US equity futures plowed on to record-er highs overnight, propped up by a slew of stellar earnings reports and as investors shrugged off the Federal Reserve's first steps to begin paring its pandemic-era support as Powell reiterated that the central bank can be patient on raising interest rates (even if rate hikes odds pricing in lliftoff in July were virtually unchanged after Powell's announcement). The Fed Chair announced Wednesday that the central bank will start reducing bond purchases, adding that officials won’t flinch from action if warranted by inflation. The U.S. dollar and Treasuries advanced. “There was no dramatic Hulk-like metamorphosis from the Fed last night as they kept close to expectation," DB's Jim Reid said in a note. At 730 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 7 points, or 0.02%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.75 points, or 0.15%, having earlier tagged a record high 4,662.5, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 61.25 points, or 0.39%. The U.S. dollar and Treasuries advanced.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq notched record all-time closes for their fifth straight sessions on Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a record close for the fourth session in a row. A cheery third quarter earnings season coupled with upbeat commentary about future growth from corporate America has helped Wall Street largely dismiss concerns around rising prices, supply chain snags and a mixed macro-economic picture. A widely expected move by the Fed on announcing its plan to start tapering its monthly bond purchases beginning this month, while sticking to the belief about the "transitory" nature of inflation and waiting for more job growth - before raising interest rates, also helped sentiment. Fed policy makers announced a stimulus-tapering plan as expected, but expressed no hurry to raise benchmark rates even though inflation may run hot for months. While that supported risk-taking in stock markets, a second-day reality check appeared to have emerged in the bond and currency markets. A tug-of-war looked set to continue between dovish central banks and markets pricing in quicker-than-expected rate hikes.
Data due at 08:30 a.m. ET is expected to show the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a fresh 19-month low last week; It will be followed by a more comprehensive nonfarm payrolls report on Friday:
"The risks are now skewed towards the (payrolls data) finally aligning with signals elsewhere in the U.S. economy, after a few months of disappointments," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, at OANDA. "A number north of 500K could cause equity markets to reconsider ignoring the implications of the Fed taper. Similarly, a low print will keep the lower-for-longer monetary party in equities going well into the night."
Elsewhere, U.S. Representative Rick Larsen said on Wednesday his fellow House Democrats could complete votes on President Joe Biden's social spending and infrastructure bills as early as midday on Friday
In premarket trading, shares of Qualcomm jumped 8.1% after the chipmaker forecast better-than-expected profit and revenue for its current quarter on soaring demand for chips used in phones, cars and other internet-connected devices. Tesla added 1.9% and was set for a record open, while mega-cap tech titans GAMMA (f/k/a FAAMG) edged higher. Oil firms including Exxon and Chevron rose 0.9% and 0.5%, respectively, tracking crude prices. Biotech darling Moderna imploded as much as 11% after it missed expectations and guided sharply lower.
Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today:
- Qualcomm (QCOM US) gains 8% premarket as results at the chip giant showed a robust performance against a backdrop of supply constraints, while strength in Android handsets is underpinning growth.
- Booking (BKNG US) gained 3.7% in post-market trading Wednesday after the company reported gross bookings that beat analysts’ forecasts, as an increase in Covid-19 vaccination rates helped spur a rebound.
- Roku (ROKU US) falls 7% in premarket after third-quarter results that missed expectations on key metrics for the maker of streaming equipment.
- Upland Software (UPLD US) slumps 22% in premarket after results, with Jefferies downgrading the stock as it’s the third quarter in a row the firm has not delivered a beat on the top line.
- Skilz (SKLZ US) drops as much as 13% in premarket after the mobile games platform operator reported a net loss for the third quarter.
- TDH (DOGZ US) surges as much as 173% in U.S. premarket trading after the pet food firm and meme-trader favorite announced a placement.
- Magnite (MGNI US) falls 10% in premarket after the advertising solutions firm reported adjusted revenue for the third quarter that lagged behind the average analyst estimate.
