It has been more of the same this morning as the dollar extended its advance on the still undeteremined Trump reflationary policy measures after Yellen signaled an interest-rate hike could be imminent, while bond yields around the globe rose again, metals declined, European stocks advanced and futures were modestly in the red just shy of all time highs.
A quick recap of what Yellen said: she reinforced the message that the Fed was close to raising rates, noting that the case for hiking ‘relatively soon’ would continue to strengthen as long as incoming data held strong. She also signalled the need for the FOMC to avoid delaying rate increases for too long, as “it could end up having to tighten policy relatively abruptly” in the future if the economy began to overheat. Yellen also quelled some fears that the pace of rate hikes would speed up in the future by noting that the FOMC expected that the economy would warrant only “gradual increases” in rates, reasoning that monetary policy was only moderately accommodative at the moment and the risk of “falling behind the curve” in the near future was limited. Yellen also noted her intention to serve out her full four-year term as Fed Chair – thus ending speculation that she might resign following Trump’s criticism of her policies during the former’s presidential campaign. There was some political tension in her remarks though as she defended financial regulations that President elect Trump has sought to partially reverse.
She also cautioned against Congress providing the economy with too much of a budgetary boost and suggested that they should target any stimulus towards the long run productivity of the economy. All in all markets have taken her testimony as signalling a near certain rate hike at the December meeting, with such a scenario now priced in at 96% on Bloomberg (vs. 94% yesterday).
As a result of Yellen's hawkishness, overnight the dollar DXY index rose as high as 101.43, a new 13 year high, sending the offshore Yuan to record lows above 6.90, and unleashing a Yen selling frenzy, before moderating some of its gains after the European open. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed 0.4 percent to trade at its highest level since February. The yen retreated 0.4 percent.
“Right now it is a dollar-dominated story,” Philip Borkin, a senior economist in Auckland at ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd., said in a client note. “But beyond a Fed rate hike next month, many questions remain over the path of policy going forward - for both fiscal and monetary.”
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average entered a bull market after it extended its rally from a June low to more than 20 percent after the S&P 500 Index came within four points of a record on Thursday. Equities in Europe rose for a second day. The greenback’s gain weighed on oil, gold and copper, with the industrial metal set for its first weekly slide in four weeks. Global bonds headed for their steepest two-week loss in at least 26 years.
As we reported yesterday, the EUR was about to make a dubious historic record, as it fell for the 10th consecutive day.
It has never done so before, and the last time the European currency declined for 9 straight sessions was just days before the Lehman collapse.
The latest driver of USD strength was Janet Yellen, who In her first public statement since the U.S. election told lawmakers that the Fed is close to hiking rates. The comments torpedoed Treasuries, while American financial stocks pushed their rally since Donald Trump’s presidential victory back above 10 percent Thursday. Speculation that he will boost fiscal stimulus continues to lift industries that are perceived to benefit from economic growth.
“The fact that she didn’t push back against market expectations for a December hike is perhaps the most significant takeaway,” said Jack Spitz, managing director for foreign exchange at National Bank of Canada in Toronto, referring to Fed Chair Yellen. “The dollar is higher as a result.”
In early trading, European equities rose with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index adding 0.3%, heading for a 1.2% weekly advance. Industrial shares contributed the most to the measure’s Friday rally, while mining companies fell with commodities prices. Shippers and carmakers led gains on the Topix index in Tokyo, which rose 0.4 percent. The Nikkei 225 closed at its highest level since January. Telecommunications and consumer stocks drove Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index up 0.4 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi index slipped 0.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng China Enterprises Index advanced 0.2 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.5 percent on the mainland.
S&P 500 futures slipped 0.1 percent to at 2,181, following a 0.5% advance in the S&P on Thursday. Bank shares led the index to its highest level since Aug. 15, when the gauge reached an all-time high. “Markets have arrived at a point where they need to weigh the risks of being caught out by the potential stimulatory impacts of the Trump administration’s policies, against the risk of being caught by those policies not being implemented,” Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, told Bloomberg by email.
