Currency and Stock Markets. Daily Insights

stoch

Active Member
#11
USDJPY and Biden fiscal plans


There was only a brief pause of stocks in terms of bullish headlines from the US government: starting from the last week, we observe development of the store with a new aid package from the Democrats who have finally grasped full power. The size of the expected support is being revised very quickly: last week Goldman estimated the amount of stimulus at $750 billion (of which $ 300 billion will be distributed in the form of stimulus payments), then there were estimates at $1 trillion, $1.3 trillion, and before Biden's today's address to the Americans, the markets are already talking about $2 trillion. Of course, this story roots out any possibility for USD to strengthen and puts pressure on Treasury prices as the market expects a huge portion of the fresh bond supply.


Inflation in the US accelerated in December from 1.3% to 1.4% on an annualized basis, however, as we discussed earlier, the market is not surprised by this acceleration. The acceleration of inflation in the coming months is already reflected in the market inflation premium in bond yields. Comparing the yields of inflation-protected and inflation-unprotected 10-year Treasuries, it is clear that the market expects nothing in terms of interest rates, but expects in terms of inflation:





TIPS yield has changed marginally since October 2020 however 10-year bond yield has more than doubled, from 0.5% to 1.15%.


Weak inflation dynamics would have added weight to the dollar, however, the report played against it.


It was interesting to see the data on the Japanese economy for November and December. As it turned out, the economy was better at weathering through the pandemic crisis in the fourth quarter than previously thought. In general, Japanese assets and the yen look undervalued now, because in general, Japan has grown poorly in the past decade, forcing the Bank of Japan to manipulate rates (not very successfully by the way). Due to the long history of stagnation, investors could be biased about Japanese assets. In terms of data, the key for Japan industrial sector showed good activity in December - industrial orders grew by 1.5% against the forecast of -6.2%. Manufacturing inflation also accelerated - up to 0.5%, ahead of the forecast of 0.2%. If the Biden administration manages to push through the Congress new fiscal stimulus (most likely), one of the main foreign beneficiaries of this event will be Japan, which usually outperforms, but only in the early stages of global reflation. This was the case after the 2008 crisis, when the strengthening reached 80 yen per dollar.


Speaking of USDJPY, from a technical point of view, we are approaching the upper border of medium-term downward channel. Based on the bet that the pair will remain the channel (on the basis of fiscal spending outlook for the US), potential reversal zone could be located in the range 104.50-104.70:






Disclaimer: The material provided is for information purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice. The views, information, or opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual or company.

High Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% and 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Tickmill UK Ltd and Tickmill Europe Ltd respectively. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
 

stoch

Active Member
#12
What to expect from December US retail sales report?



In his Thursday address president-elect Biden announced $1.9 trillion economic recovery plan, but surprisingly, markets were not particularly excited about this. On the contrary, there was some doldrums. American indices closed in the red on Thursday, and the correctional motive has fed into to other markets today. Losses in European markets at the time of writing remain capped at 1 percent, oil quotes are noticeably lower. The dollar has recouped losses. Anticipated fiscal expansion in the US is pushing gold price up despite broad-based strengthening of greenback on Friday.



Jerome Powell said yesterday that it is premature to discuss when the Fed will begin to taper QE. This statement was expected since the Fed has no choice. If the government starts borrowing on the market again, the Central Bank will have to “collect” new debt on its balance sheet to maintain investors' appetite on the Treasury market. A side effect of this will be an increase in the money supply which is reflected in rising inflation expectations in the US and signs of a bond rout in Treasury market since the beginning on new year.



Powell warned that inflation will start to rise in the second quarter, so if inflation reports show positive aberrations from the forecasts, we still won’t be able to expect a switch to hawkish rhetoric from the Fed.



Claims for unemployment benefits for the previous week showed that the labor market is losing shape rather quickly: the number of initial claims increased from 787 to 965K. This is the highest value since August 2020. The number of continuing claims has also increased - by 141K.







It is no coincidence that Biden said that the repair of economy will start from the labor market - we see that the need for support grows quickly there.



