After oil soared over 5% yesterday, its biggest jump since April which pushed the commodity to a three week high on the unexpected announcement that OPEC had agreed on cutting as much as 700kbpd in production (without providing any actual detail who would cut), overnight skepticism and doubts have emerged about the viability and compliance with the deal, coupled with a boost in production by non-OPEC producers, and as a result WTI has dipped back under $47, down 0.5%, suggesting that the OPEC surge may be short-lived and modestly pressuring US equity futures.
“Skepticism on the implementation is probably weighing on prices today - but we also need to see how the U.S. market reacts,” says Giovanni Staunovo, commodity analyst at UBS. Adding to the sentiment was Templeton Emerging Markets Group executive chairman Mark Mobius who said that “OPEC agreement to cut production is not set in stone and, as we have seen in the past, the words often don’t match the deeds.”
The modest rolloff in oil prices has also put a "cap" on US equity futures overnight, which were trading roughly unchanged during the overnight session, but not before yesterday's euphoria pushed stocks in Asia and Europe higher. India’s assets fell after it attacked terrorist targets in Pakistan.
Energy companies led gains on the MSCI All-Country World Index, which is on course for its best quarter since 2013. Sovereign bonds fell amid speculation higher energy prices will revive inflation. After posting its biggest gain in five months, crude slipped under $47 a barrel. India’s rupee fell the most in three months after the biggest military escalation since 1999.
For those who missed yesterday's main event, Bloomberg conveniently summarizes that OPEC said its members agreed a preliminary deal to trim production to a range of 32.5 million to 33 million barrels per day following informal talks in Algiers, although it won’t decide on targets for each country until a November meeting in Vienna.
A global oil glut has weighed on crude prices for more than two years as a result of the Saudi historic November 2014 decision to break away from the OPEC cartel in order to put shale companies out of business (a decision which appears to have been undone as of yesterday, handing the victory to US shale), damping inflation, hurting corporate earnings, and leading to negative bond yields in two of the world’s four biggest economies.
“It really caught people on the hop -- we weren’t expecting a cut in output at all,” said Derek Mitchell, a fund manager at Royal London Asset Management in London. His fund owns shares of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc and has assets under management of 93.8 billion pounds ($122 billion). “It sends a message that there’s now a floor under the oil price. A tighter oil market will support earnings. There’s rightly a great deal of skepticism as to whether this cut will last, but for the time being, it’s a very nice thing to wake up to.”
Some of the winners from OPEC’s plan include:
- Energy markets, from natural gas to coal and carbon were buoyed by the announcement.
- The Norwegian krone, the currency of Western Europe’s largest oil producer, touched its strongest level against the euro since August 2015, before giving up gains.
- Equity markets in Russia, Dubai, Qatar and Malaysia.
- Industrial metals lead and tin climbed to the highest in more than a year, as higher oil prices raise the cost of production.
- A global gauge of energy stocks rose. Tullow Oil Plc led gains among European oil-related companies.
Some of the losers from OPEC’s plan include:
- Bonds fell, while measures of the market’s inflation outlook in the U.S. and U.K. climbed.
- Travel-and-leisure stocks fell in Europe, with airlines including Deutsche Lufthansa AG leading the drop on prospects of higher fuel costs.
- Japan’s yen slumped amid speculation that increased oil costs will help the central bank achieve its policy goals.
The global reaction to the OPEC announcement was broadly bullish for risk assets which soared in kneejerk response, and the MSCI global index gained 0.4% as in early trade, extending this quarter’s advance to 5.4%. A gauge of energy shares jumped 1.5 percent after surging 2.8 percent in the last session. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.7 percent, with oil companies leading the charge. Africa-focused explorer Tullow Oil jumped 7.1 percent, while Total SA and Shell added 4.5 percent or more.
Lenders took their rebound into a second day, with Deutsche Bank AG up 0.9 percent. Commerzbank AG bucked the trend, falling 0.6 percent after announcing plans to reduce 9,600 jobs and suspend dividends as Chief Executive Officer Martin Zielke seeks to shore up the German lender’s profitability. Travel-and-leisure stocks were among the casualties of the OPEC deal, as higher fuel costs make traveling more expensive and erode profits at companies including Lufthansa, which fell 2.7 percent, and Ryanair Plc, down 2.9 percent. Thomas Cook Group Plc dropped 3.6 percent.
