US index futures and European shares slumped on Tuesday in a volatile, illiquid session punctuated by some headline confusion
, while gains in Asian equities were limited after President Donald Trump said he still intends to go ahead with raising tariffs on China imports from 10% to 25% and that it was highly unlikely he would accept China’s request to refrain from the increase, just days before meeting with his counterpart Xi Jinping.
While ES losses were modest, it is worth noting that earlier in the session, S&P futures swung sharply, gaining as much as 0.5%, then falling back into negative territory, after algos misinterpreted comments from China foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang. As we reported earlier
, during a media briefing Geng first said that Presidents Trump and Xi agreed to reach mutually beneficial agreements, sparking a vicious rally in futures. Just moments later, however, futures erased gains when Geng later said he was referring to a phone call on Nov. 1. The result was the following:
Following these fireworks, contracts on the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq pointed to a drop at the opening, while Treasuries and the dollar held steady before the Fed’s top two officials were set to speak in the next 48 hours.
European equities gave up initial gains and posted small losses as basic resources and travel names underperformed, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index edging modestly lower (-0.1%), led by raw materials producers, while bonds rose across Europe and the euro currency edged lower. The pound weakened as traders mulled prospects for parliamentary approval of the Brexit deal, which Trump said could jeopardize Britain’s ability to strike a trade pact with the U.S.
Earlier in the session, Asian markets were mostly positive as the region took impetus from the performance on Wall St, where all majors finished with firm gains on return from the Thanksgiving weekend and with retailers buoyed on the back of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. ASX 200 (+1.0%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.6%) were lifted from the open with Australia led higher by tech and financials, while a pullback in USD/JPY limited the upside for the Japanese benchmark. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (-0.2%) and Shanghai
Comp. (+0.1%) were mixed with China somewhat dampened by Trump’s hardball tactics ahead of the meeting with Chinese President Xi at this week’s G20, in which he suggested an intention to proceed with raising tariffs on China imports from 10% to 25% and also warned to place tariffs on the remaining USD 267bln of Chinese imports if they fail to reach a favourable outcome for the US. Furthermore, a slowdown of Chinese Industrial Profit growth and concerns in the Hong Kong property sector also contributed the cautiousness in Chinese markets.
In addition to today's 8:30am ET comments from Fed vice chair Clarida, trade remains firmly in investors’ minds before leaders of the two biggest economies meet in Buenos Aires at the end of the week. Trump's comments that it is likely the US will slap tariffs on the remaining Chinese imports and raise tariffs on existing tariffed products have weighed on optimism for U.S. stocks, which climbed on Monday amid hopes a strong start to the holiday season thanks to record online sales will keep growth on track.
Meanwhile, Fed speakers will be closely watched for any indications of a change in Fed thinking over continued rate hikes. Today Fed vice chair's New York speech at 8:30am will be the main attraction, while Chair Powell’s speech on Wednesday will be parsed for any hints on prospects for a pause in rate increases next year after traders reduced expectations for the pace of monetary policy tightening.
Elsewhere, emerging market currencies weakened and their shares traded little changed. Bitcoin steadied near $3,700 after plunging 14 percent Monday.
In overnight political news, US Special Counsel Mueller's office said former Trump campaign manager Manafort lied to FBI and Special Counsel in violation of plea agreement.
In commodities, Brent (+0.2%) and WTI (Unch) are nursing initial losses as focus starts turning to the G20 summit over the weekend where markets may get initial hints of what to expect at the Dec 6th OPEC meeting in Vienna. The Saudi Crown Prince, Russian President and US President are to meet, possibly on the side-lines to decide the future of the global oil market. Talk around the market notes that Prince Mohammed Bin Salman may not able to defy US President Trump’s aim for lower oil prices after the White House stood behind the prince in regard to the killing of journalist Khashoggi. Nonetheless, traders will be watching the summit closely, while in the nearer-term, today will see the release of the weekly API where forecasts see headline crude stockpiles printing a drawdown of 0.6mln barrels.
Gold is trading relatively flat as the dollar holds steady following comments from Trump that overnight that he still intends to raise Chinese import tariffs to 25%; these comments come ahead of this week’s G20 summit. Additionally, US-China trade pessimism has caused copper prices to fall for the 3rd consecutive session due to demand concerns. Iron ore futures have dropped to their lowest level in over 4 months, dropping by 5% over concerns that steel prices are to remain pressured by slower demand.
