Futures Slide Ahead Of ECB, Sentiment Hit By Latest China Crackdown

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Sep 09, 2021 - 07:44 AM

US index futures fell along with European stocks amid jitters that the ECB could taper its asset purchases today as well as growing concerns over the slowing economic recovery while China's ongoing regulatory crackdown on the tech sector weighed on sentiment. Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 futures were each down 0.2%, but off worst levels, hinting at further losses after the underlying indexes dropped on Wednesday. Europe’s equity benchmark headed for a five-week low, while 10Y Treasury yields dropped along with the dollar. The dollar dropped, the euro snapped three days of losses and European bond yields steadied ahead of a European Central Bank policy announcement in which investors will be looking for information about bond buying plans for the fourth quarter. Treasuries advanced.

Heavyweight technology stocks including Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Netflix and Inc all fell about 0.3% each in premarket trading.  In U.S. premarket trading, China’s tech stocks slid after Beijing officials told firms including Tencent and NetEase to end their focus on profit in gaming. The selloff extended to the U.S. premarket hours when NetEase and Alibaba tumbled, underscoring the market’s continued vulnerability to policy risks. NetEase (NTES) slips 6.4% and Bilibili (BILI) falls 6.9%, while the likes of Alibaba (BABA), Pinduoduo (PDD) and Baidu (BIDU) also dropped as did Roblox, Activision Blizzard, Electronic Art and Take-Two, all down between 0.3% and 1.6%. Digital Realty, which manages technology-related properties, declined 3.6% after entering into forward sale agreements with banks for 6.25 million shares at $160.50 each.

Lululemon surged 14% as analysts increased their price targets on the stock after the athletic clothing retailer boosted its outlook for the year and reported 2Q sales that outpaced expectations. The company continues to benefit from the trend toward casual and athleisure fashion, according to Jefferies. Peer Nike (NKE) rises 1.6%. Here are some other notable movers this morning:

  • Cardiff Oncology (CRDF) soars 16% after the company said Wednesday that data from a colorectal cancer drug trial showed “robust objective response rate and progression free survival.”
  • GameStop (GME) declines 6.8% after reporting a second-quarter loss that was wider than Wall Street projections. It also held a very brief earnings call in which it said it wouldn’t provide guidance. Its peer among the day trader crowd, AMC Entertainment (AMC) also slips 2.7%.
  • Humanigen (HGEN) shares tumble 53% after the U.S. FDA declined its request for emergency use authorization of lenzilumab to treat newly-hospitalized Covid-19 patients.

Investors are reassessing valuations in U.S. stock markets and are fretting over the implications of a slowing recovery. The (now fading) spread of the delta virus variant has taken its toll on the U.S. economy as well as global supply chains, depressing growth while boosting inflation (as does the Fed's $120BN in monthly liquidity injections), while China’s regulatory crackdown on the technology sector worsens the macro outlook.

The fear of delta “is driving the downside risks to the U.S. economy, but also more broadly the global economy as that delta strain spreads around the world,” Kim Mundy, a currency strategist and international economist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said on Bloomberg Television.

On Wednesday, the Fed's Beige Book survey showed U.S. economic activity decelerated in the past two months as consumers pulled back on spending due to safety concerns. However, shortages meant inflationary trends remained stubborn, according to the findings. Further evidence of global price pressures came from China, where factory-gate inflation surged to a 13 year high.

European equities were under pressure for a third day as investors await the European Central Bank’s update on the timing of a possible reduction in stimulus. Euro Stoxx 50 dropped as much as 1% before halving losses. FTSE 100 and IBEX underperform, remaining off ~1% as European peers stage a modest bounce. Oil & gas, travel and mining stocks are the worst performers.  Miners were among the declining sectors as iron ore futures slipped on demand concerns. EasyJet shares fell as much as 14% after the low-cost airline announced it will raise GBP1.2b via a share sale and was said to have rejected a takeover offer from Wizz Air. The Stoxx 600 Health Care index sank to a session low following a report that the White House will release a plan to cut prescription-drug prices. Sub-group falls as much as 1.2%, touching the lowest intraday level since Aug. 6; heavyweight constituents Roche, Novartis, AstraZeneca, Sanofi and Norvo Nordisk all lower. Here are some of the biggest European movers today:

