It appears that Goldman’s trading desk was right again. Just days after the vampire squid’s sellside researchers were warning that the market has not yet bottomed, the bank’s far more accurate flow traders said that “The Pain Trade Is Now Up, The CPI Doesn’t Matter At All, And The Q4 Chase Starts Early“, and on Monday morning it was all engines go in global stock markets, with US equities poised to extend their brisk rally from last week as investors braced for the final CPI before the Federal Reserve’s September decision. Futures for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 both rose 0.5% each at 715 a.m. in New York, extending above their Friday session highs, putting the underlying gauges on track for a fourth day of gains, while Europe’s Stoxx 600 index climbed for a third day, and Asia was almost all green.
Treasury yields dropped and the dollar retreated further as traders bet inflation is near peaking even as Fed talking heads ramped up hawkish rhetoric (it’s ok, the Fed is always 9-12 months behind the curve). And as the USD slumps, the euro is extending gains, rising the most in six months against the dollar, as hawkish commentary from ECB policy makers continue. Crude oil and industrial metals gained as the greenback’s descent countered demand concerns, while speculation grows that China will ease on covid-zero policies after the coming plenum.
In US premarket trading, cryptocurrency-exposed stocks including Riot Blockchain and Coinbase edged higher as Bitcoin added to last week’s gains, rising above the $22,000 level. Meanwhile, Apple rose, with analysts positive on the company as pre-order data for the latest versions of its iPhone point to strong interest and demand. Here are some other notable premarket movers:
- Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY US) rises 6% in premarket trading after deucravatinib received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of moderate-to-severe psoriasis with no “black box” warnings.
- Watch Cable One (CABO US) after it was downgraded to equal-weight at Wells Fargo, which took less positive stance on the sector, even as the stock remains “the best house in the cable neighborhood.”
- Keep an eye on Bill.com Holdings (BILL US) as the stock was initiated with an overweight rating at Morgan Stanley, which cites multiple growth drivers for the infrastructure software firm.
- US railroad stocks may be in focus as tens of thousands of industry workers could be on strike by the end of this week. Keep an eye on CSX (CSX US), Norfolk Southern (NSC US) and Union Pacific (UNP US).
- US chipmakers could be in focus after Reuters reports the Biden administration plans to broaden curbs on US shipments of semiconductors for artificial intelligence and chipmaking tools to China. Watch Lam Research (LRCX US), Applied Materials (AMAT US), KLA (KLAC US), Nvidia (NVDA US) and AMD (AMD US).
- Keep an eye on CoStar Group (CSGP US) as it was initiated at market perform by BMO Capital Markets, which sees the commercial real estate information provider as a “poster child” for the info services sector, but finds it hard to justify an outperform recommendation.
Stocks have rebounded amid more speculation of oversold systematic funds and another short squeeze – conditions similar to the mid-June bounce. Now, traders are preparing for tomorrow’s inflation data which are expected to show an 8% increase in the overall August consumer price index from the same month last year, down from 8.5% in July yet still historically elevated, and to cement the point that peak inflation has been hit. The outcome will be significant for the Fed’s decision next week and could sway equities in either direction, although the worst case scenario is now fully priced in: traders almost fully expect another jumbo-sized Fed hike next week, following two 75-basis-point increases, and forward guidance by Fed officials in the run-up to the policy meeting has supported that view. Any easing in the Fed’s tightening resolve would be seen a very dovish and send stocks surging even more.
“It seems policy makers were keen to reinforce their hawkish position ahead of the blackout period — which we’re now in — potentially with an eye on that data point,” said Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst at Oanda. “There was perhaps a feeling that a softer reading could see market expectations slip which they clearly want to avoid. It will be interesting to see how traders now respond as we’ve seen how keen they were to hop aboard the ‘dovish pivot’ train before.”
Indeed, on Friday, Fed Governor Christopher Waller said he favors “another significant” increase in interest rates when the central bank meets later this month, signaling his backing for a 75 basis-point move. Fed Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said he was leaning “more strongly” toward a third straight boost of that magnitude, while his Kansas City counterpart Esther George noted officials have a “clear-cut” case for continuing to remove monetary support.