Expected data include Conference Board Consumer Confidence. Bank of Nova Scotia, Couche-Tard, and Salesforce are among companies reporting earnings. Market Snapshot
Top Overnight News from Bloomberg
- S&P500 futures down 0.2% at 2,663.0
- STOXX Europe 600 up 0.07% to 358.59
- MXAP up 0.4% to 151.86
- MXAPJ up 0.3% to 486.89
- Nikkei up 0.6% to 21,952.40
- Topix up 0.7% to 1,644.16
- Hang Seng Index down 0.2% to 26,331.96
- Shanghai Composite down 0.04% to 2,574.68
- Sensex up 0.5% to 35,524.01
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1% to 5,728.28
- Kospi up 0.8% to 2,099.42
- German 10Y yield fell 1.2 bps to 0.349%
- Euro down 0.04% to $1.1323
- Italian 10Y yield fell 13.6 bps to 2.9%
- Spanish 10Y yield fell 2.6 bps to 1.536%
- Brent futures up 0.6% to $60.83/bbl
- Gold spot little changed at $1,223.10
- U.S. Dollar Index up 0.1% to 97.15
Asian equity markets were mostly positive
- President Donald Trump said he’ll likely push forward with plans to increase tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, indicating he would also slap duties on all remaining imports from the Asian nation if negotiations with China’s leader Xi Jinping fail to produce a trade deal
- U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will put her Brexit deal to Parliament for a decisive vote on Dec. 11, but after her plan was savaged from all sides, the signs are she’s on course to lose. President Trump Says Brexit deal could hurt plans for trade pact with U.S.
- The Brexit deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May will lower economic output over the coming decade compared with staying in the European Union, researchers said. The deal would lower gross domestic product per capita by between 1.9 percent and 5.5 percent versus EU membership, according to a joint paper. Leaving without a deal could lower output per head as much as 8.7 percent.
- Italy’s populist government failed to thrash out a new deficit target for the European Union in late night talks but cracks are starting to show in its battle with the bloc over spending
- Donald Trump plans to keep Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross amid speculation of a broader shakeup in the president’s Cabinet, according to three people familiar with his thinking
- European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom sounds an upbeat note about EU talks with the U.S. on revamping global commercial rules while saying the verdict is out on whether President Donald Trump’s administration will stay engaged
- The Turkish lira - - on track for its best November since 2002 -- is once again turning into a favorite for fast-money investors and hedge funds. Short-term carry positions have increased by an estimated $5.4 billion since the end of August, according to QNB Finansbank, an Istanbul-based lender
- The Brevan Howard Asia Fund bucked a difficult October for macro funds, and is posting its best return in five years, according to a person with knowledge of the matter
as the region took impetus from the performance on Wall St, where all majors finished with firm gains on return from the Thanksgiving weekend and with retailers buoyed on the back of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. ASX 200 (+1.0%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.6%) were lifted from the open with Australia led higher by tech and financials, while a pullback in USD/JPY limited the upside for the Japanese benchmark. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (-0.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.1%) were mixed with China somewhat dampened by Trump’s hardball tactics ahead of the meeting with Chinese President Xi at this week’s G20, in which he suggested an intention to proceed with raising tariffs on China imports from 10% to 25% and also warned to place tariffs on the remaining USD 267bln of Chinese imports if they fail to reach a favourable outcome for the US. Furthermore, a slowdown of Chinese Industrial Profit growth and concerns in the Hong Kong property sector also contributed the cautiousness in Chinese markets. Finally, 10yr JGBs were uneventful as prices took a breather from its extended but gradual uptrend and with today’s 40yr auction largely ignored despite increases in the b/c and accepted prices. Top Asian News
- Hong Kong’s Home Market Suffering Worst Declines Since 2016 - Day Two Rebound in Asia Stocks Closes an Eye on Trade Rhetoric - Genting Malaysia Says Fox World Lawsuit Won’t Impact Operations European cash indices gave up initial gains (Eurostoxx 50 -0.1%)
following a relatively flat open after pre-market gains in index futures were short-lived. Equity futures staged a pre-cash open rally after it was reported that a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted as stating that US President Xi and US President Trump had agreed to mutually beneficial agreements. However gains in futures markets were pared after it was later reported that this was in reference to a November 1st phone call and thus was viewed as stale by the market, particularly considering the hardball interview by Trump in the WSJ yesterday ahead of this week’s G20 summit. On an index basis, the SMI lags its peers (-0.5%) with Credit Suisse (-1.7%) lower following a broker
