This is the last Market Insights Today for 2022. Our first edition for 2023 will be on 3 January. We would like to wish all our readers a joyous festive season and happy New Year.
What’s happening in markets?
Nasdaq 100 (NAS100.I) and S&P 500 (US500.I) reversed and fell on upward revision in Q3 GDP
U.S. equities reversed the gains from the previous session and tumbled on an upward revision in the Q3 GDP to 3.2% from the previously reported 2.9%. Coming in at 216K, the initial jobless claims increased less than the 222K expected. Investors were whipsawed by the hope of goldilocks of moderation of inflation and a soft landing and the fear of the persistent strength in the labor market and the economy preventing the Fed from lifting its foot from the brake. A day after the hope on Wednesday, investors succumbed to fear on stronger than expected economic data that were taken as bad news for the market. S&P500 fell by 1.5% and Nasdaq 100 shed 2.2% on Thursday. All 11 sectors within the S&P 500 declined, with laggards of consumer discretionary, information technology, and energy falling over 2% each. Tesla (TSLA:xnas), plunging 8.9% was once again the top loser in the S&P 500 as well as the Nasdaq 100. Please refer to Peter Garnry’s notes on more about the harsh reality that Tesla is facing. Following the gloomy demand outlook from Micron (MU:xnas), the semiconductors were sold off, with Lam Research (LRCX:xnas) falling 8.7%, Applied Material (AMAT:xnas) down 7.8%, Nvidia (NVDA:xnas) down 7%, and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD:xnas) down 5.6%.
US Treasuries (TLT:xnas, IEF:xnas, SHY:xnas) cheapened on strong economic data
Q3 GDP was revised up to 3.2% from the previously reported 2.9%. The personal consumption component was revised up to 2.3% from the previously reported 1.7% on firmer services consumption. The quarterly core PCE in the Q3 GDP report was revised up to 4.7% from the previously reported 4.6%. The monthly PCE and core PCE for November are scheduled to release today. The stronger-than-expected GDP revision saw yields on the 2-year Treasuries 6bps cheaper to 4.27%. The long-end’s reaction to the data was muted with yields on the 10-year 2bps higher to 3.68%. The demand in the 4-week and 8-week bill auctions was good while the demand in the 5-year TIPS auction is relatively subdued.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HIZ2) and China’s CSI300 (03188:xhkg) rallied on stimulus rhetoric and talk of shortening quarantine
The Hang Seng Index rallied 2.4% and CSI 300 climbed 0.4% as of writing, after China’s State Council, the People’s Bank of China, and the China Securities Regulatory Commission separately released meeting readouts or statements to pledge to implement the decisions from the recent Central Economic Work Conference to boost the economy, support the property sector, and the internet platform companies. Mega-cap China internet stocks surged, with Alibaba (09988:xhkg) up 4.1%, Tencent (00700:xhkg) up 4.1%, Meituan (03690:xhkg) up 6.8%, and Bilibili (09626:xhkg) up 9.6%. Adding to the risk-on sentiment is market chatter about the shortening of quarantine to three days. Leading retail and catering stocks soared. Xiabuxibu (00520:xhkg) jumped 15.7% and Haidilao (06862:xhkg) rose by 7.6%. Li Ning (02331) surged 7.4%. Educational services providers continued to rise in anticipation of potential loosening restrictions over the sector.
FX: US dollar little changed versus major currencies
The U.S. dollar tread water in thin trading ahead of a busy economic calendar today in the U.S. with the closely watched PCE deflators, plus personal spending, durable goods, new home sales, and the U. of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey. USDJP and EURUSD were nearly unchanged at 132.30 and 1.0600 respectively. GBPUSD was moderately lower at 1.2030, down 0.4% and AUDUSD was down 0.5% to 0.6670.
What to consider?
Japan’s November CPI in line with expectations
Japan’s national CPI released this morning came in basically in line with expectations. The headline CPI ticked up to 3.8% Y/Y from 3.7% in October but below the 3.9% consensus forecast. CPI excluding fresh food and CPI excluding fresh food and energy were as expected, being at 3.7% Y/Y (vs consensus: 3.7%, Oct: 3.6%) and 2.8% Y/Y (vs consensus: 2.8%, Oct: 2.5%) respectively in November.
US November PCE may be on course for further easing for now
US inflation is cooling, but we argue that the debate at this point needs to move away from peak inflation to how low inflation can go and how fast it can reach there. Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, the Core PCE, will continue t,o remain in focus especially after Powell has highlighted it a key metric recently at both the Brookings Institute and the December FOMC press conference. However, PCE may now slow as rapidly as CPI with the two key restraining components – goods and energy – likely to play a smaller part in PCE. Expectations are for a November reading of 5.5% Y/Y reading vs a previous reading of 6.0% Y/Y while the core is expected to come in at 4.6% Y/Y from 5.0% Y/Y in October. Still, risks to inflation remain tilted to the upside going into 2023 as financial conditions have been easing and China’s reopening brings a fresh wave of inflation risks.