In a widely expected announcement, the Bank of England kept it bank rate unchanged at 0.25%, as well as holding it government bond purchases at £435bn and corporate bond purchases at up to £10bn. Among the notable highlights in the report, the BOE said that "monetary policy can respond, in either direction, to changes to the economic outlook", which appears to have pushed sterling higher.
With October, the worst month for stocks since January, now in the history books S&P futures are eager to telegraph that the streak of five consecutive will end, with a modest gain of 0.3% in overnight trading, coupled with mixed global markets as the global bond selloff returned after strong Chinese economic data prompted concerns about rising global inflation.
Expectations for the BoJ meeting tonight were for no change (and perhaps lowering its inflation and growth outlooks) and markets were braced for a whole lot of nothing with overnight USDJPY vol at its lowest of the year (for a BoJ meeting). Sure enough that is what they got. "No change" across anything policy but cuts to inflation expectations (as well as warnings of a downside skew for growth) left the yen slightly higher.
The key economic releases this week include the personal income and spending report on Monday, ISM manufacturing on Tuesday, ISM non-manufacturing on Wednesday, and the employment report on Friday. The November FOMC statement will be released on Wednesday at 2PM.
Asian shares traded mixed, European shares slid while US equity futures posted a modest rebound after Friday's surprising political news that the FBI reopened its probe into Hillary Clinton, after OPEC failed to agree supply cuts at a meeting in Vienna.
With Yellen paralyzed with fear and certain to change nothing just 6 days before the election, a far more interesting central bank meeting due later this week, is that of the BOJ which addresses the market on November 1, and which over the past few months has set the global bond market on edge with its attempts to steepen the JGB yield curve which in turn led to the VaR-shocked early September stock selloff,
The way that economic data is presented, we often think of inflation as a singular number representing a general increase in prices. But in reality, price changes do not affect products and services in such a uniform and simple fashion...
S&P futures and Asian stocks were little changed while European shares fell as the global bonds sell-off deepened on speculation major central banks are moving closer to reining in stimulus, while stocks retreated after disappointing results from companies including Amazon.com and AB InBev.
I gave a 45-minute presentation on Yield Purchasing Power at American Institute for Economic Research in Great Barrington, MA on October 14, 2016. I am grateful to the Institute for recording video of my presentation plus extended Q&A.
Looking at the week ahead, the US election enters the home stretch and politics will likely dominate the headlines, especially the closer races in Congress. Despite data being overshadowed by politics, there are some key US releases coming up, with the first estimate of Q3 GDP, the employment cost index and durable goods the main focus.
Global stocks jumped around the globe, with Europe's Stoxx 600 and US equity futures rising more than 0.5% on a surge in merger announcements over the weekend including the $85 billion mega takeout of AT&T for Time Warner, the $6.4 billion acquisition of B/E Aerospace by Rockwell Collins, the $2.7 billion deal targeting Genworth by China Oceanwide and the just announced $4 billion purchase of Scotttrade by Ameritrade.
The near-zero interest rates favor short-term production schedules with minimal capital requirements, resulting in low-risk production lines of cheap goods. That’s why we have “pound- shops” and 99p shops and all the other shabby outlets that now litter every suburban high street - creating the illusion of zero inflation.