Today the market is expected to be sensitive to the December US retail sales print. Weak NFP prompted investors to expect slowing of consumption in December and hence negative surprise in retail sales. If it turns out that the weakening of the US labor market could not break the consumer potential in the US and the growth of retail sales turns out to be higher than the expected 0%, greenback will likely fall under pressure from revival of risk-on and risky assets will get out of the corrective spiral. The negative deviation of retail sales is likely to be discounted.



Together with the report on retail sales, we expect the report of U. of Michigan to shed light on consumer spending picture in the US. The report will provide estimates of consumer optimism and inflation expectations for December. In November, the consumer confidence index dropped significantly (80.7 points) and is expected to continue to decline in December (80 points). As in the case of retail sales, the negative surprise should have been priced in, but a positive deviation will likely spur demand for risk today, as it will allow revising the effect of the labor market slack in December on the US economy.



Disclaimer: The material provided is for information purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice. The views, information, or opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual or company.



High Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% and 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Tickmill UK Ltd and Tickmill Europe Ltd respectively. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
 
#13
Three reasons for uneven equity markets growth in 2021


Stock indices of advanced economies rose on Wednesday, large ETFs investing in emerging markets saw moderate inflows on Tuesday. The speech of Janet Yellen who assumes the office of the US Treasury secretary affirmed that not only a short-sighted approach will continue in the US fiscal policy, but it may become even more pronounced. Yellen’s remark about the need to “act big” ignoring growing public debt issues was basically a signal that she, as a head of the Treasury, favors further debt accumulation as a remedy for short-term economic issues. It is clear that the US administration will float new measures to support the economy and the goal is to determine who will benefit from the spending spree.

The SPX has gained 13% since the US presidential election and during this leg of the bull market investors priced in both an early end pandemic, thanks to vaccine rollout, and economic rebound in 2021. However, as we enter in the actual phase of recovery market growth will be likely less uniform and investors will become pickier.

There are three reasons for that. First, there is a consensus taking shape that growth stocks are overbought: the gap in forward P/E for growth and value sharply widened in 2020 to the highest level in two decades, indicating that investors have accumulated the highest bias in stock preferences since the dotcom bubble:



Second, value stocks, which good part is cyclical stocks, are expected to thrive in the coming phase of higher economic growth with premium in their prices gradually dwindling. After unveiling the spending plan from the new administration, Goldman Sachs added 2 pp to the expected US GDP growth and forecasts it at 6.6% in 2021. NY Fed forecast currently implies GDP growth at 6.2% in 2021, with signs of acceleration since December 2020:



Markets probably haven’t priced in this momentum yet.

Third, policy moves from the new US administration should benefit the sectors that will drive economic growth and consumption in the future. This also implies more selective investor approach and a focus on firms and sectors that the government will favor. Biden’s plan for innovations includes increased investments in healthcare and green energy, including a move to electric vehicles, which should secure orders for companies such as GM, Ford and Tesla.

Disclaimer: The material provided is for information purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice. The views, information, or opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual or company.

High Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% and 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Tickmill UK Ltd and Tickmill Europe Ltd respectively. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
 
#14
Reflation bet in the US appears to be gaining traction

US futures and European stocks resumed rally anticipating more bullish updates from the new US administration. We saw fresh highs in S&P 500 yesterday and extension of bullish sentiment in today’s session with SPX futures hitting new peak at ~ 3860 point. Recall that we discussed possible reasons of market participants to increase their exposure in US stocks. Breaking down returns of US equity markets by indexes and taking the start of 2021 as the starting point, we see strong evidence that investors are increasing their bets on reflation (economic rebound) in the US economy:





The small caps that make up the Rusell 2000 Index posted a combined 9% return in 21 days, while returns of its peers are much lower - 2-4%. It’s well-known empirical observation that small-caps benefit from early stages of pickup phase of a business cycle and recent market developments clearly reflect the efforts of investors to price such expectations. We also see that tech sector has caught up its peers in recent days, most likely because rhetoric of the new administration is dominated by talk about stimulus and, to a lesser extent, about taxes, regulation and scary things for Nasdaq firms. This helped investors in the index to breathe out. Democrats’ discussion about income redistribution, taxes on rich and corporations should nevertheless begin later when risks for the economy subside.

