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US Futures Fade Asian Rally On Fears ECB Will Take Away The Punchbowl

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Sep 07, 2021 - 07:53 AM

European bourses dipped in the red and a rally in US equity futures which traded near all-time highs after the Labor Day holiday fizzled, as  investors weighed China’s better-than-forecast trade data against the growing likelihood of fading central-bank support. S&P500 futures traded fractionally in the green and Nasdaq 100 indexes slipped and equity gains in China and Japan were followed by losses in Europe as investors speculated the ECB may get ready to roll back stimulus. The dollar and Treasuries yields rose, gold and cryptos dropped.

Tech gigacaps such as Microsoft, Amazon.com and Facebook eased about 0.2% each, while Apple and Google were slightly higher. Tracking benchmark bond yields higher, banks including Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and JP Morgan rose between 0.4% and 0.5%. Among meme stocks, IronNet more than doubled in value in premarket trading after the cybersecurity company was touted on Reddit and StockTwits.  Chinese technology stocks listed in the U.S. rose premarket, amid surprisingly strong trade data (see below), renewed demand for technology shares, the lack of new regulatory announcements and Tencent’s plans to buy back more shares. Alibaba (BABA) was up 2.6% and Didi (DIDI) gained 2.8%, while Baidu (BIDU) gains 3.4%. Here are some of the other biggest movers today:

  • Alcoa (AA) shares rise 2.9% premarket, catching up with the jump in aluminum prices seen on Monday when U.S. markets were closed.
  • Farfetch (FTCH) drops 0.7% after Arete downgraded the stock to sell, citing China risks along with a drag to gross margin from Tmall fees.
  • Columbia Property Trust Inc (CXP) jumped 15.8% after Pacific Investment Management Company said it would buy the company for $2.2 billion.
  • InflaRx (IFRX) shares rally 23% after it was among the companies awarded grants in Germany for Covid-19 drug development.
  • IronNet (IRNT) shares soar 106% with the stock being touted on Reddit and StockTwits.
  • Match Group (MTCH) surges 14% on being named to the S&P 500 Index.
  • Moderna (MRNA) declines 1.6% after report that Japan’s health ministry said that a man in his 40s died after receiving the biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine from production lots that are being recalled due to possible contamination
  • Vertex Pharmaceuticals fell 1.8% in early New York trading after Morgan Stanley cut its stock recommendation to underweight.

The world’s biggest economy remains “in good health” despite a recent increase in Covid-19 infections, according to Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth. “This will support stocks, in our view, especially in cyclical industries like energy and financials,” Haefele said. “We continue to advise investors to position for reopening and recovery.”

Another thing that supports stocks is that the market is no longer expecting a Fed announcement about tapering in September, Esty Dwek, a global market strategist at Natixis Investment Managers, told Bloomberg Television. “Tapering doesn’t matter that much for markets. It’s priced in, it’s expected. But the reality is that interest rate hikes matter.” Justifying this view was Goldman's latest GDP forecast cut on Monday, its third in the past month, which saw the bank trim its full-year 2021 GDP forecast to 5.7% from 6.0%.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have gained around 1.5% each since Aug. 27 following dovish commentary from Fed Chair Jerome Powell at the Jackson Hole Symposium where he again said that a stable job market was an essential goal for the central bank to start pulling back monetary support.

Optimism that the Fed will delay tapering was offset by concerns that the ECB could turn hawkish at its meeting this week: “There is a growing expectation that the European Central Bank could start talking about tapering its bond purchases sooner rather than later,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote Group Holdings, wrote in a note. “The ECB hawks who have been in a retreat for the past year won’t stay quiet for longer facing the rising inflation threat.”  

Sure enough, Europe's Stoxx 600 index dropped as investors focused on the ECB’s Thursday meeting where the central bank will decide if it will dial down emergency stimulus. Bank of America said it sees the “Goldilocks combination” of accelerating growth and lower real yields coming to an end. As Bloomberg notes, European stocks pushing to regain a record high against a more muted macro backdrop turned cautious, with investing sectors and styles favoring growth and quality. The Stoxx 600 hasn’t hit a record high since Aug 13. The gauge’s decline of ~0.5% since then is hardly indicative of a rout. But as Bloomberg notes, traders have shied away from blatantly cyclical sectors like consumer products, autos and miners and most notably bought a classic growth industry in tech, even if it’s pricey. This comes amid a global backdrop of rising delta cases, higher inflation, supply chain bottlenecks and a slowdown in the economic recovery. In Europe, unfilled orders rose to an unprecedented level in August, and Germany’s key business sentiment gauge weakened. In terms of styles, quality and growth are holding up better than overall European stocks or factors such as value.

