Global Stocks Jump Among Earnings Bonanza; Nikkei Closes Above 22,000 For First Time In 21 Years

US equity futures are higher, boosted by a bevy of better than expected earnings out of tech giants Amazon, Intel and Microsoft as Asian stocks and European shares climb amid the dovish sentiment unleashed from Thursday’s ECB update.

Asian equities rose as investors bid stocks following strong corporate results from India to Japan. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.3% to 167.12, on track for its fourth-straight weekly gain. India’s United Spirits Ltd. led gains, surging 22% after reporting higher margins, while Fuji Electric Co. jumped 15 percent to the highest in 26 years after raising its profit forecast.  The broad-based advance - almost two stocks in the MSCI gauge rose for every one that fell - followed gains in U.S. markets spurred by corporate profits and congressional action that could lead to tax reform.

"The earnings picture that came out overnight is definitely positive,” said Clive McDonnell, Singapore-based head of emerging market equity strategy at Standard Chartered Bank. That’s translated into more positive sentiment in Asia, he said. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average Index closed above the 22,000 level for the first time since July 1996. Shares in Hong Kong rose after China Construction Bank Corp. reported another expansion in margins, while China Life Insurance Co. said third-quarter profit more than quadrupled. Australia’s stock benchmark and currency declined after a court ruling on parliamentary eligibility threatened Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s majority.

One story that has gotten little focus is China’s 10-year sovereign yield extending its weekly advance to 10 bps,  rising another 4 basis points to 3.83%, and set for its biggest increase since the first week of January. This tightening in financial conditions took place even as China’s central bank injected 63-day money into the financial system for the first time, which as Bloomberg reported reassured lenders about year-end funding availability while also intensifying a deleveraging drive by increasing costs. The PBOC offered 50 billion yuan ($7.5 billion) of 2.9% 63-day contracts, according to a statement posted on the PBOC website, as well as 90 billion yuan through one-week and 14-day contracts. This did not prevent the long-end of the Chinese bond curve from getting routed as inflation fears again rise.

European stocks climbed for a second day, poised for their biggest weekly gain in a month, amid positive corporate results and lingering bullish sentiment from Thursday’s dovish ECB update. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.5% to 393.06, with most industry groups in the green. Miners bucked the trend, sliding 1.3% after a slump in iron-ore prices. RBS rose after posting stronger-than-expected 3Q capital ratios. Volkswagen and Linde advance on earnings that beat estimates. Meanwhile, Spanish stocks continued to underperform as Europe’s worst constitutional crisis for decades comes to head. Catalan separatists are making a last-ditch effort to win concessions from Madrid that would help persuade their increasingly agitated supporters to accept another regional election as lawmakers prepare to vote on a declaration of independence.

In overnight macro, the dollar extended its rally after the U.S. House passed a resolution that brings tax cuts a step closer and speculation mounted a hawkish candidate may become the next Federal Reserve chair. After tumbling through the start of September, the US dollar has been on a tear ever since that Friday when the PBOC announced it was inviting shorts back into the (warm) water. As a result, the 200 DMA in the Bloomberg Dollar Index is now in play again as the BBDXY hovers near a three-month high.

In the U.S., Republicans unlocked a process to cut taxes by the end of the year, while Jerome Powell and John Taylor are reportedly the only candidates left in the race to succeed Janet Yellen at the Fed. The prospect of growth-enhancing U.S. tax cuts and the probability of a hawkish turn at the Fed is attracting investment to U.S. assets, with investors pouring $6.1 billion into funds tracking U.S. stocks in the week to October 25, while pulling money from emerging-market funds.

As the dollar rose, the common currency slumped, with the euro heading for its biggest weekly loss since March after the ECB announced a "dovish taper", extending the bond-buying program even as it plans to halve monthly purchases. Judging by the dramatic reaction in the EUR, the "open-ended" taper was clearly a surprise to many, especially with Boersen-Zeitung reporting that Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, Executive Board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger and Dutch central bank Governor Klaas Knot opposed the decision to make quantitative easing open-ended. Other policy makers were critical, if not opposed, including Benoit Coeure.

