US equity futures and global markets are in the red, amid a broader risk-off tone to start the week as a renewed slowdown in China’s industrial profits growth dented sentiment in global financial markets, as they were seen as a sign of weak domestic demand and a reminder of the country’s economic slowdown. As of 7:35am, S&P and Nasdaq futures were both down 0.1%, off the worst levels of the session. 10-year TSY yields climbed as much as five basis points to 4.51%, the highest in more than a week, before reversing the entire move; gold climbed to the highest since May, rising over $2,100 while the dollar was little changed and bitcoin slumped under $37,000. Oil was down a fourth day before this week’s delayed OPEC+ meeting. Retail Sales numbers for Black Friday showing +2.5% YoY gain with online sales +7.5% to a record $9.8bn; this could be driven by discount/bargain hunting. Today we will get the October new home sales data, with economists expecting a decline after September’s surprise surge in sales volumes as higher mortgage rates and increased inventories of existing homes weigh on sales. The Dallas Fed manufacturing activity index is also due later for November.
In premarket trading, Foot Locker dropped 3% after the sports apparel retailer was downgraded to sell at Citi, which sees third-quarter earnings per share missing estimates. Here are some other notable premarket movers:
- Crown Castle gains 4% after a report that activist investor Elliott Investment Management plans to push for changes at the wireless tower owner.
- Shopify jumps 4% after the e-commerce company said merchants set a Black Friday record with a combined $4.1 billion in sales.
- GE HealthCare Technologies drops 3% as UBS gives the stock its only sell rating.
Today's cautious start comes despite the VIX index falling belkow 13, its lowest level since January 2020, as markets have been buoyed by a growing assumption that further interest-rate hikes from the Fed and ECB are unlikely. In earnings due this week, Crowdstrike Holdings Inc. will underscore how businesses are prioritizing cybersecurity after recent high-profile corporate hacks, while Salesforce and Dell are expected to post slower sales growth as overall corporate expenditure tightens.
A slowdown in China’s industrial profit growth added to concern about deflation in the world’s second-largest economy. Fresh economic data this week will help traders gauge whether the gains for stocks and bonds seen so far this month can extend into December. Statistics include euro-zone inflation figures, China PMIs and US personal consumption numbers on Thursday, and US and euro-area PMIs on Friday.
“There’s not much fundamental reason for high market optimism,” said Ulrich Leuchtmann, head of currency strategy at Commerzbank AG. “A lot of clients I am talking to are getting more pessimistic about long-term growth prospects.”
Meanwhile, after the bounce back in Treasuries this month, many US debt watchers say the path is clearing for a real revival in the market. The Bloomberg US Treasury Index is showing a positive return for the year after spending chunks of 2023 underwater, helped by of slowing inflation and measured jobs growth.
In Europe the Stoxx 600 was down 0.1% as traders brace for inflation data due later in the week. Energy stocks are the worst performers, tracking losses in oil prices as Brent crude futures fall 1.8% to trade below $79.20. Real estate and telecom stocks are the biggest gainers, while energy and autos shares lag. BASF drops after a downgrade from Morgan Stanley while Bpost slumps after Belgian newspaper L’Echo reported the company is set to lose its newspaper and periodical delivery contracts. Turkish banks got a boost after Bank of America issued a broad buy reconmmendation on the group. Here are some of Monday’s biggest movers:
- Rightmove shares rise as much as 7% after the real estate portal said its revenue is tracking marginally ahead of expectations since July, helped by higher revenue by per advertiser. That’s despite a becalmed UK housing market, analysts noted. Its long-term revenue and profit guidance met analyst expectations.
- Elior shares rise as much as 7.7%, to the highest since July, after Deutsche Bank upgraded the French caterer to buy from hold, saying “the worst is probably over” and the focus is shifting to accretive growth and de-leveraging.
- Shaftesbury shares gain as much as 2.6% after the London landlord said customers reported sales in aggregate 12% above 2022 levels and 16% above 2019 levels in the period from July 1 to Nov. 15, according to a trading update.
- Turkish Banks’ shares surged the most in a month after Bank of America issued an across-the-board buy recommendation on major private-sector lenders, predicting they would benefit from the central bank’s pivot back to orthodox monetary policy.