- Qorvo (QRVO US) falls 7% in premarket trading after a sales forecast for the communications systems-maker that fell short of the average analyst estimate.
- Fastly (FSLY US) jumped 11% in premarket after the infrastructure software maker reported quarterly revenue that surpassed the average analyst estimate after misses in the past two quarters.
- QuinStreet (QNST US) climbs 21% premarket as the online marketing company raises its full year outlook.
European stocks popped higher on the open, then drifted off best levels. The Euro Stoxx 50 rose as much as 0.7% with real estate, oil & gas and healthcare the strongest sectors. Alstria Office REIT AG soared as much as 20% after Brookfield Asset Management Inc. made a bid to take it private.
Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rose, headed for their first gain in three days, after the Federal Reserve moved to taper stimulus while saying it will be patient on raising interest rates. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 0.7%, driven by gains in technology shares including Tencent, Alibaba and Keyence. Japan and China led gains around the region, with stocks also climbing in Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong. The Fed indicated it was alert to inflation risks but still sees them as transitory due to pandemic-related supply and demand imbalances. The S&P 500 climbed to a fresh record high after the Fed comments, pushing its gain for 2021 to 24%, while the Asian benchmark is little changed on the year. “The Fed seems to create market expectations that the decoupling of asset purchases reduction and rate hikes remains intact,” said Banny Lam, head of research at CEB International Investment Corp. “Widening negative real interest rates also provide continued support to Asian equities.” Markets in Singapore, India and Malaysia are closed for holidays
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5% to close at 7,428.00, boosted by banks, real estate and technology shares. Eight of the 11 industry groups closed higher. Nib rose after the insurance provider reported premium revenue A$669.5 million, up 8.5% year on year. Domino’s Pizza plunged after the pizza chain operator outlined some inflationary risks for 2022 and flagged weaker sales in Japan. Australia’s bright trade picture was underpinned by strong commodities exports. September trade data revealed the surplus narrowing to A$12.2 billion, after an estimated A$12.4 billion. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.4% to 12,943.94
In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index recovered Wednesday’s drop and advanced 0.3% versus all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen amid speculation that a buoyant U.S. economy will support the currency. The Bloomberg Dollar index erased its losses this week, staying within a bullish technical range it has traded in since June. The Treasury curve bull-flattened with U.S. 10-year Treasury yields falling 3bps to 1.57%. “Dollar-yen looks to be finding some support” as it seems reasonable to expect Treasury yields to trend higher, said Sean Callow, senior currency strategist at Westpac.
The Fed “may not be moving any more swiftly than expected to the exit from emergency levels of policy accommodation, but it is still exiting,” Ryan Wang, a U.S. economist at HSBC Holdings Plc, wrote in a note. “This should be enough to support the dollar against a number of currencies where central-bank guidance is more overtly dovish. The continued moderation in global activity is also likely to support the USD.”
The euro fell to its weakest level this week and was the worst performer among G-10 currencies; European bond yields fell, led by the short end. The pound fell against a stronger dollar and gained against the euro as investors weighed up the Bank of England’s upcoming monetary policy announcement. The pound’s volatility skew versus the dollar has shifted modestly higher this week ahead of the Bank of England policy decision, yet remains deeply in favor of downside exposure. Norway’s krone extended losses against both the dollar and the euro, even as Norges Bank left its key rate unchanged at 0.25% as expected while reitirating that the policy rate will most likely be raised in December.
In rates, curves flattened as 5-, 10- and 30-year bond yields fell at least two basis points each on Thursday, while the two-year rate was little changed. Treasuries were higher with the curve flatter, erasing a portion of Wednesday’s post-FOMC bear-steepening losses. The 10-year yield was richer by ~3bp at 1.57%, outperforming bunds by ~2bp, gilts by ~1bp; Bank of England rate decision priced into overnight swaps is a hike, while analysts favor no change. Treasuries outperformed European bond markets, with stock futures holding Wednesday’s record highs. Bank of England rate decision at 8am ET may deliver first increase since the pandemic. U.S. curves were flatter, unwinding some of Wednesday’s steepening, with 2s10s tighter by ~2bp.