Meanwhile, thanks to receding inflation fears, markets are pricing in little prospect of a recession, according to Tatjana Puhan, deputy chief investment officer at Tobam SAS. Risk assets are buying into the narrative of a soft landing even though a hard landing is more likely, she said. “We should be ready for a significant impact on the economy,” Puhan told Bloomberg Television. “I can easily see markets going down another 20%,”she said, echoing Guggneheim’s Scott Minerd.
Markets also have to digest the implications of Ukraine’s counter-offensive, after its forces continued their rapid advance in the Kharkiv region, exploiting a retreat of Russian defenses.
In Europe, the Stoxx 50 rallied 1.4% climbing for a third day, with retailers leading the advance amid optimism plans to curb energy bills will provide some relief for consumers squeezed by a cost-of-living crisis. The FTSE MIB outperforms, adding 1.8%, Stoxx 600 lags, adding 0.9%. Retailers, miners and autos are the strongest-performing sectors. Here are some of the biggest European movers today:
- Mining stocks outperform the broader European market again on Monday as metals rise on increased demand amid China’s peak construction season, a weaker dollar and risks to supply
- Ferrexpo and shares in other companies with operations in Ukraine surge in European trading Monday as the country’s military continued a rapid advance in the Kharkiv region at the weekend
- Atos shares jump for a second day, as much as 6.9%, as minority shareholder Sycomore Asset Management called for the chairman to resign during an interview with Reuters
- Pernod Ricard shares rise after declining as much as 1.2% after Deutsche Bank cut the recommendation to hold on macro headwinds and lagging advertising & promotional/sales
- Thule shares drop as much as 16% after a profit warning from the Swedish bike, car and outdoor equipment manufacturer. Handelsbanken says “considerable 2023 uncertainty remains”
- Tate & Lyle falls as much as 7.1% after Jefferies downgrades to hold from buy on increasing cost pressures in Europe, saying is now more exposed to “tricky” European market
- Electrolux shares fall as much as 6.8% as the Swedish appliance producer expects 3Q earnings to decline sharply. Handelsbanken says “significant cuts” to 2022-2023 estimates are needed
- HelloFresh shares fall as much as 6.7% on Monday after the USDA warned of possible E. coli contamination for some ground beef packages in HelloFresh meal kits shipped in July
- Orpea slumps as much as 21% as the company warns that profit will be lower than expected, citing rising energy and salary costs, with analysts noting there are still downside risks to shares
According to another group of Goldman Sachs strategists – the ones who are pretty much always wrong – said US firms that do most of their business at home will fare better than those exposed to Europe, where a recession is all but guaranteed. A team led by David Kostin say that while the path of US growth may be “uncertain,” the economic situation in Europe is dire. Translation: buy European stocks.
Earlier in the session, Asian stocks began the week by heading for a third straight daily advance, bolstered by the weakening of the dollar and oil prices. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 0.8% on Monday, poised for its highest close in nearly two weeks, as tech and materials shares rallied. TSMC rose 2.4%, boosting Taiwan’s gauge, after the firm said August sales rose 59% from a year ago and Reuters reported that the US plans to broaden curbs on chip shipments to China. Markets were closed for holidays in China, Hong Kong and South Korea. Benchmarks in the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan and Australia were all up. India’s S&P BSE Sensex Index also rose ahead of the nation’s retail inflation data for August, while Thailand’s main gauge was higher for a fifth-straight day to erase this year’s decline amid optimism the economic recovery has momentum. The dollar and oil prices weakened ahead of a much-awaited US inflation report on Tuesday, with investors preparing for super-sized interest-rate hikes in the US. Investors are also watching for Russia’s response after reports overnight of the advance of Ukraine forces in Kharkiv region.
Japanese stocks advanced for a third day, driven by gains in electronics makers, while reopening plays rallied on reports of reduced restrictions for inbound tourists. The Topix rose 0.7% to 1,980.22 as of 3:02 p.m. Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 1.2% to 28,542.11. The yen resumed weakening after regaining more than 1% against the dollar Friday. Keyence Corp. contributed the most to the Topix gain, increasing 1.9%. Out of 2,169 shares in the index, 1,449 rose and 596 fell, while 124 were unchanged.