Also overnight, the USD/JPY climbs to highest since July 11 after the U.S. House passed a budget resolution on tax reforms and as speculation rose that a hawkish candidate may lead the Federal Reserve.

In commodities, WTI dropped 0.2% to $52.56 a barrel.  Gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,267.76 an ounce.  Copper decreased 1.5 percent to $3.13 a pound, the lowest in more than two weeks.

In rates, 10Y Treasuries dipped 1bp to the critical level of 2.45%, while Germany’s 10Y yield also decreased 1 bp to 0.41% while Britain 10-year gilts rose 2 bps points to 1.384%.

Today's economic data include the first read of US QE GDP and PCE, and University of Michigan consumer sentiment. Scheduled earnings include reported by oil companies Exxon Mobil and Chevron along with health care firms Merck & Co. and AbbVie.

Bulletin Headline Summary From RanSquawk

  • European bourses remain elevated following impressive after-market US tech earnings and yesterday’s ECB announcement
  • In FX, EUR remains softer post-ECB while AUD was pressured by domestic political uncertainty
  • Looking ahead, highlights include US GDP and PCE

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.2% to 2,567.25
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4% to 392.94
  • Brent Futures down 0.1% to $59.26/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.1% to $1,268.28
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.2% to 94.82
  • MSCI Asia up 0.4% to 167.24
  • MSCI Asia ex Japan up 0.08% to 546.58
  • Nikkei up 1.2% to 22,008.45
  • Topix up 1% to 1,771.05
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.8% to 28,438.85
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.3% to 3,416.81
  • Sensex up 0.3% to 33,240.73
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.2% to 5,903.16
  • Kospi up 0.6% to 2,496.63
  • German 10Y yield fell 0.8 bps to 0.407%
  • Euro down 0.1% to $1.1635
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 8.7 bps to 1.683%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 0.9 bps to 1.528%

Top Headline News

  • Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni may make his recommendation for the post of governor of the Bank of Italy. The process was thrown into disarray after former PM Matteo Renzi attacked the incumbent, Ignazio Visco.
  • Fed candidate Taylor calls for reforms that echo Trump agenda
  • Exxon, Chevron Report; Total Rebounds; Amazon Leads Post-Market Tech Surge; GDP Data May be Distorted By Hurricanes
  • Republicans are barreling into a lobbying frenzy next week, when House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady plans to unveil a sweeping tax bill
  • Apple Inc. began accepting early orders for its iPhone X and shipping times quickly lengthened to as much as five weeks in the U.S., signaling supplies will likely remain tight as the new device goes on sale Nov. 3
  • It’s going to be Janet Yellen’s Federal Reserve no matter who is the next chair
  • Catalan separatists are making a last-ditch effort to win concessions from Madrid that would help persuade their increasingly agitated supporters to accept another regional election as lawmakers prepare to vote on a declaration of independence
  • European Central Bank policy makers implicitly assume their newly-extended bond-buying program will be tapered to a halt by the end of next year so long as the inflation outlook improves
  • Inc. reassured investors that the company can integrate its biggest-ever acquisition -- Whole Foods Market Inc. -- without disrupting its dominating e- commerce performance
  • John Taylor argued Thursday that faster U.S. economic growth is possible if policy makers focus on reforms that encourage investment and hiring