- Julius Baer shares fall as much as 2.9% after the wealth manager said it is reviewing a lending business after confirming an exposure of 606 million Swiss francs to a single client.
- BASF shares fall as much as 2.9% after being cut to underweight from equal-weight at Morgan Stanley. The broker highlights a structural shift in the global chemicals cost curve that it says doesn’t appear to be fully discounted.
- BPost shares fell as much as 14% after L’Echo newspaper reported on Saturday that the company was set to lose its newspaper and periodicals delivery contracts.
- Frontier Developments shares sink as much as 24% after the UK video-game maker cut its revenue forecast for the fiscal year ending May next year, saying sales from a newly released real-time strategy game missed projections.
- Entain shares fall as much as 2.9% as Goldman says its buy rating on the Ladbrokes bookmaker parent was “wrong” and changes it to sell. Goldman is only sell-rated firm among 21 tracked by Bloomberg.
Earlier in the session, Asian stocks fell, led by declines in China after data showed profit growth at the nation’s industrial companies slowed, adding to concerns over the region’s largest economy. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.4%, with TSMC and Alibaba among the biggest drags. Stocks in Japan, Taiwan, Australia and Singapore also slipped. Markets in India and the Philippines were closed for holidays. China’s benchmark CSI 300 Index fell more than 1% after a report that industrial profit growth slowed for a second-straight month. The nation’s economy remains fragile despite continued measures from authorities to stimulate consumption and support the ailing real estate sector.
- Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp declined following soft Chinese Industrial Profits and amid shadow banking concerns after Chinese authorities opened a probe into struggling shadow bank Zhongzhi, while the PBoC’s notice to strengthen financial support for private companies did little to spur risk sentiment.
- Nikkei 225 wiped out its opening gains after hitting resistance just above the 33,800 level and as participants digested Japanese Services PPI which showed a slight acceleration.
- ASX 200 finished lower as weakness in the defensive and mining-related sectors overshadowed the gains in tech.
In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped 0.1%, edging closer to a 2 1/2-month low touched last week; USD/JPY fell as much as 0.4% amid month-end trading flows, with market participants citing possible month-end demand for yen from Japanese exporters.
In rates, treasuries were little changed; the 10-year yield was flat at 4.465% after edging up as much as 5bps higher to 4.51%, its highest in more than a week. US TSYs trailed bunds and gilts outperforming by 4bp and 2.5bp in the sector; curve spreads are also within 1bp of Friday close levels. Core European bonds outperform, led by gilts after dovish comments from BOE Governor Andrew Bailey, who said recent inflation figures were “very good news.” Main focal point of US session is supply as two coupon auctions are slated — 2-year and 5-year notes. Compressed auction cycle begins with $54b 2-year note sale at 11:30am and $55b 5-year at 1pm; WI 2-year yield is around 4.910%, 14.5bp richer than last month’s, which stopped on the screws; WI 5-year at around 4.46% is ~44bp richer than previous.
In commodities, oil fell for a fourth day as traders looked ahead to this week’s delayed OPEC+ meeting. Gold closed above $2,000 an ounce on Friday, capping a second weekly gain and bolstering confidence that higher prices are justified. The metal has been lifted in the second half of November by weaker US economic data that added to expectations for early rate cuts by the Fed next year. The narrative for iron ore keeps swinging between China property stimulus (bullish) and Beijing’s resolve to clamp down on speculation (bearish).
Today’s macro data focus is new home sales and Dallas Fed; later this week we receive consumer confidence, GDP/PCE, and ISM-Mfg.