  • Assa Abloy shares rise as much as 7.3% after analysts gave the thumbs-up to the Swedish lockmaker’s plan to buy Spectrum Brands’ hardware & home improvement unit for $4.3 billion.
  • Hays gains as much as 4.1% as Barclays upgrades the employment- services company to overweight, citing a strong market rebound.
  • Beiersdorf climbs as much as 2.6% as Goldman Sachs upgrades to buy, saying the stock offers robust growth at an attractive valuation.
  • Genus tumbles as much as 11% after the breeding firm warned on its 2022 sales outlook amid a slump in the price of pork in China.
  • Prosus falls as much as 6.6% as China gaming concerns hit Tencent

Earlier in the session, Asia stocks closed lower for a second day, weighed down by declines in Chinese and Korean tech firms on concerns about how government regulations will affect earnings. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid as much as 1.2%, the most since Aug. 20, in a broad selloff led by benchmarks in Hong Kong and Australia. Tencent was the biggest drag on the regional gauge, as Chinese regulators took aim at gaming firms for focusing solely on profit. Kakao and Naver extended losses sparked by warnings from lawmakers about abuse of market dominance. Investors’ tech-sector worries widened after authorities in South Korea seemed to echo China’s months-long crackdown, with the Financial Services Commission in Seoul saying it would sternly respond if fintech firms show no efforts to correct practices that could violate local rules. Thursday’s decline in regional stocks followed hawkish comments made by some Federal Reserve officials overnight, with traders also focusing on the European Central Bank meeting later.

“The negative lead from Wall Street is being taken as an excuse for a bit of profit-taking in Asia after the strong rally in late August,” said Ilya Spivak, head of Greater Asia at DailyFX. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 had its worst day since mid-May as iron ore miners slumped amid lower prices for the steel-making ingredient. The broad Asia selloff also saw Japan stocks snap their eight-day winning run.

In Fx, the dollar slipped after a three-day gain, the JPY and GBP topped the G-10 leaderboard, while EUR holds within Wednesday’s range ahead of today’s ECB meeting. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index inched lower and the greenback fell against most of its Group-of-10 peers even as many currencies traded in tight ranges; the Treasury curve bull- flattened modestly. The yen was the top performer among G-10 peers amid haven demand. The euro came off yesterday’s one-week low while Bunds and Italian bonds were little changed before the ECB’s meeting; the pound advanced to a day-high in the European session. 

In rates, Treasuries held small gains from intermediate sector to long-end of the curve with S&P 500 following declines in FTSE 100 and Euro Stoxx 50. Yields richer by ~1bp across long-end of the curve, flattening 2s10s, 5s30s spreads slightly; 10-year yields around 1.33%, outperforming gilts by almost 3bp. Curve and outright concession have faded ahead of 30-year bond reopening during U.S. afternoon, focal point of U.S. session after ECB policy decision at 7:45am ET.  The weekly US auction cycle concludes with $24b 30-year bond sale at 1pm ET; 3- and 10-year auctions drew strong demand. WI 30-year yield at 1.947% is below auction stops since February and ~9bp richer than last month’s, which tailed the WI by 1bp. Peripheral spreads tighten a touch. Gilts bear flatten with the short end cheaper by ~2bps

In commodities, crude futures were little changed, maintaining Asia’s narrow range. WTI drifts just above $69, Brent near $72.60. Spot gold puts in a ~$5 move to the upside to trade near $1,794/oz. Base metals are well bid with LME nickel and tin outperforming. LME copper reverses Wednesday’s drop, adding 1.4%. Bitcoin fluctuated between gains and losses, trading around $46,000.

Looking at the day ahead now, and the main highlight will be the ECB meeting and President Lagarde’s subsequent press conference. Other central bank speakers include the Fed’s Daly, Evans, Bowman, Williams, Kaplan, Kashkari and Rosengren, and Bank of Canada Governor Macklem. In addition, data releases include the weekly initial jobless claims from the US.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,500.75
  • MXAP down 1.0% to 204.62
  • MXAPJ down 1.3% to 662.15
  • Nikkei down 0.6% to 30,008.19
  • Topix down 0.7% to 2,064.93
  • Hang Seng Index down 2.3% to 25,716.00
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.5% to 3,693.13
  • Sensex little changed at 58,202.28
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 1.9% to 7,369.53
  • Kospi down 1.5% to 3,114.70
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.5% to 465.53
  • German 10Y yield down 0.07 bps to -0.331%
  • Euro up 0.1% to $1.1829
  • Brent Futures down 0.1% to $72.51/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,793.85
  • U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 92.59

