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I. Market focus:
At the beginning of the new week, the focus of the markets is on the results of the parliamentary elections in Germany and New Zealand over the weekend. The election in Germany was won by Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, but the result was the worst since she took on leadership of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The CDU did not receive the required votes to form its own independent government, and now Merkel will need to form a coalition. The results of the election also showed the country’s far-right party, Alternative for Germany (AfD) won seats in the Bundestag for the first time in more than 60 years.
As for elections in New Zealand, the ruling National Party won, taking 46 percent of votes. This, as in the case of the CDU in Germany, is not enough for the absolute majority necessary for the formation of the government of the country. So, the National Party needs to form alliances with other parties, which participated in the voting, in order to govern.
Despite the victory of the ruling parties in Germany and New Zealand, the uncertainty associated with the coalition formation process had a negative impact on the euro and the New Zealand dollar, which started a new week with declines. Most likely, these currencies will continue to remain under pressure in the near future.
Today, market participants will pay attention to the speeches of the representatives of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Federal Reserve. The ECB’s governor the will speak at 13:00 GMT. Comments from the Fed’s William Dudley, Charles Evans and Neel Kashkari are expected at 12:30 GMT, 16:40 GMT and 22:30 GMT respectively. Most important macroeconomic reports of Monday will include German data on the business climate index from Ifo (08:00 GMT) and New Zealand trade balance statistics (22:30 GMT).
II. The market highlights are:
Statistics Canada announced Friday that the Canadian retail sales increased 0.4 percent m-o-m to CAD 49.13 billion in July after flat m-o-m performance in June (revised from an initially estimated 0.1 percent m-o-m gain). The result was better than the economists’ forecast, suggesting a 0.1 percent m-o-m advance. According to the report, sales rose in 6 of 11 subsectors, representing 75 percent of total retail trade. The main contributors to the July gain were higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers (+0.8 percent m-o-m) and food and beverage stores (+0.9 percent m-o-m). Excluding sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales rose 0.2 percent m-o-m in July after growing 0.4 percent m-o-m in the prior month (revised from +0.7 percent m-o-m), while economists had expected a 0.4 percent m-o-m increase. Excluding sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations, retail sales were up 0.3 percent m-o-m in July. In y-o-y terms, Canadian retail sales increased 7.8 percent in July, recording the strongest rise since January last year.
Statistics Canada reported Friday that the country’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.1 m-o-m in August, following a flat m-o-m performance in July. On the y-o-y basis, Canada’s inflation rate advanced 1.4 percent last month after gaining 1.2 percent in the prior month. According to the report, prices grew in six of the eight major components in the 12 months to July, with the transportation (+2.8 percent y-o-y) and shelter (+1.3 percent y-o-y) indexes contributing the most to the y-o-y rise in the CPI. The household operations, furnishings and equipment index (-0.2 percent y-o-y) and the clothing and footwear index (-0.4 percent y-o-y) fell on a y-o-y basis. Economists had predicted inflation would increase 0.2 percent m-o-m and 1.5 percent y-o-y in August. The closely watched the Bank of Canada's core index grew 0.9 percent y-o-y in August after gaining 0.9 percent in July.
Preliminary data released by IHS Markit on Friday showed that the U.S. private sector expanded in September, with the rate of growth close to August’s seven-month peak. According to the report, the Markit flash manufacturing purchasing manager's index (PMI) rose to 53 this month from 52.8 in August, signaling only a modest rate of improvement. The rate of employment growth was the fastest so far in 2017, while output growth was steady at August's 14-month low, and new orders slowed and input price inflation accelerated at the steepest pace since December 2012. Economists had expected the reading to come in at 53. A reading above 50 signals an expansion in activity, while a reading below this level signals a contraction. At the same time, the Markit flash services purchasing manager's index (PMI) came in at 55.1 this month, down from 56 in August, which was the highest reading in 21 months. Economists had expected the reading to edged down to 55.9. The survey showed that a robust rise in new work led to solid employment growth and another increase in backlogs of work across the service sector in September. At the same time, input price inflation slowed from August’s 26-month peak. Overall, IHS Markit Flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index came in at 54.6 in September, down from 55.3 in August. Commenting on the flash PMI data, Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit noted: “The US economy showed encouraging resilience in a month of hurricane disruption. Although the September surveys indicated a moderation in the growth of business activity, the overall rate of expansion remained robust. Historical comparisons of the PMI with GDP indicate that the surveys point to the economy growing at an annualized rate of just over 2% in the third quarter.”