S&P futures were fractionally lower, after U.S. shares advanced Wednesday on the back of rising oil prices. Investors will look to data Thursday, including wholesale inventories, gross domestic product, initial jobless claims and pending home sales, for indications of the health of the world’s biggest economy.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to speak Thursday, as are regional Fed chiefs for Atlanta, Minneapolis and Philadelphia. These will follow yesterday's Fed speeches by dissenter Esther George (Voter, Hawk) who said the diversity of views is healthy for the FOMC and added the Fed needs to move forward on rate hikes slowly and surely. Fed's Mester (Voter, Hawk) said the Fed could ruin its credibility by not acting on data and may fall behind curve if there is a delay in a hike. Mester also commented that sometimes being prudent means increasing rates and that fundamentals of the economy remain sound.
Bond market measures for the inflation outlook climbed from the U.S. to the U.K. following OPEC’s decision. The 10-year break-even rate in the U.K. was set for its highest close since July last year. A similar measure in the U.S. approached its highest level since June. The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries was steady at 1.58% and that for German bunds increased by three basis points to minus 0.12 percent. “The rise in Treasury yields after the OPEC news was contained because the decision to really cut production won’t be finalized until November,” Shinichiro Kadota, an FX strategist at Barclays told BLoomberg. “The Fed’s rate-increase path isn’t gaining momentum, making it unlikely for yields to extend their climb.”
- S&P 500 futures down less than 0.1% to 2162
- Stoxx 600 up 0.7% to 345
- FTSE 100 up 1.1% to 6922
- DAX up 0.9% to 10533
- German 10Yr yield up 3bps to -0.12%
- Italian 10Yr yield up 2bps to 1.2%
- Spanish 10Yr yield up 3bps to 0.92%
- S&P GSCI Index down less than 0.1% to 360.1
- MSCI Asia Pacific up 0.4% to 141
- Nikkei 225 up 1.4% to 16694
- Hang Seng up 0.5% to 23739
- Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 2998
- S&P/ASX 200 up 1.1% to 5471
- US 10-yr yield up 1bp to 1.58%
- Dollar Index up 0.1% to 95.53
- WTI Crude futures down 0.6% to $46.78
- Brent Futures down 0.9% to $48.23
- Gold spot up less than 0.1% to $1,322
- Silver spot down 0.3% to $19.14
Top Global News
- Saudis Shock Oil World With Higher Prices Over Free Markets: OPEC to cap production at 32.5-33mbbl/d; revisit quotas at Nov. meeting.; Shale Drilling Revival Seen Ahead as Oil Price Recovers
- India Strikes Pakistan Terror Camps as Modi Hits Back for Attack: Heavy casualties inflicted on militants assembled to infiltrate India, according to India’s director general of military operations Ranbir Singh said.
- 9/11 Victim Families Can Sue Saudis; Obama Veto Overturned: Other countries may respond by allowing lawsuits vs U.S. for actions by American soldiers, diplomats or corporate executives.
- California Suspends Wells Fargo From Bond, Investing Work: U.S.’s largest issuer of municipal bonds WFC from underwriting state debt, handling its banking transactions.
- Elliott’s Paul Singer Buys More of GE’s 3-D Printer Target: Singer plans to acquire additional voting rights in SLM Solutions Group in the next 12 months.
- Sears, Claire’s at High Risk of Retail Failures: Fitch: Cos. named in report that found retailers wind up liquidated almost 3x more often than other companies in bankruptcy.
- Fed Politics in Spotlight as Yellen Cornered by Lawmaker: Republican congressman cornered Fed chair on whether key policy maker would have conflict of interest in discussing presidential post.
- Och-Ziff Unit Said to Plan to Plead Guilty Over Bribes: Agreed to enter deferred-prosecution agreement, also subsidiary plead guilty in probe into bribes funneled to African officials.
- Compromise Said to Be Discussed Ahead of FCC Set-Top Box Vote: FCC chairman offered concessions to win support for proposal to make it easier for consumers to buy set-top boxes from cos. other than their cable TV provider.