Away from the frenzied dollar rally an the equity reflation trade, the biggest concern remained global bonds and at what point will the rising yields put a damped on the risk-on euphoria. As noted earlier, the bond selloff deepened Friday, with yields on U.S., European and Asia-Pacific sovereign debt increasing. The Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index fell 4 percent from Friday Nov. 4 through Thursday. It’s the biggest two-week rout in the data, which go back to 1990. Yields on Australia’s 10-year notes jumped 15 basis points to 2.72 percent. Yields on similar-maturity Italian debt rose 9 basis points, while those on Treasuries increased two basis points to 2.33 percent, extending the eight basis-point jump last session.
At some point very soon, the financial tightening as a result of surging yields and USD will become self-defeating and lead to a revulsion from risk assets, however for now the markets continue to ignore this flashing red warning.
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Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk:
- The stronger USD has taken its toll on mining, energies and utilities sectors this morning, leading the main indices lower
- A morning of consolidation in the FX markets, but not without a further test higher in the key USD rates where spot JPY has tested 111.00 but held back modestly as yet
- Looking ahead, highlights include Canadian CPI, comments from Fed's Bullard, Kaplan and George and BoE's Broadbent
- S&P 500 futures down 0.2% to 2181
- Stoxx 600 down 0.3% to 340
- FTSE 100 down 0.6% to 6752
- DAX down 0.3% to 10658
- German 10Yr yield up 3bps to 0.31%
- Italian 10Yr yield up 3bps to 2.12%
- Spanish 10Yr yield up 6bps to 1.65%
- S&P GSCI Index down 0.6% to 355.7
- MSCI Asia Pacific down 0.6% to 134
- Nikkei 225 up 0.6% to 17967
- Hang Seng up 0.4% to 22344
- Shanghai Composite down 0.5% to 3193
- S&P/ASX 200 up 0.4% to 5359
- US 10-yr yield up 2bps to 2.32%
- Dollar Index up 0.28% to 101.17
- WTI Crude futures down 1.1% to $44.91
- Brent Futures down 0.8% to $46.12
- Gold spot down 1% to $1,205
- Silver spot down 1% to $16.51
Top Headline News
- VW to Cut 30,000 Jobs in Landmark $3.9 Billion Savings Pact: Savings deal aimed at boosting the VW brand’s margin to 4%
- Bank Bosses Soften Tone on Brexit as May Extends Olive Branch: Finance executives say London’s status not under threat
- Tesla Shareholders Overwhelmingly Approve SolarCity Deal: SolarCity holders approved deal earlier
- HRG, Owner of Spectrum Brands, Considers a Sale as CEO Exits: Owner of consumer brands, Fidelity insurance seeks advisers
- Copper Miner Says Price Rally May Stall as World Glut Lasts: Antofagasta sees global surplus of up to 400,000 tons in ‘17
- Yum! Brands to Buy Back Up to $2b in Additional Shares
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Looking at regional markets, we start in Asia, where stocks traded mostly higher following the firm lead from Wall St where the post-election rally resumed and financials led as a December rate hike looks all but certain. Nikkei 225 (+0.9%) surged to bull-market territory and 10-month highs after briefly breaking above the 18,000 level with exporters benefitting as USD/JPY printed 5-month highs, while ASX 200 (+0.4%) was also in the green, although gains were capped as USD strength weighed on commodities. In China, Hang Seng (+0.2%) and Shanghai Comp (-0.5%) traded indecisive despite a firm liquidity injection by the PBoC, as participants also digested rampant house prices which could attract funds away from stocks as well as dampen hopes for looser policy. 10yr JGBs were weaker alongside increased demand for riskier assets, with the curve steepening amid underperformance in the super-long end in which Japanese 40yr yields rose to an 8-month high.
Top Asian News
- Nikkei 225 Enters Bull Market After Rising 20% From June Low: Topix index advances for seventh day as yen extends declines
- Malaysia Central Bank Says It’s Intervening in Currency Market: Fears of capital controls are “baseless,” Assistant Governor Adnan Zaylani says
- China Home-Price Growth Slows as Property Curbs Start to Bite: Prices in red-hot cities stabilized after curbs
- Trump Win Gives Kuroda Breathing Room, Ex-BOJ Executive Says: BOJ can remain on hold unless yen strengthens past 100/USD, Hideo Hayakawa says
- Thomas Cook India Sees Holiday Booking Delays on Demonetization: Indian economy to “undergo adjustment” on govt’s demonetization decision, Chairman Madhavan Menon says.