- S&P 500 futures down 0.2% to 4,558.00
- STOXX Europe 600 down 0.2% to 458.86
- MXAP down 0.3% to 161.05
- MXAPJ down 0.3% to 501.89
- Nikkei down 0.5% to 33,447.67
- Topix down 0.4% to 2,381.76
- Hang Seng Index down 0.2% to 17,525.06
- Shanghai Composite down 0.3% to 3,031.70
- Sensex little changed at 65,970.04
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.8% to 6,987.64
- Kospi little changed at 2,495.66
- German 10Y yield little changed at 2.64%
- Euro little changed at $1.0947
- Brent Futures down 0.9% to $79.89/bbl
- Brent Futures down 0.9% to $79.89/bbl
- Gold spot up 0.7% to $2,015.01
- U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 103.33
Top Overnight News
- Taiwan’s presidential election coming up on Jan 13 risks reigniting tensions with China as opposition parties more friendly to Beijing fail to unite, clearing a path for the current pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party to stay in power. WaPo
- The Beijing Stock Exchange has de facto implemented a new policy that prevents major shareholders of companies listed on its bourse from selling stock, worried that such sales could douse a long-desired rally, three people familiar with the matter said. RTRS
- US and Germany are starting to place pressure on Ukraine to negotiate an end to the war with Russia based approximately on the current battlelines. London Times
- Russia launched its largest drone attack of the war in the early hours of Saturday morning, targeting Kyiv in what Ukrainian officials fear is the start of a winter campaign aimed at destroying the country’s energy infrastructure. FT
- OPEC+ is close to resolving a dispute over 2024 production quotas with certain African members, potentially paving the way for incremental action on curbing supply at the upcoming 11/30 meeting. RTRS
- Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey suggested that interest-rate cuts are unlikely for the “foreseeable future” as he warned that the second half of the inflation battle will be “hard work.” BBG
- A healthcare hiring boom is helping offset weaker job growth in other areas of the softening U.S. economy, boosting its chances of skirting a recession. The industry could serve as a strong job generator for years to come as an aging population and Covid-19 fuel widespread worker shortages and greater needs for healthcare services. WSJ
- An upcoming sale of shares in OpenAI is set to test how much the past week’s leadership chaos has cost the company and its backers, though big investors are bullish about securing a high valuation. The employee stock sale, which had been planned before the sacking last week of chief executive Sam Altman and expected to value the company at $86bn, will continue as planned, according to two investors with direct knowledge of the matter. FT
- Mastercard said overall spending rose ~2.5% Y/Y (ex-autos) on Black Friday, with in-store up a bit more than 1% while online climbed 8.5% (the 8.5% online spending increase isn’t that far from the +7.5% number published by Adobe). CNN
A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk
APAC stocks declined heading into month-end and after newsflow over the weekend was mainly dominated by geopolitical headlines with a question mark hanging over whether the Israel-Hamas truce will be extended beyond the initial four-day agreement. ASX 200 finished lower as weakness in the defensive and mining-related sectors overshadowed the gains in tech. Nikkei 225 wiped out its opening gains after hitting resistance just above the 33,800 level and as participants digested Japanese Services PPI which showed a slight acceleration. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp declined following soft Chinese Industrial Profits and amid shadow banking concerns after Chinese authorities opened a probe into struggling shadow bank Zhongzhi, while the PBoC’s notice to strengthen financial support for private companies did little to spur risk sentiment.
Top Asian News
- PBoC issued a notice to strengthen financial support for private companies and will encourage institutional investors to actively and scientifically allocate private companies business process modelling, development and support. PBoC said it is to support private enterprises in listing and financing, mergers and acquisitions and restructuring, while it also said to use monetary policy tools and fiscal subsidies to incentivise financial institutions to service private companies and will reasonably meet the financing needs of private property companies.
- China's Global Times noted multiple central government departments pledged to support private enterprises' growth and outlined 25 concrete measures to ensure their financing needs and bolster their technological innovations.
- Chinese authorities opened a probe into struggling shadow bank Zhongzhi after it recently warned of severe insolvency.
- Japanese Foreign Minister Kamikawa said they sought an immediate lifting of the Japanese maritime product ban by China in a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang and were able to have a meaningful exchange on common challenges such as climate change and North Korea. They also shared the common view that Japan and China should hold security talks in the near future, while it was also reported that China, Japan and South Korea agreed to boost ties and seek a summit, according to Reuters.
