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Global Stocks Soar On Vaccine Optimism

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Global stocks surged, and US equity futures jumped rising to the Monday pre-dump highs, on coronavirus vaccine optimism (with headlines now conveniently appearing every time stocks appear poised for a selloff) and looking past record daily death rates in some states and brewing tensions between Washington and Beijing. Yields rose and the dollar slumped to a one month low.

US stocks staged a late session surge on Tuesday after news that Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine produced antibodies to the coronavirus in all patients tested in an initial safety trial. The vaccine developments brought optimism to financial markets that have been struggled to make headway recently in the face of new outbreaks across the U.S. and Asia.

Moderna shares surged 18% in pre-market trading following late Tuesday news that it was safe and provoked immune responses in all 45 healthy volunteers in an ongoing early-stage study, while AstraZeneca rose after a report that a medical journal will release positive news on the coronavirus vaccine the company is developing with University of Oxford researchers. American Airlines, United Airlines Holdings, Carnival Corp, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd rose between 6% and 6.8%.

“The vaccine news is clearly a positive development,” said Mark Nash, head of global fixed income at Merian Global Investors. “But it’s still long way off. The fear of the W-shaped recovery is probably very high at the moment. Good news is that markets still have a chance to ride it out because the Fed has bought time, so financial conditions can stay easy until growth kicks in.”

Europe's Stoxx 600 Index extended gains to 1.3% shortly before noon in London, with travel leading among sectors, amid positive sentiment in markets on the back of progress in developing a coronavirus vaccine. European index heads for a third day of gains in four sessions The Travel & Leisure sector rose 2.7%, led by Carnival while the Stoxx Europe 600 Industrial Goods & Services +2.5%, boosted by Schneider Electric, Adyen. Banks and telecom gauges are the only two trading lower. Atlantia SpA surged 22% as Italy’s government moved to resolve a long-running dispute linked to a 2018 bridge collapse.

Earlier in the session, Asian stocks gained, led by industrials and materials, after falling in the last session. Most markets in the region were up, with India's S&P BSE Sensex Index gaining 1.9% and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rising 1.9%, while Shanghai Composite dropped 1.6%. Trading volume for MSCI Asia Pacific Index members was 17% above the monthly average for this time of the day. The Topix gained 1.6%, with Danto and SERAKU rising the most.

Surprisingly, Chinese markets underperformed with the Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. (-1.6%) both negative after US President Trump signed legislation and an executive order to hold China accountable for actions in Hong Kong, with the executive order to remove preferential treatment for Hong Kong and which will now be treated the same as China. Furthermore, China later responded that it strongly opposes US signing the sanctions bill and that it will implement its own sanctions on US officials and entities. Reports of China state funds continuing to sell shares also did not help in which a pension fund was said to have offloaded 42.3mln BoCom A-shares on Tuesday. Qianjiang Water Resources Development and Shanghai LongYun Media Group Co Ltd posting the biggest drops.

In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell to a one-month low as Norway’s Krone led G-10 gains followed by the pound; the krone was also supported by higher oil prices, while sterling got a boost after U.K. inflation surprisingly accelerated last month. The euro rose a fourth day against the dollar to a four- month high of 1.1445, and the cost to hedge one-day fluctuations in euro-dollar suggests market makers see a good chance that year-to-date highs may come to test as Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting comes into focus. Sweden’s krona touched its strongest level in 17 months against the euro as risk sentiment improved and following a report that showed Swedish inflation expectations didn’t drop further.

In rates, Treasury yields moved higher with gilt yields also rising after a debt sale. US Treasury yields were higher by 2bp-3bp at long end, remaining inside weekly ranges, 10-year by ~2bp at 0.643; U.K. 10-year yield higher by 2.6bp, gilts leading declines for sovereign bond markets. UST 5s30s steeper for first day in five, approaching 104bp.

In commodities, oil gained after a report pointed to a drop in U.S. crude stockpiles; gold remained well above $1800.