In Europe, the stronger USD has taken its toll on mining, energies and utilities sectors this morning, leading the main indices lower (EUROSTOXX -0.5%), with the mining and energy heavy FSTE 100 down by 0.6%. In company specific news, Volkswagen (+1.7%) are trading higher after the German carmaker announced that it will make job cuts, with labour unions agreeing to 30,000 job cuts by 2021. In Fixed income markets supply is short today, but prices have risen after gapping lower on the open due to the general adverse risk sentiment in markets today. We also saw the UK/Eurozone 10 spread widen to a post Brexit high of 117 bps. Elsewhere in Italy, 10 year bonds are on course for the worst month since 2012 as the run up to referendum intensifies.
Top European News
- LafargeHolcim Cuts 2018 Profit Targets; Raises Dividend: Cement maker also plans to buy back 1 billion francs of stock
- Draghi Says Recovery Still Highly Reliant on ECB Policy Support: ECB sees no consistent strengthening of inflation pressures
- SNB Able to Deliver Further Rate Cut If Needed, Maechler Says: Swiss National Bank Board Member Andrea Maechler speaks at event in Geneva
In currencies, Bloomberg’s dollar gauge climbed for a third session. Odds on the Fed raising the benchmark rate are now at 96 percent, up from 80 percent a week ago and less than 65 percent a month ago, according to futures trading tracked by Bloomberg. The yen weakened 0.4 percent to 110.62 per dollar and is on track for its second weekly retreat of more than 3 percent. The won slipped 0.6 percent. Malaysia’s ringgit retreated 0.5 percent as the nation’s central bank said it’s intervening in the currency market. China’s yuan slid to its weakest level since June 2008.
In commodities, gold tumbled to the lowest in more than five months, dropping as much as 1.1 percent to $1,202.96 an ounce. The precious metal has plunged as investors digested the implications of Trump’s policies, which may boost the economy and lead to higher borrowing costs. Rising bond yields and a stronger dollar are also weighing on gold, which doesn’t pay interest.Oil futures declined 1.6 percent in New York, trimming the first weekly advance since late October, despite a spike in OPEC related headlines. Nickel fell 1.4 percent in London to lead declines by industrial metals. Copper retreated 0.8 percent, heading for a weekly loss after entering a bull market last week.
It’s a quiet end to the week today in terms of data: we have the Conference Board Leading Index for October (+0.1% mom expected; +0.2% previous) and the Kansas Fed manufacturing survey for November due, while Baker Hughes at 1pm will reveal if the US shale industry continues to ramp up production.
US Event Calendar
- 5:30am: Fed’s Bullard speaks in Frankfurt
- 9:30am: Fed’s George speaks in Dallas
- 10:00am: Leading Index, Oct., est. 0.1% (prior 0.2%)
- 11:00am: Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Activity, Nov. (prior 6)
- 1pm: Baker Hughes rig count
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DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
If you're looking for the first flapping of a butterfly's wings that might eventually cause a tidal wave further down the road perhaps the most interesting development before Monday is the French Les Républicains party and its centre-right allies primaries on Sunday. The general consensus is that the winner will end up being the candidate up against Marine Le Pen in the second round run off for the Presidential elections in the middle of next year. For sometime now Juppe has experienced a far bigger lead against Le Pen than Sarkozy when pollsters have pitted them against each other. Complicating matters is another ex-PM Fillon who has seen his support increase. If no candidate gets 50% the run off will take place next Sunday. So one to watch in these political times.
