World Stocks Pull Back Amid Rising Concerns Of A Market Correction

For the first day in three S&P futures have pulled back modestly from record levels as some investors cautioned that gains had gone too far, too fast, European shares are mixed while Asian equities extended their longest rising streak in almost two months as continued gains in Japan and India offset the losses in Hong Kong. The dollar ended a two-day advance as TSY yields dropped in what has become a close correlation trade (see below) while oil and gold rose, perhaps in response to the ongoing plunge in bitcoin.

Following yesterday's main, and largely disappointing events - the unveiling of the new iPhone(s) - European shares have faltered as a global equity rally showed signs of flagging, with Apple suppliers struggling after the new iPhone release disappointed with a later than expected shipping date. Chipmakers supplying to Apple were among the worst performers, with AMS down 3.9 percent, while Dialog Semiconductor slipped 1.7 percent and STMicro fell 1.1 percent.

Traders said their shares were under pressure due to Apple’s new $999 iPhone X shipping later than expected, on November 3. The price tag could also dent demand for the device in markets such as China. “With the iPhone coming in around $1,000 it will be interesting to see how healthy demand is,” said Mike Bell, global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management.  “If it’s relatively healthy I think it shows that there is still quite a lot of pricing power for U.S. companies and that consumers have confidence.”

Bloomberg writes this morning that record stock prices are provoking concern in some corners of the market, with the number of investors seeking protection from a possible plunge jumping. Leon Cooperman, the billionaire founder of hedge fund Omega Advisors, says a correction could start “very soon.” The imminent reduction of bond purchases by central banks in coming months will put pressure on riskier assets including high-yield bonds and equities, according to Citigroup Inc. According to the latest BofA FMS report, the last month saw the largest jump in market participants "taking out protection" in 14 months.

“Central banks will tread carefully and the direct impact of global tapering on the real economy will likely be modest,” Citigroup economists led by Ebrahim Rahbari wrote in a report. “But there is a material risk in our view that major asset price corrections could be triggered by this global tapering,” with U.S. high-yield corporate debt, euro-region periphery sovereign bonds, euro-area corporate bonds, global equities and emerging-market assets most at risk, they wrote.

Furthermore, geopolitical concerns also remain after North Korea said it will accelerate its plans to acquire a nuclear weapon that can strike the U.S. homeland in its first response to fresh United Nations sanctions. Earlier, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned the U.S. may impose additional sanctions on China -- potentially cutting off access to the American financial system -- if it doesn’t follow through on the new UN restrictions

With all that, Europe's Stoxx 600 index headed for the first drop in six days after U.S. benchmarks and the MSCI All-Country World Index closed at all-time highs a day earlier. Miners led the decline as the price of industrial metals including copper and nickel retreated.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.1% with basic materials and consumer discretionary shares rising the most among industry groups. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.3 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index fluctuated before adding 0.1 percent.  The Topix index rose 0.6 percent at the close in Tokyo. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed and the Kospi index in Seoul finished the session 0.2 percent lower. Among Apple suppliers, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. and Pegatron fell, weighing on the Taiex index, which was down 0.7 percent. AAC Technologies Holdings Inc. in Hong Kong also declined. Apple slid along with some of its biggest suppliers on Tuesday.  Japan’s Topix climbed for a third day as investors focused on the local currency’s decline. India’s benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose to a five-week high, led by the country’s most-valued company Reliance Industries Ltd. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index declined after nearing the key resistance level of 28,000. “Positive overnight leads support Asian markets to seek continued upside in the day, though we may witness more caution within the region,” Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte Ltd, wrote in an note

In FX, the overnight session was dominated by a sharp reversal in the pound, with U.K. wages coming in weaker than expected underscored the dilemma facing Bank of England policy makers meeting on Thursday to review interest rates. Meanwhile the theme of inflation uptrend is intact across Europe, with CPI prints in Germany and Spain matching estimates; dollar bulls turn cautious, take some money off the table as market attention turns to U.S. CPI data on Thursday, while Canadian dollar advances as WTI crude rises for a third day; Treasuries and core euro-area bonds trade steady, with brief pressure on bund futures heading into auction supply window.

In rates, the yield on 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 2.16 percent.  Germany’s 10-year yield decreased one basis point to 0.39 percent.  Britain’s 10-year yield dipped two basis points to 1.087 percent.