In commodities, crude futures rally, recouping over half of Wednesday’s losses. WTI rises 0.9% to regain a $81-handle, Brent adds over 1% before stalling near $83 ahead of OPEC+ gathering. Spot gold holds Asia’s narrow range near $1,775/oz. Base metals are mixed: LME copper and nickel are the best performers; tin and zinc are in the red.
Looking at the day ahead now, and the highlight will be the aforementioned BoE meeting, while there’ll also be remarks from ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s de Cos, Elderson and Schnabel, and BoE Deputy Governor Cunliffe. On the data side, releases include German factory orders for September, the Euro Area October services and composite PMIs and September PPI reading, whilst from the US there’s the September trade balance and the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, the OPEC+ group will be meeting to discuss output, and earnings releases today include Moderna, Square, Airbnb, Uber, Duke Energy and Regeneron.
- S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 4,659.50
- STOXX Europe 600 up 0.5% to 483.53
- MXAP up 0.6% to 199.02
- MXAPJ up 0.4% to 647.67
- Nikkei up 0.9% to 29,794.37
- Topix up 1.2% to 2,055.56
- Hang Seng Index up 0.8% to 25,225.19
- Shanghai Composite up 0.8% to 3,526.87
- Sensex down 0.4% to 59,771.92
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.5% to 7,427.99
- Kospi up 0.3% to 2,983.22
- German 10Y yield little changed at -0.18%
- Euro down 0.5% to $1.1551
- Brent Futures up 0.8% to $82.57/bbl
- Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,776.28
- U.S. Dollar Index up 0.37% to 94.21
Top Overnight News from Bloomberg
- The Bank of England will decide Thursday whether to deliver its first interest-rate hike since the pandemic as a divided Monetary Policy Committee grapples with spiking inflation and slowing growth
- The U.S. is asking OPEC+ to increase output by as much as 800,000 barrels a day, said delegates and diplomats, but the organization is expected to stick to its planned gradual increase, according to a Bloomberg survey
- Investors are hoping the Federal Reserve can manage the path toward rate hikes as smoothly as its taper announcement, according to strategists, who are cautiously optimistic the coming months will see moderate advances for yields, the dollar and equities. Friday’s labor report is seen as the next flash point for markets, given rates traders remain relatively aggressive about the need for Chair Jerome Powell to avoid being overly patient about hiking borrowing costs
- Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida helped further shore up the nation’s commitment to its 2% inflation goal and tamp down any lingering speculation of a rethink of the target or tapering plans
- Having abandoned its experimental bond-yield target two days ago, the Reserve Bank of Australia is now left with the trusty old tools of policy making -- facing traders who still reckon it’s behind the curve
Here is a more detailed breakdown of global markets courtesy of Newsquawk
Asia-Pac stocks traded higher amid tailwinds from the fresh record highs stateside in the aftermath of the FOMC where the Fed announced it is to begin tapering asset purchases but suggested it was in no rush to hike rates. ASX 200 (+0.5%) was kept afloat by advances in tech and financials but with gains in the index capped after weak Retail Sales data and rising COVID-19 cases for Australia’s most populous states, while the energy sector underperformed after oil prices tumbled 4.5% yesterday due to bearish inventory data and the announcement that Iran nuclear talks will resume on November 29th in Vienna. Nikkei 225 (+0.9%) was buoyed on return from holiday as it coat-tailed on the recent advances in USD/JPY and with Japan mulling easing border controls as soon as next Monday, with Toyota also holding on to gains after a jump in H1 profits and JPY 150bln buyback announcement, although the Nikkei finished well off intraday highs after stalling on approach to the 30k level. Hang Seng (+0.8%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.8%) conformed to the broad upbeat mood but was slow to start after another substantial liquidity drain by the PBoC despite the suggestion by Chinese press that recent reverse repo action showed stabilisation efforts. In addition, COVID-19 concerns continued to linger with Beijing having suspended inbound trains from 23 regions to curb the spread of the virus, while there was also attention on the geopolitical front after the US Department of Defense warned that China’s nuclear stockpile is outpacing forecasts and with China conducting week-long live-fire drills in the East China Sea. Finally, 10yr JGBs were steady with only a slight pullback seen from yesterday’s advances and with prices largely ignoring the subdued picture in T-notes which were pressured heading into the Fed taper announcement, while JGBs were also kept afloat after the 10yr inflation-indexed auction from Japan which showed an increase in both the b/c and lowest accepted prices.