downgrade at Credit Suisse. In terms of sector specifics, performance is relatively mixed with slight underperformance in material names in-fitting with recent price action in the complex. To the upside, utility names modestly outperform, albeit the moves thus far across the board are relatively small in terms of magnitude. Individual movers this morning include Dialog Semiconductor (-1.4%) amid Apple-inspired losses (post-Trump threat of potential tariffs on iPhones and laptops), Apple share are down 1.7% pre-market. Elsewhere, Rexel (+1.9%) are firmer following a broker upgrade at Credit Suisse, Thomas Cook (-24.5%) shares are notably underperforming following a disappointing trading update, dragging Tui (-4.2%) lower in sympathy. Top European News
In FX, the DXY
- StanChart Is Said to Weigh a Simpler Structure to Control Costs
- Bain Is Said to Explore Takeover Bid for Germany’s Osram Licht
- UBS Takes Profit on Italy Two-Year Bonds as Budget Tensions Cool
- Thomas Cook’s Dismal Year Gets Worse With Latest Profit Warning
- Italy Compromise Has Convinced One Fund to Add European Banks
was overall bid vs G10 counterparts with the aid of the GBP weakness due to the latest Brexit developments. Moreover, Citi’s rebalancing model points to modest USD buying vs. peers going into month end, while Nordea also notes tomorrow’s HIA which is the cut-off date if companies wish to convert foreign currency into USD along with SOMA that happens to fall on Friday as well. The index is currently hovering above 97.000 within a narrow range around the big figure.
- GBP– The standout underperformer vs. peers amid comments from UK Remain loyalist Fallon who said it may be possible to delay the date UK leaves the EU to renegotiate a better deal, inflicting a blow to UK PM May’s so-called “best deal”. As such Cable fell to a low print of 1.2734 ahead of the mid-November base at 1.2724, having already given up the 1.2800 handle following comments from US President Trump who noted that UK may not be able to trade with the US, in an interview last night. If the mid-November low (or Raab trough) is breached, the next levels to note are 1.2696 (October low) and 1.2662 (YTD low). However, looking further ahead Credit Suisse is more optimistic on the outlook for Sterling, with their Cable forecast at 1.4000 by end-2019
- EUR– Holding up well vs. the pound above 0.8850 but not quite challenging the 100DMA 0.8884, though the single currency is lower vs. the buck, with the pair tripping some stops at 1.1310. Obviously, 1.1300 is nearest support and if breached more stops are reported at 1.1290.
- NZD,AUD– Notable, albeit marginal G10 outperformers vs. the buck, with the Kiwi staging another recovery following the weak data (trade overnight), and now looking ahead to the RBNZ semi-annual FSR tonight. NZD/USD hovering just below 0.6800 and AUD/USD near the middle of a 0.7270-15 band.
brent (+0.2%) and WTI (Unch) are nursing initial losses as focus starts turning to the G20 summit over the weekend where markets may get initial hints of what to expect at the Dec 6th OPEC meeting in Vienna. The Saudi Crown Prince, Russian President and US President are to meet, possibly on the side-lines to decide the future of the global oil market. Talk around the market notes that Prince Mohammed Bin Salman may not able to defy US President Trump’s aim for lower oil prices after the White House stood behind the prince in regard to the killing of journalist Khashoggi. Nonetheless, traders will be watching the summit closely, while in the nearer-term, today will see the release of the weekly API where forecasts see headline crude stockpiles printing a drawdown of 0.6mln barrels. Gold is trading relatively flat as the dollar holds steady following comments from Trump that overnight that he still intends to raise Chinese import tariffs to 25%; these comments come ahead of this week’s G20 summit. Additionally, US-China trade pessimism has caused copper prices to fall for the 3rd consecutive session due to demand concerns. Iron ore futures have dropped to their lowest level in over 4 months, dropping by 5% over concerns that steel prices are to remain pressured by slower demand. Looking at the day ahead
, we’ll get various house price data points including the September FHFA house price index reading, Q3 house price purchase index reading and September S&P CoreLogic house price data. On top of that we’ll get the November consumer confidence survey which is expected to slip nearly 2pts to 135.8 in light of the recent wobbles in the equity market. That is, however, in the context of the 18-year high that the index reached last month. Away from the data, there will be plenty of focus on Fed Vice-Chair Clarida’s speech in New York today at 8.30am ET, especially around the topics of how he characterizes recent volatility in markets and the prospects for domestic and global growth. Fellow Fed officials Bostic, Evans and George will also speak while the ECB’s Nouy, Costa and Mersch also speak at various stages. It’s worth also noting that starting today and continuing until Thursday, the three top candidates to take over from Merkel as head of the CDU will hold panel debates. US Event Calendar
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
