dinsdag 30 mei 2017

Greek, Italian Risks Weigh On European, Global Markets; Oil, Gold Slide

Tuesday's session started off on the back foot, with the Euro first sliding on Draghi's dovish comments before Europarliament on Monday where he signaled no imminent change to ECB’s forward guidance coupled with a Bild report late on Monday according to which Greece was prepared to forego its next debt payment if not relief is offered by creditors, pushing European stocks lower as much as -0.6%. However the initial weakness reversed after Greece's Tzanakopoulos denied the Bild report, sending the Euro and European bank stocks higher from session lows. S&P futures are fractionally lower, down 3 points to 2,410.
Elsewhere, the Japanese yen rallied after strong retail sales data while US Treasuries ground higher after returning from a long weekend largely unchanged; Australian government bonds extend recent gains as 10-year yield falls as much as four basis points to 2.37%. Asian stock markets and were modestly lower; Nikkei closed unchanged despite a stronger yen. China and Hong Kong remained closed for holidays while WTI crude was little changed. Despite the rebound, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined a fourth day as data showed that contrary to expectations of a record print, euro-area economic confidence fell for the first time this year, and as Draghi’s dovish comments to the European Parliament weighed on banking shares. As discussed yesterday, Italian bonds edged lower as traders digest the prospect of an earlier-than-expected election...

As Bloomberg politely explained, the overnight pullback across several assets serves as a reminder that, while equity benchmarks across the world have posted repeated records this year, potential headwinds to the global growth story remain and investor concern lingers. Or, in other words, selling is still not illegal. Elections in the U.K., Germany and Italy are looming as Brexit negotiations begin, while in the U.S. President Donald Trump’s ability to implement spending and tax-cut plans is far from certain. Speaking on Tuesday, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said the new administration will need to fulfill the expectations that have driven the stock market higher, unless of course, the same Bullard suggests that QE4 is on the table next in which case the market will rise even higher...