- Australia’s government will introduce a bill this week that would give the RBA’s independent expert members more responsibility for setting interest rates with a new specialist monetary policy board. Furthermore, the bill would implement the recommendations of the RBA review announced in April including switching to fewer meetings in a year and a dual mandate of price stability and full employment, according to Reuters. In relevant news, Australia named BoE's Andrew Hauser as RBA Deputy Governor who is expected to start before the first RBA board meeting next year, according to Reuters.
- China to hold CCP Politburo meeting on November 27th, according to state media.
- Beijing Stock Exchange has reportedly de facto implemented a new policy preventing major shareholders of Cos from selling stock, via Reuters citing sources; amid concerns that sales could extinguish the desired rally.
European bourses are in the red, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.2%, with trade ultimately indecisive; whilst the FTSE 100 -0.3% underperforms amid energy action. Sectors are mixed, but with a clear negative tilt; Energy resides at the foot of the pile hampered by crude benchmarks while Telecoms outperform. Stateside, futures are subdued with clear underperformance in the Russell -0.5% vs. -0.1% in the ES & NQ. Black Friday US online sales rose 7.5% Y/Y to USD 9.8bln, while shopper traffic to physical stores rose 2%-5% Y/Y, according to CNBC citing Adobe Analytics. Online sales are boosted by demand for electronics, smartwatches, TVs and audio equipment, according to Bloomberg; UK Retail footfall +7.9% W/W in Black Friday week, +2.0% Y/Y, via MRI Software. Deutsche Bank sees the S&P500 ending 2024 at 5,100 (vs Friday's close of 4,559.34).
Top European News
- UK PM Sunak reportedly eyes more tax cuts in spring as he weighs the UK election date, while he also stated in an interview that claims the UK is headed for austerity are unfounded, according to Bloomberg.
- UK PM Sunak is to highlight almost GBP 30bln of investment pledges by international companies at the Global Investment Summit on Monday which will create thousands of jobs across the UK in the most innovative sectors, including tech, life sciences, renewables, housing and infrastructure, according to the UK government website.
- UK Lords’ economic affairs committee is advocating for a revision in the accountability mechanisms for the BoE, according to the Times. This call for change is driven by the significant expansion in the Bank's powers and objectives since it gained operational independence 25 years ago.
- National Infrastructure Commission chair Armitt warned that UK PM Sunak’s funding plan to get private developers to fund an expensive tunnel under London to connect the HS2 line to Euston is set to fail and that the government needs to be ready to fund the core civil engineering for the final miles of the project, according to FT.
- ECB’s Nagel called on the German government to resolve the budget situation and create budget clarity soon, according to Bloomberg. Nagel also said the ECB's rates were slowing inflation but added that inflation is not yet back down to a level where they want it.
- EU’s commissioner for jobs and social rights Schmit said EU consumers will have to pay higher prices to cover the costs to provide better rights for gig workers but added that price increases will not kill the industry’s business model, according to FT.
- BoE Governor Bailey says a lot of the recent fall of inflation is due to the unwinding of energy cost surge, according to ChronicleLive; getting inflation back down to 2% will be hard work.
- Greenback remains top heavy, but DXY derives some support from firmer US Treasury yields within a 103.22-53 range.
- Loonie undermined by renewed weakness in oil as USD/CAD climbs from 1.3623 to 1.3661.
- Aussie probes 200-DMA vs Buck and touches 0.6600 on hawkish RBA vibes, Sterling regains 1.2600+ status after another pushback against rate cuts by BoE Governor Bailey.
- Euro consolidates gains on 1.0900 handle and Yen pares declines from 149.67 in the wake of a pick-up in Japanese producer prices.
- PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 7.1159 vs exp. 7.1461 (prev. 7.1151).
- Bonds regain recovery momentum after a pull-back and bout of consolidation.
- Bunds pick up the baton from Gilts within 130.56-16 and 95.90-39 respective ranges.
- T-note lags between 108-14/06 parameters ahead of front-loaded refunding auctions, US new home sales data and the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Business Index.
- German gov't spokesperson expects the Cabinet to agree on a supplementary 2023 budget this afternoon.
- Crude benchmarks continue to slump, with light newsflow unable to change sentiment; Energy Intel’s Bakr reports African states have not reached a resolution yet with regards to their baselines ahead of the OPEC+ meeting on Thursday.