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg


A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

Asia-Pac stock markets were mostly negative as the downbeat mood rolled over from the US and Europe amid lingering global growth concerns, recent Fed taper rhetoric and China's ongoing regulatory crackdown. ASX 200 (-1.9%) declined beneath the 7,500 level and was heavily pressured by the losses in mining names, with sentiment also clouded by the rampant COVID-19 infection rates and despite the announcement by NSW Premier Berejiklian of the recovery road map whereby restrictions will be relaxed when 70% of adults are fully vaccinated but with some parts of regional New South Wales are to end lockdowns on Saturday. Nikkei 225 (-0.6%) was subdued amid currency headwinds and with Japan confirming plans to seek an extension of the state of emergency for Tokyo and other areas through to at least month-end although other reports suggested November was being considered for the easing virus restrictions. Hang Seng (-2.3%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.5%) traded mixed with notable losses in tech names including Tencent after the government and cyberspace regulator summoned gaming companies to instruct them to implement measures against gaming and entertainment, as well as warned of severe punishment for those not implementing regulations. China also reiterated it is to crackdown on illegal behaviour in the ride-hailing industry and banned private tutors from offering courses through online platforms, while debt concerns surrounding Evergrande and mixed inflation data that showed softer than expected consumer prices but firmer factory gate prices to suggest an uneven recovery, further added to the cautious mood. Finally, 10yr JGBs were steady with only minimal gains despite the mostly negative risk tone across the region and amid mixed results at the 5yr JGB auction in which a higher b/c was counterbalanced by lower accepted prices.

Top Asian News

  • Kim Oversees First Military Parade Since Biden Became President
  • Alibaba Sex Crime Suspect’s Release Shows China #MeToo Woes
  • Corn Hits Seven-Month Low as Traders Count Down to Key Crop Data
  • Solar Startup Born in Garage Is Beating China to Cheaper Panels

Eurozone bourses have rebounded off worst levels on ECB day but remain softer overall (Euro Stoxx 50 -0.5%; Stoxx 600 -0.4%) after experiencing pronounced downside at the cash open. The UK’s FTSE has failed to stage a rebound of a similar degree amid Sterling dynamics, and with mixed messaging out of the BoE regarding the conditions for a rate hike – which at face value could be perceived with a hawkish tilt – FTSE 100 futures tested 7k to the downside. US equity futures, meanwhile, trade softer across the board but in tighter ranges and off earlier lows after early weakness seeped from Europe – with the more cyclically-tailored RTY (-0.5%) narrowly lagging its ES (-0.3%), NQ (-0.3%) and YM (-0.3%) counterparts. There has been little in terms of fresh fundamental drivers behind the rebound in EZ cash/futures and US equity futures. However, the waters were choppy in early trade and in the run-up to the ECB (full preview available in the Newsquawk Research Suite), whilst participants also eye the weekly US jobless claims alongside a plethora of Fed speakers. Sectors in Europe are predominately in the red with clear underperformance experience in the Travel & Leisure sector, with losses led by easyJet (-10.8%), who announced a rights issue at a discount in a bid to raise USD 1.7bln. Furthermore, the airliner also announced that the Board recently received a prelim takeover approach (speculated to be Wizz Air), which was evaluated and then unanimously rejected. The bidder has since confirmed it is no longer considering an offer for the Co. Back to sectors, Oil & Gas and Retail also reside towards the bottom of the bunch, whilst Real Estate, Autos & Parts post the shallowest losses. In terms of individual movers, Morrisons (+0.2%) is cushioned after topping H1 revenue forecasts, whilst sources via UK press suggested a bidding war for the Co. could take the final offer above the highest current bid of GBP 7bln. Elsewhere, RWE (+1.5%) is bolstered amid reports. that activist ENKRAFT bought over 500k shares of the Co. and is calling for the Co. to divest its brown coal assets. Finally, Sanofi (-1.8%) holds onto losses as its phase 3 PEGASUS trial evaluating rilzabrutinib did not meet its primary or key secondary endpoints.

