Global Market Quick Take: Asia – April 4, 2024 Global Market Quick Take: Asia – April 4, 2024 Global Market Quick Take: Asia – April 4, 2024

Global Market Quick Take: Asia – April 4, 2024

Macro 6 minutes to read
Charu Chanana

Head of FX Strategy

Summary:  US stock futures are pointing higher as mixed US data and Fed Chair Powell’s comments kept rate cuts on the radar, and focus turns to US jobs data release on Friday. Japan stocks also extended their recent rally and the approaching earnings season could highlight increasing shareholder returns. Meanwhile, dollar slumped but that didn’t bring gains for the Japanese yen. USDJPY still close to 152 and faces intervention threat, particularly if NFP comes in better than expectations. Gold rose to $2,300 while Copper was up 3% to its highest levels since January 2023.


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Equities: US stock futures were modestly higher after Chair Powell reiterated that rate cuts will begin at some point this year. A somewhat softer ISM services print overnight also helped the Wall Street to stem the two-day rout and focus turns to the US jobs data due on Friday. Intel fell more than 8% after it disclosed $7 billion in operating losses for its foundry business through 2023, as it lost out more business to Asian rivals including TSMC and Samsung. Disney fell over 3% as CEO Iger wins proxy vote over Peltz with board’s election, while Paramount jumped 14% on reports of a deal with Skydance. Tesla managed to close higher despite dismal Q1 delivery numbers, and price target cuts and numerous brokerages, and Saxo’s equity Strategist Peter Garnry draws parallels between Tesla and Nvidia given their elevated expectations. Read the full article here.

Meanwhile, Japan stocks opened higher by 1% on Thursday as US ISM services miss and Chair Powell comments kept rate cuts on the radar. Japanese stocks are also approaching a season of full-year earnings reports which could bring the focus back on increasing shareholder returns. HK and China markets closed lower on Wednesday and will be closed today.

FX: The dollar weakened further yesterday with the miss in ISM services once again questioning the pushback to rate cut expectations that has been priced in by markets. Strong NFP data can bring some gains back for the dollar, but it remains hard to see a strong and sustained rally from here given seasonality and technicals remain out of favor for the dollar. Japanese yen, however, failed to gain despite lower yield and dollar, and USDJPY traded to highs of 151.95 before retreating to 151.60 on dollar weakness. Lack of intervention at these levels is a clear signal that Japanese authorities are unlikely to let the markets be fixated at certain levels, but NFP beat is a key risk for yen intervention. EURUSD rose to 1.0840 despite softer EZ inflation, while GBPUSD reclaimed 1.2650. Yuan continued to test the upper limit of its trading band, and offshore CNH will be in focus today as China goes on a long weekend holiday. Read our FX note on CNH bearishness to know more.

Commodities: Weaker dollar broadly supported commodities to extend gains. OPEC+ recommended no changes to the 2mb/d cut to output which has been in place since the start of the year. The current agreement is scheduled to continue until the end of June 2024. While this was widely expected, it provides some assurance that the recent rise in tension in the Middle East has not altered the group’s view on the market. On the weekly EIA data, crude stocks saw a surprise build, against the larger-than-expected draw in the private inventory data on Tuesday night. Gasoline and Distillates both saw larger than forecasted draws. Gold touched $2,300 level while copper was up 3%, hitting its highest level since Jan 2023.

Fixed income: The 10-year yields continue to test the critical resistance at 4.35%, moving higher earlier in the session but closing right at the level yet again. A break and close above 4.35% could signal a potential rise towards 4.5%. Key to watch the non-farm payrolls report on Friday where a beat on the expectations can drive yields higher.

Macro:

  • US data was mixed. ADP employment for March came in better than expected, but ISM services was soft but still in expansion. ADP for March came in at 184k, above the expected 148k, and the prior, revised higher, 155k. Headline ISM services printed 51.4 for March printed 51.4, falling short of the 52.7 expected and 52.6 prior. Prices paid fell to 53.4 (prev. 58.6), its lowest reading since March 2020, which was a welcome sign for the markets after the pushback seen to Fed rate cut pricing recently.
  • Fed’s Bostic said he thinks it is appropriate to cut rates in Q4 this year if the economy evolves as he expects. He also said he still only expects one rate cut in 2024. Chair Powell still remained inclined to believe that the recent pickup in prices was a bump, and does not see a material change in the overall picture. He reiterated that it will likely be appropriate to cut rates at some point this year.
  • Euro-area March CPI came in a notch lower than expected at 2.4% YoY (vs. 2.5% exp and 2.6% prior) suggesting that the move below 2% maybe just a few months ahead. June rate cut is priced in with 85% odds, and the probability could pick up further.

Macro events: ECB Minutes (Mar), Riksbank Minutes (Mar), Swiss CPI (Mar), EZ/UK Services and Composite Final PMI (Mar), US Goods Trade Balance R (Feb)

Earnings: Dollarama, Lamb Weston, RPM International, Conagra Brands

In the news:

  • Taiwan Quake Jolts Production of World’s Most Advanced Chips (Bloomberg)
  • Paramount, Skydance enter exclusive merger discussion, source says (Reuters)
  • Yellen won't rule out more protections for US clean energy sector amid Chinese excess capacity (Reuters)
  • Apple reportedly exploring personal home robots (CNBC)

 

For all macro, earnings, and dividend events check Saxo’s calendar.

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