West Texas Intermediate crude extended an advance after the International Energy Agency said global oil demand will climb this year by the most since 2015. Gold climbed 0.1 percent to $1,332.60 an ounce. Copper declined 1.6 percent to $2.99 a pound, the lowest in more than three weeks.  The Bloomberg Commodity Index fell less than 0.05 percent to 84.79.

Economic data include MBA mortgage applications, PPI and oil inventories. Cracker Barrel and United Natural are reporting earnings

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.1% to 2,493.00
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.3% to 380.43
  • MSCI Asia up 0.2% to 163.07
  • MSCI Asia ex Japan down 0.08% to 539.04
  • Nikkei up 0.5% to 19,865.82
  • Topix up 0.6% to 1,637.33
  • Hang Seng Index down 0.3% to 27,894.08
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.1% to 3,384.15
  • Sensex up 0.5% to 32,328.75
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.04% to 5,744.26
  • Kospi down 0.2% to 2,360.18
  • German 10Y yield fell 1.3 bps to 0.388%
  • Euro up 0.2% to $1.1986
  • Italian 10Y yield rose 5.6 bps to 1.733%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 0.9 bps to 1.593%
  • Brent futures up 0.5% to $54.56/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.1% to $1,333.08
  • U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 91.84

Top Overnight News

  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is consulting U.S. allies in Europe as he seeks a way to toughen restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program a month before President Trump faces a deadline to decide whether to walk away from what he’s called “the worst deal ever”
  • Germany’s August harmonized CPI remained unchanged at 1.8% in the final print, in line with estimates; Spain August CPI final reading matches forecast
  • In its first official response to new United Nations sanctions, North Korea said it will accelerate its plans to acquire a nuclear weapon that can strike the U.S. homeland
  • North Korea’s latest nuclear test may have been more than twice as powerful as first thought, according to an analysis by 38 North
  • Merkel’s bloc gets 37% support, the lowest for 4 months, in Forsa poll
  • Tuesday’s protests across France won’t deter the government from pushing through its plan to loosen the country’s labor law, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said
  • U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is in a double bind as she tries to navigate the politics of Brexit while keeping businesses on side: even when she thinks she’s giving companies what they want, they say she’s made it worse
  • Seadrill Ltd., the offshore driller controlled by billionaire John Fredriksen, filed for bankruptcy protection after working out a deal with almost all its senior lenders to inject $1 billion of new money into the company
  • Nordstrom family is said to be close to selecting private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners to help fund a buyout of the company, CNBC says
  • OPEC and its allies are discussing extending by more than three months the oil production cuts that expire in March 2018, potentially prolonging them well into the second half of next year in an effort to boost prices
  • North Korea rejected the latest round of United Nations sanctions on the isolated state, and vowed to accelerate its plans to acquire a nuclear weapon that can strike the U.S. homeland
  • Vikram Pandit, who ran Citigroup Inc. during the financial crisis, said developments in technology could see some 30 percent of banking jobs disappearing in the next five years
  • Denmark faces negative rates until 2020, central bank study says
  • Toshiba Signs Memo With Bain, Struggles to Sell Chip Unit
  • Bain Is Said to Gather $9.4 Billion for New Fund, Topping Target
  • UBS’s Orcel Sees Rocky 2018 For Banks’ Profit as MiFID Kicks In
  • Oil Trades Near $48 as IEA Sees Fastest Demand Growth in 2 Years
  • Bayer Sells $1.4 Billion of Covestro on Path to Separation
  • Trump Premium Gone From U.S. Banks Brings Opportunities: Goldman
  • Pandit Sees 30% of Banking Jobs Disappearing in Next Five Years
  • Deutsche Bank Said to Pledge Cap on U.S. Use of German Deposits

Asia equity markets traded mixed as the momentum from Wall St. was counterbalanced by weakness in Apple suppliers following the tech giant’s product event. ASX 200 (+0.1%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.5%) gained at the open after a trifecta of record closes for the S&P 500, DJIA and Nasdaq, with strength in commodity names and financials leading the upside in Australia. Shanghai Comp. (- 0.1%) and Hang Seng (-0.3%) were subdued with underperformance in the Hong Kong benchmark on a continued pull-back from the 28,000 level, while disappointment was also seen across the Apple supply chain after the tech giant’s product announcement. 10yr JGBs were lower as positive risk appetite prevailed in Japan, although downside was stemmed amid the BoJ's presence in the market for just below JPY 1tln of JGBs in 1yr-10yr maturity range. PBOC injected CNY 30bln via 7-day reverse repos, CNY 20bln via 14-day reverse repos and CNY 20bln via 28-day reverse repos. PBoC set CNY mid-point at 6.5382 (Prev. 6.5277)

