index, measuring the value of the U.S. dollar relative to a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.05 percent to 96.48. Since gold prices are tied to the dollar, a weaker dollar makes the precious metal cheaper for holders of foreign currencies.


IV. The most important scheduled events (time GMT 0)


09:30

Eurozone

Sentix Investor Confidence

09:30

United Kingdom

Industrial Production

09:30

United Kingdom

Manufacturing Production

09:30

United Kingdom

Total Trade Balance

09:30

United Kingdom

GDP

13:15

Canada

Housing Starts

13:30

Canada

Building Permits

14:00

United Kingdom

NIESR GDP Estimate

15:00

U.S.

JOLTs Job Openings

23:50

Japan

BSI Manufacturing Index



Mise au point du marché

  • UK gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.4% in the three months to October
  • In December, the sentix overall index for the economy in Euro Area falls for the 4th time in a row to -0.3
  • St. Louis Fed Chief James Bullard Suggests Fed Hold Rates Steady
  • Fed's Brainard: Gradual Rate Increases Still Appropriate 'In the Near Term'
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