- YouTube Hires Ex-Def Jam Boss to Smooth Music Industry Ties: Hired Lyor Cohen as its global head of music.
- Yahoo! Hacked by Criminals, Not State Sponsor: Security Firm: Accounts were hacked in 2014 by cybercriminals, InfoArmor says.
Looking at regional markets, we begin in Asia where stock markets traded higher across the board as the energy sector coat-tailed on the 5% surge in crude, following the agreement by OPEC to cut output for the first time since 2008. This boosted oil names in both the ASX 200 (+1.1%) and Nikkei 225 (+1.4%), with the latter outperforming on JPY weakness after USD/JPY surged above 101.00. Shanghai Composite (+0.4%) and Hang Seng (+0.5%) conformed to the positive risk sentiment, although gains were capped amid rising repo rates, which followed a weaker liquidity injection by the PBoC ahead of next week's Golden Week holiday. 10yr JGBs recovered initial losses amid a lack of demand due to the positive risk sentiment seen across Asia. Furthermore, today's 2yr auction was tepid in which the b/c fell to its lowest since June 2015, while the latest securities transactions data showed foreign investors offloaded the largest amount of Japan bonds last week since 2014.
Top Asian News
- Deutsche Bank Said to Face Hurdle Moving China Sale Proceeds: German lender raising up to $3.9b from Huaxia sale
- China’s Big Ball of Money Isn’t Going Anywhere Near Stock Market: Investors flock to property, spurring bubble warnings
- Fulham’s Billionaire Rises From Dishwasher to Takata Bidder: Flex-N-Gate is said to be one of five bidders for Takata
- Turnbull Steps Up Attack on Renewables After Australian Blackout: Says Australian states’ renewable targets risk energy security
- Korean Court Rejects Arrest-Warrant Request for Lotte Chief: Prosecutors sought arrest on embezzlement allegations
European equity cash markets have seen buying support following the upside witnessed in the futures overnight, following OPEC agreeing on a production limit. The energy sector is the predicable outperformer in equity markets, up 5% on the session as WTI Crude futures now trade around USD 47.00/bbl with the next key resistance level being August's 49.00/bbl high. Oil prices have weighed on airline names; Easyjet (-1.6%) and Lufthansa struggle in the Dax, (-2.4%). German Banks continue to be in focus with Commerzbank releasing downbeat news; source reports stating that the Co. is to lay off 20% of their workforce (10,000 employees) and furthermore, the bank is to suspend their dividend payments, expecting a write-down of EUR 700mln, although do still expect a small profit this year.
Top European News
- Deutsche Bank Said to Face Hurdle Moving China Sale Proceeds: Govt creating potential headache for seeking to sell $3.9b stake in a Chinese lender, also seeking permission to move proceeds offshore.
- German Unemployment Unexpectedly Rises in Sign Economy Slowing: Number of people out of work increased by seasonally adjusted 1,000 to 2.68m.
- Commerzbank Plans to Cut Jobs, Suspend Div. in CEO Overhaul: Bank will take costs of about ~EU1.1b to restructure businesses.
- Man Group CEO Sees Event-Driven Hedge Fund Pressure: “When individual funds get too big, or when they get stale, or when they get lazy to be honest the money will flow away from them,” Man Group CEO Luke Ellis said.
- Renault Defends Electric-Car Headstart With Longer-Range Zoe: Car will be able to travel as far as 400km on a single charge, compared with 240km now.
- Spanish Socialists Crack Under Pressure to Let Rajoy Rule: Dispute over whether to let acting PM Mariano Rajoy return to office tore apart Spain’s Socialist leadership.
In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2 percent from its lowest close in more than two weeks. The yen slid 0.7 percent, among the biggest losers of major currencies, as investors favored higher-yielding assets outside of Japan. the ringgit strengthened 0.4 percent, leading gains among the currencies of oil-exporting nations. The Norwegian krone slipped 0.3 percent following a 1 percent jump in the last session. South Africa’s rand lost 0.9 percent and Turkey’s lira declined 0.7 percent. Mexico’s peso retreated from near a two-week high before a monetary policy review on Thursday, with most economists predicting interest rates will be raised. Taiwan also has a central bank meeting and its currency strengthened 0.2 percent from Monday’s close as trading resumed following a hurricane. Just over half of the economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast the island’s borrowing costs will be left unchanged, while the remainder were looking for a cut.
