European Outlook: Risk aversion is back. Sharp losses on Wall Street were followed by a largely negative session in Asia, with the Nikkei underperforming and down more than -1.2% amid a stronger yen. Concerns over Trump and the terror attacks in Spain have prompted investors to head for safety and Bund futures rallied in after hour trade, pointing to a fresh drop in core yields. FTSE 100 futures are down, although U.S. stock futures are stabilizing. Today’s local calendar has Eurozone current account and construction output numbers, none of which are likely to detract markets from a focus on geo-politics.
German producer prices: higher than expected, with the headline rate falling back only slighty to 2.3% y/y from 2.4% y/y in the previous month. Annual price increases for basic goods eased further, but at 3.0% y/y the rate remains high and the pace of decline since the peak in April has slowed, despite the strong EUR. At the same time, energy price inflation picked up to 1.9% y/y from 1.6% y/y. Capitsl, and durable goods price inflation ticked marginally higher, but remains low at 1.1% y/y for each category. Bund futures corrected from the highs seen in after hour trade yesterday, but remain up on the day.
Yesterday’s US Reports: reveal solid factory and labor market readings that signal ongoing upside risk for GDP and payroll growth, though we saw a 4-year low of 10.3 mln for the July vehicle assembly rate that shows a big hit from this year’s auto retooling pattern. Industrial production rose 0.2% in July after upward revisions that left an as-expected report. We saw a solid 18.9 August Philly Fed figure, with a big ISM-adjusted Philly Fed bounce to 56.9 from 53.0. Given Tuesday’s Empire State headline surge to a 3-year high of 25.2 from 9.8, producer sentiment appears to be stabilizing at remarkably high levels. We also saw a 12k initial claims drop to a lean 232k in the BLS survey week, leaving a lean 237k average thus far in August. Finally, leading indicators rose 0.3% in July to leave a solid 11-month string of gains, and the Bloomberg consumer comfort index rose to a 52.1 cycle-high.
ECB minutes: stressed need for caution with regard not just to changes in communication, but also the timing of the next announcement. On the one hand council members feared overreactions in markets to changes in communication, on the other hand some seemed to warn that leaving the announcement on the future of QE too late would likely see markets making up their own mind and leave the ECB with the task of correcting out of synch expectations. Council members noted the tightening impact of the stronger EUR and some raised the risk of overshooting currency markets, putting exchange rate developments into the spotlight going ahead. The ECB wants to maintain its flexibility with regard to asset purchases, but members also raised the issue of flows/versus stock of assets. Indeed the last time around Draghi reduced monthly purchase volumes, but still stressed that this meant a further expansion of stimulus, with just the pace of expansion reduced somewhat. It could well be that rather than laying out a full tapering schedule for the phasing out of monthly purchases Draghi will stick to a similar line and focus just on the next part of what is likely to be a very gradual reduction of QE. The minutes didn’t give a clearer hint on the timing of the announcement, beyond the “autumn” schedule Draghi already indicated at the meeting.
Main Macro Events Today
- Canadian CPI – The CPI expected to come in flat (0.0%) for July relative to June, leaving a pick-up in the annual growth rate to 1.2% in July from 1.0% in June. Gasoline prices plunged in June before improving only modestly through July. Indeed, the average gasoline price in July was actually modestly below the average price in June (prices started firm in June, then tracked sharply lower into near month end). Also, the loonie staged a furious rally in July amid the BoC’s rate hike and hawkish guidance. Finally, Ontario electricity prices should again knock total inflation lower, as time of use pricing was chopped roughly 15% by government decree. (This is one of the temporary factors cited by Poloz on inflation back in July.)
- US UoM CSI – The first August release on Michigan Sentiment is out today and should post an increase to 94.0 from 93.4 in July and 95.1 in June. Other confidence measures are looking stronger in August as well with the IBD/TIPP Poll rising to 52.2 from 50.2 in July and the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort survey poised to average 51.8 from 48.3 in July.
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