What is our trading focus?
Nasdaq 100 (USNAS100.I) and S&P 500 (US500.I)
Big rejection in S&P 500 futures yesterday with the index futures coming off 1.3% from the intraday highs to close below the 4,000 level. Yesterday’s upside driver was a lower than estimated US PPI print and then later the downside move was triggered by news that a rumoured Russian missile had hit Polish territory killing two persons. This morning S&P 500 futures are attempting to push above the 4,000 level again, but we want to emphasize cautiousness here as geopolitical risks remain high and markets that seem fragile and trading on thin liquidity across many markets. Today’s key earnings event in the US is Nvidia reporting after the market close.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HSIX2) and China’s CSI300 (03188:xhkg)
Hong Kong and China stocks consolidated and took a pause on the strong rally since last Friday, with Hang Seng Index losing 1% and CSI 300 Index sliding 0.7%. Chinese property names retraced. Leading private enterprise developer Country Garden (02007:xhkg) plunged 14% following the placement of new shares. Chinese EV makers underperformed, with leading names dropping by 2% to 6%. New Covid cases in mainland China went above 20,000 for the first time since April.
FX: USD volatile on risk sentiment swings yesterday
The US dollar was pummelled yesterday as the risk sentiment melt-up initially continued yesterday in early trading in the US before a missile hitting a Polish town (more below) sharply reversed sentiment. The situation has since stabilized, but the reversal of the spike put a considerable dent in tactical USD downside momentum. GBPUSD traded the most wildly ahead of today’s CPI and tomorrow’s Autumn Budget Statement, squeezing from 1.1750 early yesterday to all the way north of 1.2000 briefly before trading back to 1.1800 and closing the day south of 1.1900. The USD volatility was less pronounced elsewhere, particularly against Asian currencies. The incoming US data and risk sentiment swings around that data (or as we saw yesterday from other sources) will likely drive the next USD move.
Crude oil (CLZ2 & LCOF3)
Crude oil ended lower on Tuesday following a volatile trading session that briefly saw prices spike on news a Polish border town had been hit by a Russian-made but probably Ukrainian fired missile (see below). Overall, the crude oil market remains rangebound with demand worries currently weighing a touch harder than supply concerns driven by OPEC+ production cuts and from next month, EU sanctions against Russian oil, a development that according to the IEA may drive a 15% reduction in Russian output early next year. In China the number of virus cases have surged to near 20,000 thereby testing local authorities' appetite for maintaining the covid-zero restrictions. Focus on EIA’s weekly stock report after the API reported a 5.8m barrel drop in crude and smaller increases in fuel stocks.
Gold touched resistance at $1788 on Tuesday as the dollar hit a fresh cycle low after US PPI showed the smallest increase since mid-2021. Later in the day, a brief safe haven bid quickly fizzled out after Biden said the rocket that hit Poland was unlikely to have been fired from Russia. Demand from ETF investors – net sellers for months – remain elusive with total holdings falling to a fresh 31-month low and with that in mind expect continued consolidation and potentially a recheck of support at $1735. Resistance at $1788, the 38.2% retracement of the 2022 correction and $1804, the 200-day moving average.
US treasuries (TLT, IEF)
US treasuries punched to new local lows yesterday, with the 10-year treasury benchmark dipping below 3.80% after a likely errant missile hit a Polish town bordering Ukraine and on slightly softer than expected PPI data. But yields have rebounded today and are back to slightly below the close from last Thursday after that day’s surprisingly soft October US CPI release. Key levels are 3.50% to the downside, the pivot high around the June FOMC meeting when the Fed hiked 75 basis points for the first time for this cycle, while 4.00-4.10% is perhaps the upside swing area.
What is going on?
UK October CPI was out at 11.1% YoY, a new cycle high
This was vs. 10.7% expected and 10.1% in September. Core CPI matched the cycle high from September at 6.5% YoY, versus 6.4% expected. Sterling trades a bit weaker after the initial reaction to the data point, as higher inflation will likely require more fiscal and monetary tightening that will make the coming UK recession deeper, a sterling negative.
Missile comes down in Poland town bordering Ukraine, killing two
The source of the missiles is a mystery, with US President Biden saying after an emergency meeting with other leaders that the missile was “unlikely” to have been launched in Russia, while Poland claimed that the missile was “Russian made” and convened an emergency security meeting yesterday afternoon. Markets reacted strongly to the development initially, as Poland is a member of NATO. Russian officials said that claims of an intentional missile firing are a “deliberate provocation with the goal of escalating the situation.”