Top Asian News
- From Pianos to Paint, the Chip Crunch Is Hurting Japan Earnings
- Toyota’s Swelling Profits Belie Global Auto Parts Shortages
- EU Lawmakers’ Call for High Level Taiwan Ties Defies China
- Shimao Halts Retail Investors’ Bids for Local Bonds After Plunge
Stocks in Europe hold onto the positive bias (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.4%; Stoxx 600 +0.5%) - which originally emanated from the post-FOMC Wall Street session and later reverberated across APAC. US equity futures have been consolidating following yesterdays post-Powell ramp, with the NQ (+0.4%) outperforming the RTY (+0.2%), ES (+0.1%) and YM (Unch). Back to Europe, bourses are posting broad-based gains in what was a morning doused in European corporate updates, whilst the UK’s FTSE 100 (+0.4%) is on standby for the BoE policy decision (full preview available in the Newsquawk Research Suite). Sectors in Europe are mostly firmer with no real overarching bias. Oil & Gas lead the gains following yesterday’s underperformance and in the run-up to the JMMC/OPEC+ meetings later today. Healthcare meanwhile is boosted by pharma-behemoths Roche (+2.5%) and Novartis (+1.6%) after the firms agreed on a bilateral transaction for the sale of 53.3mln (approximately 33%) Roche bearer shares held by Novartis for a total consideration of USD 20.7bln. This in turn has pushed the SMI (+0.8%) to modestly outperform the region. The Telecoms sector is also buoyed by BT (+5.7%) amid constructive earnings, but gains for the sector are capped Telefonica (-1.6%), who hold a larger sector weighting, following their metrics. The morning has been busy in terms of bank earnings, although the sector is constrained by yield dynamics. Nonetheless, SocGen (+3.3%), ING (+1.1%), Commerzbank (+5.2%) and Credit Suisse (+0.7%) all reported today – with the latter also announcing the exit of its prime brokerage activities and will be shifting its focus on to its wealth management business in a bid to better manage risks. Over to the consumer sector, Sainsbury’s (-4.3%) trundles lower after flagging complications from supply chain issues. Finally, in terms of M&A, Alstria Office (+17.5%) soars after Brookfield offered to buy the Co. for EUR 19.50/shr in cash, a premium to yesterday’s EUR 16.62/shr closing price.
Top European News
- Brookfield Enters German Real Estate Fray With Bid for Alstria
- Credit Suisse Flags Loss Next Quarter to Cap Year to Forget
- Novartis Unwinds Roche Ties With $20.7 Billion Stake Sale
- Aston Martin Counts on $3 Million Valkyrie as SUV Drives Rebound
In FX, the Dollar has erased all and more of its initial or knee-jerk declines in wake of the FOMC policy meeting that confirmed the start of QE tapering in a few days' time at the pre-announced pace, but kept clear distance between the unwinding of asset purchase and rate lift-off. However, there was a subtle tweak to the language regarding inflation to indicate less of a transitory assessment and Fed chair Powell refrained from using the ‘t’ word in his press conference before responding to a question by saying that it is also used to convey the view that prices rises caused by bottlenecks and supply-demand imbalances will not leave a legacy of persistently higher inflation. In index terms, a marginally higher peak at 94.280 vs 94.217 at best on Wednesday follows a fractionally higher low of 93.818 vs 93.809 and brings Monday’s w-t-d apex (94.313) back into contention ahead of Challenger Lay-offs, jobless claims, trade data and Q3 labour costs that were highlighted by Powell as a key gauge of tightness in the labour market, which he expected to reach max employment levels by mid-2022.
