What is our trading focus?
Nasdaq 100 (USNAS100.I) and S&P 500 (US500.I)
Last was a spectacular week for equities with the MSCI World Index up 6.7% with our theme baskets e-commerce, cyber security, and semiconductors rallying 19.4%, 13.6%, and 12.8% respectively. High duration equity themes responded the most to broad-based easing of financial conditions last week and the key question is now if the market will extend its momentum. S&P 500 futures closed on Friday at the 4,000 level and have opened a bit lower this morning but are already attempting to climb back to the 4,000 level. If we look at financial conditions and where they mostly went last week there are theoretically room for a rally up 4,100 and even beyond that to the 4,200 level.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HSIX2) and China’s CSI300 (03188:xhkg)
Hang Seng Index climbed 2.7% and CSI 300 edged up 0.9% on the news that the People’s Bank of China and the Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission jointly issued a notice to financial institutions with 16 measures to address the liquidity squeeze faced by property developers through measures including the temporary relaxation of previously imposed redlines restricting banks from lending over certain ceilings to developers and calling for financial institutions to treat private enterprise developers equally with state-owned enterprises. Leading China private enterprise property developers listed in Hong Kong soared by 20% to 40% at one point.
FX: USD picking up the pieces after massive downdraft on lower October CPI
The US dollar lurched into an historic two-day plunge late last week after the release of the softer than expected US October CPI data on Thursday ahead of a three-day weekend for US rates (on Friday’s bank holiday). The move was so sharp that it can’t hope to maintain course, so for the nearest term, the market will try to feel out consolidation levels. EURUSD, for example, finally found resistance just above 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, the market managed to take out the 139.40, the prior major high in July, around where it trades this morning. Amazingly, having fallen from 151.95 to the local low of 138.46, the 200-day moving average is still quite far away, near 133.00.
Crude oil (CLZ2 & LCOF3) remains rangebound
... trading softer into the European session in response to a recovering dollar after Fed’s Waller said the FOMC has some way to go before it stops raising interest rates. Earlier in the session commodity prices in general, including oil, were supported by demand optimism after China on top easing Covid restrictions issued a rescue package for its struggling property market. A pickup in Chinese demand, despite the current headwinds from rising virus cases, when EU is preparing sanctions against Russian oil and OPEC+ is cutting production, will likely lead to further tightening of the market. Focus on US economic data given its impact on risk appetite as well as Monthly Oil Market Reports from OPEC today and the IEA tomorrow.
Gold trades softer following a two-week jump of almost 8%
… after Fed’s Waller cautioned that the FOMC isn’t close to pausing interest rate hikes. The dollar strengthened while Treasury yields moved higher after having been closed on Friday for Veterans Day. Overall, however, the sentiment in the market seems to be changing with a period of consolidation, potentially the next phase. Focus on resistance-turned-support at $1735 and whether we have seen a shift in the trading behaviour among speculators from a sell-into-strength to a buy-on-weakness. ETF investors – net sellers for months - and speculators in the futures market now hold the key that could unlock further gains. Expect some consolidation and potentially a recheck of support at $1735 with resistance at $1789 and $1804.
Industrial metals remain focussed on China
… and overnight iron ore, the key feedstock for steel production, jumped +3% after the Chinese government released a package of policies to rescue its property sector. The news came on top of last week's easing of some virus restrictions which drove a near 14% rally in the Bloomberg Industrial metals index to a five-month high. Copper, now up 25% from the July low was one of the main beneficiaries of the news, coming at a time when supplies are already showing signs of tightening. Overnight, the property news drove HG copper to a fresh five-month high at $3.96 per pound before some profit taking emerged just ahead of critical and potential sentiment as well as momentum changing resistance in the $4 to $4.05 area.
US treasuries (TLT, IEF)
US Treasury yields (10Y) closed Thursday on a weak note after the plunge on the October CPI data ahead of a three day weekend for banks (treasuries not trading, even as equity markets were open). Yields have jumped a bit here at the start of this week after Fed Board of Governors member Waller pushed back against the market’s repricing of Fed tightening intentions since that CPI release (more below) in comments overnight. The low water mark for the 10-year treasury benchmark was just above 3.80%, with a jump back above 4.00% needed to suggest that this drop in yields is temporary. The next level of note to the downside is the 3.50% area, which was the high-water mark back in June that held for about three months before new highs were posted in September.
What is going on?
AUDUSD is up 9% from its low, gaining some extra ground on China’ property rescue package
The Aussie dollar has gained ground on the back of China's introduction of a property sector rescue package. AUDUSD now trades at a two-month high, hitting 0.666 in anticipation that Australia’s trade surplus will be further supported by exports into resurgent Chinese demand after China introduced 16 property measures to address its developer liquidity crisis. On top of that that, China’s eased some covid restrictions; shortening to five-day quarantines, which is aimed at reducing the economic impact of Covid Zero.
