Mid-year rates lift off delayed? That was the question many were left pondering following the release of the January FOMC minutes earlier this morning with the committee, on balance, striking a more dovish tone that what had been envisaged by the markets. The key line from the statement is found... Show More
Job growth, yes, but it needs to accelerate - Still, despite an 15,198 increase in employment, the size of the labour market swelled by 18,789. As a consequence total unemployment increased by an additional 3,592 persons. This is a familiar trend within Australia in recent years. Yes, jobs are being... Show More
Eurogroup finance ministers have just concluded their meeting in Brussels. At this point no official announcement relating to Greek debt negotiations has been forthcoming. There have been rumours that ministers are currently working on a 6-month bridging facility that will fund the nation until a firm agreement can be reached... Show More
Stocks bid, Dollar skids, as crude oil finds some traction - The ASX 200 looks set to make it 12 gains in a row today, something that will beat the previous index record of 11 if realised, with SPI futures pointing to a gain of 39pts on the open. While... Show More
Here is the announcement from the ECB that saw US equities and Euro slump into the overnight close. From next week they will no longer accept Greek sovereign debt as collateral for liquidity operations. Clearly a political move designed to pull the new Greek government into line rather than have... Show More
Risk assets purring like a well 'oiled' machine - Another huge session for crude oil overnight with WTI and Brent front-month futures surging 5%. From their recent lows both have now put on in excess of 21% with the former, almost unbelievably, turning from a bear market into a bull... Show More
RBA eases, ultra-dovish statement suggests more to come- So what will we see from here? First and foremost we'll see downgrades to forecasts for GDP, CPI and unemployment in the RBA's statement on monetary policy on Friday. With a softer outlook for all three it's highly likely that there's at... Show More
The story in the FT released earlier this morning that saw US equity markets surge in the final hour of trade. Greece finance minister unveils plan to end debt stand-off - http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/7af4252c-ab03-11e4-91d2-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=intl#axzz3QcnJP3Xd Show More
RBA Day: Decisiveness or simply more dithering? The Reserve Bank of Australia will announce their February monetary policy decision at 2.30pm this afternoon. While I think the RBA should cut rates, in my opinion they should have moved pre-emptively late last year, keeping with tradition for being cautious and slow... Show More
Eurozone inflation, China PMI at multi-year lows in January - Chinese manufacturing activity contracted for the first time since September 2012 in January with the NBS PMI gauge slipping to 49.8. The reading was below the 50.1 level of December and expectations for an acceleration to 50.2 with weaker readings... Show More
Australian Dollar nosedives on growing rate cut expectations - The AUDUSD continued to tumble overnight with the pair hitting a low of .7721 in early North American trade, a level last seen on July 13, 2009. While heightened RBA rate cut expectations have largely fuelled the decline seen in recent... Show More
FOMC confident, RBA to cut with RBNZ stuck in neutral - 'AFTER 18 months of keeping its official interest rate unchanged, the Reserve Bank will almost certainly cut the rate at its first meeting back for the year next Tuesday'. That's the view of noted RBA-watcher Terry McCrann who, in... Show More
Video: Professor Warwick Mckibbin, former RBA Board member, talks to Sky News Business about today's Q4 CPI release. He doesn't see the RBA cutting rates near-term, although, it must be remembered, he's a noted policy hawk. http://www.skynews.com.au/video/finance/2015/01/28/professor-warwick-mckibbin-talks-inflation.html Show More
Door slammed shut on further RBA easing? Hardly. While the RBA will be pleased with the recent depreciation in the AUD, something that they've sighted on numerous occasions to assist economic rebalancing, their inaction in 2014 may come back to haunt them come 6am tomorrow morning. Should the US FOMC... Show More
Australia CPI, US FOMC await - A quiet session for the AUDUSD overnight despite a plethora of US data releases with the pair trading in a relatively-narrow band of .7915 to .7974 throughout. Today all attention will be on two things, the domestic CPI release at 11.30am along with the... Show More
ECB: Inflation or bubble builder? €60b per month, starting in March and running through to September 2016, consisting of purchases of sovereign and private-sector securities with durations of 2 to 30 years for the former regardless of yield. Securities must be investment grade, some exceptions will apply to nation's part... Show More
Bank of Canada slashes rates, RBA next? The Bank of Canada shocked markets overnight, slashing interest rates by 0.25% to 0.75%. In the accompanying monetary policy statement released alongside the rate announcement the Bank noted that the decision was 'in response to the recent sharp drop in oil prices, which... Show More
ECB bets placed, markets revert to holding pattern - The ASX 200 looks set to play catch up today to gains recorded offshore with SPI futures pointing to a rise of 17pts on the open. While the index is due a bounce, it has underperformed most major international bourses of... Show More
China GDP tops estimates in Q4 - Chinese Q4 GDP data has just been released with the annualised figure coming in ahead of market expectations. From a year earlier the economy grew by 7.3%, above forecasts for a decline to 7.2%. http://www.scuttpartners.com.au/news/china-gdp-tops-estimates-q4/ Show More
China GDP: ECB and 'Grexit' speculation to take a back seat - Speculation over ECB quantitative easing and Greek elections this Sunday will temporarily take a back seat today as markets await the release of major Chinese data later in the session. SPI futures point to a decline of 5pts... Show More
Thanks mate, there was a bit to cover in the macro space.