In Asia, a deluge of corporate results dominated focus in regional trade, with the region’s indices mainly in the green after a similar close in US and where Nasdaq 100 futures rallied after-market as tech giants Alphabet, Amazon, Intel, Microsoft and Western Digital all surpassed Q3 estimates. ASX 200 (-0.2%) and Nikkei 225 (+1.2%) both opened positive in which the energy sector lead Australia after Brent crude rose above USD 59/bbl and printed its highest in more than 2 years, while the Japanese benchmark outperformed on JPY weakness and with the biggest gaining stocks underpinned by earnings releases. However, Australian stocks were later spooked after the High Court ruled now-former-Deputy PM Joyce was ineligible for his parliamentary seat and would have to contest it again at a by-election, which meant the government loses its 1-seat majority. Elsewhere, Shanghai Comp. (+0.3%) was higher following another firm liquidity operation by the PBoC which utilized a 63-day reverse repo for the 1st time ever, and the Hang Seng (+0.8%) was led by gains among the Big 4 after China’s 2nd largest lender China Construction Bank posted a 4% increase in Q3 net. Finally, 10yr JGBs were flat as a positive risk tone in Japan sapped demand for safety, with downside also stemmed amid the BoJ’s presence in the market for long to super-long JGBs. PBoC injected CNY 60bln via 7-day reverse repos, CNY 30bln via 14-day reverse repos and CNY 50bln via 63-day reverse repos, for a net weekly injection of CNY 390bln vs. Prev. CNY 560bln net injection last week. PBoC set CNY mid-point at 6.6473 (Prev. 6.6288.

Top Asian News

  • China’s PBOC Said to Sell 63-Day Reverse Repo for First Time
  • Young Muslims Have Caught a $100 Billion Travel Bug, Report Says
  • Paper Giants Rack Up Gains Amid China’s Anti-Pollution Drive
  • Top China Macro Fund Shorts Commodities, Debt on Inflation
  • iPhone X Wait Times Rise as Apple Device Sells Out in Hong Kong
  • Najib Unveils Voter-Friendly Budget Ahead of Election Fight
  • RCBC Says Not Pressured to Change Owners After $81m Cyber Heist

European equities (Eurostoxx 50 +0.6%) trade higher across the board amid the fall-out of yesterday’s dovishly perceived ECB announcement with stellar tech earnings on Wall Street also bolstering sentiment. More specifically, tech giants Alphabet, Amazon, Intel, Microsoft and Western Digital all surpassed Q3 estimates subsequently supporting the Nasdaq 100 future and Asia-Pac equities with this sentiment filtering into their EU counterparts. As such, a sector breakdown, IT names lead the charge for Europe with materials the only sector in the red. Notable post-earnings movers include RBS (+1.9%), Volkswagen (+1.8%), Total (+1.3%), Linde (+2.7%) and Electrolux (+4.7%). No hangover for Bunds and Eurozone debt overall as the ECB rally and bond yield compression continues. Further analysis of the QE recalibration and policy guidance compounded initial market perceptions that President Draghi and co handled the scale down in bond buying (or at least the announcement) extremely well. The 10 year German benchmark extended gains to 162.00+, and equivalent yield down to almost 0.4%, in stark contrast to its US Treasury counterpart that is now approaching 2.5% (on hawkish Fed and Trump tax reform/reflation impulses). UK Gilts indecisive initially, but ultimately tracking Germany higher despite the consensus still favouring a BoE rate hike on November 2.

Top European News

  • ECB Is Said to See Option to End QE With Short Taper in 2018
  • Ermotti Reboots UBS Buyback Expectations as Capital Level Rise
  • WeWork Said in Talks to Buy $785 Million Blackstone U.K. Project
  • Mediterranean Gas Bonanza Pushes Spain to Resume Exports
  • UBS Will Trigger Its Brexit Contingency Plans ‘Early’ Next Year
  • U.K. Government Investments Hires Ex-Deutsche Bank’s Tom Cooper
  • ECB Says Forecasters Lift Longer-Term Inflation Outlook to 1.9%
  • Orban Marshals Spy Agencies in Renewed Attack on Soros ‘Empire’

In FX, the euro remains on the back foot, post the dovish ECB monetary policy decision. In the Asian session EUR moved to lows of 1.1617, subsequently hovering within close proximity to option expiries situated at 1.16 (EUR 518mln). On the topside, vanilla option expiries of EUR 1bln are at 1.17, which may cap any potential rebounds. However, EUR has been granted some reprieve amid short covering in EUR/GBP lifting the cross towards 0.8900. AUD remains softer amid political concerns after a high court ruled that Ex-Deputy PM is ineligible for parliament, meaning that the coalition losses their majority.

