Financial Markets Today: Quick Take – November 15, 2022
Saxo Strategy Team
Summary: Equity markets traded largely sideways, as did the US dollar after the wild sell-off late last week in the wake of the soft US CPI data. Markets in Asia traded on a strong note overnight after friendly headlines from the long Biden-Xi talk yesterday. The focus on incoming data in the days ahead will be on US PPI today and Retail Sales tomorrow, with the UK set to announce a much anticipated autumn budget statement on Thursday, likely to include new windfall taxes on power and fossil fuel companies.
What is our trading focus?
Nasdaq 100 (USNAS100.I) and S&P 500 (US500.I)
Despite a strong session in China there is little spillover effect into developed market equities with S&P 500 futures still hovering just below the 4,000 level. Today’s key events are earnings from Walmart and Home Depot, or news coming out of the G20 meeting. US equities are tilted short-term in favour of an upside move with the 200-day moving average in the S&P 500 futures at 4,080 being the natural gravitational point for the market.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HSIX2) and China’s CSI300 (03188:xhkg)
Hong Kong and China’s equity markets surged for the third day in a row, with Hang Seng Index soaring 3.4% and CSI 300 climbing 1.7%, as optimism returned to the markets due to favourable policy shifts in China regarding pandemic control and property developers’ access to funding and goodwill gestures shown by China’s President Xi and the US’ President Biden at their first face-to-face meeting after President Biden took office. China Internet companies were among the top gainers, with Alibaba (09988:xhkg) up 11%, Tencent (00700:xhkg) up 10%, and Meituan (03690:xhkg) up 6%. Investors brushed off the rise of new Covid cases to 17,772 in mainland China as well as weaker-than-expected retail sales (shrinking 0.5%) and industrial production (+5%) in October.
FX: USD still on the mat after massive downdraft on lower October CPI
After the massive two-day plunge last week on the release of the softer than expected US October CPI data on Thursday, the US dollar largely tread water in yesterday’s session, with traders unwilling to take it lower still after a huge, one-off adjustment to Fed expectations that will require more weak incoming data from the US if investors want to solidy their case for a coming Fed pivot. EURUSD continues to trade near the key 1.0350 area, which was the major low back in May and June and prior to that, back in early 2017. The first support is the 1.0200 area, the 38.2% retracement of the rally sprint, with the reversal level at 1.0100, the 61.8% retracement and near the prior important resistance. For USDJPY, while the market managed to briefly take out the 139.40, the prior major high in July, it has bounced back above 140.00 at times since yesterday.
Crude oil (CLZ2 & LCOF3) returned to the lower end of their current ranges... after OPEC cut its forecasts for global oil demand in the fourth quarter, virus infections continue to climb in China. In addition, a monthly Drilling Productivity Report from the EIA cast doubt on US shale growth and as oil production per drilled well has fallen to the lowest since July 2020. Weaker than expected China data also highlighted the risk to oil demand during the final quarter before an expected tightening driven by OPEC+ production cuts and EU sanctions against Russian oil. Focus on US economic data given its impact on risk appetite as well as IEA’s Oil Market Report for November due later today.
Gold has so far seen three shallow corrections during the run up from the post-FOMC low at $1620 on November 3, highlighting an emerging “buy-the-dip" mentality as short positions are being reduced while others trade the current positive momentum. An attempt to reverse some of last week's drop in the dollar and yields initially supported a correction but gold did not get close to test key support at $1735 before receiving a bid after Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard said it would be appropriate for the Fed to slow its monetary-tightening pace soon. Demand from ETF investors – net sellers for months – have yet to show any appetite while speculators cut their net short by 80% to –8k lots in the week to November 8. Expect some consolidation and potentially a recheck of support at $1735 with resistance at $1789 and $1804.
US treasuries (TLT, IEF)
US treasuries failed to consolidate much of last Thursday’s enormous slide in yields, with the 4.00-4.10% area the somewhat far away upside swing zone, while the next major focus lower will be on the major pivot high near 3.50% from June.
What is going on?
Xi-Biden summit sees positive headlines
After a three-hour talk between the US and Chinese heads of state, both sides issued statement suggesting a friendly reset of the tone between the two countries. The two sides are set to resume cooperation on climate change and food security and both leaders criticized Russia for its threatening the use of nuclear weapons. The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the talks represent a “new starting point” with both sides hoping “to stop the tumbling of bilateral ties and to stabilize the relationship.”
Weak incoming data from China overnight
Industrial Production rose 5% YoY in October, a slowing of the pace from the month before and below estimates of 5.3%. Retail Sales for the month were down –0.5%, far below expectations of a rise of +0.7%.