The MSCI Europe Quality Net Return index has risen almost 25% this year through Monday, compared with ~19% for the MSCI Europe. Quality has also outperformed in the past month. The ratio of the MSCI Europe Quality to the MSCI Europe is near the highest ever. The MSCI Europe Growth index has also beaten both the MSCI Europe and the MSCI Europe Value in particular. The European growth/value index is at the highest since November. Here are some of the biggest European movers today:

  • Vistry Group shares climb as much as 5.6% after its 1H results are better than expected, driven by a beat on margins, Liberum (buy) writes in a note.
  • Marks & Spencer shares gain as much as 3.6% after being upgraded to buy from neutral at UBS, which notes “strong progress” in the U.K. retailer’s clothing & home business along with food.
  • DS Smith shares rise as much as 2.4% after reporting “excellent volume growth” and good progress toward recovering the significant increasing costs of production through higher prices.
  • Danone shares lose as much as 2.4% after BofA Global Research cut its recommendation to underperform from neutral.
  • Allegro shares drop as much as 2.1% after Wiadomosci Handlowe and Reuters reported that Singapore’s Sea plans to expand its marketplace Shopee to Poland.
  • Holcim shares fall as much as 1.9%, declining for a second day on investor worries about legal consequences from past conduct of the company’s Lafarge unit in Syria.
  • Deutsche Telekom said it will use proceeds from the sale of its Dutch unit to acquire a greater stake in T-Mobile US. 

And speaking of ECB tapering, it would come just as the Germany economy continues to roll over with the latest ZEW Economic Sentiment missing, dropping from 40.4 to 26.5, below the 30.0 expected; current conditions also missed, printing at 31.9 vs 34.0 exp.

Asian stocks climbed, driven by Japanese shares that extended a rally after the prime minister’s resignation announcement and a surge in Hong Kong-traded tech names. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced as much as 0.5%, led by the communication-services and consumer-discretionary sectors. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average briefly broke above the 30,000 level for the first time since April as a reshuffle of the blue-chip gauge added to optimism stoked by potential policy changes that could come under a new national leader. Japanese Finance Minister Aso said they will consider compiling a budget with focus on digital, environmental policies, regional economies and ageing population. Furthermore, he doubts if Japan's finances would risk a weaker JPY and inflation, while he suggested it would be good for the next PM to boost government revenue and restrain spending (yes, he really said that). Meanwhile, tech stocks jumped in Hong Kong as Tencent repurchased shares and regulatory announcements related to crackdowns on the sector appeared to take a breather.

Adding to the good news was the report that Chinese export growth unexpectedly surged in August, allaying concerns the pandemic is delaying economic reopening and creating supply-chain bottlenecks. China's exports accelerated to 25.6% yoy in August, a sequential rebound of 3.3% in August vs. -0.3% in July. Imports rose 33.1% yoy in August, and grew 2.1% mom sa non-annualized in August (vs. -6.4% in July). Both exports and imports surprised to the upside despite the disruptions to operations at Ningbo port in August due to the local outbreak. Monthly trade surplus rose to $58.3bn in August.

Adding to the positive mood, Hong Kong said it will start allowing visitors from the mainland to skip the strict quarantine process. Equities rose in the mainland and offshore. The Asian stock gauge entered its eighth-straight session of gains as concerns related to U.S. monetary policy tightening and the delta variant’s effects on global growth appeared to ease. A ninth day in the green would put the measure on track for its longest winning streak since November.