In commodities, price action has been particularly rangebound for WTI and Brent crude futures with the only notable newsflow being reports that Libya's Sharara oil field output has fallen to 235k bpd (Prev. around 250k bpd), according to sources.  Gold prices languish near 2½-month lows due to a firmer greenback, copper was subdued alongside broad weakness in the metals complex and 4% declines in Dalian iron ore futures. Iraqi-Kurdistan oil  flows to Ceyhan port have risen to 246k bpd, according to a port agent. Libya's Sharara oil field output has fallen to 235k bpd (Prev. around 250k bpd), according to sources.

Looking at the day ahead, in the US the highlight will be the first estimate of Q3 GDP in the US. The final University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey for October is also due. Onto other events, the ECB’s Praet and Nowotny are also both scheduled to speak. UBS, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total all report results.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: GDP Annualized QoQ, est. 2.6%, prior 3.1%; Personal Consumption, est. 2.1%, prior 3.3%; Core PCE QoQ, est. 1.3%, prior 0.9%
  • 10am: U. of Mich. Sentiment, est. 100.7, prior 101.1; Current Conditions, prior 116.4; Expectations, prior 91.3; 1 Yr Inflation, prior 2.3%; 5-10 Yr Inflation, prior 2.4%

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Today is that time of year when all rational behaviour goes out the window. I tend to keep my plans secret from my wife for fear of a despairing look and alarm bells go off in my local bank manager’s office. Yes I’ll be in the virtual queue at 8am this morning to order my new iPhone X. To be honest I don’t know anything about it and have no idea whether it’s a worthwhile upgrade on my iPhone 7 Plus. However how can I take the children to various events at the weekends ahead without having the latest iPhone to show off? It will also take all my willpower not to add the new iWatch to my basket. On Monday you’ll find me signed up to AA - Apple Anonymous.

Not even viewing it through the new iPhone X could make yesterday’s ECB meeting that interesting, which is remarkable given the magnitude of the announcement. The move had been well flagged but there was some creeping expectation this week that there would be a hawkish sting to the tail. That didn’t happen as the €60bn to €30bn January 2018 taper - but out to September - was where the ECB had guided us over recent weeks. Indeed with reinvestments, effectively the ECB will be buying c.€45bn per month in the first 9 months of next year. Reinvestment only became an issue from March of this year and has perhaps added an average of €5bn per month since. So net net the ECB will be buying a lot of bonds at least until Autumn next year. It also means ECB meetings are going to be very dull events over the next 6 months unless the facts change markedly. Volatility is going to have to come from elsewhere for a period if it is going to pick up.

Markets reacted like they expected a little more hawkishness as Euro yields collapsed and the Euro slumped. Core 10y yields in the region fell 2-7bp (Bunds: -6.6bp; OATs -6bp; Gilts -2bp) and peripherals outperformed (Italy: -9.2bp; Spain -11.1bp), with Spanish yields likely supported by positive developments around Catalonia. Interestingly, 10y US yields rose 2.9bp on the day, likely helped by the passing of the budget resolution by the House and perhaps because Politico claimed Ms Yellen was out of the Fed Chair race. Notably, the daily yield divergence between Bunds and UST (9.5bp) is the highest since December 2016. The contrasting direction of yields likely contributed to the 1.7% intra-day range in EURUSD before closing -1.37% lower for the day and now back towards late July levels.

Delving a bit more into the ECB meeting, a “large majority” of policy makers favoured “an open-ended stance” on when to end QE, to which Mr Draghi confirmed asset purchases will not just stop suddenly, although we think by the end of 2018 is still realistic. He also reaffirmed that interest rates will remain “at the present levels for an extended period of time and well past the horizon of our net asset purchases” (our European team expect a rate hike from mid-19). On the economy, he noted the economic expansion in the Eurozone continues to be solid and broad-based but added that “domestic prices pressures are still muted” and the economic outlook and inflation are conditional on (ample) support from monetary policy. DB’s Mark Wall takes a closer look at the meeting and implications, refer to link.

