Current Date: 26 May, 2024

"Markets Extremely Quiet" Ahead Of PPI, CPI, Powell Speech

"Markets Extremely Quiet" Ahead Of PPI, CPI, Powell Speech

US equity futures are flat into tomorrow's CPI/Retail Sales print with PPI the major macro data point today, while Fed Chair Powell also speaks. Futures are flat after also closing unchanged yesterday when the return of the meme stonk mania sent GME and AMC soaring, and hammered L/S hedge funds, whose short books exploded, leading to P&L carnage across the board and widespread degrossing which however did not impact index prices.  As of 6:30am, S&P and Nasdaq futures were unchanged. Bond yields are down 1-2bps as the yield curve bull steepens. The USD is flat and commodities are mixed with Ags lagging. Meme Stock Mania returned yesterday with GME +74% and AMC +78%, though Bitcoin was only +3%; As JPM's Andrew Tyler asks this morning "has the Retail investor reactivated and do they support Mag7?"

“Markets this morning are in extremely quiet mood ahead of tomorrow’s US consumer price index data that’s going to come out and shake things up or not,” said Kit Juckes, chief FX strategist at Societe Generale SA. “Sentiment about what the Fed’s going to do, sentiment about a lot of markets, will be determined by core CPI.”

The Stoxx Europe 600 index was little changed, hovering near a record high, as gains in auto and consumer product shares offset losses in travel and insurance names.  Shares in Anglo American Plc fell after the London-based miner outlined a major shake-up to fend of a takeover approach from BHP Group, with analysts citing execution risks. Delivery Hero SE soared as much as 22% after selling its Taiwan business. A revenue beat by Tencent Holdings Ltd. pushed the stock of its largest shareholder, Prosus NV, higher. Here are the most notable European movers:

  • Delivery Hero shares soar as much as 22% after the food delivery firm agreed to sell its Taiwanese operations to Uber for $950 million. The deal is attractively priced as it allows Delivery Hero to reduce debt, although regulatory approval could be a potential concern, according to analysts.
  • Vodafone shares rise as much as 3.9% after the telecom operator set full-year profit and cash flow guidance ahead of estimates. The German market, which now accounts for more than 45% of Vodafone’s Ebitda, saw service revenue growth ahead of expectations.
  • Nagarro shares jump as much as 23%, the most on record, after the German IT service firm’s results beat expectations. Analysts noted the contrast between its reiterated guidance and US peer Epam’s profit warning.
  • Nordex shares jump as much as 8.6%, hitting the highest in two years, after the wind turbine maker beat expectations and delivered a “blowout quarter,” according to Jefferies. Analysts at Oddo upgraded the stock.
  • Sonova shares jump as much as 6.6% with Morgan Stanley saying the hearing system firm’s outlook implies upgrades to sales and earnings consensus.
  • Societe Generale shares gain as much as 4.1% after French President Emmanuel Macron said he’d be open to seeing a major French bank being taken over by an EU rival to spur deeper integration.
  • On The Beach shares drop as much as 12% after its first-half earnings showed ongoing pressures on consumers. However, the group’s reinstated dividend and strong demand remain points of confidence, according to analysts.
  • Brenntag shares fall as much as 9.6%, the most since November 2022, after the German chemicals distribution firm’s first quarter missed estimates due to pricing pressures. The company reduced its guidance for the full year to the lower end of its range.
  • Rheinmetall shares decline as much as 6% after the German defense company reported a backlog for the first quarter that was €40.2 billion compared with €28.2 billion at the same time last year. Oddo calls it a slow start to 2024, with earnings below consensus.
  • DCC shares drop as much as 5.3% after its results came in below expectations, bringing an end to a strong run for the international sales and support service group that took its stock to a two-year high yesterday.
  • Lonza shares fall as much as 3.3% after the Swiss maker of drug ingredients reported a subdued start to the year and confirmed a flat sales growth outlook for 2024.

Earlier in the session, Asian stocks traded in a narrow range as investors awaited crucial US inflation data. A rally in Hong Kong stocks stalled ahead of key technology sector earnings due later Tuesday. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index swung between gains and losses of as much as 0.2%. TSMC and Alibaba rose, while AIA and Tokyo Marine fell. Shares in Hong Kong and mainland China closed lower ahead of major earnings. A gauge of Chinese tech companies jumped as much as 2.3% before paring much of the gains. Tech is “expected to be a bright spot amid this earnings season that has been lackluster thus far,” said Marvin Chen, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence in Hong Kong.

