Macroeconomics: The Day Ahead – 19 August 2020
Good Morning: The Long & the Short of it and The Bigger Picture – 19 August 2020
Written by Marc Ostwald, ADMISI’s Global Strategist & Chief Economist
- Busier day has Japan Orders & Trade and UK inflation data, ahead Canada CPI, US FOMC minutes, OPEC+ ‘technical’ meeting, likely tense Eu Council meeting; retailers still dominate US earnings; UK, Germany, Canada and US to auction debt
- UK CPI/RPI: higher than expected, but still very low; price formation disrupted and distorted, seasonal trends thrown out of kilter; nothing to see here
- Japan Orders/Trade: China exports rebound a ray of sunshine in gloomy data; H2 CapEx outlook looking quite grim
- FOMC minutes: primarily of interest on future deployment of guidance toolkit
- Governments under increasing pressure to go well beyond ‘fire-fighting’ & act on recovery measures, and prepare for labour market and education and training changes and needs pre-emptively; instil confidence
A much busier run of scheduled data and events awaits, though it remains to be seen whether it materially distracts markets from a form of summer lull, and the incessant drumbeat of pandemic and political events / headlines. There are the overnight Japan Orders and Trade and gamut of UK inflation indicators to digest, ahead of final Eurozone CPI and Canadian CPI. In event terms, the EU Council meeting may prove fractious given differing views on Greece/Turkey tensions (Germany being rather isolated), which is in term hobbling any form of united front in respect of Belarus; the OPEC+ meeting is primarily about compliance, though there may be some hints on the production outlook. None of the EM central bank meetings (Indonesia, Namibia & Zambia) are expected to see any policy changes, with the FOMC minutes and a speech by Richmond Fed’s Barkin being the highlights for G7 central banks. Retailers continue to dominate the US corporate earnings run (Lowe’s, Target & TJX), and a busier day for govt bond auctions has auctions from UK 9-yr, German 30-yr, Canadian 5-yr and US 20-yr.
In terms of the unexpectedly sharp jump in UK CPI (1.0% y/y vs. exp. / prior 0.6%) and RPI (1.6% y/y vs. exp. 1.2%, preior 1.1%), firstly it remains well below the BoE’s target and low by any historical standard. Secondly, as previously observed, price formation (in all countries) has been disrupted and distorted, and seasonal trends (and adjustments) are completely out of kilter, therefore over-interpretation is misplaced. The latter above all applies to Clothing (-0.1% y/y vs. June -2.2%) and Household Goods (+0.8% y/y vs. June -0.5%), which accounted for most of the upside miss along with Heath (3.2% y/y vs.2.1%), the latter mostly due to a jump in physiotherapy prices, again a function of lockdown easing. In other words, this modest jump is neither indicative of a pickup in inflation, nor driven by underlying demand trends.
As noted yesterday and previously, the heat is increasingly on governments to start to take action not merely to preserve existing jobs, in so far as they are in viable companies. But they also need to look at infrastructure investments that will create jobs immediately and over the longer run, and to look at measures to retrain the workforce where jobs are likely to be lost permanently as economies transition as a result of the pandemic, and the already established move away from globalization. They must above all consider how to reshape the education / vocational training system to ensure that there is not a gaping chasm in the labour market as the younger generation moves into the workforce. Fundamentalist and self-righteous ideology borne of the empty populist rhetoric that is sadly the lingua franca of current politics in too many countries is wholly misplaced. What is needed is an intelligent investigation of processes along with fiscal and legislative adjustments to encourage private sector investment in the future, as well as to shore up the often very large gaps in capacity that have been exposed by the pandemic in so many economies (developed and developing). There will be mistakes and misjudgements, but with leadership that encourages and gives hope, the situation will improve; negative, antagonistic and blame game rhetoric will only embed a climate of fear in the public psyche, and per se risk a downward spiral.
Japan – July Trade Balance / June Machinery Orders
– The Japanese data overnight saw another sharp drop in exports and imports, though broadly in line with forecasts, and a much worse than expected drop in Private Machinery Orders. The only small ray of sunshine in the Exports data was the rise in exports to China, underlining the simple point that China remains the only major economy signalling a V-shaped recovery, albeit far from broad based, but this boost was more than offset by the slump in export demand elsewhere in Asia and the rest of the world. For all that the Q2 GDP saw only a small drop in Business CapEx (after an unexpected modest rise in Q1), the Machinery Orders data are signalling a very adverse trend for H2, with Orders now down for a fourth consecutive quarter, and indeed down in 6 of the last quarters – see charts attached.
U.S.A. – FOMC minutes
– The minutes are primarily of interest in terms of what was discussed about future policy options. That is above and beyond the already very clear guidance that rates will not be going up anytime in the foreseeable future, and there will be no discussion of tightening policy until such time as unemployment gets back to pre-crisis levels (a seemingly distant prospect). The Fed has also made it crystal clear that the burden of responsibility lie with fiscal policy in the short to medium term. Recent Fed speakers have also made it abundantly clear that specific guidance (time or specific target metrics) is in the toolbox, and ready to deploy, but they see little need to deploy this at the current juncture, the same applies to Yield Curve Control, which is effectively already tacitly in place, regardless of the very modest curve steepening in recent weeks, and a more interventionist Fed approach on that front would only be triggered if this were to become an embedded steepening trend. Per se, the minutes may not offer that much for markets to react to, other than fleeting algo-driven reactions to headlines.
The information within this publication has been compiled for general purposes only. Although every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, ADM Investor Services International Limited (ADMISI) assumes no responsibility for any errors or omissions and will not update it. The views in this publication reflect solely those of the authors and not necessarily those of ADMISI or its affiliated institutions. This publication and information herein should not be considered investment advice nor an offer to sell or an invitation to invest in any products mentioned by ADMISI.
© 2020 ADM Investor Services International Limited.
For more information and to sign up for this daily market commentary please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Risk Warning: Investments in Equities, Contracts for Difference (CFDs) in any instrument, Futures, Options, Derivatives and Foreign Exchange can fluctuate in value. Investors should therefore be aware that they may not realise the initial amount invested and may incur additional liabilities. These investments may be subject to above average financial risk of loss. Investors should consider their financial circumstances, investment experience and if it is appropriate to invest. If necessary, seek independent financial advice.
ADM Investor Services International Limited, registered in England No. 2547805, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority [FRN 148474] and is a member of the London Stock Exchange. Registered office: 3rd Floor, The Minster Building, 21 Mincing Lane, London EC3R 7AG.
A subsidiary of Archer Daniels Midland Company.
© 2021 ADM Investor Services International Limited.
Futures and options trading involve significant risk of loss and may not be suitable for everyone. Therefore, carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. The information and comments contained herein is provided by ADMIS and in no way should be construed to be information provided by ADM. The author of this report did not have a financial interest in any of the contracts discussed in this report at the time the report was prepared. The information provided is designed to assist in your analysis and evaluation of the futures and options markets. However, any decisions you may make to buy, sell or hold a futures or options position on such research are entirely your own and not in any way deemed to be endorsed by or attributed to ADMIS. Copyright ADM Investor Services, Inc.