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Market panorama. 21 juin 2018

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I. Market focus:

U.S.-China trade tensions continue to grow and the world is getting closer and closer to the global trade war. Yesterday, the U.S. president’s administration released the report titled "How China's Economic Aggression Threatens the Technologies and Intellectual Property of the United States and the World", in which it accused the PRC of "economic aggression," which “threatens not only the U.S. economy but also the global economy as a whole.” The report followed the introduction of the tariffs on up to $50 billion of Chinese goods and the threat of imposition of additional tariffs on China’s products worth $200 billion. In response to the U.S. actions, the PRC Minister of Commerce stated today that China is "fully prepared" to adopt retaliatory measures to protect its own interests. Despite the fact that the seriousness of the statements of both sides cannot be doubted, the rhetoric has not yet had any significant impact on the markets, although the likelihood of declining risk appetite, which would entail a drop in the stock indices, as well as a growth in gold prices and the yen, remains high.
The focus of market participants is on the meeting of the Bank of England's (BoE) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). The regulator’s decision on monetary policy will be announced at 11:00 GMT, and the speech its governor, Mark Carney, will begin at 20:15 GMT. It is expected that the UK’s central bank will not make any changes to the parameters of its monetary policy at the June meeting, leaving its benchmark rate at 0.5 percent. The decision is expected to be adopted by seven of the nine members of MPC, while two members will vote for a hike. Although the UK labor market remains strong, the outlook for economic growth is deteriorating, suppressing expectations of tougher rhetoric by the regulator. Economists forecast that the BoE will raise rates at its August gathering but many market participants are skeptical about this.
The conclusion of the BoE meeting is the main expected event of Thursday's session. Apart from the UK’s regulator, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) is also set to announce its decision on monetary policy. The outcomes of the SNB meeting will be released at 07:30 GMT. It is expected that the central bank of Switzerland will not make any changes to its monetary policy stance as well.

II. The market highlights are:

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stated on Wednesday at the ECB’s annual policy conference that solid economic growth had built a strong case for a further gradual increase in rates. He also noted that the regulator had not achieved its employment and price stability goals. “Today, with the economy strong and risks to the outlook balanced, the case for continued gradual increases in the federal-funds rate remains strong and broadly supported among” the members of the Fed’s rate-setting committee, Powell said. The Fed’s chair also said that there were only few risks of bubbles but reminded that the prior two U.S. economic expansions ended after the eruption of financial imbalances - in the technology sector and the housing market, - rather than overheating due to excessive inflation. “We have often seen confidence become overconfidence and lead to excessive borrowing and risk-taking, leaving the financial system more vulnerable,” he said.

  • The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported on Wednesday that the U.S. existing home sales fell 0.4 percent m-o-m to an annual rate of 5.43 million units in May from a revised 5.45 million in April (originally 5.46 million). Economists had forecast home resales increasing to a 5.52 million-unit pace last month. According to the report, single-family home sales declined 0.6 percent m-o-m to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million in May, while existing condominium and co-op sales rose 1.6 percent m-o-m to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 620,000 units. With last month’s decline, sales were 3.0 percent below a year ago. The NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun said that a solid economy and job market should be generating a much stronger sales pace than what had been seen so far this year. “Closings were down in a majority of the country last month and declined on an annual basis in each major region,” he said. “Incredibly low supply continues to be the primary impediment to more sales, but there’s no question the combination of higher prices and mortgage rates are pinching the budgets of prospective buyers, and ultimately keeping some from reaching the market.”

  • The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed on Wednesday that crude inventories fell by 5.914 million barrels to 426.5 million barrels in the week ended June 19. Economists had forecast a decrease of 1.898 million barrels. At the same time, gasoline stocks rose by 3.3 million barrels to 240 million barrels, while analysts had expected a decrease of 200,000 barrels. Distillate stocks increased by 2.7 million barrels to 117.4 million barrels last week, while analysts had forecast a drop of 100,000 barrels. Meanwhile, oil production in the U.S. was unchanged at 10.900 million barrels per day. U.S. crude oil imports averaged 8.2 million barrels per day last week, up by 143,000 barrels per day from the previous week.