Top European News

  • Young U.K. Staff Have Forgotten How to Do Work Chat
  • 888 Holdings Shares Slip on New Equity to Fund William Hill Deal
  • Morrison Says U.K. Food Industry Faces More Price Pressure
  • Russian Inflation at Five-Year Peak Boosts Chances for Rate Hike

In FX, the Buck is waning after reaching new recovery highs on Wednesday and perhaps overextending its retracement when setting fresh m-t-d and/or multi-week peaks. In index terms, the DXY has slipped back into a narrower 92.762-528 range compared to yesterday’s 92.864-472 extremes, and the yield backdrop is less supportive in wake of another strong 10 year T-note auction, while the latest Fed Beige Book does little to enhance the prospects for tapering at the September FOMC as growth moderated last month, largely due to Delta-related factors. However, the Greenback and markets in general get more jobs data to assess substantial progress via claims, plus a raft of Fed speakers flanking the final leg of refunding in the form of Usd 24 bn long bonds.

  • JPY/GBP/NZD/CHF/AUD - It’s a close call, but the Yen is just outperforming a group of five majors and gleaning a bit more from the softer/flatter US Treasury dynamic allied to still suppressed levels of overall risk appetite. Hence, Usd/Jpy is retesting support and underlying bids sub-110.00, while Sterling is probing 1.3800 and rebounding further from lows under 0.8600 vs the Euro in response to BoE Governor Bailey’s hawkish MPC rate revelations in front of the TSC. Elsewhere, the Kiwi is trying to form a base around 0.7100, but gaining momentum against the Aussie as the Aud/Nzd cross inches nearer 1.0350 compared to 1.0450+ at one stage in the immediate aftermath of the RBA, and Aud/Usd lags Nzd/Usd between 0.7383-47 parameters. Meanwhile, the Franc has clawed back some ground conceded following verbal intervention from SNB’s Zurbruegg, with Usd/Chf back beneath 0.9200 and Eur/Chf towards the bottom of a 1.0870-97 band.
  • EUR/CAD - The Euro is holding above 1.1800 into the ECB and awaiting direction from the GC with all eyes on PEPP developments amidst very diverse opinions regarding the pace of purchases in Q4 and what happens when the emergency QE envelope is sealed at the end of March 2022 - check out the Research Suite for a full preview of the event. Note, options pricing has ticked up again for Eur/Usd, to 47 pips, and expiries are stacked mostly to the topside, bar 1 bn at the 1.1750 strike that may come into play on a very dovish outturn - see 7.27BST post on the Headline Feed for details and other G10 pairings that have hefty option expiry interest rolling off at the NY cut today, including Aud/Usd and Usd/Jpy. Back to Central Bank impulses, the Loonie has regrouped after the BoC and is pivoting 1.2700 ahead of Governor Macklem’s post-policy meeting speech and Canadian jobs data on Friday.
  • SCANDI/EM - The Nok is straddling 10.3000 against the Eur, as disappointing Norwegian monthly mainland GDP growth offsets some traction derived from the firm line in Brent beyond Usd 72/brl, while the Cny and Cnh are taking mixed Chinese inflation largely in stride along with latest Chinese efforts to crack the whip on tech and keep a lid on commodity prices.