“On many measures, positioning continues to appear quite extreme to us and thus there is a possibility that a lower than expected m-m core CPI print may lead to a knee-jerk positive reaction in stocks,” Chetan Seth, Asia Pacific equity strategist at Nomura wrote in a note. On Ukraine, he said that “it’s too early to extrapolate this event for the market,” and that the supply of some key commodities will likely take time to increase. The pause in the dollar’s rally has given Asian stocks some breathing room, with the MSCI measure up about 3% from a trough last week. But with many signals indicating more dollar strength and China’s lockdowns continuing, flows into the region are likely to remain under pressure.
In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index extended declines, with all G-10 FX rising, barring the yen, which trades at around 142.75/USD. Some more details:
- The BBDXY Index was set for its biggest two-day drop in a month as the greenback weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen.
- The euro rose as much as 1.6% against the greenback on Monday to trade just shy of the 1.02 handle. Bunds, Italian bonds fell across the curve and money markets rose ECB tightening bets after Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel said the central bank must take further clear steps if the inflation picture stays the same. ECB Executive Board member Frank Elderson said more hikes will come as “it’s very important that the expectations that the people have on how the inflation will develop in the medium to long term will not become deanchored”
- The pound rose against a broadly weaker dollar though trailed the euro and other European currencies. Data show the UK economy recovered more slowly than expected from a slump triggered by an extra bank holiday in June, with industrial production and construction both shrinking
- Sweden’s krona was the best-performing G-10 currency as the nation is on the cusp of a power shift, casting aside the ruling Social Democrats in favor of a center-right opposition bloc as vote counting nears the finish line
- The yen resumed its downtrend after jumping more than 1% on Friday as players adjusted positions before US inflation figures due on Tuesday. JGBs followed Treasuries lower. On Sunday, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara said during a TV program that Japan has “to take necessary steps while closely monitoring developments including excessive, one-sided moves in the exchange rate”
In rates, US Treasuries edged higher with gains led by front-end of the curve, steepening spreads slightly while the dollar retreats. US yields were richer by up to 2.5bp across front-end of the curve with 2s10s, 5s30s spreads steeper by 0.5bp and 1.5bp on the day; 10-year yields around 3.29%, trading 1bp cheaper vs. bunds and slightly outperforming gilts in the sector. A US double auction of 3- and 10-year notes imposes an obstacle for further Treasuries advance. The US double auction kicks off at 11:30am with $41b 3-year note sale, followed by $32b 10-year reopening at 1pm. 3-year WI around 3.567% is above auction stops since 2007 and ~36.5bp cheaper than August stop-out which traded 0.3bp through the WI level. Auctions conclude Tuesday with $18b 30-year bond reopening.
In commodities, WTI crude jumps 1% to around $87.63; spot gold rises roughly $9 to trade near $1,726/oz. Natural gas prices fall as the market awaits details of the European Union’s intervention plan.
Bitcoin has risen above USD 22k amid the broader risk appetite, whilst Ethereum topped USD 1,750 in early trade.
Looking at today’s calendar, we have Japan’s August machine tool orders, UK July monthly GDP, construction output, industrial and manufacturing production, index of services, trade balance, Germany July current account balance, Italy July industrial production. There is nothing on the US calendar.
