European Outlook: Markets remain firmly in the grip of risk aversion as as the rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea intensifies. The flight to safety has the stock market rout continuing in Asia (Japan was closed for a holiday) and European and Asian stock futures are also heading south as financial and energy producers in particular come under pressure. Eurozone peripheral bond markets are also feeling the heat and the Italian 10-year yield climbed back above the 2% mark yesterday as investors seek safety in Bund and Gilts. So far peripheral yields still remain relatively low but in this climate Draghi will be very careful not to rock the boat any further with tapering talk. The data calendar focuses on final July CPI readings from US and Fedspeak for today.
Germany: German production data this week was disappointing and the trade data showed a marked contraction in exports over the month, which together with the mixed German PMI readings has sparked concerns over the health of the German economy. Yet, not all is what it seems at first glance and as Germany is heading for the general election in September, the economic outlook remains very strong. The Jul HICP inflation released in the morning, was confirmed at 1.5% y/y, unchanged from the preliminary number and from June. The national CPI rate meanwhile was confirmed at 1.7% y/y, up from 1.6% y/y in the previous month. Overall the German HICP rate remains above the Eurozone average, as the labour market is looking increasingly tight and the number of vacancies rose to post-unification highs. Still, even the German HICP rate is clearly below the ECB’s upper limit for price stability and the data won’t change the ECB’s cautious stance on tapering as it prepares it heads for yet another QE program when the current schedule ends at the end of the year.
U.S. reports: revealed a soft round of PPI and initial claims figures, hence offsetting yesterday’s firm figures for wholesale trade and productivity. August nonfarm payroll estimate is at 190k, which is just above the 184k average thus far in 2017, and it is still expected at 0.2% July headline gains for CPI and PCE chain prices. For PPI report, 0.1% July headline and core price declines reflected a surprising 0.2% service price drop, after firm gains over the past four months, alongside a slightly weaker than expected 0.1% goods price decline. For claims, a 4k rise to 244k in the first week of August reversed a 5k drop at the end of July, to leave claims entering August near recent monthly averages of 242k in July, 243k in June, 241k in May, and 243k in April.
Fedspeak: Fed’s Dudley wrote yesterday in the text of his press briefing that sluggish productivity is damping wages, despite job gains. Though the post-crisis expansion is the third longest on record, it has been at a relatively weak pace, along with wages. He still expects inflation to rise to the 2% target over the medium term. There weren’t any policy insights, though he’s not dissented from the consensus over his tenure, and we don’t look for him to start now. Annual price measures could be depressed for a while, he said in comments to reporters. And he added that it will take some time for the inflation rate to get to the 2% target, but also said the sluggishness is due to a number of one-offs, which won’t fall out of the y/y calculations for several more months. It’s really important, he added, to distinguish what’s happening sequentially compared to a y/y basis. That sentiment suggests he’d likely want to hold off on further rate hikes for now. There’s little chance for any tightening next month, and the risk for December is slipping too, though balance sheet normalization is expected to be announced at the September 20, 21 FOMC.
Main Macro Events Today
- US CPI- Production data for June are up today, where expected at a 0.1% m/m contraction but 0.1% y/y expansion.
- Fedspeak – Dallas Fed’s hawkish Kaplan will take part in a Q&A session from 9:40 ET and Kashkari will be back to do the same at a community bankers conference from 11:30 ET.
- China – July loan growth and new yuan loans are out today should show the latter at CNY 1,000.0 bln from 1,540.0 bln previously.
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