The weekly report from Baker Hughes, which was released Friday, showed that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil fell by five to 744 during the week ended September 22. Meanwhile, the total active U.S. rig count, which includes oil and natural-gas rigs, declined by one to 935, as the gas rig count increased by four to 190 last week, while and the miscellaneous rig count remained at 1. The U.S. rig count is up 424 rigs from this time last year when it stood at 511.
The preliminary data from IHS Markit revealed Monday that growth of Japan’s manufacturing sector expanded at the strongest pace in four months in September. The Nikkei Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 52.6 this month from 52.2 in August. A reading above 50 signals an expansion in activity, while a reading below this level signals a contraction. Commenting on the Japanese Manufacturing PMI survey data, IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, said: “Latest data signaled a further improvement in growth momentum across Japan’s manufacturing sector with the PMI rising to a four-month high in September. Firms signaled stronger expansions in both output and new orders amid reports of firmer demand both at home and abroad. The strong end to Q3 bodes well for production in the coming months, with business confidence also perking up slightly since August.”
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered on Monday his cabinet to compile a new stimulus package worth around 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) by the end of the year to subsidize education and child-care costs, as well as to boost corporate investments to improve productivity, two government sources told Reuters. Abe is also expected to announce a snap election later on Monday to take advantage of improved ratings and disorganized opposition parties, and the stimulus package could be a way to lure voters during the election campaign, Reuters noted.
III. Market Situation
The currency pair EUR/USD fell sharply at the beginning of the session, but then erased almost all losses. The initial fall of the pair was triggered by the German election results. Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats picked up 32 percent of the votes in the election to the German parliament, the Bundestag. Martin Schulz’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) received 20 percent of the votes, while the far-right party, Alternative for Germany (AfD) got some 13 percent of the votes. That was the first entry of a far-right party into parliament in more than 60 years. We expected a better result, that is clear,” Merkel said Sunday night. “The good thing is that we will definitely lead the next government.” She also added that she would listen to those who voted for the AfD, and work to win them back “by solving problems, by taking up their worries, partly also their fears, but above all by good politics.” Now Merkel is to build a coalition to form a government, and this process can take weeks. On this backdrop, the euro is likely to continue to remain under pressure in the near future. Today, the main focus will be on the speeches of the ECB’s governor Mario Draghi and the Fed representatives William Dudley, Charles Evans and Neel Kashkari. Resistance level - $1.2033 (high of September 20). Support level - $1.1860 (low of September 20).
The currency pair GBP/USD traded slightly higher after Friday’s sharp fall, caused by the comments of British Prime Minister Theresa May on Brexit and Moody's downgrade of Britain's credit rating. Overall, May's speech did not provide any specific details regarding the Brexit talks. She asked the EU countries to agree to a two-year Brexit transition during which the UK would continue to enjoy unfettered access to the single market. The credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service cut the UK’s long-term credit rating to Aa2 from Aa1, citing the country's weakening finances and the impact of its decision to leave the EU. With an empty economic calendar in the UK ahead, market participants will focus on the dynamics of the U.S. currency and the general market sentiment toward risky assets. Resistance level - $1.3700 (psychological level). Support level - $1.3157 (low of September 14).