In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index erased losses as a rally in regional equities stalled and the greenback traded mixed versus its Group-of-10 peers, though most moves were relatively small. Australia’s dollar was the worst G-10 performer as it reversed an earlier gain after the central bank said it will maintain its debt purchases until at least-mid February, instead of an earlier target of November this year. Ten of 16 economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected the RBA to defer scaling back quantitative easing. The central bank held its cash rate at 0.1% at the meeting. The euro was little changed, shrugging off data that showed investor confidence in the German economy declining for a fourth month amid worsening infection rates and global supply disruptions. The pound hovered ahead of U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing a long-awaited plan to reform social care. If the “key interest rate does rise in the next year or so, it’s likely that any rise would be relatively limited,” Bank of England policy maker Michael Saunders said in a speech on Tuesday. Japanese government bond futures rose after a smooth auction of 30-year debt soothed sentiment toward the nation’s debt market. The yen traded in a narrow range. Emerging-market currencies weakened for the first time in three days as the dollar climbed along with U.S. yields. Higher-yielding currencies, including the South African rand and Russian ruble, led declines after outperforming peers last week on expectations for continuing monetary support from the Federal Reserve.

In rates, Treasury yields were cheaper by up to 4bp across 7- to 20-year sectors, with 10-year yields sit around 1.36%, mildly outperforming bunds while gilts trade slightly richer. Treasuries were pressured lower with losses led by intermediates out to long-end ahead of this week’s supply, which kicks off Tuesday with $58b 3-year note sale.  Mild risk-on in Asia spurred by China trade data beat saw stocks close higher and Treasuries trade heavy, adding to auction concessions. U.S. auction cycle includes 10- and 30-year offerings Wednesday and Thursday. Peripheral spreads have a marginal tightening bias to core; Spain underperformed slightly with focus today on issuance of the sovereign’s inaugural green bond.

In commodities, crude futures drift within Monday’s trading range. WTI hovers near $69. Brent near $72.50. Spot gold drops ~$10 to trade near $1,813/oz. LME copper underperforms peers with a 1% decline. 

Looking at the day ahead, it’s another quiet day on the calendar ahead, with nothing on the US econ calendar. Meanwhile from central banks, the BoE’s Saunders will be speaking.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,538.25
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.1% to 474.60
  • MXAP up 0.3% to 207.14
  • MXAPJ little changed at 674.43
  • Nikkei up 0.9% to 29,916.14
  • Topix up 1.1% to 2,063.38
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.7% to 26,353.63
  • Shanghai Composite up 1.5% to 3,676.59
  • Sensex up 0.3% to 58,458.54
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 little changed at 7,530.34
  • Kospi down 0.5% to 3,187.42
  • Brent Futures up 0.4% to $72.53/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.4% to $1,815.21
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.29% to 92.30
  • German 10Y yield rose 2.6 bps to -0.341%
  • Euro little changed at $1.1863
  • Brent Futures up 0.4% to $72.52/bbl

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • The euro-area economy expanded faster than previously reported in the second quarter, bolstered by a surge in consumer spending. Output increased 2.2% in the three months through June, more than the 2% initially estimated by Eurostat. Household consumption was up 3.7%, with government outlays and investment also contributing to growth
  • U.K. house prices picked up momentum in August, with the tapering of a tax break on purchases doing little to dent demand for property, according to Halifax. The average value of a home rose 0.7% to 262,954 pounds ($364,000), the mortgage lender said Tuesday. That followed a 0.4% gain in July. The annual pace of increase slowed marginally to 7.1%
  • The Swiss National Bank’s pile of foreign exchange increased to 929.3 billion francs ($1 trillion) in August, suggesting officials used interventions to depress the value of their currency
  • China’s export growth unexpectedly surged in August as suppliers likely boosted orders ahead of the year-end shopping season, offsetting any port disruptions due to fresh outbreaks of the delta strain
  • Spain is the latest European nation turning to a hot market for green debt as it seeks to fund projects that mitigate climate change. The nation is seeking to raise 5 billion euros ($5.9 billion) by offering a bond maturing in 2042 via banks Tuesday
  • President Joe Biden needs Democrats in Congress to give him a political boost by passing his $4 trillion economic agenda, but deepening divisions in the party threaten the chances of that happening any time soon.