Top Asian News

  • Record Flows to Bearish ETF Shows Taiwan Equities Skepticism
  • RBA’s Harper Says Growth Too Slow to Justify Rate Increase
  • Baring Private Equity Is Said to Restart Sale of SAI Assurance
  • Coal Stocks Lead Declines by Indonesian Miners on Price Concerns
  • Topix Index Posts Biggest Three-Day Gain Since May on Tech Rally
  • Offshore Yuan Interbank Costs Surge as Banks Seen Hoarding Cash
  • Banker Fees on Japan Post Deal Are Said to Top Tobacco Sale

Equity markets trade mixed in Europe, as the FTSE behaves as one of the noticeable underperformers, as both the 100 and 250 struggle amid the pound’s strength yesterday. Sectors see materials underperform, with Glencore and Rio Tinto suffering despite an article from the FT noting market speculation that the two companies merger plans may be revived. The Bund auction will highlight issuance today; the market holds steady as we approach the bidding deadline. However, Portugal and Italy have seen some selling before their respective auctions. Price action has been seen in the UK, as Gilts did see a slight bid ahead of the BoE meeting Thursday, as a result of the marginal miss in the aforementioned UK jobs figures. The UK sold GBP 2.5bln 1.25% in its 2027 Gilt Auction at an average yield 1.161%, b/c 2.25 (Prev. b/c 2.56) and tail 0.2bps Germany sold EUR 2.446bln vs. Exp. EUR 3bln 0.5% 2027 Bund Auction with a b/c 1.6 (Prev. 1.27), average yield 0.39% (Prev. 0.41%) and retention of 18.5% (Prev. 19%)

Top European News

  • Merkel Is Said to Want Schaeuble to Keep His Job After Election
  • Novo Sees Earlier China Launch for Diabetes Drug Amid Epidemic
  • Denmark Faces Negative Rates Until 2020, Central Bank Study Says
  • Richemont’s European Sales Disappoint as Asia Races Ahead
  • Swatch Falls After Apple Shows LTE-Enabled Watch

In currencies, a nticipation was on the 9.30 UK earnings figures, with slight misses seen in both the average earnings issues. GBP has been thenoticeable mover for the morning, cable still resides around recent highs, as all eyes now move to the BoE tomorrow. The lack of safe-haven flows has continued, with the unwinding of recent positions being the theme of the week. Despite Twitter source comments overnight reporting satellites detected new activity in alternate North Korea tunnel portal areas, suggesting preparations for future underground nuclear tests; no reversal was seen in the risk tone. USD/JPY has continued to trade above 110.00, with the figure behaving as support overnight, bulls will be looking for a break of 110.60 to go on and test 111.00, however, we could see a retest of yesterday’s levels first. UOB are evident of this, placing a long limit order with an entry at 109.80. CHF pairs will be in focus this week with the SNB on Thursday, the mentioned dampening of geopolitical fears in the market have caused some franc selling this week; as USD/CHF looks to trade though 0.9620 and break the Aug 16th downward trendline resistance. EUR/CHF now looks towards August’s high at 1.1537, the bullish attacks could be supported by tone from the SNB tomorrow. ING FX expect the SNB to fan the flames of divergence between itself and the ECB, allowing the rate spreads to widen, one thing to watch tomorrow is if the SNB drop the adverb ‘significantly’ when referring to the strength of CHF.

In commodities, OPEC commentary has once again fluttered into the market, resulting in a marginal bullish push in WTI and Brent crude futures. Bullish comments from the Kuwait oil minister stating that producers should comply with output cuts, were met by comments from Venezuela stating that OPEC and Non-OPEC are not close to a deal, yet did state that all options are open for an OPEC-Led supply cut pact.
DOE raised 2018 crude outlook world oil demand growth to 1.69mln bpd (Prev. 1.61mln bpd). Qatar’s energy minister Al-Sada said that it is appropriate for OPEC to look at measures beyond March and that participating countries have been successful in implementing commitments. (Newswires) Venezuela President Maduro said Opec/Non-Opec output cuts are likely to extend until March next year.