The currency pair AUD/USD traded in a narrow range, remaining near the opening level, due to lack of new drivers. Meanwhile, pressure on the pair continued to provide the latest statements of the RBA governor Philip Lowe, which diminished expectations for interest rate increase in Australia. The pair’s recovery reflected the broad weakening of the U.S. currency. Recall, Lowe’s comments were overall upbeat but did not indicate the Australian regulator is to tighten its monetary policy. He noted that higher levels of debt meant that household spending could be quite sensitive to increases in interest rates. Thus, an increase in the RBA’ rates may have a negative impact on the entire banking system of Australia and the welfare of ordinary Australians. Lowe also said that a gradual decline in the unemployment rate is expected, which should lead to some pick-up in wage growth. Resistance level - AUD0.8101 (high of September 20). Support level - AUD0.7866 (low of August 24).
The currency pair USD/JPY increased moderately at the beginning of the session but then lost almost all gains. Investors are adjusting their positions ahead of an unscheduled press conference by Japanese Prime Minister Abe, which he will hold today at 09:00 GMT. It is expected that Abe will call for a snap election, according to three people with knowledge of his ruling coalition’s plans, seeking to take advantage of improved ratings and disorganized opposition parties. He also may announce a new stimulus package worth around 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) by the end of the year to subsidize education and child-care costs, as well as to boost corporate investments to improve productivity, the sources said. Resistance level - Y112.85 (high of July 17). Support level - Y109.53 (low of September 15).
U.S. stock indexes closed flat on Friday, as investors shrugged off concerns about North Korea. The focus also was on the preliminary data on business activity in the U.S. private sector. A survey released by IHS Markit showed that Markit flash manufacturing purchasing manager's index (PMI) rose to 53 this month from 52.8 in August, signaling only a modest rate of improvement. Economists had expected the reading to come in at 53. A reading above 50 signals an expansion in activity, while a reading below this level signals a contraction. At the same time, the Markit flash services purchasing manager's index (PMI) came in at 55.1 this month, down from 56 in August, which was the highest reading in 21 months. Economists had expected the reading to edged down to 55.9. Overall, IHS Markit Flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index came in at 54.6 in September, down from 55.3 in August.
Asian stock indexes closed mixed on Monday, as investors digested election results in Germany and New Zealand, while stocks in Japan rose on local drivers. Reuters reported that Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered on Monday his cabinet to compile a new stimulus package worth around 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) by the end of the year to subsidize education and child-care costs, as well as to boost corporate investments to improve productivity. Abe is also expected to announce a snap election later on Monday to take advantage of improved ratings and disorganized opposition parties, and the stimulus package could be a way to lure voters during the election campaign. These reports weighed on the yen, providing support to the Japanese export-oriented companies.
European stock indexes are expected to trade lower in the morning trading session.
Yields of US 10-year notes hold at 2.25% (-1 basis points)
Yields of German 10-year bonds hold at 0.44% (- basis points)
Yields of UK 10-year gilts hold at 1.36% (0 basis points)
Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures traded lower. Crude oil for delivery in November settled at $50.56 (-0.20%). The crude oil prices fell, as the U.S. dollar strengthened. The declines, however, were limited by the latest report from Baker Hughes, which showed that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil fell by five to 744 during the week ended September 22. Meanwhile, the total active U.S. rig count, which includes oil and natural-gas rigs, declined by one to 935, as the gas rig count increased by four to 190 last week, while and the miscellaneous rig count remained at 1. The U.S. rig count is up 424 rigs from this time last year when it stood at 511.
Gold traded at $$1292.50 (-0.35%). Gold prices fell as demand for safe havens decreased after the announcement of the results of weekend elections in Germany and New Zealand. Additional pressure on the gold prices had the dynamics of the U.S. currency. The index, measuring the value of the U.S. dollar relative to a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.09 percent to 92.25. Since gold prices are tied to the dollar, a weaker dollar makes the precious metal cheaper for holders of foreign currencies.
IV. The most important news that are expected (time GMT0)
ECB’s Vitor Constancio Speaks
IFO - Business Climate
IFO - Expectations
IFO - Current Assessment
Chicago Federal National Activity
FOMC Member Dudley Speak
ECB President Mario Draghi Speaks
FOMC Member Charles Evans Speaks
FOMC Member Kashkari Speaks
Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes
|remaining time till the new event being published|
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