What’s happening in markets?
Nasdaq 100 (NAS100.I) and S&P 500 (US500.I) rallied 1.5% on consumer confidence survey
US equities jumped on a bullish combination in the Conference Board Consumer Confidence survey with consumer confidence improving to an 8-month high and inflation expectations for the next 12 months falling to 6.7% in December from 7.1% in November. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 each climbed 1.5%. Nike (NKE:xnys), soaring 12.2% on an earnings beat and upbeat assessment of demand, was the best-performing stock within the S&P500 on Wednesday. All 11 sectors of the S&P500 gained, with energy, industrials, and financials leading. Energy stocks were boosted by a 2.9% rise in crude oil prices. APA (APA:xnys) gained 5.8%. Shares of FedEx climbed 3.4% after reporting a decline in earnings less than feared and plans to cut costs. Carnival rose by 4.7% after the cruise liner reported a smaller-than-expected loss. In extended-hour trading, Micron (MU:xnas) shed 2.1% following the chipmaker reporting FY23 Q1 earnings and Q2 revenue guidance weaker than expectations.
US Treasuries (TLT:xnas, IEF:xnas, SHY:xnas) finished firmer with the 2-year outperforming
Yields on the 2-year shed 4bps to 4.21% and the 10-year was 2bps richer to 3.66%. The 20-year auction went well with a decent demand from investors.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HIZ2) edged up modestly; China’s CSI300 (03188:xhkg) was flat
Hong Kong stocks started the session firmer but fizzled out to finish the session only 0.3% higher in light volume. Textiles manufacturer Shenzhou (02313:xhkg), which supplies to Nike (NKE:xnys) surged 6.7% following Nike’s upbeat outlook guidance, making the stock the top gainer in the Hang Seng Index. Chinese catering stock Haidilao (06862:xhkg) gained 4%; white goods home appliances manufacturer Haier Smart Home (06690:xhkg) climbed 2.9%. In A-shares, CSI300 closed nearly unchanged from the day before. Consumption, lodging, tourism, catering, food and beverage, and Covid drugs gained.
FX: bids for the dollar returned somewhat with USDJPY stabilized at 132.40
After sliding 3.7% on Tuesday after the BOJ decision, the USDJPY stabilized at around 143.40 for now. EURUSD edged down modestly to 1.0600. AUDUSD gained, rising to 0.6710.
Crude oil (CLF3 & LCOG3) rallied 2.9% to USD78.50 on EIA inventory drawdown
WTI crude jumped 2.9% to USD78.50 following a 5.9 million barrel drawdown on U.S. inventories reported by the EIA. The Biden administration’s plan to replenish the strategic petroleum reserve in February also helped the market sentiment.
What to consider?
Mixed U.S. data: weaker home sales, higher consumer confidence, lower inflation expectations
Economic data were mixed. The 1-year-ahead inflation expectation in the Conference Board Consumer Confidence survey softened from 7.1% in November to 6.7% in December, the lowest since September 2021. Existing home sales shrank 7.7% M/M in November, the 10th consecutive month of decline. On the other hand, Headline consumer confidence as well as the present situation and expectations components rose in the Conference Board Consumer Confidence survey. The headline consumer confidence improved to 108.2, (vs consensus 101.0; Nov: 101.4), the highest level since April this year.
China and Australia seek to improve the relationship between the two countries
During a phone call to mark the 50th anniversary of the official diplomatic relationship between China and Australia, Chin’s President Xi told Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese that China would seek to “promote a sustainable development of the China-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership”. Meanwhile, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong told reporters that China and Australia agreed to continue high-level dialogue on issues including the removal of China’s trade sanctions on Australian goods.