Looking at the day ahead, the focus will be on corporate earnings with highlights including UnitedHealth Group, Goldman Sachs, US Bancorp, BNY Mellon and Infosys. Otherwise, there’ll be a rate decision from the Bank of Canada, the release of the Fed’s Beige book, as well as remarks from the BoE’s Tenreyro and the Fed’s Harker. Finally, data highlights include June industrial production and capacity utilisation numbers, along with July’s Empire State manufacturing survey.

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she’s prepared to compromise in difficult talks on assembling a European recovery plan this weekend in Brussels, as Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez urged leaders to reach an accord at the meeting
  • The EU Council needs to make a decision on a European recovery plan by the end of July, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte tells lawmakers on Wednesday
  • Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Japan’s economy was past the worst, but warned the recovery would be slow, adding that he remains ready to take further action if needed; said that excessively low super-long yields could cause problems
  • The U.K. will sell nearly twice as many bonds than it did during the height of the financial crisis, according to estimates of primary dealers
  • Bank of England policy maker Silvana Tenreyro says current pace of recovery will be slowed by social distancing, restrictions in some sectors and higher unemployment
  • U.K. levels of Covid-19 infection fell faster than previously reported in May, according to a study of 120,000 people that took place before the country’s lockdown was eased
  • OPEC+ is seeking extra production cuts from members that have missed their targets again in June, potentially tempering the impact of the supply resumption planned by the wider coalition next month.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.8% to 3,208.00
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.9% to 370.81
  • MXAP up 1.1% to 166.57
  • MXAPJ up 0.8% to 548.07
  • Nikkei up 1.6% to 22,945.50
  • Topix up 1.6% to 1,589.51
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.01% to 25,481.58
  • Shanghai Composite down 1.6% to 3,361.30
  • Sensex up 1.9% to 36,710.28
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.9% to 6,052.92
  • Kospi up 0.8% to 2,201.88
  • German 10Y yield fell 1.1 bps to -0.458%
  • Euro up 0.3% to $1.1438
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 2.4 bps to 1.085%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 1.4 bps to 0.394%
  • Brent futures up 1.5% to $43.54/bbl
  • Gold spot little changed at $1,810.36
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.4% to 95.91

Asian equity markets were mostly positive as the regional bourses tracked the cyclical-led gains in US peers and on vaccine hopes after Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine produced antibodies in all 45 patients tested in an initial study. ASX 200 (+1.9%) and Nikkei 225 (+1.6%) were lifted from the open with Australia’s tech sector and gold miners front-running the broad advances in the index which surpassed the 6000 milestone, while the Japanese benchmark printed its highest level in over a month and withstood the ongoing virus concerns in Tokyo which prompted the city to switch to its highest COVID-19 alert status. Chinese markets underperformed with the Hang Seng (U/C) and Shanghai Comp. (-1.6%) both negative after US President Trump signed legislation and an executive order to hold China accountable for actions in Hong Kong, with the executive order to remove preferential treatment for Hong Kong and which will now be treated the same as China. Furthermore, China later responded that it strongly opposes US signing the sanctions bill and that it will implement its own sanctions on US officials and entities. Reports of China state funds continuing to sell shares also did not help in which a pension fund was said to have offloaded 42.3mln BoCom A-shares on Tuesday. Indian markets were also notable gainers with the NIFTY up 0.2% and the NIFTY IT index gaining around 3% in early trade alongside Wipro shares which hit 10% upper circuit following a beat on earnings. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lacklustre amid the gains in stocks and unsurprising BoJ policy hold, while there was notable corporate supply with Nissan pricing a JPY 70bln 3-tranche in its first JPY-denominated bond offering since 2016.