In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index inched up for the third straight day, supported ahead of US producer price data due later Tuesday. Investors also awaited speeches by Federal Reserve President Jerome Powell and Board of Governors member Lisa Cook to see if they offer any additional hints into when US interest rate cuts will start. Markets are bracing for US CPI data due on Wednesday for more steer into whether the Fed will begin easing in September, in line with market pricing.

In rates, Treasuries edge up ahead of US inflation data, with US 10-year yields falling 1bps to 4.48%. UK government bonds have pulled back from session highs having rallied after Bank of England Chief Economist Huw Pill suggested a summer interest-rate cut is in play. UK 10-year yields fall 1bp to 4.16%. His comments also weighed on the pound which is among the weakest of the G-10 currencies, falling 0.2% against the greenback after showing little reaction to UK jobs figures released earlier.

In commodities, oil prices gained before the release of OPEC’s market outlook, with WTI trading near $79.10. Industrial metals including nickel and copper climbed, while gold was steady after Monday’s decline of more than 1%. Spot gold rises 0.5% to around $2,347/oz.

To the day ahead, and central bank speakers include Fed Chair Powell, the Fed’s Cook, the ECB’s Knot and BoE chief economist Pill. US data releases include PPI inflation for April, along with the NFIB’s small business optimism index. Otherwise, we’ll get UK unemployment for March and the German ZEW survey for May.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures little changed at 5,247.50
  • Brent Futures down 0.3% to $83.10/bbl
  • Gold spot up 0.1% to $2,338.66
  • US Dollar Index up 0.14% to 105.36
  • STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 521.06
  • MXAP up 0.1% to 178.43
  • MXAPJ up 0.2% to 558.88
  • Nikkei up 0.5% to 38,356.06
  • Topix up 0.3% to 2,730.95
  • Hang Seng Index down 0.2% to 19,073.71
  • Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,145.77
  • Sensex up 0.7% to 73,274.89
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.3% to 7,726.76
  • Kospi up 0.1% to 2,730.34
  • German 10Y yield little changed at 2.49%
  • Euro down 0.1% to $1.0778
  • Brent Futures down 0.3% to $83.10/bbl

Top Overnight News

  • European stocks and US equity futures kept to small ranges for a second day, with traders waiting for US inflation reports to give markets fresh direction. US Treasuries and the dollar remained steady.
  • US President Joe Biden is hiking tariffs on a wide range of Chinese imports — including semiconductors, batteries, solar cells, and critical minerals — in an election-year bid to bolster domestic manufacturing in critical industries.
  • Japanese sovereign bond yields are surging to the highest levels in more than a decade amid signs the central bank is ready to reduce debt purchases to ease pressure on the ailing yen.
  • From JPMorgan Chase & Co. to Citigroup Inc., Wall Street’s most prominent trading desks are warning that investors should gear up for a potential break in the calm that’s come over the stock market.

A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk

APAC stocks lacked firm conviction after the indecisive performance in the US ahead of key events. ASX 200 was dragged lower by weakness in real estate and consumer staples ahead of the federal budget announcement, while Australian Treasurer Chalmers had previously cautioned against expectations for a welfare 'cash splash'. Nikkei 225 was choppy amid a weaker currency, mixed earnings releases and relatively in-line PPI data. Hang Seng & Shanghai Comp were initially boosted at the open with strength in tech and real estate although the Hong Kong benchmark eventually faded most of the gains, while sentiment was dampened in the mainland amid the threat of looming US tariffs which are expected to be unveiled today, while developer default concerns also lingered after Agile Group missed a coupon payment and flagged an inability to fulfil all payment obligations.