In commodities, crude oil fell 0.5 percent to $46.83 a barrel, retreating from a three-week high. The lower end of OPEC’s new production target equates to a nearly 750,000 barrels-a-day drop from what the group said it pumped in August. Saudi Arabia and Iran had signaled before the meeting that an agreement was unlikely in Algiers, while all but two of 23 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predicted there would be no deal. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said OPEC’s agreement to cut output could add as much as $10 a barrel to oil prices, though it remains skeptical along with other banks on how the accord will be implemented. Year-ahead European coal jumped to 20-month high amid increasing import demand from China. The equivalent Dutch gas contract surged to the highest for eight weeks and carbon permits rose to a three-month high. French and German power contracts both advanced to the highest since August 2015 amid reduced availability of French nuclear plants. Tin gained 0.5 percent to trade just shy of $20,000 a metric ton, a level last seen in early 2015. The metal used for solder in electronics has jumped 17 percent this quarter, the best performance on the London Metal Exchange. Lead rose 0.8 percent, heading for the highest since May last year. The LME index of six industrial metals is heading for a third successive quarterly gain for the first time since 2011 helped by an improving economy in China, the biggest consumer.
Looking at the day ahead, the main focus will be on the third reading of Q2 GDP. The market is expecting the reading to be revised up to +1.3% qoq from +1.1%. Also due out is the advance goods trade balance reading for August, wholesale inventories for last month, the latest initial jobless claims print and finally pending home sales data. Away from the data there’s no shortage of Fedspeak scheduled. Harker is due to speak at 10am BST followed by Lockhart, Powell and Kashkari. If that wasn’t enough, Fed Chair Yellen is also scheduled to address a minority banking conference. Away from the Fed we’ll also hear from the ECB’s Praet this morning and Constancio this afternoon, along with the BoE’s Forbes around lunchtime.
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Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquwk and Bloomberg
- European equities trade higher as European participants digest the fallout of yesterday's OPEC announcement
- Naturally, energy names trade higher across the board with softness in airliners with not much else to report from the session thusfar
- Looking ahead, highlights include German unemployment, CPI, US GDP, weekly jobless data, as well as a host of speakers from Fed, ECB, BoE and BoJ
- Long-end Treasuries fall while global equities rally; oil prices drop after yday’s OPEC announcement sparked a rally in WTI.
- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said OPEC’s deal to cut output could add as much as $10 a barrel to oil prices, though it remains skeptical along with other banks on how the accord will be implemented
- Oil analysts, many of whom were surprised by OPEC’s decision on Wednesday to set out the framework of a deal to limit oil production, remain split about the impact of the producer group’s plan
- BOJ’s Kuroda said in overnight speech that options for further easing include targeting lower rates in yield curve control, boosting asset purchases and increasing the pace of monetary base expansion
- Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Patrick Harker says U.S. “economy has reached a point where monetary policy has done what it can”
- Commerzbank AG plans to reduce 9,600 jobs, or about a fifth of the workforce, and suspend dividends as Chief Executive Officer Martin Zielke seeks to shore up profitability at the German lender
- German unemployment unexpectedly rose in September for the first time in a year, in a sign of concern among businesses over an economic slowdown and the consequences of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union
- Euro-area economic confidence unexpectedly improved in September in a sign the region’s recovery is maintaining its momentum
- Institutions face returns that will be lower than historical gains and in some cases less than what they need to meet their liabilities, according to Oaktree Capital Groups Howard Marks
- India said it attacked terrorist camps just across the border in Pakistan, the biggest military escalation since a standoff in 1999, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi retaliated for a deadly strike against Indian soldiers earlier this month
US Event Calendar
- 8:30am: GDP Annualized q/q, 2Q T, est. 1.3% (prior 1.1%)
- 8:30am: Wholesale Inventories m/m/m, Aug. P, est. 0% (prior 0%)
- 8:30am: Initial Jobless Claims, Sept. 24, est. 260k (prior 252k)
- 8:50am: Fed’s Lockhart speaks in Orlando, Fla.