Infineon Technologies blasts earnings estimates
The German semiconductor manufacturer reports strong Q4 results (ending 30 September) with revenue at €4.14bn vs est. €3.93bn and segment profit of €1.06bn vs est. €970mn. For the current fiscal year, the company guides segment profit margin of 24% vs est. 22.2% and revenue of €15.5bn vs est. €15bn.
Fed Vice Chair Brainard mentions slowing the pace of Fed rate hikes
In an interview yesterday, Lael Brainard, widely considered the chief dove on this FOMC, confirmed forward market expectations for lowering the size of future rate hikes. After last Thursday’s softer US October CPI print, the market had already lowered expectations to a 50-bp move, so there was little market impact despite a flurry of headlines. Brainard said “It will probably be appropriate soon to move to a slower pace of increases...but I think what’s really important to emphasize, we’ve done a lot, but we have additional work to do.”
Higher US inflation expectations
... from the New York Fed’s Survey of Consumer Expectations weighed slightly on bond markets. Median one- and three-year-ahead inflation expectations increased to 5.9% and 3.1% from 5.4% and 2.9%, respectively. The median five-year-ahead inflation expectations rose to 2.4% from 2.2%. Also weighing on the markets during the session was about $12 billion corporate bond issuance.
What are we watching next?
ECB’s TLTRO repayments on Friday
This is usually a non-event for traders, only ECB watchers care about that. But this is before the European Central Bank (ECB) decided on 27 October to change the rules retroactively and increase the targeted longer-term refinancing operation (TLTRO) rates from 23 November onwards. The interest rate will be directly indexed on the ECB’s deposit rate (which could peak at 2.50 % next year) instead of being calculated over the entire life of the operation. This creates strong incentives for commercial banks to repay in advance (the bulk of the TLTRO was going to be repaid in June 2023). This is aimed to reduce the eurozone balance sheet and with that to contribute to the overall monetary policy normalisation. At this stage, it is still unclear what will be the exact consequences on the flow of credit in the eurozone. This is something to monitor, however.
Incoming US data
Traders will remain nervous around incoming US data after the wild reaction to last week’s Thursday October US CPI release. The US macro calendar highlights this week include today’s October PPI releases, the Oct. Retail Sales data on Wednesday and November NAHB Housing Market Index release the same day. Finally, the US reports October Housing Starts/Building Permits data on Thursday.
Hints of new taxes for the coming UK Autumn Budget Statement on 17 November
The new Prime minister Rishi Sunak needs to find savings worth about £30-40bn/year to convince the independent Office for Budget Responsibility that debt won’t rise across the medium-term as a percentage of GDP. At the same time, Sunak was out yesterday promising the return of the “triple lock” he suspended for 2022-23 as Chancellor, under which pensions are adjusted higher by the highest of inflation, average earnings, or 2.5%. Current Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is considering a new 40% windfall tax on electricity producers. He may also extend the current windfall tax on oil and gas producers to 2028 and raise it to 35% from 25% in Thursday’s budget statement.
Earnings to watch
Today’s US earnings focus is Walmart and Home Depot which are both giants in the US consumer sector. Walmart is expected to deliver 5.2% y/y revenue growth and lower EBITDA margin at 5.5% down from 6.3% a year ago. Home Depot is expected to deliver revenue growth of 3% y/y and unchanged EBITDA margin at 17.5% compared to a year ago. Sea Ltd is also reporting today and was at one point the darling of the market delivering high growth rates and strong returns but the last year has been brutal. Analysts expect revenue growth of 12% y/y down from a revenue growth rate of 122% y/y a year ago as e-commerce, gaming and financial services have slowed down in Southeast Asia.
- Today: Infineon Technologies, Vodafone, Alcon, Walmart, Home Depot, Sea Ltd
- Wednesday: Siemens Energy, Tencent, Experian, SSE, Nibe Industrier, Nvidia, Cisco, Lowe’s, TJX, Target
- Thursday: Siemens, Alibaba, Applied Materials, Palo Alto Networks, NetEase
- Friday: JD.com
Economic calendar highlights for today (times GMT)
- 0900 – IEA’s Oil Market Report for November
- 1000 – Germany Nov. ZEW Survey
- 1000 – Eurozone Sep. Trade BAlance
- 1000 – Eurozone Q3 GDP estimate
- 1330 – US Oct. PPI
- 1330 – Canada Sep. Manufacturing Sales
- 1400 – US Fed’s Harker (voter 2023) to speak
- 1500 – US Fed’s Barr (Voter) to speak before Senate panel
- 2130 – API's Weekly Crude and Fuel Stock report
- 0030 – Australia Q3 Wage Price Index
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