  • Statistics New Zealand announced on Wednesday that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent q-o-q and 2.7 percent y-o-y in the first quarter of 2018. That was in-line with economists’ forecasts. The quarterly and the annual readings for the fourth quarter of 2017 were left unrevised at +0.6 percent and +2.9 percent y-o-y, respectively. According to the report, the Q1 economic growth was driven by the expansion of activity in service industries (+0.6 percent q-o-q), which more than offset a contraction in construction activity (-1.0 percent q-o-q). The primary industries rebounded slightly (+0.6 percent q-o-q) due to increased agricultural activity (+0.8 percent q-o-q). On the expenditures side, household spending was flat q-o-q in the first quarter as increased household spending on services was offset by decreased spending on goods. Investment in fixed assets rose 0.7 percent q-o-q in the first quarter, driven by higher investment in plant, machinery, and equipment (+2.1 percent q-o-q), which, however, was offset by falls in investment in residential (-0.2 percent q-o-q), non-residential (-1.4 percent q-o-q), and other construction (-4.9 percent q-o-q).


III. Market Situation
Currency Market
The currency pair EUR/USD traded moderately lower, due to a new wave of the U.S. currency strengthening, supported by growth in the yields on U.S. Treasuries and yesterday's comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who stated that solid economic growth had built a strong case for a further gradual increase in rates. “With unemployment low and expected to decline further, inflation close to our objective, and the risks to the outlook roughly balanced, the case for continued gradual increases in the federal funds rate is strong," he said. Today, traders will continue to focus on the dynamics of the U.S. currency and the general market sentiment toward risky assets. In addition, some attention will be paid to the U.S. weekly data on jobless claims. It is expected that the new applications for U.S. unemployment benefits increased to 220,000 last week compared with 218,000 in the prior week. Resistance level - $1.1644 (high of June 19). Support level - $1.1511 (low of May 29).

The currency pair GBP/USD fell sharply, reaching a low of November 16, 2017, due to the broad strengthening of the US currency. Investors also adjusted their positions ahead of the announcement of the outcomes of the monetary policy meeting of the Bank of England (BoE) later today. It is anticipated that the BoE’s statement will not become a surprise for the markets. Analysts expect that the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will vote 7-2 in favour of leaving benchmark interest rate unchanged at the June meeting as it did in May. The volume of corporate bond purchases and the UK government bond purchases is expected to be maintained as well. However, the minutes of the BoE’s June meeting can lay the foundations for an August hike from 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent. Less than 55 percent of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect the UK’s central bank to raise interest rates in August, compared to 60 percent in a similar poll in May. Resistance level - $1.3298 (high of June 15). Support level - $1.3130 (low of November 15, 2017).

The currency pair AUD/USD demonstrated a moderate decline, pressured by the broad strengthening of the U.S. dollar and the lingering fears of a trade war. Yesterday, the U.S. president’s administration released the report titled "How China's Economic Aggression Threatens the Technologies and Intellectual Property of the United States and the World", in which it accused the PRC of "economic aggression," which “threatens not only the U.S. economy but also the global economy as a whole.” The report followed the introduction of the tariffs on up to $50 billion of Chinese goods and the threat of imposition of additional tariffs on China’s products worth $200 billion. In response to the U.S. actions, the PRC Minister of Commerce stated today that China is "fully prepared" to adopt retaliatory measures to protect its own interests. Experts warn that the prospects of a trade war between the U.S. and China (Australia's major trading partner) and the cautious position of the RBA overshadow the future of the Australian dollar. Resistance level - AUD0.7480 (high of June 15). Support level - AUD0.7326 (low of May 9).

The currency pair USD/JPY rose noticeably, refreshing its high of June 18, due to the broad growth of the U.S. dollar. In addition, investors were preparing for the release of Japan's national consumer price index (CPI), scheduled for 23:30 GMT. Last week, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) maintained its aggressive asset-purchase and yield-curve targets. There is nothing surprising in the fact that BoJ continues its accommodative policy, even though the other central banks talk about normalization, and the divergence becomes more evident. The main aim of the Japanese regulator is to reach the 2 percent “price stability target”. After consumer prices rose by 0.6 percent y-o-y in April, experts expect their growth pace probably slowed to 0.3 percent y-o-y in May. Resistance level - Y110.89 (high of June 15). Support level - Y109.54 (low of June 19).