“Washington does have to deliver at some point,” Bullard said in an interview on Bloomberg TV in Tokyo. “That is a concern going forward, whether the honeymoon period would end at some point and maybe the reality of American politics would settle in.” Looking at global markets, Japanese stocks ended higher despite a stronger yen, with the Topix reversing earlier losses. Data showed Japan’s jobless rate stayed at the lowest in more than two decades last month, but household spending remained in a slump while retail sales came in stronger than expected. Hong Kong and China markets were shut for a holiday.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.2 percent. Futures on the S&P 500 Index fell 2 points, or 0.1%, to 2,411. The S&P cash index closed at a new record high on Friday. In currencies, the euro traded little changed at $1.1167 as of 6:16 a.m. in New York. The British pound added 0.2 percent. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed. The yen strengthened 0.2 percent to 111.06 per dollar. The rand retreated 0.9 percent, extending losses for a second session after President Jacob Zuma survived a bid by some members of his party to oust him. Accross commodities, West Texas oil dipped back under $50, falling 0.6% to $49.52 per barrel; prices swung last week following the agreement by OPEC and its allies to extend cuts by nine months. On the U.S. calendar, we get personal spending, personal income, consumer confidence, Dallas Fed index, S&P/Case-Shiller home price, but according to SocGen, "today's data will all be forgotten by the end of the week, with US ISM on Thursday and the labour market report on Friday more likely to stick in memories." 
*) Market Wrap; S&P;
- 500 futures down 0.1% at 2,411
- Nikkei 19,677.8, down 0.02%
- Stoxx 600 390.36, -0.24%
- WTI $49.50, down 0.6%
- Brent futures down 0.8% to $51.87/bbl
- Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,265.10
- U.S. Dollar Index up 0.1% to 97.54
*) Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk;
- European equities enter the North American crossover modestly lower as UK and US return to market
- Risk drivers minimal from what we can evaluate, with the Greek payment opt-out story prompting modest flow out of EUR/JPY, and pulling USD/JPY below 111.00 as a result.
- Looking ahead, highlights include German regional & national CPIs, US Personal Spending, PCE data
*) Top Overnight News from Bloomberg;
- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said that at some point the honeymoon period will come to an end and Washington will need to deliver on the policy expectations that have driven the stock market higher
- Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams sees a “much smaller” Fed balance sheet in about five years, at the end of an unwinding process that could start with a “baby step” later this year
- First Data Corp. said it will buy CardConnect Corp. for $750 million, in what CEO Frank Bisignano called his company’s biggest acquisition since 2004
- Citigroup Inc. agreed to sell its fixed-income analytics and index business to London Stock Exchange Group Plc for $685 million in cash following a strategic review of the unit
- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was denounced by the head of Venezuela’s legislature over a report that the bank bought $2.8 billion of bonds from that country, potentially helping President Nicolas Maduro’s administration amid accusations of human-rights violations
- Euro-area economic confidence fell for the first time this year, led by weaker readings in the services and retail sectors
- Akzo Nobel NV successfully dodged a legal challenge by activist shareholder Elliott Management Corp. to oust Chairman Antony Burgmans, strengthening the Dutch paintmaker’s hand in rebuffing takeover talks with a U.S. suitor
*) Asian equity markets traded subdued after market closures in UK and US, while participants in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan remained absent for the Dragon Boat Festival. This lack of demand weighed on risk sentiment in the region, although ASX 200 (+0.8%) staged a late recovery amid gains in financials and resources, while Nikkei 225 (-0.1%) was pressured by a firmer JPY. Furthermore, political concerns in Europe also added to the cautious tone after Greece hinted at a default after it threatened to opt out of the next payment, while there were also reports that UK PM May was prepared to leave the EU without a deal. Finally, 10yr JGBs were slightly higher on safe-haven demand, although upside was capped following the 2yr JGB auction in which the b/c and accepted prices declined from the prior month.
# Top Asian News;
- Singapore Fines Credit Suisse, UOB After 1MDB-Linked Probe
- Reliance Communications Extends Tumble on Concerns Over Debt
- Japan Stocks to Watch: Mizuho, Square Enix, Rohto Pharmaceutical
- Goldman-Backed Games Startup Aims for Vietnam’s First IPO Abroad
- Japan Equity Movers: SoftBank, Hitachi Chem, Itoham, HIS, DeNA
- Abe’s Coalition Ally Warns Military Shift Could Rile Neighbors
- Asia Stocks Mixed, Euro Falls on Draghi Comments: Markets Wrap
- Japan’s Topix Advances in Thin Trading as Volatility Declines
*) In Europe, risk off sentiment filtered into the market following the long weekend in the US and UK. Despite Europe being open for trade yesterday, with negative news circulating today, noticeably, the Euro's overnight pressure extending into European trade, amid reports that Greece could opt out of their next payment, if creditors fail to agree on debt relief, however which was later denied by a Greek Government spokesman Political news continues to dictate trade, with whispers of an early Italian election being followed by comments from UK PM May, stating that the government is prepared to leave the EU without a deal. An aftermath of the first Prime Minsters debate has been evident, with both candidates coming out seemingly unconvincing. Polls have continued to tighten in the UK, with opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn stating that if he is elected, he will make sure there is a Brexit deal, however, the conservatives remain in a convincing lead in the polls.
Airline names underperform in the European morning, with British Airways' parent company, IAG weighing on the FTSE following the IT failure, which hit over 300,000 passengers over the weekend. Financials underperform, stemmed by a downgrade on European banks by Deutsche Bank, with the sector down near 1%. The recent bounce in GBP has also not helped the FTSE, with GBP/USD finding some support around 1.28, trading at session highs. The risk off sentiment has been noted in the JPY with demand notable, as USD/JPY was briefly led below 111.00 once again. Fixed income markets have slowed down following yesterday's bullish pressure, however still reside near session highs. Gilts have been noticeable, with the UK lOy spiking to new contract highs on the open. German paper has failed to continue the bid seen yesterday, trading marginally in the red around the intra-day 162.17 base. The lOy yield spread has narrowed slightly to 70.2bps, following the 9 month low seen last week.
# Top European News;
- Italy Moves Toward Early Elections as Voting Rules Deal Nears
- EU Demands for Citizens ’Ridiculously High,’ U.K.’s Davis Says
- Merkel Signals New Era for Europe as Trump Smashes Consensus
- RBS Unit Tells Euro-Long Clients Their Bullishness Is Premature
- Greece Denies Bild Report Country Would Reject Payment
- Deutsche Bank Downgrades European Banks, Tech; Upgrades Energy
# In currencies, the euro traded little changed at $1.1167 as of 6:16 a.m. in New York. The British pound added 0.2 percent. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed. The yen strengthened 0.2 percent to 111.06 per dollar. The rand retreated 0.9 percent, extending losses for a second session after President Jacob Zuma survived a bid by some members of his party to oust him. Risk drivers minimal from what we can evaluate, with the Greek payment opt-out story prompting modest flow out of EUR/JPY, and pulling USD/JPY below 111.00 as a result. Indeed, the JPY has made ground across the board, with the commodity currencies also suffering a little. China's absence hits metals price, and this has weighed on AUD and NZD but modestly so. GBP is fighting back a little as the recent narrowing in the election polls saw the Pound taking a hit late last week. Cable has come back into the mid 1.2800's, while the EUR cross rate dips into the mid 0.8600's, but traders will be wary of (more) month end flow hitting the later at some stage today and tomorrow.
# In commodities, drivers have been overlapping in recent sessions, with the rise in Oil prices into the OPEC/non OPEC meeting last week, largely supportive of a risk on mood. This saw metals prices rising, pushing the lead Copper 'benchmark' up to USD2.60. Oil has since dropped back to test the low USD48.00's in WTI, while Brent has also been reined in, but was well contained below USD51.00. WTI is now pivoting on USD50.00, but Copper is back testing the support levels from USD2.50. On the day, only Silver, Nickel, Tin and Palladium showing (small) gains on the day. Gold is still showing better levels, but has retraced from the USD1270 highs seen earlier.
# Looking at today’s calendar, we will get a first look at how consumer spending is looking in Q2 with the April personal income and spending reports (the latter expected to increase +0.4% mom). We will also receive the April PCE core and deflator readings where a modest +0.1% mom rise in the core is expected. Following that we’ll get the March S&P/Case-Shiller house price index before we then get the May consumer confidence reading (expected to decline 0.5pts to 119.8) and finally the Dallas Fed’s manufacturing survey for May. Away from the data, this evening at 1pm we are due to hear from the Fed’s Brainard who has sounded a little more positive of late....