Yesterday we were all waiting for Yellen's testimony on the economic outlook delivered before the Joint Economic Committee. She reinforced the message that the Fed was close to raising rates, noting that the case for hiking ‘relatively soon’ would continue to strengthen as long as incoming data held strong. She also signalled the need for the FOMC to avoid delaying rate increases for too long, as “it could end up having to tighten policy relatively abruptly” in the future if the economy began to overheat. Yellen also quelled some fears that the pace of rate hikes would speed up in the future by noting that the FOMC expected that the economy would warrant only “gradual increases” in rates, reasoning that monetary policy was only moderately accommodative at the moment and the risk of “falling behind the curve” in the near future was limited. Yellen also noted her intention to serve out her full four-year term as Fed Chair – thus ending speculation that she might resign following Trump’s criticism of her policies during the former’s presidential campaign. There was some political tension in her remarks though as she defended financial regulations that President elect Trump has sought to partially reverse. She also cautioned against Congress providing the economy with too much of a budgetary boost and suggested that they should target any stimulus towards the long run productivity of the economy. All in all markets have taken her testimony as signalling a near certain rate hike at the December meeting, with such a scenario now priced in at 96% on Bloomberg (vs. 94% yesterday).
Global stock markets responded well to Yellen's testimony and erased yesterday’s dips as both the STOXX 600 (+0.63%), FTSE (+0.67%) and the S&P500 (+0.47%) all ticked up. The STOXX had a particularly strong day given that every underlying sector ended the day in the green. After a rough showing the previous day, banks (+1.25%) were the top performing sector for the S&P and are now up nearly 10% since the US election results.
At the other end of the risk spectrum we saw US treasuries yields climb across the entire maturity spectrum, with the 2Y and 10Y increasing by +3bps and +7bps respectively, and the 30Y once again heading up just above 3% (+8bps). German 10Y yields ticked down by about -2bps while UK 10Y yields increased by nearly +3bps. Italy, Spain and Portugal 10 year yields rose 5-6bps.
Over in currency markets we saw the US dollar continue its strong rally as it rose against major peers (dollar index +0.6% and highest since February). Oil slipped slightly after being up over 2% earlier in the session with the dollar rally seemingly offsetting optimism from Saudi's minister for Energy and Industry that OPEC will find a satisfactory agreement to cut output.
Overnight the dollar continues to edge higher with equities in Asia mostly stronger with the exception of China (Shanghai Comp -0.25%). The Nikkei is up +0.78% as we type. 10 year JGBs are 3bps higher at 0.03% as the market digests the consequence of yesterday's BoJ operations shorter down the curve where they managed to intervene without actually buying any paper. It feels like this story will run and run with the BoJ at some point having to actually spend some money to anchor yields where they want them.
Taking a look now at some of the data out yesterday, we saw Q3 employment numbers out of France where the headline unemployment rate ticked up to 10% and disappointed against expectations of no change (9.9% expected; 9.9% previous). Turning to the UK we saw the October retail sales numbers surprise significantly on the upside by growing at +2.0% mom (vs. +0.4% expected; +0.1% previous) and +7.6% YoY (vs. +5.4% expected; +4.0% previous). These were the highest growth figures seen since July. While this is generally a noisy series, the numbers do still signal resiliency in consumer spending. We also received the final Eurozone October CPI numbers which were unrevised from the flash estimate (+0.5% YoY).
Over in the US, we saw strong data points across inflation, labor market and housing indicators that all seemed to enhance the case for a rate hike in December. Headline CPI numbers ticked up in October and printed in line with expectations at +0.4% mom (+0.3% previous). Labor markets also remained resilient as initial jobless claims (235k actual vs. 257k expected; 254k previous) fell to their lowest levels in over 40years, while continuing claims fell to 1977k (vs. 2030k expected; 2043k previous) and are at their lowest levels since 2000. Homebuilding also picked up as Housing starts reached a nine year high (1323k vs. 1156k expected; 1054k previous) and building permits (1229k vs. 1193 expected; 1225k previous) increased in October to beat expectations. The only weak data point came in the form of the Philadelphia Fed PMI for November which came in at 7.6 (vs. 7.8 expected; 9.7 previous).
It’s a quiet end to the week today in terms of data. In Europe the only data of note is the October PPI report out of Germany (+0.2% mom expected; -0.2% previous) where wholesale inflation is expected to head back into positive territory but remain fairly subdued. In the US we have the Conference Board Leading Index for October (+0.1% mom expected; +0.2% previous) and the Kansas Fed manufacturing survey for November due.