Top Asian News

  • China's embassy said China remains open to cooperating with the US on repatriation of illegal immigrants but the US side should also demonstrate sincerity and address China's concerns, creating a suitable atmosphere for such cooperation, according to Global Times.
  • Japanese Finance Minister Suzuki said it is important for the government and BoJ to coordinate policy and it is important for currencies to move in a stable manner reflecting fundamentals, while he added they will take a thorough response for forex and are closely watching FX moves, according to Reuters.
  • Former BoJ executive says the BoJ may decide to reduce the size of scheduled bond purchases next month amid largely dysfunctional bond market, adding that the BoJ is likely to hold off on raising rates until September, according to Reuters.
  • Australian Budget: sees 2023/24 budget surplus at AUD 9.3bln (vs. Exp. AUD 9bln) and deficits in 2024/25 - 2026/27 (as expected). 2024/25 deficit AUD 28.3bln vs. Exp. AUD 13.9bln. 2023/24 CPI seen at 3.5%, 2024/25 at 2.75% 2025/26 at 2.75%. 2023/24 unemployment seen at 4.0%, 2024/25 4.5% and 2025/26 4.5%. 2023/24 GDP growth at 1.75%, 2024/25 at 2% and 2025/26 at 2.25%. Sees iron ore price falling to USD 60/tonne, thermal coal USD 70/tonne for Q1 2025.

European bourses, Stoxx600 (+0.1%) are mixed and lack any firm direction, continuing the indecisive performance in APAC trade overnight. European sectors hold little bias with the breadth of the market fairly narrow. Autos is found at the top of the pile, building on the prior day’s gains, whilst Travel & Leisure is weighed on by Flutter (-2.5%) post-earnings. US Equity Futures (ES U/C, NQ +0.1%, RTY +0.1%) are mostly and modestly firmer, with trade tentative ahead of today’s PPI. Elsewhere, the White House says US President Biden is directing US Trade Representative to increase tariffs on USD 18bln of imports from China (in-fitting with recent reports).

Top European News

  • BoE Chief Economist Pill says there is still some work to do on the persistence of inflation; not unreasonable to believe that over the summer, the BoE will see enough confidence to consider rate cuts. Not unreasonable to believe that over the summer, the BoE will see enough confidence to consider rate cuts; could cut and keep the stance restrictive. Question of when and how restriction is eased.
  • Even a very poor EZ inflation reading this month would not necessarily dissuade the ECB's Governing Council from going through with the 25bp rate cut that has been amply signalled for its June meeting, according to a Eurosystem insider cited by Econostream.

FX

  • Dollar is a touch firmer vs. most peers and briefly popping above yesterday's 105.36 high in quiet trade, though with traders mindful of today's PPI, and CPI on Wednesday, in addition to Chair Powell at 15:00BST/10:00ET.
  • EUR is steady vs the USD after the pair failed to hold above the 1.08 mark. EUR/USD is currently contained within yesterday's 1.0765-1.0806 bounds with newsflow light, ZEW data failed to move the markets.
  • GBP is the laggard across the majors. GBP was choppy following mixed jobs data, though commentary from BoE's Pill sent Sterling lower. The Chief Economist continued to talk up the possibility of rate cuts. Cable down as low as 1.2510 with eyes on a test of 1.25; not breached since May 9th.
  • JPY is once again losing ground to the USD with markets bracing for upcoming US inflation prints, which could be the next inflection point for the pair. USD/JPY has been as high as 156.56 with not much in the way of resistance until 157.
  • Mildly diverging fortunes for the antipodes with NZD edging out moderate gains vs. the USD. AUD/USD is holding above the 0.66 mark and respecting yesterday's 0.6587-0.6628 range in quiet trade.
  • PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 7.1053 vs exp. 7.2307 (prev. 7.1030).

Fixed Income

  • USTs are incrementally firmer but with magnitudes much more contained than EGBs as we await US PPI ahead of Wednesday's CPI print. USTs at the top-end of 108-24 to 108-29 bounds which are contained by Monday's 108-23 to 109-00 parameters.
  • Gilts initially gapped lower by just 11 ticks to 97.52 following the morning's data which was hawkish on the wage components, though upticks in unemployment and another sizeable negative employment change provided some dovish reprieve. Speak from BoE's Pill thereafter lifted Gilts to a 97.89 peak just shy of Monday's 97.93 best.
  • Bunds are flat after initially being supported in tandem with Gilt price action; the ZEW data once again came in stronger than expected and prompted Bunds to pullback to the 131.00 mark. Bunds to a 131.13 peak post-Pill matching Monday's best.