History suggests they will. Still, the RBA's own AUD trade-weighted index fell only 3% in 2014 - it's not all about the USD, particularly when the vast majority of our international trade is centred in Asia. As for lower fuel costs remember that in December US retail volumes fell 0.9% despite consumer confidence soaring. Hardly a reliable correlation, at least in the short-term.
Euro QE will not bring the US tightening forward, if anything it'll delay it even further. They're already experiencing disinflation and there's signs in corporate earnings/data that the higher USD is already creating negative economic headwinds. Hiking rates will only enhance the USD bid, create greater disinflationary pressures and make the US corporate sector even less competitive. Needless to say I disagree with the call.
The key thing with the trade data is that the FOB values are estimates only, not actual. Given the movements in spot prices I suspect we'll eventually get significant downward revisions.
Here is a link to the site if you're having problems viewing the charts http://www.scuttpartners.com.au/news/chart-deluge-asset-price-australian-dollar-asx-200-performance-2014/
Here's a link to a story the Economist ran in 2011 looking at FOMC GDP forecasts out to 2013. Obviously the reality was far lower than expectations http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2011/06/feds-forecasts
Here is the FOMC's 'dot chart' for fed funds rate projections at the beginning of 2012. Obviously it's likely to be 0-0.25% at the conclusion of 2014 http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/files/fomcprojtabl20120125.pdf
Along with the persistent notion that the Fed will hold off tightening should markets begin to wobble, if you look at the FOMC forecasts over the past few years there is a clear pattern of members grossly overestimating the path for the Fed funds rate.
The best form of AUD jawboning Stevens could have done overnight was not do the interview. The reality is that unemployment is at a 12-year high and people are concerned about job security given the deterioration in the economy. In my view RBA are making the same mistake as they did in 2011, keeping policy too tight for too long. Stability in interest rates is nothing compared to knowing you're getting a reliable pay check when it comes to building confidence.
Stevens has a dig a politicians, and rightly so in my opinion. However, despite warning them of the need for an adult discussion on the economy, the RBA should be more concerned on the odds of that actually occurring. Unfortunately they're not high, and in my book that means that they will have to do more of the heavy lifting. With consumption a large component of GDP, unemployment growing and consumer sentiment so low, something will have to give.
No, pretty much weak across the board. While headlines about an income recession may have amplified the result it's still something that impacts every Australian. Will be interesting to see if sentiment recovers in January.
Looking forward to seeing the asset allocation results in the days ahead given sentiment is skewed towards lower rates domestically.
Like your take, Stephen. Very similar to mine. The statement basically lists a whole list of reasons why they should be easing, and even how they could lower the AUD given divergent monetary policy settings, yet in the end they keep rates at levels that fostering spluttering economic performance.
Like your take, Stephen. Very similar to mine. The statement basically lists a whole array of reasons why they should be easing, and even how they could lower the AUD given divergent monetary policy settings, yet in the end they keep rates at levels that fostering spluttering economic performance.
Nothing like talking your own book, right?
Key question remains will APRA introduce targeted macroprudential measures? There's some signs that investor activity is starting to slow, albeit following a very large upswing. Would be helpful to put them in place even it's for future cycles, not the current one. Would allow for far greater flexibility for the RBA should they be put in place.