- WTI & Brent Jan'24 are under marked pressure, at session lows of USD 74.07/bbl and USD 79.13/bbl respectively.
- Base Metals are mixed with overall sentiment tentative, whilst Precious Metals remain propped up, with spot Gold holding above the USD 2000/oz level.
- Iraq’s Oil Ministry said UAE-based Crescent Petroleum won the rights to two oil fields in the country’s 5th oil and gas leasing round, while another company won rights to the Howaiza oil field, according to Reuters.
- African states have not reached a resolution yet with regards to their baselines and the OPEC+ meeting is still due to take place on November 30th, according to Energy Intel's Bakr.
- Panama’s Trade Ministry said Canada’s First Quantum sent notifications of intent to begin arbitration proceedings amid protests demanding to scrap the miner’s contract to run a key mine.
- China's State Planner conducts a survey on price indices for steel and iron ore.
- Israeli authorities released 39 Palestinian prisoners including 6 women and 33 children as part of the exchange deal with Hamas and Hamas released 17 hostages on Saturday, while it was also reported that more Palestinians were released from Israeli prisons and that Hamas released another 17 captives including 14 Israeli civilians on Sunday which took the total number of prisoners released by Israel to 117 and the total number of captives released by Hamas to 58.
- The release of hostages was reportedly delayed by seven hours on Saturday after allegations from Hamas including that Israel was not allowing humanitarian aid to reach parts of northern Gaza, while it was separately reported that Israeli media quoted an unnamed security source on Saturday that had warned the military offensive in Gaza would resume unless hostages were released by midnight.
- Israeli PM Netanyahu spoke with US President Biden and told him Israel will resume the Gaza operation in full force at the end of the truce but would welcome extending the truce if it facilitated the release of ten additional hostages daily, according to Reuters.
- Hamas announced in a statement on Sunday that it is seeking to extend the truce with Israel if there are serious efforts made to increase the number of Palestinian detainees released from Israel, according to Reuters.
- Hamas armed wing said on Sunday that 4 of its leaders were killed including the commander of the North Gaza brigade. It was separately reported that the Palestinian Red Crescent said a Palestinian farmer was killed and another was injured on Sunday after they were targeted by Israeli forces in the Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza, while the Palestinian health ministry said two Palestinians were killed by Israeli occupation forces in Nablus and Jenin early on Sunday.
- US President Biden said a 4-year-old American hostage was released by Hamas and they expect additional Americans to be released by Hamas but do not have firm news, while he noted that his goal is to keep the pause in fighting going beyond Monday.
- US Secretary of State Blinken held a call with Egypt’s Foreign Minister to discuss obstacles threatening Israel’s truce with Hamas and ways to reach a comprehensive ceasefire, according to a statement by Egypt’s foreign ministry cited by Reuters.
- Qatar’s PM said Hamas must locate dozens of more hostages held in Gaza by civilians and gangs to extend the truce, according to FT.
- Turkish President Erdogan and Iranian President Raisi discussed in a phone call the importance of taking a stance against Israeli brutality in Palestinian territories, according to Reuters.
- Syria’s army said air defences intercepted Israeli missiles flying from Golan Heights which put Damascus Airport out of service, according to Reuters.
- Unidentified armed individuals have seized an Israeli-linked tanker carrying a cargo of phosphoric acid in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday, according to Reuters citing the vessel management company and a US official. It was later reported that a US warship responded to a distress call from a chemical tanker taken in the Middle East and the tanker is now safe, while Houthis reportedly fired two ballistic missiles at a US destroyer on Sunday evening which failed to hit the target following the US Navy rescue of the Israeli-linked tanker.
- Israeli PM Netanyahu's office confirms receipt of the list of detainees held by Hamas to be released in the fourth batch; notes of major problems in the list of those scheduled to be released and intensive negotiations to change it, Al Arabiya reports. Subsequently, Israel is waiting for Hamas' response to extend the truce for two days in exchange for the release of 20 Israelis, via Al Arabiya.
