Financial Markets Today: Quick Take – September 13, 2022
Saxo Strategy Team
Summary: The equity market rally extended further yesterday, in part on hopes that Ukrainian battleground successes bring the chance of the war ending sooner rather than later and as natural gas prices in Europe trade at their lowest in more than a month. Today’s August US CPI release will be the critical event risk for whether the improvement in sentiment can extend. A hot core CPI number could yet spoil the party, while another soft number like July’s could boost the “peak Fed” narrative for a while and see the rally extend if treasury yields also drop in response.
What is our trading focus?
Nasdaq 100 (USNAS100.I) and S&P 500 (US500.I)
US equities extended their gains yesterday with S&P 500 futures rallying another 1.5% closing at 4,130. This morning the index futures are continuing higher as the market is clearly positioning itself for a positive US August inflation figure later today which could see S&P 500 futures extend to 4,200. It is worth keeping in mind that the medium-term outlook has not changed much on inflation and a significant slowdown in the US releasing its oil reserves could quickly add renewed pressure on energy prices. But the key event to watch today is the US August CPI report out at 12:30 GMT.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HSIU2) and China’s CSI300 (03188:xhkg)
Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Shenzhen returned from a long weekend and traded moderately higher, Hang Seng Index +0.4%, CSI 300 +0.7%. HSBC (00005:xhkg) climbed 1.8% after its CFO said the bank was considering resuming share buybacks in the second half of next year and raising staff pay in 2023. Alibaba (09988:xhkg) gained 2.4%. NIO (09866:xhkg) jumped 17.2% following analysts reiterating “buy” on the EV maker. Chinese biotech stocks traded in Hong Kong fell after US President Biden signed an executive order to develop a strategy to “mitigate risks posed by foreign adversary involvement in the biomanufacturing supply chain”, Wuxi Biologics -18.4%, Wuxi AppTec (02359:xhkg) – 14.4%, Genscript Biotech (01548:xhkg) -8.4%.
USD status, please
European currencies surged yesterday on hopes that Ukrainian battlefield successes will compound and bring peace sooner rather than later. EURUSD rose up through key local resistance at 1.0100, but the move didn’t well, with plenty of backfilling. Elsewhere, the USD is in technical limbo in pairs like USDCAD (the 1.3000 area refusing to completely let go) and AUDUSD (a strong sense that the choppy bearish trend is ending would be a solid surge-and-hold above 0.7000.) Today’s US CPI release could give us a firmer sense of USD direction, with weaker inflation across the board relative to expectations and an easing back lower of treasury yields likely required to take the USD firmly lower.
JPY crosses back higher as yields rise
Expect JPY crosses to the be the most sensitive to any sharp move in US treasury yields off the back of the US August CPI data today. After surging to new local highs yesterday, the JPY bounced back a bit. The focus in USDJPY is on the cycle top near 145.00, a break of which likely sets the clock ticking for actual market intervention from Japan’s ministry of finance.
Gold (XAUUSD) and Silver (XAGUSD)
Gold rose on Monday as the dollar extended its retreat from a record high ahead of US inflation data due later today, which could potentially slow down the pace of Fed’s rate hikes if the headline print is softer than expected. Gold tested $1734, the 21-day SMA and 38.2% retracement of the August slump, and after getting rejected it retraced to $1720 during Asian trading. Silver meanwhile jumped 5% before running into profit taking around $20 with the added support from signs of a tightening copper market and short covering from speculators who in the week to September 6 raised their short bets to a three-year high. Focus on US CPI and its impact on the dollar and future rate hike expectations.
Crude oil (CLV2 & LCOX2)
Crude oil continues to trade above levels that otherwise could signal additional weakness amid worries about demand from China due to harsh anti-virus restrictions and the world in general as central banks attempt to dampen inflation by lowering economic activity through aggressive rate hikes. Instead, the oil market, just like most other commodities, has received support from a weaker dollar and fading prospect of an Iran nuclear deal anytime soon. However, the potential for a fresh and strong upside push in crude oil has faded as the world is going through a period of lower growth. Focus being the collapse of Russian defenses in Ukraine and the response from Moscow, the impact of a potential price cap on Russian oil, and monthly oil market reports from OPEC today and IEA tomorrow.
US Treasuries (TLT, IEF)
The 10-year US Treasury benchmark traded steady near the highs for the recent cycle above 3.30% after an auction of 10-year T-notes yesterday saw demand near the lower end of the range of recent months. A 3-year treasury auction yesterday saw better demand metrics. Treasury traders are watching today’s important US CPI release for clues on whether yields will continue to rise toward the cycle top at 3.50% or ease back again. A 30-year T-bond auction is up after the CPI release today.
What is going on?