- 9:45am: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, Sept. 25 (prior 41.3)
- 10am: Pending Home Sales m/m, Aug., est. 0.0% (prior 1.3%)
- 10am: Fed’s Powell speaks at St. Louis Fed banking conference
- 10am: Freddie Mac mortgage rates
- 10:30am: EIA natural-gas storage change
- 2pm: Fed’s Kashkari speaks in Rapid City, S.D.
- 4pm: Fed’s Yellen Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks via video link to Kansas City Fed banking forum
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DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
It’s probably fair to say that over the last few weeks and months, markets had become somewhat accustomed to the flurry of jawboning, back-and-forth headlines and general bickering between the major Oil producing nations over whether or not to curb output. It therefore felt like the general consensus was leaning towards a ‘more of the same’ type outcome from the sideline OPEC meeting so when the headlines broke last night reporting that the cartel had agreed to the framework of a deal that will cut production, that was enough to send Oil related assets surging.
Indeed WTI rallied as much as 7% off the intraday lows before finishing the day with a +5.33% gain, the most since April 8th. Brent also rallied +5.92% and closed at the highest level ($48.69/bbl) since August 30th. WTI is up a further +0.20% this morning. The rest of the energy complex got a boost too with Gasoline (+6.03%) and Heating Oil (+5.75%) in particular up sharply. Oil sensitive currencies gained with the Russian Ruble (+1.35%), Norwegian Krone (+1.00%) and Canadian Dollar (+0.89%) coming out top. Unsurprisingly it was energy stocks which dragged US equities up from early session lows. The S&P 500 was down as much -0.38% but swung to a +0.53% gain by the closing bell with the energy sector alone up over +4%. Oil heavyweights Exxon Mobil (+4.40%), Chevron (+3.20%), Schlumberger (+3.56%) and ConocoPhillips (+6.97%) all leading the sector higher. In credit markets CDX IG ended 2bps tighter.
The move by OPEC to a preliminary agreement to cut production to 32.5m barrels per day is the first reduction since 2008 and according to our commodity strategists would lower 2017 production by 1.1m barrels per day based on their assumptions. The early indications suggest that the agreement may follow the outline of an Algerian proposal for a 1.6% reduction from the Jan-Aug averages for all member countries apart from Libya, Iran and Nigeria. Under this proposal, Iran would be permitted to raise production only up to 3.7m barrels per day which is a small increment from its reported August production of 3.64m barrels. The devil is in the detail though and as our colleagues highlight the precise country level production quotas will not be decided until the November 30th OPEC ordinary meeting. As a result countries may not act to reduce output until December. A more complete assessment of the overall impact will likely depend on the eventual shape of the final agreement which we might have to wait until the end of November to get, along with the potential participation of any non-OPEC producing countries.
So there are still the details to iron out and perhaps the greater question is whether or not the market will trust OPEC to follow through with action and actually cut. Waiting until November also brings a kicking the can type element to all this and one would imagine that implementing the individual country quotas could be where the disputes start but to be fair the preliminary agreement is certainly more than most would have expected.
This morning in Asia bourses are off to a decent start and it won’t come as a surprise to hear that the energy sector is leading the way. The Nikkei (+1.42%), Hang Seng (+0.34%), Shanghai Comp (+0.68%), Kospi (+0.81%) and ASX (+0.93%) are all up with energy sectors generally up between 3% and 6%. Emerging market currencies are on the whole stronger this morning while the Yen has weakened -0.60%. Credit indices are also 1-2bps tighter while US equity index futures are also pointing towards to positive start. The only data released this morning came in Japan where retail sales disappointed last month (-1.1% mom vs. -0.6% expected).