- "The Israeli army opened fire east of the Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip", according to Al Arabiya (Translated via Google);
US Event Calendar
- 10:00: Oct. New Home Sales MoM, est. -4.7%, prior 12.3%
- 10:00: Oct. New Home Sales, est. 723,000, prior 759,000
- 10:30: Nov. Dallas Fed Manf. Activity, est. -16.0, prior -19.2
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
I went out to play golf yesterday and came back to find the house fully decorated for Xmas. A bit early but we're off skiing in only 2 and a half weeks. I also learnt that a fortune has been spent on a new posh huge artificial tree. I've been told that over the long-run it will be more economical. I've entered it all into a spreadsheet and I think the break even point is 2033! My best hope of an earlier breakeven is a burst of tree hyperinflation.
From 2033 to 2024, and this morning we've just published our 2024 World Outlook entitled "The Race Against Time...". See it here. Over the last 2-3 years we’ve had a fairly consistent macro narrative, viewing this as a classic policy-led boom-bust cycle that would culminate in a US recession towards the end of 2023. We think our narrative still holds even if the exact timing is more uncertain. Monetary policy famously operates with lags which are highly uncertain in their timing and impact. A US recession before this point would have been early historically relative to the start of the hiking cycle. T he race against time narrative refers to the fact that funding has dried up or tightened considerably over the last couple of years for various parts of economies as rates have risen. Can lending standards loosen, and can yields fall, quickly enough to avoid a funding accident that could see contagion? Non-linearity risk that can turn a mild downturn into a deeper recession remains high .
We expect global growth at 2.4% in 2024 (from 3.2% in 2023), with 2.5% generally seen as the upper bound of being deemed to be in a global recession. Even this pace of global growth relies heavily on the EM world with India (+6.0%) and China (+4.7%) big contributors. The lag of policy will help trigger a mild US recession in H1 2024 with 175bps of Fed cuts and 0.6% GDP expected in 2024. The Euro Area is on course for nearly two years of stagnation by mid-2024 when the recovery slowly starts (2024 GDP of 0.2%). The ECB will likely cut 100bps from June to YE 2024. Germany’s 2024 growth has been downgraded around half a percent to -0.2% in the week of this publication due to the Constitutional Court hearing. We also have all our 2024 asset class forecasts updated in the doc.
While our economic forecasts for the DM world suggest a sober outlook at best, the next 12 months could see more evidence that AI will revolutionise productivity growth later this decade. So the medium-term future looks more promising than it has done for some time. So try to remember that as the world flirts with recession in 2024.
This week has a few data points that will sharpen the forecasts further for economists especially in the US where the personal income and spending data (Thursday) will include the all i mportant core PCE which is of course the Fed's preferred measure of inflation. Elsewhere in the US the highlights are the second reading of Q3 GDP on Wednesday, the ISM manufacturing and Auto Sales (Friday), and Chicago PMI (Thursday). There's also a 2 and 5yr auction today and a 7yr equivalent tomorrow. Supply has been a big mover in recent weeks in both directions so although this is relatively short duration it will give some idea of demand, something that will be consistently needed over the next few months and quarters. In Europe, all eyes will be on the preliminary CPI reports for November on Wednesday and Thursday. There will also be labour market data across key economies in the region on Thursday, and a few sentiment gauges, including consumer confidence indices for Germany and France (tomorrow), as well as the final manufacturing PMIs on Friday.
In China, the most important releases will be the November PMIs on Thursday as well as the Caixin manufacturing gauge on Friday after the October prints disappointed. Consensus only expects a slight pick up. It's a busy week in Japan with various labour market and economic activity gauges that you can see in the day-by-day calendar at the end as usual.
Central bank speakers include Fed Chair Powell (Friday), ECB President Lagarde (today) and BoE Governor Bailey (Wednesday). More are noted in the day-by-day calendar.
Elsewhere the delayed OPEC+ meeting that was expected yesterday is now planned for Thursday. That follows oil price volatility in recent weeks with Brent crude currently hovering near $80.5/bbl, down from nearly $97/bbl at the end of September. Also on Thursday, COP28 will kick off in Dubai, lasting a couple of weeks. So expect plenty of climate headlines.