A deeper look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

Asia-Pac stocks traded cautiously as the region struggled for direction after a non-existent lead due to the holiday closure in the US and tentativeness amid key announcements including the RBA policy decision and Chinese trade data. ASX 200 (Unch) remained pressured by underperformance in the mining sector after Dalian iron ore futures slumped around 5% near the open and with losses across the industry heavyweights BHP, Rio and Fortescue, while participants also lacked commitment heading into the RBA policy decision where the RBA announced it is to proceed with tapering whilst also extended the period to at least February from mid-November. Nikkei 225 (+0.9%) continued to benefit from the upcoming leadership transition which helped the index shrug off disappointing household spending data to briefly reclaim the 30k level with shares of Keyence and Murata boosted on their looming inclusion to the benchmark index, while the addition of Nintendo also underpinned its shares albeit to a lesser extent. Hang Seng (+0.7%) and Shanghai Comp. (+1.5%) gradually shrugged off the early indecision as participants awaited the latest Chinese trade data which topped estimates in USD terms including a 25.6% jump in exports. However, the market reaction to the data was muted with the CNY-denominated trade figures less convincing and amid mixed regulatory-focused headlines including reports that China will strengthen regulations to prevent a disorderly expansion of capital but will also support Chinese companies to list in Hong Kong and will step up monitoring of cross-border capital flows to maintain market stability. Finally, 10yr JGBs recouped some of the recent losses and re-approached the 152.00 level amid weak Household Spending data and continued gains in Japanese stocks, but with upside limited after relatively stable/slightly softer metrics from the 30yr JGB auction including a lower b/c and accepted prices.

Top Asian News

  • Soros Calls BlackRock’s China Investment a ‘Tragic Mistake’
  • BOJ Needs More Realistic Price Goal, Ex-Deputy Governor Says
  • Gold Declines as Treasury Yields Push Higher After Long Weekend
  • Hong Kong’s Move to Reopen China Border Boosts Stocks

Bourses in Europe have retained the uninspiring price action seen at the cash open (Euro Stoxx 50 -0.1%; Stoxx 600 -0.1%) amidst a lack of fresh catalysts and ahead of the US' return from its Labor Day holiday. The tone this morning thus far has remained tentative, with participants keeping powder dry as Thursday's ECB looms, whilst a plethora of post-NFP Fed speakers are scattered between Wednesday and Friday. US equity futures have traded on either side of the flat mark but with mild underperformance seen in the RTY (-0.1%) vs its ES (+0.1%), YM (+0.1%) and NQ (+0.1%) peers. This morning has also seen some positive omens out of banks on equities – Barclays raised its SPX price target to 4600 from 4400 (vs 4535 close on Friday), whilst UBS raised its Stoxx 600 target to 510 from 470 (vs current ~474) and upped its 2021 EPS growth forecast to 60% & forecast 15% growth in '22. The Swiss bank continues to see an earnings-driven market & expect P/E multiples to modestly derate to 16x 12m forward by year-end. Sticking with Europe, sectors are primarily negative with no discernible bias and the breadth of price action narrow. Still, the Telecoms sector has retained the top spot, albeit to a lesser magnitude vs the open. Deutsche Telekom (+0.7%) is the driving force behind the Telecom outperformance after opening higher by around 3% following its agreement with Tele2 (-0.1%) to sell their shares (25% and 75%respectively) in T-Mobile Netherlands to the Apax funds and Warburg Pincus. Furthermore, Deutsche Telekom also entered a long-term strategic partnership and share swap agreement with Softbank. Additionally, Deutsche Telekom CEO noted that the Co. is looking at options for its BT (+0.9%) stake and expects something to happen within the next 12 months. Deutsche Telekom owns a 12.06% stake in BT. The former divestment of the Dutch T-Mobile unit has also given rival KPN (+4.1%) a lift, potentially on sector consolidation tailwinds. In terms of individual movers, Allianz (-0.3%) remains mildly pressured after German watchdog BaFin has reportedly launched a probe into Allianz over structured Alpha Investment Funds. Meanwhile, Salzgitter (+3.4%) was bolstered after another guidance upgrade – citing sustained upbeat development in prices and demand

Top European News

  • Euro-Area Economy Grew Faster Than Expected in Second Quarter
  • Merkel Confidant Dies Days After Becoming China Ambassador
  • Merkel Endorses Laschet, Takes Swipe at Scholz in Election Pitch
  • Nord Stream 2 Gas Link Moves Closer to Start as Last Pipe Welded

In FX, some relative calm after the overnight storm for the Aussie that knee-jerked higher on the back of the RBA’s decision to press ahead with plans to trim bond purchases to Aud 4 bn/week from Aud 5 bn before recoiling in response to the decision to extend the QE timeframe to at least mid-February 2022 from mid-November this year due to a delay in the economic recovery and increased uncertainty associated with the Delta outbreak. To recap, markets were finely divided over the possibility of the Board aborting its planned tapering altogether or ploughing on, so a decent reaction in Aud/Usd and Aud/Nzd was almost guaranteed, but the headline pair is pulling back a bit further from circa 0.7469 to under 0.7400 and the cross is eyeing 1.0400 compared to just above 1.0450 at one stage even though the Kiwi is slipping back in sympathy between 0.7153-10 parameters after spiking alongside 10 year NZ yields vs its US peer.