In commodities, WTI and Brent front-month futures are choppy and caged in tight ranges, albeit the benchmarks came off best and worst levels in tandem with stocks. WTI October tested USD 69/bbl (vs high USD 69.55/bbl) while Brent November briefly dipped under USD 72.50/bbl (vs high 72.94/bbl). News flow for the complex has remained light as all eyes turn to the ECB and Fed commentary slated for the rest of the week. In terms of fundamentals, crude production in the Gulf of Mexico is slowly coming back online – but still, some 77% from GoM production remains shuttered (vs prev. 79%), according to the BSEE. Aside from that, supply updates have been minimal post-OPEC+, with attention in the East now turning to any developments on the Iranian nuclear deal. On the demand side, the COVID situation in APAC remains a concern, and Japan confirmed the extension of the Tokyo State of Emergency, whilst the latest EIA STEO cut its 2021 world oil demand forecast by 370k BPD to 4.96mln BPD Y/Y increase but raised forecast for 2022 world oil demand growth by 10,000 BPD to 3.63mln BPD Y/Y increase. Note, OPEC+ last week revised its 2022 oil demand growth up to 4.2mln BPD (prev. 3.28mln BPD), according to sources. In terms of data, the delayed Private Inventory report yesterday was largely bearish, but prices were unfazed. As a reminder, the DoEs today will be released at 16:00BST/11:00EDT. Over to metals, spot gold and silver were trading within narrow bands overnight and throughout the first half of the European morning before the softening Dollar provided prices with a mild lift. From a technical standpoint, the yellow metal sees its 21 DMA (1,794,85/oz) and 50 DMA (1,797.85/oz) in proximity. In terms of industrial metals, LME metals are firmer across the board with nickel and copper outpacing, with some tailwinds felt by the receding Buck. Aluminium hit a fresh 13yr peak amid the ongoing supply woes emanating from the coup in Guinea. Conversely, Dalian iron ore futures saw renewed weakness overnight – with traders citing the dampened demand from steel mills after China lowered its steel output target last month.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Aug. Continuing Claims, est. 2.73m, prior 2.75m
  • 8:30am: Sept. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 335,000, prior 340,000
  • 9:45am: Sept. Langer Consumer Comfort, prior 58.2

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

If anyone has directions handy for DB’s main London building then I’d appreciate them ASAP as this morning I’m venturing back into the office for the first time in 18 months. I’m assuming I’ll find my way as I expect a ticker tape parade and a red carpet. Remembering what floor I work on will be the next challenge. At least now when I ask one of my team for a chat I’m unlikely to get “go away I’m too busy to talk” as I do at home. It will be nice to assert my authority again so apologies to my team today.

A final reminder that our latest monthly survey ends today. All responses gratefully received here. There’s a few themes but I’d be especially interested in your latest WFH thoughts and plans in a month where more people are getting back into the office even if the steady state won’t be here for a few months due to delta. The survey asks how many days you’ll likely to work from home after covid has gone. I get the sense that there’s been a push from many firms to get more people back into offices (post covid) since then so it’ll be interesting to see if this appears in the data. It may not or there may be an upcoming clash between workers and employees.

For those interested in the future of work Marion Laboure in my team put out a piece earlier this week (link here) looking at a part of this. It argues that cities will come roaring back. We will see.

Markets had another risk-off session yesterday as investors cast increasing doubt on the sustainability of current valuations. Upcoming central bank meetings (including today’s ECB decision) have added to these jitters, given the prospect that monetary stimulus might start to be withdrawn.

In light of this, global equities lost ground for a second day running, with investors instead moving into safe havens such as sovereign bonds and the US Dollar. By the close of trade, both the S&P 500 (-0.13%) and Europe’s STOXX 600 (-1.06%) had fallen back, thanks to an underperformance among cyclicals on both sides of the Atlantic. It was the third straight daily loss for the S&P, the longest losing streak since mid-July, but this still only amounts to a -0.50% pullback. Consumer durables (-1.67%) and energy (-1.30%) were among the largest laggards, while in Europe autos (-2.23%) and industrial goods (-1.66%) underperformed. In the US, both the small-cap Russell 2000 (-1.14%) and the FANG+ Index (-1.19%) of megacap tech stocks also saw relatively large declines. The former has remained range bound since recording it’s all-time high back in March, while the latter just closed at record highs on Tuesday after recently breaking out of its own 6-month trading range.

Looking ahead though, today’s main highlight will come from the ECB policy decision at 12:45 London time, where investors will be focused on what the Governing Council will decide about the pace of purchases under the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme. Previously, investors were much more focused on when the Fed would begin to taper, but comments from ECB Chief Economist Lane that didn’t rule out a move in September, along with a rise in inflation to +3.0% in August (the highest in almost a decade), have brought the decision today into focus. Our European economists are expecting that they will announce a reduction in the pace today, thinking it’s slightly more likely to happen now than in December, but there is still a risk that it could be stalled until then. They think that they’ll drop the word “significantly” from the guidance on the pace of PEPP purchases, and are also expecting that the ECB will raise their staff inflation forecasts relative to the last round in June.