Finally expect more reports of how Black Friday and Cyber Monday went in terms of US retail sales. So far for Black Friday, Mastercard have said sales (ex-autos) were 'only' up +2.5% YoY but split +1.1% for in-store and +8.5% for online. Adobe have confirmed the online sales momentum by suggesting they were up +7.5% and at a record. The only thing i would say is that I've been receiving so many pre-Black Friday emails alerting me to early -60% discounts here and -40% discounts there. So I suspect these sales are happening earlier than they use to so you probably have to look at sales across a longer period now.
Asian equity markets are largely lower at the start of the week with the CSI 300 (-1.20%) leading losses followed by the Hang Seng (-0.99%) and the Shanghai Composite (-0.76%) driven by weakness in China’s property stocks. In addition, Chinese industrial profits decreased -7.8% in the January-to-October period from a -9.0% decline in September. The YoY number fell to +2.7% from +11.9% previously. This was probably a bit disappointing given the base effects were impacted by Covid a year ago.
Elsewhere, the Nikkei (-0.51%) and KOSPI (-0.20%) are also lower alongside S&P 500 (-0.28%) and NASDAQ 100 (-0.45%) futures. Yields on 10yr USTs (+2.7bps) have moved higher, trading at 4.495% as I type. Finally in terms of Asia data, Japan’s services PPI hit a 45-month high of 2.3% y/y in October (v/s +2.1% expected) after a downwardly revised rate of +2.0% the previous month.
Looking back at last week now and markets continued their strong performance with risk assets advancing across the board. In fact, a global 60:40 portfolio of equities and bonds is on track for its best monthly performance in three years since we got the positive vaccine news in November 2020. And on Friday we even saw the VIX index of volatility close at a post-pandemic low of 12.46pts, which gives you a sense of how buoyant markets are right now.
In several respects it was a quiet week, with US markets closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, followed by a half-day on Friday. But there was no sign of the more positive sentiment abating, with the S&P 500 up +1.00% (+0.06% Friday) to a 3-month high, whilst the STOXX 600 was up +0.91% (+0.33% Friday) to a 2-month high. Likewise in credit, US HY spreads tightened for a 5th week running, falling -14bps (-5bps Friday) to 375bps. Meanwhile in Europe, the iTraxx crossover index fell -12.2bps (-0.4bps Friday) to its tightest level since April 2022 .
The boost in risk appetite meant that the sovereign bond rally stumbled by the end of last week, with investors growing a bit more doubtful about the prospect of near-term rate cuts. That wasn’t helped by the latest US data prints, with the University of Michigan’s indicator of long-term inflation expectations remaining at a 12-year high of 3.2% on the final numbers for November. That doubt about rate cuts was then given further support on Friday from the US flash PMIs, with the composite reading for November remaining at 50.7 (vs. 50.4 expected). Alongside that, central bankers themselves continued to push back on the chance of easier policy anytime soon, and markets lowered the chance of a Fed rate cut by May from 77% to 51% over the week .
Against this backdrop, US Treasury yields moved higher last week, with the 10yr yield up +3.1bps (+6.2bps Friday) to 4.47%. There was a similar selloff in Europe too, with yields on 10yr bunds up +5.6bps (+2.5bps Friday) to 2.64%, whilst 10yr gilts saw a sizeable +17.9bps move (+2.7bps Friday) to 4.28%. That followed a fiscal easing from the UK government in the Autumn statement, an upside surprise in the flash PMIs, and then a stronger-than-expected reading on Friday in the GfK’s consumer confidence data. Meanwhile in Germany, the Ifo’s business climate indicator for November came in at a 4-month high of 87.3 (vs. 87.5 expected). However the shock of the Constitutional Court ruling last week will likely impact this going forward and as we saw at the top, this has led our economists to downgrade growth 0.5pp for 2024 versus their thoughts prior to this.
Finally, in commodities, oil lost ground for a 5th consecutive week, with Brent crude down -0.04% (-1.03% Friday) to $80.58/bbl. That comes ahead of this week’s meeting of the OPEC+ group, which is now set to happen on Thursday as discussed above. WTI also lost ground, falling -0.46% (-2.02% Friday) to $75.54/bbl.