Commodities

  • Subdued trade across the crude complex following yesterday's gains, which saw the contract settle higher but off best levels in a day with light oil newsflow. Brent Jul'24 sits within a USD 82.98-83.62/bbl parameter.
  • Precious metals hold an upward bias despite the stronger Dollar, with outperformance in spot palladium this morning whilst spot gold remains caged ahead of the aforementioned risk events including US PPI and Fed Chair Powell later; XAU sits within a tight USD 2,334.89-2,345.99/oz intraday range thus far.
  • Mixed trade across base metals with 3M LME copper futures flat but holding onto a USD 10k+ status, while aluminium prices are subdued following another large warehouse stock metric (+131k/T).
  • OPEC OMR due at 11:00BST/06:00ET today
  • LME Stocks: Aluminium +131k/T.
  • Peru copper production dipped slightly in March and was down 0.1% Y/Y, according to government data.

Geopolitics

  • "Israeli tanks began to penetrate into the center of Rafah for the first time amid fierce clashes ", according to Al Arabiya
  • "Lebanese agency: Israel used 'seismic missiles' in the town of Kafr Kila in southern Lebanon", according to Al Arabiya
  • Member of the Hamas Political Bureau told Al Arabiya they are committed to the path of the exchange deal negotiations.
  • Heavy Israeli artillery shelling and heavy gunfire reported in the centre and east of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, according to Al Jazeera.
  • US officials said Israel has mobilised enough forces to launch a large-scale operation in Rafah but they are not sure if We are not sure if Israel has made a final decision to launch a large-scale operation in Rafah, according to CNN.
  • US Deputy Secretary of State said we do not believe that the complete victory that Israel seeks to achieve is likely or possible, according to CNN.
  • Hezbollah said it targeted two buildings used by enemy soldiers in the settlement of Metulla and achieved a direct hit, according to Al Jazeera.
  • EU decided to broaden the scope of its sanctions framework to include not only provision of drones from Iran to Russia but also missiles. It also expands the sanctions regime geographically to cover the Middle East, according to a press release. 
  • US Secretary of State Blinken arrived in Ukraine on a previously undisclosed trip and intends to send the signal of reassurance to Ukraine at a 'very difficult moment', while US-supplied artillery, ATACMS long-range missiles and air defence interceptors are already reaching Ukraine's front lines from the new US aid package approved on April 24th, according to a US official cited by Reuters. 
  • US and Taiwan navies quietly held Pacific drills in April, while the exercises involved about a half-dozen ships from both sides but officially didn't take place, according to a Reuters source. Furthermore, a source added that exercises were dubbed 'unplanned sea encounters' and gave the navies a chance to practice 'basic' operations.

US Event Calendar

  • 06:00: April SMALL BUSINESS OPTIMISM 89.2, est. 88.2, prior 88.5
  • 08:30: April PPI Ex Food, Energy, Trade MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.2%
  • April PPI Ex Food, Energy, Trade YoY, prior 2.8%
  • April PPI Final Demand MoM, est. 0.3%, prior 0.2%
  • April PPI Final Demand YoY, est. 2.2%, prior 2.1%

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight news

The start of this week has seen a holding pattern ahead of potentially more exciting times to come over the next couple of days. The S&P 500 (-0.02%) and 10yr Treasury yields (-1.0bps) didn't move much. Unless you've been living on Mars, you'll know that we have the US PPI release today, followed by the CPI tomorrow. You'll also likely be fully aware that the first three months of the year all had fairly strong inflation, and all beating expectations, so this is an important week.

If you're looking for a little bit of excitement then Japanese yields are edging to decade plus yield highs overnight on concerns the BoJ will cut bond purchases again at its next regular operation on Friday. Yields on 10yr JGBs increased +2.5bps to 0.965%, its highest in more than a decade while yields on 20yr JGBs touched a high of 1.77%, the most since 2013 before settling at 1.759% as we go to print. 30yr yields hit their highest since 2011, trading at 2.038% as I type. The speculation being that smaller purchases are being planned to help the ailing Yen which has been drifting back down over the last week or so post what is thought to have been two bouts of intervention. So one to watch.