Top Asian News

  • Hong Kong’s Beaten Down Stocks Face Yet Another Blow from Trump
  • Central Banker Urges Israel to Seize Cheap Debt Opportunity
  • Hillhouse Invested About $1 Billion In Beigene’s Share Sale
  • ChemChina, State Funds Said in Talks for Syngenta’s Pre-IPO

European equities trade higher across the board (Eurostoxx 50 +1.1%) following the recovery in the latter half of yesterday’s session for US equities. As has been the case throughout the week, there wasn’t a great deal of narrative-altering newsflow for the majority of the session with many of the same macro factors that are in focus having been present for some time now. Some of the positivity late doors emanated from a COVID-19 drug update from Moderna, however, the latest update doesn’t necessarily mark a breakthrough from the data already published in May with the latest findings instead from a larger sample group than prior. More recently, global bourses took another leg higher and moved back into proximity to session highs on reports via ITV’s Peston that positive news is on the way, perhaps as soon as tomorrow, for AstraZeneca’s (+2.9%) COVID-19 vaccine – which is seeing a rare ‘twin effect’ in terms of the response for both antibodies and T-cells. In terms of sectoral performance for Europe, travel & leisure names are the clear outperformer with the sector noted as one of the purest reopening plays. Carnival (+5.3%), Ryanair (+5.1%), Tui (+3.2%) and easyJet (+2.9%) all trade with notable gains, however,  there has been little in the way of sector-specific newsflow in the past 24 hours for European airline names. Elsewhere, Auto names are also trading firmer today with Renault the outperformer in the sector after reports that Nissan is to start selling an EV. To the downside, Telecom names lag peers in a potential pullback from some of the upside seen yesterday in the wake of the UK’s decision to bar Huawei from the UK’s 5G network by 2027. In terms of individual movers, Atlantia (+24.2%) sit at the top of the Stoxx 600 as the company appears to be making progress in striking a deal with the Italian government, whilst Burberry (-6.9%) are a notable underperformer after its latest trading update in which it expects a potential 50% decline in H1 sales.

Top European News

  • The 700 Billion-Euro Man Counting Each Cent to Keep Italy Afloat
  • Kremlin Plots Pullback from Stimulus Despite Rising Infections
  • Sunak Orders Review of U.K. Capital Gain Tax After Virus Splurge
  • BOE’s Tenreyro Is Ready to Boost Stimulus Again If Needed

In FX, it was a woeful start to Wednesday’s EU session for the Greenback as losses accumulate across the board on various fundamental and technical factors, including a rebound in broad risk sentiment due to more positive COVID-19 vaccine reports and somewhat contradictory persistent/latent concerns about the resurgence of the virus in US states. The index has fallen below 96.000 and close to June lows (95.716) at 95.866 as several Dollar/major pairs extend beyond or breach round number levels that have been providing some support for the Buck and resistance in terms of G10 counterparts. Ahead, a busy midweek US data docket and more Fed speak from Harker before the latest Beige Book.

  • GBP – Sterling has benefited most from the Greenback’s ongoing travails, with Cable back above 1.2600, but the Pound also reclaiming losses vs the Euro from sub-0.9100 lows yesterday on a technical retracement rather than anything specifically Gbp supportive. On that note, UK CPI data was a tad firmer than expected, but still benign and BoE’s Tenreyro subsequently countered with a disinflationary outlook, while adding that NIRP is a live issue for the MPC currently under review.
  • AUD/NZD/EUR/JPY/CAD/CHF – All firmer against the US Dollar as noted above, with the Aussie hitting fresh 1+ month highs with the aid of momentum buying when 0.7005 was breached, but meeting offers into 0.7020 ahead of jobs data on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Kiwi continues to lag around 0.6550 and 1.0680 in Aud/Nzd cross terms awaiting Q2 CPI tonight in contrast to the Euro that has extended gains on the 1.1400 handle to circa 1.1445 and surpassing June 10’s 1.1422 best along the way pre-ECB tomorrow. Elsewhere, the Yen has rebounded from 107.30 to 106.90 and the Loonie is pivoting 1.3600 in the run up to the BoC with options pricing in a 57 pip break-even on the event, while the Franc remains mixed either side of 0.9400 vs the Buck and down to 1 month lows against the single currency near 1.0740.
  • SCANDI/EM – The Norwegian and Swedish Crowns are both nudging key markers vs the Euro at 10.6500 and 10.3500 respectively, with the former buoyed by firm crude prices and latter maintaining post-inflation data impetus even though June’s trade deficit widened significantly and almost all CPI/CPIF projections from Prospera were unchanged. Similarly, the Rand has taken weaker than forecast SA inflation in stride on overall Dollar weakness and despite potential implications for the SARB policy meeting next week given a relatively reserved -25 bp consensus vs -1/2 point last time.