- EUR - Mixed Eurozone services and composite PMIs have not afforded the Euro any protection from the aforementioned Greenback revival, while the yield backdrop is also weighing as EGB/UST spreads widen, but Eur/Usd might glean some support from option expiries as 1.1 bn resides at 1.1550 and 1.1525. Moreover, the headline pair has found underlying bids around the half round number and a recent trough comes in at 1.1535 (October 29) ahead of the double 2021 low of 1.1525.
- GBP - Sterling is also succumbing to the broad Buck bounce, but also treading cautiously into the BoE amidst a marked unwind of rate hike pricing via Short Sterling contracts alongside a recovery in UK debt. Cable is hovering around 1.3620 having pulled up just shy of 1.3700 and options are anticipating an 80 pip break-even for the live MPC event that is far from certain even though ‘markets’ are anticipating a 15 bp hike. Note also, implied volatility on the Eur/Gbp straddle suggests a 43 pip move either way, though the cross may also be prone to movement from the current 0.8491-65 range pending developments in France where Brexit Minister Frost is aiming to untangle crossed lines over fishing licences.
- NZD/AUD/CAD - The Kiwi, Aussie and Loonie are all weaker vs their US counterpart, with Nzd/Usd and Aud/Usd hovering in the low 0.7100s and 0.7400s respectively, and the latter not far off post-RBA reversal lows after downbeat Q3 retail sales and exports within the overall trade balance overnight. Meanwhile, only a tame rebound in crude prices appears to be capping Usd/Cad around a 1.2400 axis in advance of Canadian trade and the jobs face-off with the US on Friday.
- CHF/JPY - Relative outperformers, or at least holding up better than other majors in the face of the Dollar rebound, as the Franc meanders between 0.9144-11 irrespective of a deterioration in Swiss consumer sentiment and the Yen contains losses below 114.00 on the return of Japanese markets from Culture Day to a benign bond backdrop overall. Note, hefty option expiry interest may keep Usd/Jpy restrained as 2.1 bn sits at the round number and a further 1.8 bn at 114.30.
In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures have firmer on the day as the benchmarks clamber off yesterday’s worst levels despite the rampant Dollar and in the run-up to the JMMC and OPEC+ meetings slated for 13:00GMT and 14:00GMT respectively (full preview available in the Newsquawk Research Suite). Markets expect a continuation of the current plan to ease output curbs by 400k BPD/m. Outside calls have been getting louder for the producers to open the taps more than planned amid inflationary feed-through to consumers and company margins, although ministers, including de-facto heads Saudi and Russia, have been putting weight behind current plans, with no pushback seen from members within OPEC+ thus far. Furthermore, the COVID situation in China is deteriorating, hence ministers will likely express a cautious approach. However, the US is asking OPEC+ to increase supply by 600-800k BPD, according to delegates. Note some journalists noted that there are three options the US has offered OPEC+, 1) a 600k BPD hike, 2) an 800k BPD hike and 3) 100% compliance on a 400k BPD hike. Nonetheless, sources suggested OPEC+ is likely to stick to plans to raise output by 400k BPD despite calls from the US for extra supply; adding that the US has plenty of capacity to raise output itself. The US-OPEC+ dynamics will be worth keeping on the radar following this meeting. As a reminder, the US threatened the release of its SPR whilst also refusing to rule out oil export bans – suggesting that all tools are being looked at in a bid to lower prices. It’s also worth being cognizant of the knock-on effect the OPEC+ decision will have on Iranian nuclear talks – scheduled to resume on November 29th – with higher oil prices and a lack of OPEC+ coordination, possibly providing more incentives for the US to offer more concessions. WTI Dec takes aim at USD 82/bbl (vs 79.74/bbl low) at the time of writing whilst Brent Jan extends above USD 83/bbl (vs 81.07/bbl low). Metals markets are less interesting this morning, spot gold and silver are consolidating and trade relatively flat, with the former around USD 1,775/oz and the latter just north of USD 23.50/oz. Meanwhile, LME copper is modestly firmer but trades on either side of USD 9,500/t.