- 9am: S&PCoreLogic CS 20-City MoM SA, est. 0.2%, prior 0.09%; CS 20- City YoY NSA, est. 5.2%, prior 5.49%
- 8:30am: Fed Vice Chairman Clarida Speaks in New York
- 9am: S&PCoreLogic CS 20- City NSA Index, prior 213.7; CS US HPI NSA Index, prior 205.8
- 10am: Conf. Board Consumer Confidence, est. 135.9, prior 137.9; Present Situation, prior 172.8; Expectations, prior 114.6
- 2:30pm: Fed’s Bostic, Evan and George Speak on Panel
We took our three year old Maisie to the building site that is our new house over the weekend and this may have been a mistake as over the last two days she keeps on asking us why our new house is broken. She was particularly upset that a lot of windows and walls were missing and said she doesn’t want to live there as it would be too cold. Meanwhile Daddy’s bank account feels broken this morning as there was talk yesterday that one of our big suppliers might be about to call in the administrators. They have a healthy deposit of ours so it’s very annoying. It’s fair to say that costs are escalating from all angles and the EMR may need to still be running from an old people’s home in 50 years time to fund this.
From broken houses to slightly less broken markets. Given that the two Mondays prior to yesterday had seen moves of -1.66% and -1.97% for the S&P 500, yesterday reversed the trend as better news percolated through on some of the negative stories that have dominated of late. The S&P 500 closed last night +1.56% with the DOW and NASDAQ also up +1.46% and +2.06% respectively. The NYFANG index advanced +3.72%, despite Apple’s underperformance (initially down -1.18% before rebounding to close +1.35%) as the US Supreme Court signalled its willingness to hear a class action lawsuit over its app store pricing. Financials really led the way with the S&P Banks index rallying +2.30% for its best day since July. They had their European counterparts to thank for that, with the STOXX Banks index (+2.91%) seeing its best single day performance since July 2017. The broader STOXX 600 closed +1.23% and DAX +1.45%.
Italy was the main catalyst as sentiment improved on the potential for more positive negotiations with the European Commission. As we reported yesterday, the weekend saw less confrontational remarks from Salvini and Juncker. In addition, Salvini said yesterday that the government is “not getting stuck” over the decimals in the deficit target while fellow Deputy Premier Di Maio confirmed that “if, as part of the negotiation, we need to reduce the forecast deficit slightly, that’s not important to us.” Di Maio went on to say that “the issue is not the conflict with the EU on a deficit of 2.4%, what’s important is that not even a single person is kept out of the core measures.” Prior to this, we also had headlines on Bloomberg suggesting that an official for the League had said that the Government was looking at a new deficit target of 2.2% to 2.3%. Late in the evening, political leaders Conte, Salvini, and Di Maio released a joint statement after their meeting, confirming their less confrontational tone and again deemphasising the decimal place of the deficit number.
As we go to print headline are coming through from Italian finance minister Castelli that the deficit target is “almost certain” to be 2.2%. The question on everyone’s lips is what is the compromise number that the European Commission could realistically accept? A deficit in the 2.2% area is still unlikely to satisfy the EC, however a willingness to negotiate might be seen as the Italian government being aware of the implications of its actions. The Commission could even accept a somewhat vague framework as a rationale to defer a formal decision on Italy until into 2019, potentially alleviating some of the near-term event risk for Italy-linked
Before all this news the FTSE MIB closed yesterday up +2.77% while Italian Banks (+4.83%) had their best day since June. Two- and ten-year BTPs rallied -11.2bps and -13.8bps respectively – albeit off their yield lows for the session. Speaking of Italy, the ECB’s Peter Praet said yesterday that there has been very limited spill-over from a tightening of financial conditions in Italy to the broader Euro Area, but that conditions in Italy are “unsustainable” and “so something will have to give.” Praet’s general tone outside of this was constructive. His comments suggested that QE will finish in December as widely expected, but also that the ECB will have to clarify was it meant by “reinvesting for an extended period of time.” Praet also confirmed that guidance is “a very strong expectation” but also noted that “downside risks have increased noticeably.” This was notable as the Council has previously said that risks are “balanced.” Praet’s speech raised the anticipation levels for Draghi, who spoke in the afternoon. While his speech was virtually a copy and paste from his last on November 16th, he was later quoted as saying that “world growth momentum has slowed considerably” which is much stronger language compared to that used in the past. The December 13 ECB meeting will be key, and our economists still expect the Governing Council to announce the end of QE. Incoming data will dictate the evolution of policy, but we still expect growth and inflation to progress sufficiently to allow for an interest rate hike in September 2019.