Donald Trump declares third bid for the White House in 2024
Trump was widely seen as the chief liability in a very poor Republican showing in the mid-term elections last week, with candidates strongly denying the results of the 2020 election losing badly in almost every case. The Democrats are set to gain a slightly larger majority in the Senate and the Republicans will only eke out the narrowest of majorities in the House of Representatives. As Trump still enjoys an unmatched “base” of personal popularity, it will be difficult for any Republican profile to rise up to challenge Trump, just as it is likely impossible that Trump can win independent voters and those that are not his base. It’s ideal ground for the formation of a new party.
Apple set to shift to US-based chip production
Apple shares rose over 2.1%, moving to their highest level since early November after the Apple CEO unveiled the company will be using US-made Chips from Arizona in 2024, as part of reducing its reliance on Asian chip manufacturers and shifting to producing its own. CEO Tim Cook also told staff Apple plans to expand its chip supply into European markets. The moves underscore the necessity for technology companies to reshoring semiconductors from Asia to reduce supply chain risks. These types of moves will add to inflationary pressures in the future.
US earnings recap: Walmart, Home Depot, and Sea Ltd
Yesterday’s earnings releases from these three consumer retailing companies were all better than expected with Walmart lifting guidance and beating on revenue growth. Home Depot had the most downbeat reaction from investors as the home improvement retailer’s revenue growth beat was only due to inflation and not higher volume. The biggest positive reaction was in Sea Ltd shares as the Southeast Asia gaming and e-commerce company posted a narrower operating loss and beat on revenue growth; however, the company took down guidance in its gaming division. Read more details in our earnings review note from yesterday.
US producer prices cool more than expected, clocking smallest gain in a year
Investors got another piece of evidence inflationary pressures are easing, with US producer price growth rising 8% Y/Y in October (below the 8.3% Bloomberg consensus expected and down from the 8.5% Y/Y in September). Excluding volatile food, energy, core PPI rose 6.7% Y/Y in October- when the market prices to rise 7.2%. After peaking in March at 11.7%, producer price growth has moderated from improving supply chains, softer demand, and weakening commodities prices. The Fed has therefore garnered more catalysts to slow its pace of hikes, which also provides further support to the equity market and bond markets. However, the next important data sets the Fed will be watching are due early next month; US jobs, and November CPI, which are ahead of the Fed’s next meeting (in the third week of December).
Arabica coffee (KCc1) dropped 4.4% on Tuesday
… thereby extending a rout that has seen the price retrace almost 61.8% of the 2019 to 2022 surge to a multi-year high above $2.50 per pound. Fast forward nine months and the global economic slowdown has led to a reduction in away-from-home consumption at a time where the production outlook from South America has improved. Stocks at ICE monitored warehouses have risen for the past seven days from a 20-year low and could more than double soon with more than half a million bags awaiting assessment.
A new LNG exporter is born
Mozambique is now officially a new LNG exporter after the first shipment on Monday left the Coral South floating liquefaction unit, which has a 4.4 bcm annual export capacity. This is positive news for Europe who is desperately looking for new energy suppliers since the Ukraine war has started. It was a long-decade process for Mozambique to get its first LNG supply out of the country. Based on official estimates, this is one of the largest LNG offshore fields in Africa.
What are we watching next?
Fed hawk Christopher Waller to speak on Economic Outlook tonight
Waller is an FOMC voter as he sits on the Board of Governors and is widely considered one of the most hawkish Fed members and may unleash a blast of hawkish rhetoric, although it seems the market is more likely to listen only to Fed Chair Powell himself and more importantly, at incoming data.
US October Retail Sales data today
An interesting data release is up today, the US Retail Sales for October. This data series suggests rather sluggish US growth and is reported in nominal month-on-month terms, not real- or inflation-adjusted terms. The last three months of the headline data have averaged almost exactly 0.0%, while the “ex Food and Energy” series has averaged +0.36%. Today’s headline number is expected at +1.0% MoM and +0.2% for core sales.
Earnings to watch
Today’s US earnings focus is Nvidia which is expected to deliver a 18% decline in revenue y/y to $5.8bn and EPS of $0.70 down 31% y/y as the market for GPUs is cooling down as crypto mining is becoming less profitable from lower prices on cryptocurrencies. Tencent is expected to report earnings today following a new round of layoffs announced yesterday as revenue growth is expected to be down 1% y/y in Q3.
- Today: 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 – ECB Financial Stability Review
- 1300 – Poland Oct. CPI
- 1315 – Canada Oct. Housing Starts
- 1330 – US Oct. Retail Sales
- 1330 – Canada Oct. CPI
- 1330 – US Oct. Import & Export Prices
- 1415 – US Oct. Industrial Production
- 1450 – US Fed’s Williams (Voter) to speak
- 1500 – US Nov. NAHB Housing Market Index
- 1500 – US Fed’s Barr (Voter) to testify before House Panel
- 1530 – EIA's Weekly Crude and Fuel Stock Report
- 1935 – US Fed’s Waller (Voter) to speak
- 0030 – Australia Oct. Employment Change / Unemployment Rate
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