US Event Calendar
- 8:30am: Oct. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 275,000, prior 281,000; Continuing Claims, est. 2.15m, prior 2.24m
- 8:30am: 3Q Unit Labor Costs, est. 7.0%, prior 1.3%; Nonfarm Productivity, est. -3.1%, prior 2.1%
- 8:30am: Sept. Trade Balance, est. -$80.2b, prior -$73.3b
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
This morning I’m actually going to put a suit on for the first time in nearly 20 months. In a way I’ll be upset if it fits me as I’ve been doing my Bryson DeChambeau weights routine for much of this time between pockets of injuries and surgery. However, I suspect 30-40mins 3 or 4 times a week won’t leave my suit too vulnerable to an “Incredible Hulk” moment when I put it on.
There was no dramatic Hulk-like metamorphosis from the Fed last night as they kept close to expectations and delivered the $15/bn a month taper that our US econ team and consensus expected (Their full review is here). They pre-announced the purchase pace for November and December, whilst remarking that a similar pace would likely prevail so long as the economy evolves as expected. The Fed maintained the pace of taper would change in step with any changes to the outlook. The statement slightly tweaked the characterisation of inflation, noting that it was expected to be transitory. Chair Powell explained this in the press conference, maintaining the institutional view that elevated inflation was not expected to remain persistent and would return to the Fed’s long-term goal as supply bottlenecks abated and Covid-19 moved to the rear-view mirror. He also admitted the change reflected the reality that inflation has been much higher than they had expected, and recognised the burdens that it created for everyday consumers.
The press conference spent a lot of time focusing on the dichotomy between high near-term inflation and the Committee’s assessment of full employment, as the market moves to pricing when lift-off will take place. The Chair noted the Committee will need to be flexible when judging what constitutes full employment, as it is a moving target and has moved since before the pandemic. A key point he returned to multiple times is the Committee would need to judge how the labour market evolves once the Delta variant is well and truly behind us. While stressing patience in evaluating these incoming data, he maintained optionality by also noting the Fed would stand ready to raise rates if inflation were threating to move persistently above the Fed’s goal. This risk management consideration is why they’re maintaining flexibility over the pace of taper. STIR markets were still pricing lift-off to take place sometime in 3Q 2022, and for there to be 2 hikes next year, unchanged from before the meeting.
Equities were mostly flat on the day before the announcement but progressively climbed higher during and after the presser, with the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and DJIA finishing the day +0.65%, +1.04%, and +0.29% higher, respectively. 2yr yields increased +1.8bps on the day but closed roughly where they were pre-announcement. 10yr yields were +5.3bps higher on the day though with around +4bps added post FOMC and around +9bps from the early lows when fixed income was rallying across the globe. Elsewhere, 10yr breakevens were wider, increasing +3.6bps to 2.56%.
Meanwhile, ECB President Lagarde sounded in no hurry to follow the BoE (preview immediate below for today) and the Fed on rate hikes. In a speech yesterday, she said that their three conditions for raising rates “are very unlikely to be satisfied next year”, as “the outlook for inflation over the medium term remains subdued” in spite of the recent surge in inflation. She re-emphasised the point in an interview almost verbatim later in the day while the Fed presser was ongoing, stating a 2022 hike was very unlikely, offering more forceful pushback of market pricing than she opted for during last week’s Governing Council meeting.