In commodities, WTI and Brent remain bolstered ahead of the JMMC meeting, with sentiment generally positive this morning and after last nights larger than expected draw in private inventories. Firstly, the JMMC, which energy correspondents note is expected to commence from around 13:00BST/08:00ET but as with any OPEC related event the timing should be taken as guidance only. Indications heading into the JMMC meeting point towards the committee recommending that the level of production cuts is reduced, which would be in-line with the original plan. As a reminder, the JTC committee met yesterday to discuss the planned easing of cuts to 7.7mln BPD; note, Saudi is said to be looking to keep export figures steady for the month of August. JMMC aside, much of the upside price action follows on from yesterday’s private inventories where crude stocks printed a larger than expected draw of 8.3mln vs. Exp. draw of 2.1mln; focus turns to today’s EIA stocks for confirmation of this reading with expectations pointing to a draw of 2.09mln. Turning to metals, spot gold has been choppy this morning with the upside just after the European cash open derived from further USD downside as well as resistance levels lying in proximity to the current high. Elsewhere, Antofagasta is calling for further negotiations to resolve the strike action in Chile; but, the strike action has not been sufficient to bolster copper prices thus far.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Export Price Index MoM, est. 0.8%, prior 0.5%; Import Price Index MoM, est. 1.0%, prior 1.0%
  • 8:30am: Empire Manufacturing, est. 10, prior -0.2
  • 9:15am: Industrial Production MoM, est. 4.3%, prior 1.4%; Manufacturing (SIC) Production, est. 5.65%, prior 3.8%
  • 2pm: U.S. Federal Reserve Releases Beige Book

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Unless I’m forgetting a random trip, I drove a car yesterday for the first time since lockdown and also wore a mask for the first time. Luckily I didn’t do the two together as my glasses kept on steaming up wearing it. Watch that mobility data climb in the U.K.. It was only 4 minutes to a local physio as I’ve hurt my hip and back over the last month and it won’t go away, especially when my wife asks me to do something. The physio has managed to diagnose it. It’s got quite a complicated name so bear with me. She said it’s likely “middleagemanovergolfingintheeveningsinlockdownitis”. In short I’m having spasms all over my lower back. Interestingly she said that since she reopened she is seeing a surge in patients as people have either done too little exercise in lockdown or too much.

Talking of aches and pains, US markets leapt off Monday’s treatment table to power to 5 week highs overnight as earnings season got underway. The US rally has continued into Asia as we’ll see below. The S&P 500 advanced by +1.34% yesterday as cyclicals such as energy (+3.61%), materials (+2.54%) and industrials (+2.18%) led the way. Tech stocks underperformed somewhat, as the NASDAQ rose ‘only’ +0.94%, while the Dow Jones saw a much stronger +2.13% advance on the back of CAT (+4.83%). In terms of the earnings details we heard from 3 major US banks. JPM rose +0.57% as Q2 profits were down just over 50%, a smaller drop than analyst’s forecasted as the firm set a record for trading revenue in the Spring at $9.72bn. Citigroup (-3.93%) also saw a large rise in trading, but saw their shares fall on loan-loss provisions. Such provisions, as well as one off costs and the lack of a large trading operation, saw Wells Fargo (-4.57%) post its first quarterly loss since 2008 as it also lowered its dividend. The three banks set aside nearly $28bn for defaulted loans this past quarter, only the last quarter of 2008 and the heights of the Financial Crisis saw a larger total provision. On the back of all of this, US banks were the only S&P industry group to finish lower on the day, falling -1.19%.