Gloomy economic outlook for the United Kingdom
According to the Office of National Statistics, UK GDP grew only 0.2 % month-over-month in July. This is less than expected (0.4 % month-over-month). The weakness is mostly centered on the industry and the construction sector. This is worrying. There is no big bank holiday effect. However, there is anecdotal evidence of a reduction in demand for power because of cost, but it was also a hot month. In addition, the UK July industrial production fell 0.3 % month-over-month versus expected +0.3 %. Expect negative print in the eurozone for the same period too.
Ocado sees big miss in Q3 on revenue
The UK online grocery retailer reports revenue of £532mn vs est. £557mn as the cost-of-living crisis bites the UK consumer. Ocado sees the value of the average basket down by 6% and energy costs are putting pressure on the operating margin.
Nintendo shares surge 5% on game launch record
The Japanese game developer announced its biggest Switch console game launch success Splatoon 3 with 3.45mn sold units in Japan in its opening weekend. The success is building on the previous years of strong sales figures for its Switch console and games sold on the console. Shares are up 745% over the past 10 years excluding dividends.
Oracle hit expectations in Q1 results
The software maker was solid in its performance in its FY23 Q1 results (ending 31 August) delivering $11.4bn in revenue up 18% y/y. The 15-17% revenue growth guidance for the current quarter is also in line with estimates and Oracle indicated that the acquisition of Cerner was going according to plan providing the company with more strengths in its cloud offering.
California’s electricity infrastructure is under severe tension
According to data released over the weekend by California Independent System Operator, demand on California’s power grid hit an all-time high on 6 September above 50,000 MW. The last two times it was close to this threshold was in 2007 and in 2017. The situation is getting worse and worse.
EU proposes mandatory cuts to power use and profit levies
It is expected that the EU draft energy plan will include mandatory power demand cut, an “exception and temporary” levy on oil, gas, coal and refining companies, as well as revenue caps for non-gas fuelled power generators. There is likely to be opposition from some of the member states, as the plan is detailed out tomorrow.
A rare “triple-dip” La Ninã spanning three northern hemisphere winters is coming
Changing temperatures around the world have led to several climate emergencies so far in 2022, from historic flooding, above average temperatures and drought. Parts of the world are expected to experience severe weather for the rest of the year and into 2023, as part of a rare "triple dip La Niña" event according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). In Australia it may lead to heavy rain and flooding in the coming months while South America and equatorial Africa could see a repeat of the droughts experienced during the past couple of years. A development that could strengthen concerns about a global food crisis with inventories of several key food items falling to a multi-year lows.
Japan producer prices remain above expectations
Japan’s August PPI was up 9.0% y/y (vs. 8.9% y/y expected) while last month’s figure was also revised higher to 9.0% y/y from 8.6% y/y previously. The m/m print was slightly softer than expected at 0.2% vs. 0.4% but continued to show rising cost pressures amid the surge in commodity prices and a weaker yen. This suggests more CPI pain is in the pipeline, and the resolve of Bank of Japan to maintain accommodative policy will continue to be tested.
New York Fed 1-year consumer inflation expectations at 10-month lows
The latest NY Fed consumer inflation expectation gauges declined sharply, suggesting easing price pressures. Expectations for US inflation over three years annualised fell to a two-year low at 2.8% in August, while the one-year ahead gauge was at 5.7%, a 10-month low. Meanwhile, inflation expectations on the five-year horizon fell to 2% annualised from 2.3% previously, suggesting that inflation expectations remain anchored.
What are we watching next?
U.S. August CPI is out today
This is a first estimate and the latest release before the Federal Reserve’s September 20-21 meeting. In July, CPI rose 8.5 % on a yearly basis (much slower than the 9.1 % increase in June). The economist consensus expects inflation to continue decelerating at 8.1 % in August. But core CPI will likely be up. This shows that inflation is broad-based and also expanding into the services sector, for instance. At Saxo Bank, we believe the peak in inflation has passed in the United States in June. But this should not influence the path of monetary policy tightening in the short-term.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting on 15-16 September
This the first time since 2019 that Asian leaders are meeting in person in a bigger strategic forum. Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are officially joining the summit and India’s Modi is expected to join as well. Given the recent military success in Ukraine, the pressures are mounting on Russia and Putin
Earnings to watch
The next important earnings release to watch is Inditex, one of Europe’s largest fashion retailers, which is expected to report revenue growth of 12% y/y in FY23 Q2 (ending 31 July) but with the operating margin expected to show downside pressure.
- Wednesday: Inditex
- Thursday: Polestar Automotive, Adobe
Economic calendar highlights for today (times GMT)
- 0800 – Norway Aug. Region Survey
- 0900 – Germany Sep. ZEW Survey
- 1000 – US Aug. NFIB Small Business Optimism
- 1230 – US Aug. CPI
- 1700 – US 30-year T-bond Auction
- 2030 – API's Weekly Report on US Oil and Fuel Inventories
- During the day: OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report
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