- S&P 500 futures up 0.5% to 4,087.25
- STOXX Europe 600 up 0.8% to 423.90
- MXAP up 0.7% to 155.35
- MXAPJ up 0.8% to 509.68
- Nikkei up 1.2% to 28,542.11
- Topix up 0.7% to 1,980.22
- Hang Seng Index up 2.7% to 19,362.25
- Shanghai Composite up 0.8% to 3,262.05
- Sensex up 0.7% to 60,217.05
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.0% to 6,964.46
- Kospi up 0.3% to 2,384.28
- Gold spot up 0.5% to $1,724.64
- U.S. Dollar Index down 1.05% to 107.86
- German 10Y yield little changed at 1.71%
- Euro up 1.5% to $1.0188
Top Overnight News from Bloomberg
- The Biden administration plans to broaden curbs on US shipments of semiconductors for artificial intelligence and chipmaking tools to China, Reuters reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter
- The ECB’s jumbo increase in interest rates last week was designed to keep inflation expectations anchored, according to Vice President Luis de Guindos
- German inflation will only peak in the first quarter of 2023 as surging energy costs trickle down to consumers, weighing on purchasing power and tipping the country into recession during the winter months, according to the Ifo institute
- French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the government will cut a levy on industrial production at a slower pace than initially planned as it seeks to meet deficit reduction targets despite lower economic growth
- Natural gas prices fell as the market awaits details of the European Union’s plan to intervene in an unprecedented energy crisis that is already destroying demand for the fuel
- Russia hit power plants deep behind Ukrainian lines, causing blackouts across the northeast of the country as Kyiv’s forces pressed a lightning offensive that’s reversed months of Moscow’s advances
A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk
Asia-Pac stocks took impetus from last Friday’s gains on Wall Street in a holiday-thinned start to the week. ASX 200 traded higher with the mining-related sectors and tech resuming their recent outperformance, while the top-weighted financials sector was also kept afloat as the major banks increased mortgage rates after last week’s RBA rate hike. Nikkei 225 rose above 28,500 as Japan mulls steps to open its borders including scrapping its daily limit of 50k arrivals of overseas visitors by October and waiving visa requirements. Hang Seng, Shanghai Comp and KOSPI were closed for the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Top Asian News
- US is reportedly planning to broaden curbs on sales to China of semiconductors used for AI and chipmaking tools, according to Reuters sources.
- Chinese President Xi will visit Central Asia and meet with Russian President Putin in his first trip outside of China since the pandemic began, according to Reuters.
- PBoC called for efforts to facilitate the broader use of the digital yuan, according to Xinhua.
- Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kihara said the government must take steps as needed against excessive, one-sided currency moves. Kihara also said they won’t rule out issuing government bonds to fund an expected increase in defence costs and they are ready to consider steps in the not-so-distant future to further open Japan’s borders to overseas visitors including scrapping its daily limit of 50k arrivals of overseas visitors by October, according to Nikkei.
- Japan is eyeing allowing foreign visitors to travel freely without travel agency bookings and waiving visa requirements, with PM Kishida to make the decision as early as this week, according to FNN.
European bourses extend on the upside seen at the open despite a lack of news catalysts during the European morning. European sectors are mostly firmer, with Autos & Parts outperforming closely followed by Banks, Retail, and Basic Resource, whilst the flip side sees defensive sectors, with Healthcare, Food & Beverages, and Telecoms in the red. Stateside, US equity futures are posting gains, with marginal outperformance seen in the NQ vs peers.
Top European News
- EU offers to reduce Northern Ireland border controls, with EU’s Sefcovic encouraged by the UK’s intention for a negotiated settlement on trade, while the EU could cut customs checks across the Irish Sea to just a few lorries a day. Furthermore, Sefcovic said the border would be ‘invisible’ under European Commission plans provided that the UK gave the EU real-time data on trade movements, according to FT. However, Senior UK officials are reportedly downplaying EU’s offer on Brexit this weekend, with one reason being that the offer does not go far enough, according to Eurasia’s Rahman.
- ECB’s de Guindos said the 75bps hike last week was aimed at anchoring inflation expectations; higher rates may also weigh on economic growth, via Bloomberg. ECB’s de Guindos said he does not know how much rates will climb.
- Orpea Slumps 21% After Suprise Profit Warning
- Bulgaria Says in Talks to Double Gas Supplies From Azerbaijan
- Russia Strikes Power Plants as Ukrainian Forces Extend Advances
- Euro Climbs Most in Five Months as Traders Eye Hawkish ECB Speak
- DXY recoiled further from 108.860 at best, through 108.500 and 108.00, to 107.800 and its lowest level since late August.
- EUR/USD saw a boost to levels close to 1.0200 from a 1.0061 low on a combination of factors, including hawkish ECB rhetoric and reports that Russian troops withdrew from key areas in Eastern Ukraine following a counterattack over the weekend.