While we’re on the subject of earnings, our Chart of the Day yesterday highlighted that our equity strategists see a quarter where we’re likely to see a notable collective beat as analysts expectations lagged data surprises in the last few weeks of the quarter. We also show how bifurcated the S&P 500 is with 490 stocks range trading since early April while the 10 mega cap growth stocks (27% of market cap) power ahead to new highs. If you missed the CoTD see it here with all the links to our equity strategists pieces contained within. Please email Jim-Reid.ThematicResearch@db.com to get added to this new daily CoTD.

Futures on the S&P 500 are up another +0.73% this morning after Moderna announced post the market close that their Covid-19 vaccine produced antibodies in all 45 patients tested in an early round of trials. This is a key threshold for US regulators and raises hopes that the vaccine may be within sight. However a number of patients did experience side effects with some being severe. The vaccine now moves onto a much later-stage trial which will most likely determine whether the US approves it for use. According to the results published in the New England Journal of Medicine, antibody levels produced in the trial were equivalent to the upper half of what’s seen in patients who get infected with the virus and recover. The stock was up over +16.5% in after-market trading following the report.

Overnight, the Bank of Japan left its monetary policy unchanged even as their price and growth forecasts were revised down. The latest forecasts point to a deeper slump this year, but suggest a slightly faster pick up in the following years. Outside of US futures, Asian markets are trading mixed this morning with the Hang Seng (-0.55%), CSI (-1.04%) and Shanghai Comp (-1.39%) lower likely helped by the US Hong Kong legislation news mentioned below while the Nikkei (+1.26%), Kospi (+0.48%) and Asx (+1.35%) are trading up boosted in part by the vaccine news.

Back in Europe yesterday the picture was more negative as much of the US rally occurred after the European close as they caught down to the previous day’s US declines. By the close the STOXX 600 (-0.84%), the CAC 40 (-0.96%) and the DAX (-0.80%) had all seen noticeable declines. Sovereign bonds performed strongly however given the earlier risk-off, and yields fell across the continent. Gilts were the strongest performer (more on which below), but otherwise bunds (-3.0bps), OATs (-3.0bps) and BTPs (-2.5bps) all saw similar moves. In the US, 10yr Treasuries ended the session +0.5bps.

The advances for US equities came in spite of the fact that the number of coronavirus cases there continues to rise. Tuesday is often a day with weekend catch up so we have to be a bit careful with the data, but some states did actually record cases under their weekly average. Florida posted a further 3.3% rise in cases yesterday, under the 7 day average of 4.6%, however the state recorded 132 deaths, well above the 7 day average of 72. On the other hand, Arizona had its most recorded cases in nearly 2 weeks. The 3.5% increase in cases was well above the 7 day average of 2.9%, as the number of cases over each of the past 2 days were far below the 3200 per day average observed over the last week, indicating a good deal of catch-up. California was another state that saw a higher case load than their weekly average, with 10,898 new cases vs. 7800. Overall the pace of new cases in the US rose in line with the weekly average at 2%. This week and early next week will be key to see if some shutdown measures undertaken in the Southern US begin to work and also whether we see a larger spike in deaths in heavily affected areas. So far fatalities have been notably lower per recorded case than they were in the first wave.

Over in New York, where case growth was at a much-more subdued 0.2%, a further 4 states were added to its 14-day quarantine list, bringing the total to 22. And in Philadelphia, ABC-6 reported that the city would ban big public events through February 2021. Meanwhile, Tokyo has said overnight that it will raise the Covid-19 warning one notch to the highest level on a scale of 4. Tokyo has reported daily infections exceeding 200 for four consecutive days and cases of unknown origin are rising. On the positive side, China is set to allow tour agencies and online tourism companies to run local group tours and hotel bookings across provinces, though foreign tourism will still be banned.

