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 were modestly higher, before the European Central Bank gives its policy update, while investors weigh mixed earnings results. Asian stocks rise, U.S. equity-index futures are little changed. The euro touched its weakest level since July and stocks in the region fell after their first back-to-back gains in two weeks.
The key economic releases this week include industrial production on Monday, CPI on Tuesday, and housing starts on Wednesday. There are several scheduled speeches from Fed officials this week. The Beige Book for the November FOMC period will be released on Wednesday.
In the US focus will be on the market's reaction to the second presidential debate, FOMC Minutes but also retail sales, import and producer prices and Michigan sentiment. We also hear from various Fed speakers throughout the week, and Chair Yellen gives a keynote speech on Friday.
Will she, or won't she? That is the question everyone wants answered regarding whether Yellen will hike rates in two weeks time. To be sure, historical precedented is not on the side of the hawks: as Bloomberg's Daniel Kruger reminds us, "Last September in ambiguous circumstances Yellen opted to stay on hold. Three years ago in September Ben Bernanke chose not to taper QE3 bond purchases."
Well, we made it. It’s finally Janet Yellen day. Has a speech by a Fed Chair ever been anticipated, dissected and stressed over to this extent? It’s partially down to the fact that she has largely, even unprecedentedly, made herself unavailable for public comment. Sending her minions out to confuse us. But more distressingly, they have put themselves in a situation where a measly 25 basis points looms like a life-changing event.
"The May 18 minutes surprised virtually everyone by guiding strongly toward a rate hike in June or July, and Chair Yellen reinforced this message in her remarks at Harvard University on May 27. But the weak May employment report released on June 3 and increased concern about the UK referendum again triggered a sharp pivot, putting on hold the notion of further hikes. These dramatic shifts have frustrated many market participants. In our view, the Fed has been unlucky."
European, Asian stocks and S&P futures all fell in another quiet, low-volume early session. With oil entering a bull market yesterday, and set for its longest run of gains in 4 years after, overnight crude stumbled, and reversed early gains, falling for the first time in seven days driven by rebound in the dollar which gained versus all G-10 currencies with commodity currencies underperforming.
In the latest quiet trading session, European shares rose while Asian stocks fell and S&P futures were little changed. Minutes of the Fed’s last meeting damped prospects for a U.S. interest-rate hike, sending the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index doen 0.3%, approaching a three-month low. Dollar weakness continues to buoy commodities, with the Bloomberg Commodity Index set for the most enduring rally in more than two months, as WTI flirted with $47
European stocks are down led by tech, chemicals, alongside EM stocks which retreated from near a one-year high and oil fell for the first time in a week after hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials revived bets on U.S. interest rate rises this year, and pushed the dollar higher from 7 week lows ahead of today's Fed Minutes. S&P 500 futures were little changed following yesterday's drop from record highs
With Wall Street hitting peak vacation season, it is a quiet week for news. The key economic release this week is CPI inflation on Tuesday. There are several scheduled speaking engagements from Fed officials this week. Many will be looking for signs of hawkishness Minutes from the July FOMC meeting will be released on Wednesday.
Following last Friday's shocking weak US GDP print, Asian stocks jumped to an 11 month high on reduced prospects of a near-term rate hike, while the region also digested mostly encouraging in conflicting Chinese PMI data. European bank stocks initially rose following the release of the 2016 stress test then declined, tempering gains in global equity indexes, amid investor skepticism over the usefulness of stress-test results and weaker oil prices.
The flight to safety following last week's quarter-end window dressing is accelerating, with constant news and flashing red headlines of record low yields across DM government bonds once the norm, and as of moments ago Denmark's 10Y bonds joined the exclusive club of sub-zero yields; gold has soared to fresh multi-year highs above $1,370, the risk-off currency, the Yen, soaring and sending the USDJPY just above 100, while sterling crashed overnight once again below 1.27, levels not seen since 1985.