With all that to look forward to, sovereign bonds in Europe were mostly steady yesterday, with yields moving just slightly lower at the long end of the curve. By the close of trade, yields on 10yr bunds (-0.1bps), OATs (-0.6bps) and BTPs (-0.1bps) had all seen modest declines, though that came in spite of a notable rise in inflation expectations. Indeed, the 5y5y forward inflation swap for the Euro Area was up +0.9bps to 1.75% yesterday, just short of its highest level in over 3 years, which was recorded earlier this week. Meanwhile, the 10yr German breakeven was up +1.2bps to 1.585%, its highest level since 2013. Over in the US, 10yr Treasuries saw a -3.6bps decline in yields to 1.338%, though as in Europe that came in spite of a rise in breakevens (+1.4bps), as 10yr real yields (-4.8bps) moved back below the -1% mark.

One of the key headlines overnight has come from the WSJ as it reported that a split in the Democrat camp is deepening over current Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s reappointment. The report added that progressive Democrats are pushing to replace him even though he has firm support elsewhere in the party. Earlier reports had indicated that we will likely hear from President Biden in the current week on the (re)appointment. We will see if this battle has slowed anything down.

Risk appetite has continued to remain weak overnight in Asia with the Nikkei (-0.82%), Hang Seng (-1.60%), CSI (-0.61%), Shenzhen Comp (-0.45%) and Kospi (-1.42%) all losing ground. Futures on the S&P 500 are also down -0.33% while those on the Stoxx 50 are -0.40%. In terms of overnight data releases, China’s August CPI printed at +0.8% yoy (vs. +1.0% yoy expected) while PPI came in at +9.5% yoy (vs. +9.0% yoy expected). So a decent discrepancy.

One asset class that put in a strong performance yesterday were commodities, with Brent Crude (+1.27%) and WTI (+1.39%) the highlight. We also saw natural gas prices in New York (+7.57%) climb to a 7-year high in light of supply concerns ahead of the winter, and aluminium prices rose (+1.4%) to their highest level since 2008 as political unrest in Guinea continued to coincide with rising global demand.

Elsewhere yesterday, we heard a bit more on the US debt ceiling, which is a potential issue coming up soon on the horizon, as Treasury Secretary Yellen said in a letter to Congress that “the most likely outcome is that cash and extraordinary measures will be exhausted during the month of October.” So not long after government funding also runs out on September 30. This comes as Congress works to get the majority of the Biden Administration’s economic policy passed by the end of the month. Speaker Pelosi has promised a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure package by September 27 and has said repeatedly that she wants to pass the USD 3.5 trillion budget resolution that encapsulates the rest of President Biden’s agenda along with that package. While some moderates have balked at the price tag, Pelosi yesterday seemed open to negotiating, saying “I don’t know what the number will be… we will not go beyond ($3.5 trillion).” Her statement comes amidst Axios reporting yesterday that Democrat holdout Senator Joe Manchin has indicated to the White House and congressional leaders that he has specific policy concerns with President Biden's $3.5 tn spending plan and he'll support as little as $1tn of it. The report went on to add that at most he is open to supporting $1.5tn.

Meanwhile on the German election, a fresh poll from Allensbach yesterday pointed to a somewhat tighter race than other recent polls. That had the centre-left SPD on 27%, just 2 points ahead of Chancellor Merkel’s CDU/CSU bloc on 25%, while the Greens were much further behind on 15.5%. In addition, unlike most other polls recently, it still had the two major parties winning a majority of the votes between them.

On the data side, the main release yesterday was the US job openings for July, which rose by more than expected to a record 10.934m (vs. 10.049m expected), and just goes to illustrate the supply constraints firms are facing as the economy reopens from the pandemic. Job vacancies outnumbered hires by 4.3 million, the most since 2000 – when the data series began. In fact there were around 2 million more openings than people unemployed. This never happens so a remarkable US labour market at the moment and one only constrained by supply. Meanwhile the quits rate, which measures the number of people who voluntarily quit their job, and is often a good gauge of how much relative power workers have over their employees, remained at 2.7% - near the record high.

To the day ahead now, and the main highlight will be the ECB meeting and President Lagarde’s subsequent press conference. Other central bank speakers include the Fed’s Daly, Evans, Bowman, Williams, Kaplan, Kashkari and Rosengren, and Bank of Canada Governor Macklem. In addition, data releases include the weekly initial jobless claims from the US.