Central banks will remain in the spotlight again today thanks to the BoE’s policy decision, which is out at 12:00 London time. Our UK economists are expecting that they’ll deliver their first post-pandemic rate hike of 15bps, taking the Bank Rate up to 0.25%, as well as end their current QE program. Similarly to the US, this comes amidst inflation readings that have persistently surprised to the upside over recent months, with CPI at +3.1% in September, and our economists write that they see the BoE’s forecasts being upgraded to show peak CPI nearer to 5%, remaining above target for nearly all of next year, which is broadly in line with recent comments from Chief Economist Pill in a recent FT interview. For more details see their preview (link here).
Against this backdrop of central bank action, we had some solid economic data out of the US yesterday that further supported risk appetite. First, there was the ISM services index for October, which rose to a record high of 66.7 (vs. 62.0 expected), so a very promising sign at the start of Q4, even if the prices paid measure rose to 82.9, which was the highest since 2005. Before that we also had the ADP’s report of private payrolls for October, which showed an increase of +571k (vs. +400k expected), which is the strongest growth since June. That comes ahead of tomorrow’s US jobs report, where our economists are looking for growth of +400k in the headline nonfarm payrolls number, with the unemployment rate ticking down to 4.7%. I’ve been trying to get my mantra of the US more likely travelling down a “growthflation” path (over “stagflation”) into the vernacular. However, I think I’ll need a better term if I want it to rival say “BRICs”!
That backdrop of positive data supported European markets ahead of the Fed, where the STOXX 600 advanced +0.35% to hit another all-time high. Sovereign bonds advanced too, with yields on 10yr bunds (-0.3bps), OATs (-0.8bps) and BTPs (-2.4bps) all moving lower, though gilts (+3.6bps) were the exception ahead of the BoE later. The strong data also lifted us off the yield lows of the day as we started with a big bond rally. We also saw some significant movements in energy prices, with European natural gas futures surging back +13.23% yesterday amidst a recent decline in fuel shipments from Russia, whilst both Brent crude (-3.22%) and WTI (-3.63%) oil prices saw a major pullback ahead of today’s OPEC+ meeting.
In Asia, most major indices are trading higher this morning, including the Nikkei 225 (+0.74%), the KOSPI (+0.30%), the Hang Seng (+0.27%) and the Shanghai Composite (+0.64%), amid gains in US equities yesterday. S&P 500 futures (+0.01%) are almost unchanged, while the 10y US Treasury is at 1.60% (-0.5bps).
Meanwhile on the political scene, the US Democrats were reacting to a bad set of results in Tuesday’s election, after the Republicans won the Virginia governor’s race. However, the New Jersey governor’s race was won by Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy 50.2% vs 49%, but came in much closer than the polls had suggested before the election. Gov. Murphy is the first Democrat to win re-election as governor in the state since 1977. Overall though, since President Biden won those two states in 2020 by 10pts and 16pts, respectively, the results have obviously come as a shock to many Democrats. The situation has strong echoes of 2009, a year after President Obama’s election when the Democrats also had control of the presidency and both houses of Congress, when they were trying to push through Obamacare. That round of elections saw the Republicans win the gubernatorial elections in both Virginia and New Jersey (following Democratic victories on the previous occasion), before the Republicans went onto make sizeable gains in the 2010 midterm elections the following year. There’s still just over a year until President Biden’s first set of midterm elections, but the Democrats will be hoping this doesn’t presage a repeat of those 2010 losses.
Lastly on the data front, US factory orders grew by +0.2% in September (vs. +0.1% expected). Separately, the UK’s composite PMI was revised up a point from the flash reading to 57.8, and the US composite PMI was also revised up three-tenths to 57.6.
To the day ahead now, and the highlight will be the aforementioned BoE meeting, while there’ll also be remarks from ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s de Cos, Elderson and Schnabel, and BoE Deputy Governor Cunliffe. On the data side, releases include German factory orders for September, the Euro Area October services and composite PMIs and September PPI reading, whilst from the US there’s the September trade balance and the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, the OPEC+ group will be meeting to discuss output, and earnings releases today include Moderna, Square, Airbnb, Uber, Duke Energy and Regeneron.