Over in the US, the House of Representatives have voted to adopt the 2018 budget that has already passed in the Senate, paving the way for some sort of tax cuts that could increase the federal deficit by up to $1.5trln over the next 10 years. Looking ahead, the House and Senate will release separate versions of the tax bill, expected to be on 1 November and the week after (for the Senates own version). Then the process of debating and negotiating tax cuts and reconciling the two versions of the bill will step up a gear before final voting, which is expected to be before Thanksgivings (23 November).

Staying in the US, there were more chatters on who may be the next Fed Chair. Citing a source who talks to President Trump regularly, the Politico reported that the two final contenders are now down to Powell or Taylor. However, a separate source noted that things can be evolving as Mr Trump “changes his mind about it every day”. Either way, we should hopefully find out soon, sometime before 3rd November.

Turning to Spain, there seems to be more signs that Catalan President Puigdemont may be softening his position. His scheduled address yesterday afternoon was cancelled without explanations, and later on he said he has considered calling a snap regional election (rather than declaring independence), but “didn’t get a responsible answer” from Spain, now “it’s up to the Catalan parliament to move ahead with what the majority decides in relation to the consequences of the application of Article 155 against Catalonia”. Bloomberg reported Puidgemont may address the region again on Friday, which likely coincides with the final voting by the Spanish Senate to potentially approve the measures proposed by Spanish PM Rajoy to retake control of the region. Yesterday, the Spanish IBEX (+1.92%) and 10y bond yields (-11bp) both outperformed. Elsewhere, Santander’s CFO highlighted the solid economic recovery in Spain and noted limited concern about the developments in Catalonia.

This morning in Asia, markets have followed the positive lead from the US and are trading broadly higher. The Nikkei (+0.88%), Kospi (+0.49%), Hang Seng (+0.83%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.28%) are up slightly, while the ASX 200 has fell 0.38% as we type. Elsewhere, China’s industrial profits in September were up 27.7% yoy (vs. 24% previous) – the highest since 2011. Japan’s September core CPI was in line and steady at 0.7% yoy, our Japanese economist believes the BOJ will have no choice but to downgrade their core inflation outlook for FY17 next week, from 1.1% to 0.8-0.9%.

Now onto other markets performance for yesterday. US equities (S&P +0.13%, Dow +0.31%) broadly strengthened but the Nasdaq fell 0.11%, impacted by a softer result from Celgene (-16%). Within the S&P, most sectors were in the green, with gains led by the materials and financials sector with partial offsets from health care. Yesterday, both Ford (+1.9%) and Twitter (+18.5%) rose following above consensus results. After the bell, Amazon (+8%), Microsoft (+4%) and Alphabet (+3%) were all up after releasing their respective results, but Baidu fell 10% on weaker outlook. The VIX rose slightly and remains above 10 for the fourth consecutive day (11.30).

European markets were all higher, likely supported by the dovish ECB meeting and weaker Euro. The Stoxx 600 gained (+1.07%) the most since mid-August, while the DAX jumped 1.39% to a fresh record high. Across the region, the FTSE (+0.53%) was the relative laggard while Spain’s IBEX (+1.92%) and Italy’s MIB (+1.61%) outperformed, likely reflecting the positive developments around Catalonia and the Italian senate passing new electoral laws that make M5S less likely to gain power (see below). Contrary to the US, the Euro VSTOXX volatility index fell 11.14% - the biggest one day fall since August.