US Event Calendar

  • 7am: MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 3.3%
  • 8:30am: PPI Final Demand MoM, est. 0.3%, prior -0.1%;
    • PPI Ex Food and Energy MoM, est. 0.2%, prior -0.1%. PPI Ex Food, Energy, Trade YoY, prior 1.9%
    • PPI Ex Food, Energy, Trade MoM, est. 0.1%, prior 0.0%; PPI Ex Food and Energy YoY, est. 2.1%, prior 1.8%
  • 2pm: Monthly Budget Statement, est. $119.0b deficit, prior $107.1b deficit

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

I never thought I'd say these words but man it's good to be back at work. The last two weeks have been wonderful and brutal in equal measures. The best bit has been taking nearly 2 year old Maisie to various clubs and classes. Although if I hear the Hokey Cokey again I'll go nuts. As for the twins (James and Eddie) they are doing well. Identification is tricky apart from the fact that Eddie is smaller as unbeknown to us the cord was wrapped around him in the womb and he stopped growing towards the end of the pregnancy. However he is feeding ok now and slowly starting to put on weight. However not as much as James who treats meal times as the bond market treats QE. In fact feeding is brutal, especially at night. With one baby and a hard working, breast feeding wife I'm ashamed to say you can hide a little bit. However with premature twins there is no hiding place. They feed a minimum of 8 times a day and each feed takes around 90 minutes when you include nappy changes, pass the parcelling, the initial feed, the bottle of previously expressed milk as a top up as they are too small and weak to naturally feed for very long, the burping and comforting, then the new round of expressing fresh milk and then finally the cleaning and sterilisation of all the expressing units and bottles for next time. If this goes well at best you can get 90 minutes sleep between feeds.

However more often than not they don't settle and you need to hold them in your arms until they are so asleep they don't notice that you've put them back in their cot. Sometimes the feeds blend into each other. When in their cot whenever you put them down on their backs they naturally roll on their sides to cuddle each other. It is very sweet and we have many images that will take centre stage at their weddings in years to come. All I can say is being a mum to newborns requires a dedication that is astonishing to watch. More so with twins. Although having been ordered around for the last two weeks I'm looking forward to  revenge so my team had better watch out today.

So what did I miss? Well in my last EMR It was Jackson Hole, (very) elevated North Korean tensions and stress about the debt ceiling that was dominating markets. As it stands the fact that we have freshly agreed UN sanctions probably puts the ball back in the North Korean's court in so far as the risk of unilateral and immediate US action has thus been reduced. Clearly if NK provokes the situation it will become a live issue again but as it stands the US is highly unlikely to make the next move. At the same time the debt ceiling has obviously been pushed out and with the devastating hurricane perhaps causing less havoc than that feared before the weekend, markets continue to take some safe haven hedges off the table. Indeed 10 year USTs and Bunds have now climbed 14bp and 11bp off their intra-day lows from Friday (+4bp and +6bp yesterday).

The bond market sell off received an extra push yesterday with the UK August inflation print which surprised on the upside. Headline inflation rose 0.6% mom (vs. 0.5% expected), but the bigger surprise was core inflation which increased 0.6% mom, lifting through-year inflation to 2.7% yoy (vs. 2.5% expected) – the highest reading since December 2011. Within the details, the inflation pick up was led by clothing and footwear (+4.6% yoy) and prices for household goods (+4.2% yoy). Elsewhere, the PPI and retail price index were also higher than expected, with PPI at 0.4% mom (vs. 0.1% expected) and RPI at 0.7% mom (vs. 0.5% expected).

In response, Gilts were sold off with yields up 9bp to 1.132%, Sterling rallying 0.91% versus the Greenback and the chance of a rate hike next February rising from 44% to 61% (per the Bloomberg calculator). To be fair, other sovereign bond yields were also higher, in part driven by the improving risk sentiment. Core and peripheral bond yields increased 3-7bp across the maturities, with Bunds (2Y: +3bp; 10Y: +6bp), French OATs (2Y: +3bp; 10Y: +7bp), Italian BTPs (2Y: +3bp; 10Y: +6bp) and Portuguese (2Y: +3bp; 10Y: +5bp) yields all higher Elsewhere, US bond yields were modestly higher yesterday (2Y: +2bp; 10Y: +4bps), but  have rallied 1bp this morning.

Although the inflation print is not going to change the BOE policy rate tomorrow, it will be interesting to see how much of a hawkish tone we get. For those who may have missed it, DB’s Mark Wall has outlined his expectations for the BOE rate decision tomorrow. The team continues to expect the BoE to remain on hold until uncertainty about the Brexit transition diminishes, as too many aspects of the policy trade-off hinge on the outcome. For more details Continuing on the inflation theme, the Swedish inflation print for August wasn’t as weak as feared at -0.2% mom (vs. -0.3% expected) yesterday and later on today, we will get the US PPI reading where our team expect a 0.2% mom print at the core level, which will likely see annual inflation rise three-tenths to 2.1% yoy. All this before the main event of the week tomorrow namely the US’s August CPI inflation reading. Can we buck a trend that has seen US inflation undershoot expectations for 5 months?