  • DXY/CAD - Having dipped a solitary tick under Monday’s 92.105 Labor Day low, the index subsequently regained composure and sufficient momentum to notch a marginally higher high at 92.324 vs 92.314 against the backdrop of more pronounced bear-steepening in US Treasuries and other global bonds in the run up to this week’s heavy supply schedule. Moreover, the Greenback gleaned traction from the inability of several major counterparts to cash in when the pendulum was swinging in their favour. In terms of fundamentals, employment trends for August are rather obsolete given Friday’s official jobs data, so the Usd 58 bn 3 year note auction is likely to warrant more attention before the rest of the refunding and the US agenda picks up in general from tomorrow with the latest Fed Beige Book and speakers. Meanwhile, the Loonie has lost a bit more of its oil-powered impetus as WTI crude meanders and is also heading into Wednesday’s BoC policy meeting cautiously within a 1.2582-19 band.
  • EUR/CHF/GBP/JPY - All narrowly mixed against the Dollar and rangy, as the Euro continues to hold above 1.1850, but beneath 1.1900 irrespective of Eurozone surveys (like a weak ZEW) or data and is probably keeping counsel for the ECB instead, while the Franc is pivoting 0.9150 and hardly reacted to softer than expected Swiss jobless rates. Elsewhere, Sterling derived some support from BoE’s Saunders underlining his more hawkish leanings (see 8.34BST post on the Headline Feed for bullets), but not enough to revisit 1.3850+ peaks and is now probing the 1.3800 handle following a breach of the 200 DMA and 50 DMA. Similarly, the Yen is striving to keep afloat of 110.00 in wake of Japanese household spending missing consensus by a mile and before attention switches to Q2 GDP, Jule trade and current account balances plus August’s Economy Watchers Poll.

In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures are choppy after the overnight upside momentum petered out as European players entered the fray. Prices had been hovering just above USD 69/bbl and USD 72.50/bbl, respectively before losing both levels with newsflow for the complex on the lighter side. Participants will notice a dichotomy between the intraday price changes due to the lack of WTI futures settlement yesterday on account of the US Labor Day holiday – with the weekly Private Inventory data also delayed until later today, whilst the EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report is deferred to Thursday 16:00BST/11:00EDT. Over in the GoM, BSEE estimated approximately 83.9% of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico shut-in (prev. 88.3%), and about 80.8% of the gas production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in (prev. 82.7%), while a total of 99 oil and gas production platforms remain evacuated. It was also reported that the US Coast Guard was investigating nearly 350 reports of oil spills in and along the Gulf of Mexico following Hurricane Ida, albeit this is unlikely to affect policy in the near term as things stand. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver have been drifting lower in tandem with the rise in the Buck, although with technicals also bearing some weight in the absence of fresh catalysts. Spot gold fell back below its 100 DMA (USD 1,815/oz) and has sights on the 200 DMA (1,809.59/oz) at the time of writing. Similarly, spot silver hit a ceiling at its 50 DMA around 24.80/oz. Meanwhile, copper prices declined overnight – with LME still subdued and back under USD 9,500/t -as Chinese copper imports fell to over a 2yr low, whilst Chinese iron ore imports rose for the first time in five months. However, analysts believe this is short-lived given China's steel target reduction.

US Event Calendar

  • No major releases scheduled

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

It may have been a quiet session with the US out on holiday, but markets continued their upward ascent once again yesterday thanks to investor hopes that the weak US jobs data would reduce the likelihood that the Fed would shortly begin to withdraw their monetary stimulus. Global equities were buoyant across the board, with the STOXX 600 (+0.69%) closing only -0.13% away from its all-time closing high last month, the MSCI World index (+0.18%) advancing to a new record, and futures on the S&P 500 (+0.11% this morning) edging up and similarly pointing to record highs for that index as well. In Asia, risk appetite has continued to remain firm with the Nikkei (+0.75%), Hang Seng (+0.61%) and Shanghai Comp (+0.77%) all up. Bucking the trend is the Kospi which is down -0.70%.