US Fed’s Waller pushes back against market’s lowering of Fed expectations
Federal Reserve Governor (and therefore voter) Christopher Waller has been the first high profile Fed official to emerge and push back against the market’s repricing lower of the Fed’s rate tightening trajectory in comments overnight. Speaking at a Sydney, Australia conference, Waller said that “These rates are going to...stay high for a while until we see this inflation get down closer to our target”. “We’ve still got a ways to go. This isn’t ending in the next meeting or two.” The market is now pricing the Fed to reach a peak policy rate below 5.00%, either at the March or May FOMC meeting next year, with a 50-basis point hike priced for December to take the Fed Funds rate to 4.25-4.50% and slightly more than 50 basis points of further tightening priced beyond that. This is some 25 basis points below the prior peak in expectations.
Crypto market fear is spreading
On Friday, the CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX stepped down, and FTX and more than 100 affiliates filed for bankruptcy, with the filing revealing that FTX and Alameda Research (related trading firm) have liabilities in the range $10-$50 bn. Contagious effects have already appeared with examples of as Genesis has $175 mn stuck in FTX and the crypto lender BlockFi stating that they would be limiting activities in wake of the FTX collapse. As the confidence in centralized exchanges is shrinking, a record-high amount of Bitcoin was moved out of exchanges and into self-custody wallets due to increased fears of exploitation and mismanaging of user funds.
What are we watching next?
Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard to speak today
Brainard is thought to be one of the most dovish of prominent Fed figures and possibly behind what was seen as slightly dovish insertion in the November FOMC monetary policy statement before Fed Chair Powell’s press conference. What will Brainard say now that the market seems ready to pounce on a single month’s data to significantly alter its projections of Fed policy? NY Fed President and voter Williams will also speak today, with a rather busy schedule of Fed speakers in the week ahead.
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 Tuesday’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.
Major China Internet companies are scheduled to report this week
Meituan (03690:xhkg) kicks off the busy earnings calendar of China Internet companies on Monday, followed by Tencent (00700:xhkg) on Wednesday, Alibaba (09988:xhkg) on Thursday, and JD.COM (09618:xhkg) on Friday. Analysts’ estimates for top-line growth in Q3 are subdued due to weak consumption recovery and the macro environment. Slow merchandise value (GMV) growth during the Singles’ Day festival may point to a sluggish Q4 outlook. Alibaba's GMV growth during the Singles' Day festival was flat. JD.COM has not yet announced its numbers except saying GMV had positive growth Y/Y during the period (from Oct 31 evening to Nov 11 end of the day). According to estimates, eCommerce platform GMV grew about 14% Y/Y but the large traditional eCommerce platforms were estimated to see GMV growth at just around 3% Y/Y.
UK Autumn Statement on 17 November
Expect a contractionary 2023 UK Budget. 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. This is not an easy task. But this is certainly the only way for the United Kingdom to win back investor confidence after the disastrous mini-budget presented in September. All of this will likely increase the depth of the UK recession and poverty across the country. The outlook is really grim. The Bank of England expects the UK to be in recession from mid this year all the way through to mid 20024. Then growth will pick up only very modestly (annualized rate of 0.75 %). Poverty is also increasing. The country’s largest foodbank charity says 11.5 million meals were handed out over six months – more than 63.000 a day on average. This is a record. The 2023 budget will likely make things worse. The UK is facing an emerging market economy dynamic.
Earnings to watch
The Q3 earnings season is still slowing down but with important earnings releases still coming out this week. Today’s focus is Chinese e-commerce giant Meituan, Brazil-based fintech bank Nu Holdings, and finally DiDi Global which is the Uber equivalent in China. For foreign investors the earnings from Nu Holdings will get the most attention as the bank is purely technology-driven, fast growing (expected to grow net revenue 188% y/y in Q3 to $1.09bn), and has Berkshire Hathaway as one of its biggest shareholders.
- Monday: Meituan, Sonova, Tyson Foods, Nu Holdings, Trip.com, DiDi Global
- Tuesday: 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)
- 1000 – Eurozone Sep. Industrial Production
- 1630 – Switzerland SNB President Jordan to speak
- 1630 – US Fed Vice Chair Brainard to Speak
- 2030 – Weekly Commitment of Traders Report (delayed from Friday)
- During the day: OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report
- 0030 – Australia RBA Minutes
- 0120 – China Rate Decision
- 0200 – China Oct. Industrial Production / Retail Sales
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