Turning to currencies, as noted earlier, there was a fair bit of movement following the US budget, Fed Chair talks and the ECB meeting, which contributed to the US dollar index rising 0.99% while the Euro and Sterling fell 1.37% and 0.76% respectively. In commodities, WTI oil gained 0.88%, partly supported by reports that the Saudi Prince will back an extension of OPEC production cuts beyond March 2018. Elsewhere, precious metals softened (Gold -0.83%; Silver -0.93%) while other base metals were virtually unchanged (Copper -0.07%; Zinc flat; Aluminium -0.06%).

Away from the markets and onto Brexit, one of the sticking points remains the potential financial obligations UK owes to the EU bloc. An aide (Stefann De Rynck) to the EU Chief negotiator spoke in London and noted “we need a method (to determine the amount) to be able to reassure the 27 nations the solidity of the UK’s guarantees” and that “we need to take the drama out of that question in the UK before it becomes a drama in the EU27”. Prior reports suggest the EU wants a settlement of c€60bn vs. UK’s offer of c€20bn. Behind the scenes, the EU bloc is reportedly keeping its options open by continuing preparatory work so talks on trade can begin if and when its members decide UK has made sufficient progress as well. Conversely, preparatory work on Plan B if talks in December did not provide a tangible breakthrough are also progressing too (per Bloomberg).

In Italy, the Senate has voted in favour (214 vs. 61) of a new electoral law which could potentially penalise the 5-Star Movement party (5SM). The new system allows 36% of lawmakers elected on a first-past-the-post basis and 64% via proportional representation. However, as per Bloomberg / Reuters, opinions polls suggest the three contenders are virtually tied (Democrats, Five Star and possible centre-right coalition), potentially implying the new laws are unlikely to lead to a clear parliamentary majority. With new elections expected in either March or May next year, we shall find out more soon.

Over in China, there was strong appetite for its first US dollar sovereign bond issuance (unrated) since 2004. Demand was reportedly 11x higher than the offer size, with the Ministry of Finance pricing the $1bn 5y notes at 15bp over treasuries and the $1bn 10y note at 25bp over UST (vs. initial guidance of 40-50bp).

Finally, for those hoping for answers from de-classified materials relating to the assassination of President Kennedy, you may have to wait longer as President Trump had to block hundreds of records, citing “potentially irreversible harm” to national security if all records were allowed for public viewing. The relevant files are suppressed for another six months before further review. Intriguing.

Before we take a look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with other data releases from yesterday. In the US, the macro data was a bit mixed. The October Kansas City Fed manufacturing index beat expectations at 23 (vs. 17 expected) – highest since March 2011. In the details, the new orders index jumped 17pts to +27 (highest since March) and firms also reported increased order backlogs and employment. Moving along, the weekly initial jobless claims (233k vs. 235k expected) and continuing claims (1,893k vs. 1,890k expected) as well as the September advance goods trade deficit (-$64.1bln vs. -$64bln expected) was broadly in line. Elsewhere, pending home sales for September was flat mom (vs. 0.5% expected), partly impacted by the storm impacted region in the South, while wholesale inventories was also a tad softer at 0.3% mom (vs. 0.4% expected).

In the ECB’s money and credit aggregates for September, M3 money supply grew at a slightly faster pace at 5.1% yoy (vs. 5% expected). In the details, growth in household loans was steady at 2.7% yoy while non-financial corporates loans edged up to 2.5% yoy. In Germany, the November GfK consumer confidence was slightly lower than consensus 10.7 (vs. 10.8). Over in Italy, both the consumer (116.1 vs. 114.9 expected) and manufacturing confidence (111 vs. 110 expected) indicators for October beat expectations, with consumer confidence at the highest level since January 2016. Further, the Istat economic sentiment index also rose to the highest level since September 2007. In the UK, after a very strong September survey, the CBI’s distributive trade survey was much softer in October. A net 36% of retailers reported a decline in sales from a year earlier – the worst result since 2009.

Looking at the day ahead, in France consumer confidence data in October is due while in the US the highlight will be the first estimate of Q3 GDP in the US. The final University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey for October is also due. Onto other events, the ECB’s Praet and Nowotny are also both scheduled to speak. UBS, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total all report results.