Markets Overview: (Source: Bloomberg, FT, Reuters, DJ Newswires)
FTSE 100 Index called to open +10pts at 7185, further extending Friday’s bounce from 7000, but slowed up by falling highs resistance going back to 29 Jan’s pre-sell-off highs of 7700. Bulls need a break above overnight highs of 7220. Bears need a breach of yesterday afternoon’s lows of 7165. Watch levels: Bullish 7220, Bearish 7165
Calls for a tepid start come after Asian bourses stumbled overnight, failing to mimic Wall St’s biggest 2-day gain (Energy, Tech, Healthcare), since June 2016 thanks to stateside investors welcoming the next step in the Trump Administration’s stimulus efforts – Infrastructure spending – and 2019 budget details. However, how Trump plans to fund things (more federal cuts, other private investment) has disappointed.
US budget deficit implications have sent USD and US bond prices lower (yields higher), to hinder sentiment, with reciprocal Yen strength hampering the Nikkei, although Australia’s ASX and its Energy/Miners embraced higher oil and metals prices.
US budget deficit implications, however, sent USD and US bond prices lower (yields higher), to hinder sentiment, with reciprocal Yen strength hampering the Nikkei, although Australia’s ASX and its Energy/Miners embraced higher oil and metals prices.
UK FTSE listed Energy/Miners will thus face the benefit of higher commodity prices versus the hindrance of GBP strength which has yet to break above yesterday’s highs versus the US Dollar but remains closer to 1.39 than to 1.38, and thus a headwind. That said, we note the EUR outperforming vs USD (highest since 7 Feb), and thus a bigger negative for the German DAX.
Corporate news this morning: BHP Billiton flags $1.8bn income-tax expense after US tax reform. TUI narrows 1Q net loss and backs FY 2019 guidance. Faroe Petroleum expects 2018 production of 12-15K BOE/D. Pendragon 2017 pre-tax profit hit by shrinking margins. South African rand exposed stocks may be sensitive to the ANC demanding President Zuma steps down (old Mutual, Mondi, Investec, Mediclinic).
Gold retains its trend of shallow rising lows/narrowing channel from $1311 last Friday to trade $1325, closing in on $1330 after the USD basket broke below yesterday’s lows, to extend the downtrend from its mid-Dec peak. This came on the back of President Trump’s infrastructure spending plan and budget deficit implications and despite US inflation data due Wednesday while markets remain more volatile, thus increasing interest in the safe haven.
Crude Oil have also found support overnight thanks to the weaker USD and an easing in both oil supply (rising US shale/fracking vs OPEC production cuts) and global demand concerns after OPEC’s monthly report yesterday . US Crude oscillates around $63 and West Texas around $59.5.
In focus today will be UK Jan Consumer Price Inflation (9:30am). After a more hawkish than expected monetary policy statement from the Bank of England last week, and further such commentary from MPC members Vliege and Mccafferty, any CPI print above the 2.9% YoY consensus (a slight cooling, but still well above the bank’s 2% target) would likely seal the deal on a May rate. This would likely further strengthen GBP, with a negative knock-on for the FTSE100 via its significant international trade and thus FX translational exposure.
Note the Bank’s preferred metric, Core CPI, is expected to rise to 2.6% YoY from 2.5% in December, while Dec House Price growth retreats below 5%. The only other data print of note is US Jan Small Business Optimism (11am), expected to climb back above the 12-month average, before Japanese Q4 premim. GDP tonight (11.50pm), forecast slower.
Speakers today include stand-in German Finance Minister Altmaeier (12:15pm) whose remarks may well more for political than economy oriented in light of current coalition organisation. FOMC voting member Mester (1pm; hawkish) speaks at an Ohio Chamber of Commerce event, with audience and media Q&A, before Italian Finance Minister Padoan shares his latest thoughts (1:30pm).
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