Stock Market

Index

Value

Change

S&P

2,767.32

+0.17%

Dow

24,657.80

-0.17%

NASDAQ

7,781.52

+0.72%

Nikkei

22,693.04

+0.61%

Hang Seng

29,304.89

-1.32%

Shanghai

2,875.61

-1.38%

S&P/ASX

6,232.10

+0.96%


U.S. stock indexes closed mixed on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq outperforming, helped by gains in tech and media names. Meanwhile, U.S.-China trade tensions remained in investors’ focus. Investors also received data on the U.S. existing home sales, which were weaker-than-expected. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that the U.S. existing home sales fell 0.4 percent m-o-m to an annual rate of 5.43 mln units in May from a revised 5.45 million in April (originally 5.46 million). Economists had forecast home resales increasing to a 5.52 million-unit pace last month. With last month’s decline, sales were 3.0 percent below a year ago.

Asian stock indexes closed mixed on Thursday, tracking Wall Street's overnight performance. Investors continued to fret about the prospect of global trade. Japan’s equity benchmark, the Nikkei, rose for a second straight session as the yen weakened against the U.S. dollar, supporting the Japanese large export-oriented companies.

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


Bond Market
Yields of US 10-year notes hold at 2.94% (0 basis points)
Yields of German 10-year bonds hold at 0.38% (0 basis points)
Yields of UK 10-year gilts hold at 1.30% (0 basis points)

Commodity Markets
Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures traded lower. Crude oil for delivery in August settled at $65.50 (-0.32%). The crude oil prices fell moderately, due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar and the expectations of an announcement of a possible increase in OPEC+ crude supply. Market participants also continued to digest the latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), which revealed that the U.S. crude inventories fell by 5.914 million barrels to 426.5 million barrels in the week ended June 19. Economists had forecast a decrease of 1.898 million barrels. At the same time, gasoline stocks rose by 3.3 million barrels to 240 million barrels, while analysts had expected a decrease of 200,000 barrels. Distillate stocks increased by 2.7 million barrels to 117.4 million barrels last week, while analysts had forecast a drop of 100,000 barrels. Meanwhile, oil production in the U.S. was unchanged at 10.900 million barrels per day. U.S. crude oil imports averaged 8.2 million barrels per day last week, up by 143,000 barrels per day from the previous week.

Gold traded at $1,264.30 (-0.25%). Gold prices fell slightly, as the U.S. currency strengthened. The index, measuring the value of the U.S. dollar relative to a basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.23 percent to 95.27. Since gold prices are tied to the dollar, a stronger dollar makes the precious metal more expensive for holders of foreign currencies.

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


07:30

Switzerland

SNB Interest Rate Decision

08:30

United Kingdom

PSNB

08:30

Switzerland

SNB Press Conference

09:45

Germany

German Buba President Weidmann Speaks

11:00

United Kingdom

Asset Purchase Facility

11:00

United Kingdom

BoE Interest Rate Decision

12:30

Canada

Wholesale Sales

12:30

U.S.

Continuing Jobless Claims

12:30

U.S.

Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey

12:30

U.S.

Initial Jobless Claims

13:00

U.S.

Housing Price Index

14:00

Eurozone

Consumer Confidence

14:00

U.S.

Leading Indicators

20:15

United Kingdom

BOE Gov Mark Carney Speaks

22:45

New Zealand

Visitor Arrivals

23:30

Japan

National Consumer Price Index


Mise au point du marché

  • ECB's Weidmann says first ECB rate hike could follow the end of QE more closely than in the U.S
  • Industrial producer prices rose by 0.1% in the euro area (EA19) and by 0.2% in the EU28
  • European Commission forecasts Euro Zone inflation will accelerate to 1.6 pct y/y in 2019 from 1.5 pct y/y seen in 2018
  • UK service providers signalled a modest rebound in business activity - Markit
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