If interest-only investor lending is deemed riskier than others then capital weightings should be increased to reflect this, in my opinion at least. One problem that continues to persist is the risk-weightings on business lending. They're higher for a reason but also act as a deterrent to SME's looking to invest in a highish-rate, low-growth environment. Hard to get the animal spirits to awaken given the circumstances.
Great read for anyone looking for the key global macro drivers as we head towards year-end. Throw in the December FOMC policy decision, including updated economic forecasts and 'dots' chart, along with a raft of important domestic data including Q3 GDP, and we're assured of market volatility as liquidity begins to dry up.
If you compare it to the same metric, yes.
If priced in US Dollars, the ASX 200 peaked at 7073 points back in mid-March 2013.
The one glaring omission from this report is the currency movement. It is comparing nominal performance when the two indices are priced in different currencies - the S&P 500 in USD, the ASX 200 in AUD. When comparing the performance of any two asset classes it must be done using the same metric to gauge the 'real' return.
Some quiet significant falls. While one week does not make a trend it's certainly interesting that Sydney and Melbourne, the two cities that have featured heavily in RBA rhetoric of late, saw rates drop sharply. Do you think it's increased chatter about macroprudential tools being implemented or something else, for instance, increased vendor expectations?
Cheers, great update. Will be interesting to see what happens in the weeks ahead, particularly given monetary and regulatory policy implications.
Like the format, Westy. Is this going to be a regular morning piece from now on?
Yes. It's largely central bank policy, while attempting to spur new business investment, that has helped feed short-term thinking amongst corporates. This has seen a massive misallocation of capital to liquid paper markets that offer short-term returns instead of investment in the real economy. Hard to get animal spirits to awaken when all your focus is on beating next quarters forecasts.
Good wrap, Westy. What would you deem to be the greatest moral hazard for the ECB? Purchasing sovereign or commercial debt? Either way it looks like they'll end up being a 'bad bank', either for the public or private sector. Still, given the BoJ are basically the market for longer-dated JGB debt, I can't see the market getting upset whichever way ECB step.
I dare say QE, something that was designed to drive down borrowing costs to spur the private-sector, is the chief catalyst behind record profit levels in the States. Commodity price deflation, growing population levels along with a reluctance to reinvest are also factors.
Yes, slightly expensive from a historic perspective but, of course, these are anything but ordinary times. Good point re energy and financing costs.
Great read, Westy. While many attributed the recent falls to other factors - Ebola, Europe and Fed fund rate expectations just to name a few, many seasoned professionals put the sell off down to stretched valuations in US equities. Has the current earnings season put pay to that notion, setting the scene for fresh highs into year-end, or do you see other risk factors that could potentially derail the rebound that markets are currently discounting? Certainly, unless the FOMC says otherwise, central bank policy looks even more supportive compared to when markets were at their previous peaks.
Here is a follow up article from the Economist that contains an info-graphic on the predicted Senate outcome. With the Republicans almost certain to hold the House all focus will be on the Senate, and the prospect of the Democrats losing their 5 seat majority. It's likely that Obama will now face a hostile congress for the remainder of his Presidential term. Something to consider with US debt ceiling negotiations arriving at the end of Q1 next year. http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2014/10/us-mid-terms-interactive
Yes, will be interesting to see whether the aggressive lift off signalled by FOMC participants in September will be mirrored in the poll result. Early days but most are already indicating a Q4 2015 start date, or later.
Great to see you posting, Pete. High quality analysis as always.
The result look good because the ECB's 'adverse' scenario doesn't factor in any likelihood of deflation. They'd look significantly worse if that criteria had been tweaked. Has already raised plenty of scepticism about robustness of the testing, particularly as many member states are already experiencing deflation. My biggest gripe is that just because the ECB don't forecast it why it is not deemed a risk? As we've seen from them on numerous occasions their forecasts, and then reality, often don't come close.
Although we haven't received the Q3 WPI as yet. We will 'probably' have real wages growth once it's released next month.
A consequence of the ongoing push to automate markets rather than a capitulation in my opinion. Given that 85%+ of volumes on any given day is pumped through via HFT, it looks exactly like a momentum play, initially to downside and then to the upside. To me that explains the intraday performance of the less-liquid Russell 2000.
When you have many pinning their hopes purely on 'Santa Claus' you have to be somewhat cautious after the run we've had.