Back to Europe yesterday and equity gains were pretty broad-based across Europe, with the DAX (+0.96%), the CAC 40 (+0.80%) and the FTSE 100 (+0.68%) all moving higher across the continent, though Spain’s IBEX 35 (+0.21%) put in a relatively weaker performance. At the sectoral level, tech stocks led the gains, with the STOXX Technology Index up +1.85%, which comes off the back of having advanced for 10 of the last 11 weeks, and brings the index to its highest level since 2000.

Elsewhere, sovereign bond yields in Europe generally moved lower yesterday ahead of this week’s ECB decision, with those on 10yr bunds (-0.5bps), OATs (-0.9bps) and BTPs (-1.6bps) all falling. That said, there was a very big rise in inflation expectations across the continent, with German 10yr breakevens (+5.1bps) rising to their highest level since 2013, at 1.57%, just as Italian (+6.7bps) 10yr breakevens rose to their own post-2013 high of 1.53 %.

Speaking of that ECB decision, our chief European economist Mark Wall discusses the issue in a new podcast out yesterday (link here), and makes the point that whether the slowing in purchase is done in September or December is besides the point. A slower pace of PEPP purchases, and hence peak asset purchases, is inevitable, though his view is that a September announcement is slightly more likely than December. You can read his written preview here as well (link here).

Sentiment this morning is being aided by positive trade data out of China as exports came in stronger than expectations at +25.6% (vs. +17.3% expected) while imports came in at +33.1% (vs. +26.9% expected). In Fx, the Australian dollar is up +0.29 % after the RBA stuck with its decision to taper bond purchases to AUD4bn a week and added that it will continue the purchases at this rate until at least mid-February 2022. The RBA left its policy rate and yield target unchanged. The central bank said that it views the setback to economy on account of the lockdowns as temporary. The RBA also committed to lower rates for longer as it said that conditions for rate rises will not be met before 2024 under the central scenario. Overall while the taper was a close call in terms of expectations it seems the language used by the RBA is relatively dovish.

The RBA decision seems to have caused Aussie yields to rally a couple of bps from before the announcement and that may have dragged 10yr USTs yields down a touch as they have rallied off their highs for the session and stand +1.7bps at 1.3393%. In terms of other overnight data releases, Japan’s July labour cash earnings printed at a stronger +1.0% yoy (vs. +0.4% yoy expected) while the previous month’s reading was revised up by +0.2pp to +0.1% yoy.

One area that we might be seeing some fresh inflationary pressures soon are in aluminium prices, which hit their highest level in over a decade yesterday after the coup in Guinea raised concerns that the supply of bauxite (which is used to make aluminium) could be affected. Though the country’s population is estimated to be around 13-14 million people, they are a major supplier of bauxite, supplying around a quarter of the world’s total, so any disruption there could have profound effects on the global market. More broadly however, it was a fairly subdued day for commodities, with Brent crude (-0.54%) oil prices losing ground, whilst gold (-0.24%) also fell back following 4 successive weekly gains.

Turning to the pandemic, the picture is definitely brightening at the global level, and the latest John Hopkins University data is showing that last week saw the first weekly decline in new cases since early June. That said, a number of places are still tightening restrictions, with Singapore taking fresh action yesterday, which includes more extensive testing in higher-risk environments, and a ban on workplace social gatherings from September 8. Elsewhere, in a move that is likely to be world’s first, the Chilean government has approved the Sinovac Biotech’s vaccine for use on children as young as six, with shots being administered beginning this month.

There wasn’t much data yesterday either with the US on holiday, though German factory orders unexpectedly grew by +3.4% in July (vs. -0.7% expected). However, the country’s construction PMI for August fell back to a three-month low of 44.6. Meanwhile in the UK, the construction PMI there fell back to a five-month low of 55.2 (vs. 56.0 expected).

It’s another quiet day on the calendar ahead, though data highlights will include German industrial production for July and the ZEW survey for September. Meanwhile from central banks, the BoE’s Saunders will be speaking.

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