With the virus picture murky in the US, Fed Reserve Governor Brainard said yesterday that, “A thick fog of uncertainty still surrounds us, and downside risks predominate.” She noted that the central bank should ensure that both forward guidance and asset purchases provided long-term accommodations for financial markets. Like others at the Fed, she espoused on how important fiscal support would be for the recovery, while saying it was “unclear” whether the recent pace of labour-market recovery would endure. Brainard also weighed in on YCC, saying that the time may come for the central bank to reinforce forward guidance by selectively targeting parts of the yield curve, while also making very clear that was imminent in that regard. Later, we heard from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard and he said that he sees little need for stronger forward guidance or yield curve control because markets are already projecting very low interest rates for the indefinite future. He also cited Homebase data as a guide for the US employment report and said, “You would see a positive report for July but it wouldn’t be as big of a gain as for May and June. That wouldn’t be surprising because those gains were quite large”.

Here in the UK, the main announcement yesterday was official confirmation that masks would be compulsory in English shops from July 24, punishable by a £100 fine. That said, the case numbers in the UK are substantially lower than in the US, and the latest official death statistics from England and Wales yesterday showed that the total number of deaths from all causes in the week ending July 3 were below the five-year average for a 3rd consecutive week. Similar moves on masks are taking place in France, with president Macron saying he wanted people to wear masks in all indoor public spaces by the start of August.

Moving on, we got a number of China headlines yesterday as tensions continue to ratchet up between them and the US. Firstly, we got the news that China would be imposing sanctions on Lockheed Martin, following the decision of the United States to approve the sale of missile parts to Taiwan. Separately, we then heard later in the day that the UK would completely remove Huawei from its 5G networks by the end of 2027, and that there would also be a total ban on the purchase of any new 5G kit from Huawei after the end of this year. The decision follows new advice from the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre on the impact of US sanctions on Huawei. Meanwhile, President Trump said overnight that he has issued an order to end Hong Kong’s special status with the US and signed legislation that would sanction Chinese officials responsible for cracking down on political dissent in the city. In response, China has vowed to take strong countermeasures and sanction US officials and entities over the Hong Kong law while, urging the US to “correct its wrongdoings” and to stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs.

While we’re on China, yesterday our economist Yi Xiong released his H2 outlook for the country (link here). According to him, the V-shaped recovery is largely complete, and he forecasts +4.5% year-on-year GDP growth by Q4 2020. Interestingly, he says that sectoral divergence will be the main theme in the second half, thanks to changes in consumer preferences and business models. This will mean that some sectors see permanent revenue losses, while others have the potential to achieve above-trend growth.

Back to yesterday and here in the UK, we got some disappointing GDP data for May yesterday, with just a +1.8% month-on-month expansion (vs. +5.5% expected). Even with the growth in May, that still leaves economic activity for the month down by -24.5% compared with February’s level, and raised concerns that the hoped-for V-shaped recovery won’t be materialising any time soon. Gilts outperformed after the release as investors hoped for further monetary stimulus, with 10yr yields (-3.6bps) closing at an all-time low of 0.15%. Furthermore, at one point in the day, 2-year gilts were actually yielding less than their Japanese counterparts for the first time in living memory. Our UK team also updated their fiscal projections yesterday (link here), and now see borrowing rising to £375bn in 2020/21, with risks firmly tilted to the upside.

In terms of yesterday’s data, the main highlight was the US CPI reading for June, with inflation rising to +0.6% year-on-year, in line with expectations, while core inflation remained at +1.2%. The month over month measure rose to 0.6%, just above expectations of 0.5% and the highest one month pickup since Jan 2017. Elsewhere, the NFIB small business optimism index also rose to 100.6 (vs. 97.8 expected).

To the day ahead now, and earnings season continues apace, with highlights including UnitedHealth Group, Goldman Sachs, US Bancorp, BNY Mellon and Infosys. Otherwise, there’ll be a rate decision from the Bank of Canada, the release of the Fed’s Beige book, as well as remarks from the BoE’s Tenreyro and the Fed’s Harker. Finally, data highlights include the UK CPI reading for June, while from the US there’s the June industrial production and capacity utilisation numbers, along with July’s Empire State manufacturing survey.


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