- The JPY sits as the G10 laggard following hefty recovery gains on Friday, whilst Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kihara was the latest to join the Japanese verbal intervention.
- Recovery momentum is building towards a breach of big figures in the major contracts, with no major catalyst for the upside.
- Bunds, Gilts and the 10 year T-note recently topped out at 144.01, 105.87 and 115-30 respectively.
- WTI and Brent futures are once again choppy as prices initially fell at the resumption of electronic trade, before recovering as European players entered the fray.
- Spot gold is firmer amid the softer Dollar, and eyes its 21 and 50 DMAs to the upside at USD 1,733.70/oz and USD 1,741.62/oz.
- Base metals in general are boosted by the weaker Dollar; 3M LME copper eyes USD 8,000/t to the upside.
- Russian official reiterates that some aspects of the grain deal need to be reviewed, via Interfax.
US Event Calendar
- Nothing on deck
DB’s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
Keep an eye out for the monthly survey results published soon after this email arrives this morning. It’s fair to say that respondents are pretty bearish. Overall the whole report, which is in presentation form for the first time, should be a good guide to current sentiment.
One bit of potentially positive news over the weekend was that a Ukrainian counter offensive operation in the north-east of the country seems to have led to it successfully claiming back land. Although this will be greeted well by markets, the surprise success does increase the chances of a more aggressive response from Russia. In market terms, actual war developments have been relatively quiet of late with most of the focus on Russian gas (or lack of it) into Europe. So this brings the military progress back in some focus. So all eyes back on the next step from both sides.
For the rest of the week, there’s only one focal point and that’s the US CPI report tomorrow, the last before the Fed’s September 21st meeting. The Fed are now in their blackout period so that will reduce the central bank chatter somewhat this week. Our economists last week raised their forecast to a 75bps hike at next week’s meeting while keeping the terminal rate at 4.1% for early next year. They believe the risks are on the upside. See here for more on their latest thinking. Importantly for the Fed, on Friday, we will also get inflation expectations from the University of Michigan consumer survey. US Retail sales data on Thursday will also be closely watched too but is unlikely to move the dial for the Fed.
For US inflation, our economists expect a slight decline in the headline CPI number (-0.09% MoM) but an acceleration of +0.30% in core, which would continue the pattern from July’s reading (unchanged and +0.3%, respectively) which came in lower than expected. They believe the YoY headline CPI should fall five-tenths to 8.0%, while core should tick up a tenth to 6.0%.
The recent slump in commodities, with WTI firmly below $100 per barrel throughout the month, is likely to put downward pressure on the headline number as are gas prices being down -12% over the month. However, the resilience of the labour market is among the forces that could propel the core gauge higher. Expect a fair amount of attention on what now seems to be sharp falls in used cars after runaway price rises during covid. On the flip side our models suggest rents should continue to climb for a few more months before falling. So they’ll likely be a few opposing forces in the release.
Speaking of the consumer, we will get retail sales data for August on Thursday and our US economists expect a +0.6% MoM reading, up from last month’s flat print. As gasoline prices continue their downward trend, whether this assuages the inflationary pressures on consumer spending will be important. US PPI (Wednesday), business inventories and industrial production data (both Thursday) will provide more insight into supply-side pressures.
Turning to Europe now, and the BoE planned meeting has been postponed a week due to the period of mourning following the Queen’s death. However the UK will remain in the spotlight when it comes to economic data, with inflation (Wednesday), monthly GDP (today), retail sales (Friday) and labour market data (tomorrow) all due. For the record headline UK CPI is expected to stay at 10.1% YoY. Elsewhere in the region, we will also get the ZEW survey for Germany and the Eurozone tomorrow. Late on Friday our economists updated their GDP forecasts and with the NS1 gas shut off now looking terminal they expect 2023 GDP to fall -3 to -4%. To be fair their zero gas scenario earlier in the summer suggested -5 to -6% growth for 2023 but the impressive gas build over the intervening period means the worse case isn’t quite as bad as feared. Lots of moving parts though. See here for their update.