Now shifting to the very long term, Austria has just sold €3.5bn of 100 year debt in the largest European century bond sale to date. I'm prepared to predict that none of us reading this will be around to see the bond mature, but it’s worth noting that Austria only became an independent republic again 62 years ago (as the second republic). Investor demand was reportedly strong, with bids reaching €11bn. The deal was priced at a yield of 2.112%, which compares favourably to other recent similar maturity bonds, including: Belgium (€0.1bn bond at 2.057%), Ireland (€0.1bn at 2.116%), Mexico (€1.5bn at 4.21%) and Argentina (US$2.75bn at 7.19%).

Moving on, this morning in Asia, markets are a little mixed but generally slightly higher as we go to print, with the Nikkei (+0.47%), ASX 200 (+0.25%), Kospi (+0.16%) leading the way but with the Hang Seng -0.46% and Chinese bourses only c.0.1% higher. US equity futures are pointing to a slightly softer start. This follows US bourses strengthening to another record high last night with the S&P +0.34% and both the Dow and Nasdaq up c.+0.3%. Within the S&P, only the utilities (-1.75%) and real estate sector were in the red, likely reflecting the higher bond yields, while gains were driven by the Telco and financials space.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 rose for the fifth consecutive day (+0.52%), which the longest streak since April. Across the region, the DAX (+0.40%), CAC (+0.62%) rose but the FTSE dipped 0.17% likely due to the strength in Sterling. Indeed turning to currencies, most of the action was with Sterling after being up 0.79% versus the Euro and +0.91% versus the USD and to a one year high which slightly eases the pain of buying the new iPhone X! Elsewhere, the US dollar index was marginally higher while the Euro/USD edged up 0.12%. In commodities, WTI oil was 0.33% higher following reports that OPEC producers may extend production cuts. Precious metals were slightly higher (Gold +0.32%; Silver +0.56%) and industrial metals also rose modestly with Copper (+0.42%), Zinc (+1.16%) and Aluminium (+2.70%).

Away from the markets and onto the US tax reform. The messaging continues to be a little mixed. On the one hand Treasury Secretary Mnuchin recognized that “there is no question that the stock market has an expectation we are going to get tax reform done….and we are going to create significant growth…which is what this President and administration is focused on”. Further, he has also signalled that new tax rules could be backdated to January. However, in terms of finer details, Mnuchin echoed similar comments by House Speaker Ryan in that the corporate tax rate will be lower, but unlikely to be as low as the 15% originally envisaged by President Trump. Mnuchin said “I don’t know if we’ll be able to achieve that (15%) given budget issues, but we’re going to get this down to a very competitive level”.

Circling back to Brexit. Negotiators have confirmed that next week’s scheduled Brexit talks have been postponed one week to 25 September, with the aim to give both sides more time to ensure they make progress when they reconvene. The delay adds credence to prior reports that PM Theresa May was preparing to make an “important intervention / speech” on the 21st to kick start the talks. Elsewhere, Chancellor Phillip Hammond noted that the UK is seeking a transitional deal which keeps the “status quo”, where the UK keep its access to the EU single market after it departs. Notably, with the Tory Party conference also due in early October, some form of circuit breaker to the talks is likely required to meet the tight deadlines for an EU summit in October. We shall find out soon.

Before we take a look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with other data releases from yesterday. In the US, the July JOLTS report showed the number of job vacancies rose to a new high of 6.17m (vs. 6m expected). Elsewhere, the NFIB small business confidence index remained upbeat and was above market at 105.3 (vs. 104.8 expected). Over in France, the 2Q total payrolls was a tad lower at 0.3% qoq (vs. 0.4% expected) and Italy’s 2Q unemployment rate came in at 11.2% (vs. 11.3% expected).

Looking at the day ahead, the final reading on Germany’s August inflation will be out early in the morning (0.2% mom and 1.8% yoy expected). Then the Eurozone’s July IP and 2Q employment stats are due. Elsewhere, over in the UK, the ILO unemployment rate for July (4.4% expected), claimant count rate and jobless claims change stats are due. In the US, the PPI for August (2.1% yoy for core expected), monthly budget statement and MBA mortgage applications stats are also due. Onto other events, the EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will deliver the state of the union address in France.