Back to those upcoming US inflation prints and the mood music ahead of them has been a little worrying, as data on inflation expectations showed a further uptick. That came via the New York Fed’s latest Survey of Consumer Expectations, where 1yr inflation expectations were up from 3.0% to 3.3% in April, marking its highest level in 5 months. Moreover, that follows on the heels of the University of Michigan’s survey last Friday, where inflation expectations also surprised on the upside, so there’ve been several pieces of news pointing in that direction. To be fair, the 3yr NY measure did fall a tenth to 2.8%, but the 5yr measure ticked up two-tenths to 2.8%, so it was a mixed bag at the longer time horizons. Separately, there were some labour market indicators that pointed in a weaker direction, with the mean probability of finding a job in the next 3 months (if one’s job was lost today) falling to a 3-year low of 50.9%.

For the April PPI release today, our economists expect headline PPI to come in at a monthly +0.4% pace. That would be an uptick from the +0.2% pace in March, but the focus for our economists will be on those components that feed into the core PCE deflator, which are health care services, portfolio management and domestic airfares. So those are the categories to keep an eye on, since they feed into the PCE measure that the Fed officially targets.

Ahead of that, we did hear from Fed Vice Chair Jefferson, who reflected the cautious tone of the FOMC about future rate cuts. For instance, he said that they “continue to look for additional evidence that inflation is going to return to our 2% target. And until we have that, I think it is appropriate to keep the policy rate in restrictive territory.” So there wasn’t much to move the dial on market expectations, with the number of cuts priced in by the December meeting little changed at 41bps yesterday. Later today, we’ll hear from Fed Chair Powell as well, who’s speaking at an event with the ECB’s Knot.

We’ll have to see what happens today, but for now at least, the S&P 500 (-0.02%) barely budged, which still leaves the index just 0.6% beneath its all-time high from the end of March. It was a similar story in Europe as well, where the STOXX 600 (+0.02%) narrowly eked out another all-time high. Tech outperformance saw modest gains for the NASDAQ (+0.29%) and the Magnificent 7 (+0.28%), with the latter ending a run of four consecutive declines. But the mood was slightly negative otherwise, with 9 of the 11 S&P 500 sector groups down on the day.

Perhaps the most notable equity story of the day was a + 74.4% rise for Gamestop . This followed a post on X (after a long dormant period) by Keith Hill, who gained notoriety during the 2021 meme-stock frenzy under the moniker “Roaring Kitty”. Some of the other heavily shorted stocks also saw sizeable gains, with the high short interest basket within the Russell 3000 up as much as +6.7% intra-day (+4.55% by the close). To refresh your memory GameStop went above 10 in January 2021. Two weeks later at the height of the frenzy it was trading at nearly 90. Since then it's steadily and consistently fallen back to a low of 10 three weeks ago. Last night it closed above 30 again. Let's see if that speculative craze is going to be reignited.

For sovereign bonds, there was also a subdued performance yesterday, with little major movements in either direction yesterday. Indeed, US Treasuries saw one of the larger moves of the day, with the 10yr yield down -1.0bps to 4.49%. The 10yr yield had traded nearly -4bps down on the day early in the US session but then saw a gradual increase, helped along by the NY Fed inflation expectations release. The bond moves were even smaller moves in Europe, where yields on 10yr bunds (-0.7bps), OATs (-0.5bps) and BTPs (+0.7bps) all moved by less than a basis point.

In the commodity space, oil prices recovered, with Brent up +0.77% to $83.43/bbl after falling to an 8-week low on Friday. Meanwhile, copper posted another 2-year high, up +2.36% on the day and extending its year-to-date gain to +23.5%.

In Asia, Chinese stocks are trading slightly lower with the CSI (-0.15%), Hang Sang (-0.05%) and Shanghai Composite (-0.08%) all seeing minor losses. However, the Hang Seng Tech index (+1.10%) is bucking the trend powered by a rally in Chinese tech stocks with Alibaba and Tencent Holdings reporting earnings later today. Elsewhere, the KOSPI (-0.09%) is also struggling to gain traction whilst the Nikkei (+0.05%) is trading just above flat. US equity futures are very slightly lower.

To the day ahead, and central bank speakers include Fed Chair Powell, the Fed’s Cook, the ECB’s Knot and BoE chief economist Pill. US data releases include PPI inflation for April, along with the NFIB’s small business optimism index. Otherwise, we’ll get UK unemployment for March and the German ZEW survey for May.

Tyler Durden Tue, 05/14/2024 - 06:33

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