At the end of the week, an array of economic activity indicators will be out in China, in their usual monthly data dump, including industrial production, retail sales, new home prices and property investment (Friday). The gauges will follow this week’s downside surprises in trade data and inflation, so markets will be parsing the numbers to assess the magnitude of the economic softness. Our Chief China economist overviews the impact of China’s covid policy on its economy and mobility here and the team has downgraded their Q3 GDP forecast to 2.5% YoY (previously 3.5%).
Overnight in Asia equity markets have kicked off higher building on Friday’s broad-based rally on Wall Street amid thin trading this morning. As I type, the Nikkei (+1.11%) is trading higher while the S&P/ASX 200 (+1.09%) is also trading in positive territory on improved risk sentiment. Elsewhere, in mainland China, Hong Kong and South Korea markets are closed for a holiday.
In overnight trading, US stock futures are flat with contracts on the S&P 500 (-0.07%) and NASDAQ 100 (-0.06%) just below flat, so not much market reaction to the news out of Ukraine in the earliest hours of the week. Meanwhile, yields on the 10yr USTs (3.32%) are less than a basis point higher in Asia.
Over the weekend, Seiji Kihara a senior Japanese government official, expressed concerns about the yen’s slide by opining that the government must take necessary steps to counter excessive declines in the Japanese yen as the currency has weakened to a 24-year low versus the US dollar.
Crude oil prices are trading lower at the start of the week in early Asian trade as the imposition of strict COVID-19 restrictions in China is dampening the commodity’s demand outlook from the world’s second largest economy. As we go to print, Brent futures are down -1.41% at $91.53/bbl with the WTI futures (-1.47%) lower trading at $85.51/bbl.
Looking back at last week now and the magic number was 75, with the ECB and BoC delivering 75bp hikes, and pricing moving closer to certainty that the Fed would do the same at their September meeting next week. In line sovereign yields legged higher in advanced economies. Notably, risk sentiment held in though, driving equities up on the week.
Starting with bonds, the ECB raised rates +75bps, with President Lagarde hinting more rate hikes were still forthcoming, noting inflation was “far too high” and policy rates were “far away” from adequate levels to bring inflation down. The entire bund curve shifted higher, albeit with some flattening, given the stricter stance in policy. 2yr bunds climbed +22.6bps (-0.7bps Friday) and 10yr bunds were +17.3bps higher (-1.9bps Friday) on the week. 10yr BTPs kept the pace, increasing +17.6bps over the week (+4.4bps Friday).
EU energy ministers met Friday, agreeing a comprehensive plan was necessary to combat the current gas crisis. While specifics weren’t agreed upon (as expected), they noted a wide suite of tools – including gas price caps, emergency liquidity for utilities, and further demand reduction plans – would be leveraged. In the first trading week since the announcement that Nord Stream 1 flows would not resume due to a “leak”, European natural gas futures prices actually fell -3.53% on the week (-6.10% Friday). Part of that was probably from the tough talk from energy and fiscal ministers, but there was probably also an element of taking out risk premium; NS1 flows can’t go below zero so we are possibly getting closer to peak bad news. However as my CoTD (link here) showed on Friday, next winter could also be pretty tough for gas supplies in Europe. But I suppose at least we should know that by now. The lack of upward follow through in gas prices contributed to better risk sentiment over the week with the STOXX 600 climbing +1.06% (+1.52% Friday), and the DAX scraping out a modest +0.29%, helped by a +1.43% bump on Friday.
In the US, Chair Powell took his last opportunity before the September meeting blackout period to express a steadfast resolve in the fight against inflation, which left the market pricing +72.7bps of tightening at the September meeting, so pretty close to a full +75bp hike priced in, and pricing of terminal rates breaching 4% early next year, finally catching up closing to the long standing house view. Treasury yields sold off and the curve flattened like their European counterparts. 2yr Treasuries were +16.9bps higher (+5.3bps Friday) and 10yrs increased +12.0bps (-0.7bps Friday), leaving the 2s10s curve at -25.3bps. The S&P 500 was strong, increasing +3.65% (+1.53% Friday), while the interest rate sensitive NASDAQ was very resilient in the face of tighter Fed policy and up +4.14% (+2.11% Friday).