Staying in Asia, yesterday our Chief China Economist Zhiwei Zhang published a report titled ‘China’s Property Bubble’. Zhiwei believes that a property bubble is rising in some Chinese cities. After conducting a bottom up analysis of 252 land auctions in ten cities, Zhiwei found that property prices have already risen 23% yoy in these cities, but soaring land auction premiums revealed a very high expectation of further property price inflation. He notes that if property prices stay at the current level, developers in 105 cases may lose money, accounting for 53% of total land sales value. If property prices fall by 30%, these numbers would go up to 181 cases and 81% of total land sales value. Zhiwei and his team also believe that the risk of a bubble is spreading to more cities in China and notes that if the property cycle trends down from here with prices falling 10% nationwide, some 28% buyers in land auctions since July 2015 may lose money. The loss could be around RMB243 billion. To avoid a collapse of the property bubble Zhiwei is expecting the PBoC to cut interest rates in Q2 next year and loosen liquidity conditions. He has also trimmed his 2018 GDP forecast to 6%, but kept his 2017 forecast at 6.5% based on policy easing.
Moving on. Prior to the OPEC headlines last night the latest durable and capital goods orders numbers in the US made for a bit of mixed reading. The preliminary August data was broadly better than expected. Headline durable goods orders were unchanged last month versus expectations for a -1.5% mom decline while the ex-transportation declined a little bit less than expected (-0.4% mom vs. -0.5% expected). Core capex orders (+0.6% mom vs. -0.1% expected) also surprised to the upside. What was disappointing though were the downward revisions to the July data. Headline orders were revised down to +3.6% from +4.4%, ex transportation to +1.1% from +1.3% and core capex orders to +0.8% from +1.5%. As a result the Atlanta Fed trimmed its Q3 GDP forecast to 2.8% from 2.9%.
There was also a reasonable amount of Fedspeak to take stock of yesterday but none of which really moved the dial. The latest to speak was the Kansas City Fed’s George (a renowned hawk) who said that ‘we need to slowly but surely make progress in adjusting that interest rate so we don’t get far behind’. The Cleveland Fed’s Mester - another dissenter – said that ‘at this point, I think there’s a very compelling case to take the next step on a very gradual path’, warning also that any delay increases the risk to having to undertake a considerably steeper policy path later on. The rest of the comments came from the centrist and more dovish camp. The Chicago Fed’s Evans said that the ‘economy is actually doing quite well’ but that ‘if inflation were closer or at our objective then it probably would be closer to the time to be raising rates’. Meanwhile the Minneapolis Fed’s Kashkari said that ‘the economy still has room to run before it overheats’.
Elsewhere, Fed Chair Yellen was also speaking yesterday in a testimony before the House Financial Services Committee. Much of the testimony was focused on Yellen defending the regulatory role of the Fed and addressing accusations of potential conflicts of interest although the Fed Chair also highlighted that monthly job gains are well above a sustainable long run path, although she isn’t yet seeing upward pressure on inflation.
Her colleague at the ECB, Mario Draghi, was also busy defending recent action by the ECB from German lawmakers, saying on balance that savers, employees and pensioners across the Euro area are better off today and tomorrow because of the actions of the ECB. It was a better day for European stocks yesterday with the Stoxx 600 closing up +0.70% and the DAX +0.74%, the latter gaining for the first time since last Thursday.
Looking at the day ahead, this morning in Europe the early data release comes from Germany where the September unemployment rate print is due. Shortly following that we turn our attention to the UK where money and credit aggregates data is due, along with the August mortgage approvals data. We’ll then get various confidence indicators for the Euro area before its back to Germany with the preliminary September CPI report. Across the pond this afternoon the main focus will be on the third reading of Q2 GDP. The market is expecting the reading to be revised up to +1.3% qoq from +1.1% while our US economists have pegged an increase to +1.4%. Also due out is the advance goods trade balance reading for August, wholesale inventories for last month, the latest initial jobless claims print and finally pending home sales data. Away from the data there’s no shortage of Fedspeak scheduled. Harker is due to speak at 10am BST followed by Lockhart at 1.20pm BST, Powell at 3pm BST and Kashkari at 7pm BST. If that wasn’t enough, Fed Chair Yellen is also scheduled to address a minority banking conference tonight at 9pm BST. Away from the Fed we’ll also hear from the ECB’s Praet this morning and Constancio this afternoon, along with the BoE’s Forbes around lunchtime.