Praet and Draghi are scheduled to speak again this week, on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. We’ll also get several consequential communications from Federal Reserve officials, with speeches scheduled today for Vice Chair Clarida, tomorrow for Chair Powell, and Friday for NY Fed President Williams. The bottom line so far is that he doesn’t think there is sufficient evidence to ratify the market’s dovish interpretation of recent Fed communications, though that could change depending on what the Fed leadership says about the neutral rate, financial conditions, and global growth. So an important couple of speeches today and tomorrow from Clarida and Powell.
This morning in Asia markets are largely higher with the Nikkei (+0.88%), Shanghai Comp (+0.42%) and Kospi (+0.84%) all up while the Hang Seng (+0.01%) is trading flat after erasing earlier losses. Sentiment seems to have been impacted by US President Trump’s rhetoric, after an interview with the WSJ, that he will likely push forward with plans to increase tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. He also suggested that the US would likely impose tariffs on the remainder of Chinese imports ($267bn) if the trade talks on the sidelines of the G20 fail. So the pressure builds ahead of the summit. Futures on S&P 500 (-0.18%) are pointing towards a softer start.
Back to yesterday, Bund yields edged up +2.1bps yesterday with the Italy news more important than any ECB slowdown worries. That move for BTPs and Bunds means the spread between the two yesterday was -15.9bps tighter and now at the tightest level in nearly three weeks. Meanwhile Treasury yields also backed up +2.0bps and are now sitting at 3.06%. Oil had a part to play in that with Brent and Crude bouncing +3.13% and +2.54% respectively – despite the news that Saudi Arabia had again raised its oil output – perhaps with hopes that the oversupply condition will be addressed at the G20 this week or the OPEC meeting next week. Tensions between Russia and the Ukraine over the weekend seemed to have less of an impact.
Not hurting the decent day for equities yesterday was news of a merger in the Greek Banking sector, however a sub-index of Greek banks did give up an early morning surge of as much as +11.57% to finish flat. A pretty substantial move and retracement! In the US, the auto sector advanced +3.98% for its sixth best day of the year, after General Motors announced a broad new restructuring plan. It plans to cut over 14,000 jobs and close five North American manufacturing plants next year, barring an agreement with its unions. GM’s share price rose +4.79% to a four-month high.
Elsewhere on Brexit, Donald Trump has suggested PM May's Brexit agreement could threaten a US-UK trade deal. He told reporters the withdrawal agreement "sounds like a great deal for the EU" and meant the UK might not be able to trade with the US. The PM’s office insisted the deal is "very clear" the UK would be able to sign trade deals with countries around the world.
To the day ahead now, where this morning in Europe we’ll get November confidence indicators in France and Italy followed by the CBI’s retailing reported sales data in the UK for November. In the US this afternoon we’ll get various house price data points including the September FHFA house price index reading, Q3 house price purchase index reading and September S&P CoreLogic house price data. On top of that we’ll get the November consumer confidence survey which is expected to slip nearly 2pts to 135.8 in light of the recent wobbles in the equity market. That is, however, in the context of the 18-year high that the index reached last month. Away from the data, there will be plenty of focus on Fed Vice-Chair Clarida’s speech in New York today at 1.30pm GMT, especially around the topics of how he characterizes recent volatility in markets and the prospects for domestic and global growth. Fellow Fed officials Bostic, Evans and George will also speak this evening at 7.30pm GMT while the ECB’s Nouy, Costa and Mersch also speak at various stages. It’s worth also noting that starting today and continuing until Thursday, the three top candidates to take over from Merkel as head of the CDU will hold panel debates.
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