Consumer prices in the UK came out higher than expected in December, what increased Pound’s appeal in the FX space. GBPUSD saw a brief bout of resistance at 1.37 and from the technical standpoints aims to break through the range with targets at new multi-year highs:





The UK economy, or rather the consumer component, judging by inflation in December, showed pretty strong resistance to a lockdown, which is a surprise for expectations.

The Bank of Japan was unable to salvage long positions in USDJPY, although it said it was too early to abandon its policy of low rates and yield curve control. The dovish stance of the Bank of Japan is factored in yen’s exchange rate and attention of investors is focused on another important factor - fiscal stimulus in the United States. Earlier, we discussed why a fiscal impulse in the US could have a positive effect on Japanese assets, and therefore increase the attractiveness of the Japanese currency.

After weak consumer inflation print in Canada as shown in the report released on Wednesday, the Bank of Canada was expected to express concerns, but it turned out exactly the opposite, which caused USDCAD to move down from 1.2990 to 1.2920. Due to the unusual stance of the Central Bank, the movement along the dovish trend in USDCAD will probably remain in force. As a macro factor, persistent upside pressure in the oil market helps CAD to stay strong. Judging by shifts in exposure in the US stock market (clear overweight in cyclical small-caps), we may also see a preparation for a breakout through local highs in the oil market. But let’s not forget that we have US shale sector which is still alive (despite Biden agenda which is long-term negative for US oil) and the US inventories, according to the latest API update rose for the first time in weeks which is definitely a worrying development for OPEC and oil market participants.

Disclaimer: The material provided is for information purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice. The views, information, or opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual or company.
High Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% and 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Tickmill UK Ltd and Tickmill Europe Ltd respectively. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
 
#15
China – new center of gravity for investors?


Asian equity markets climbed to the levels close to all-time highs on Monday amid expectations that growth in Asian economies will continue to outpace recovery of Western peers. Interestingly enough, the rally in Asian equity markets have notably accelerated compared to US stocks since the start of November 2020:




Comparison of returns of US and Asian stocks via performance of two large ETFs


Optimism in the Asian market was also fueled by the UN report which showed that China surpassed the United States in 2020 in terms of foreign direct investments (FDI). The rationale behind this is that the United States was doing worse and longer in coping with the sanitary crisis, and would therefore underperform compared to China in terms of the pace of post-crisis recovery. Investments in the United States fell 49% year-on-year, while in China they not only escaped a drop, but also grew by 4%, despite a general collapse of direct investment by 42%.

For East Asia as a whole (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan) FDI decreased by 4% in 2020, while in developed economies - by 69%.

China's recovery in the fourth quarter accelerated and GDP growth exceeded expectations. The Chinese economy ended 2020 in extremely good shape and despite the continuation of the pandemic is likely to accelerate this year.

Foreign direct investment is an indicator of investor expectations regarding the rate of return that can be expected in an economy over a 5-10 years horizon of investment.

The UN report also supported commodity currencies - AUD and NZD, which through the trading channel are sensitive to changes in Asian economic outlook. They gained 0.3 and 0.5% against the US dollar. In general, trading in the foreign exchange markets occurs today without pronounced trends, since markets are waiting for more information on the stance of the Fed, which will hold a meeting on Wednesday. Investors' focus is on the way how the US central bank will comment on the government plans to once again seek help from the debt market (to fund the next stimulus package). By the way, despite the absence of announcements of monetary easing, Fed’s balance sheet continues to expand and renew all-time highs:





which supports the stock market and keeps the trend towards compression of credit spreads (markets’ “fear” gauge):



In such situation, it is difficult to imagine what could cause a reversal in risk assets in the near future, where, among the positive catalysts, a new fiscal stimulus in the United States is expected by almost $2 trillion.

The dollar index has every chance of diving below 90 points today, if the vote in Congress on the appointment of Janet Yellen to the post of the head of the Treasury shows strong support from the Republicans. The fact is that in her last speech, Yellen basically said that “while there is an opportunity to borrow (due to low interest rates), we need to borrow”. Therefore, the level of support of Yellen from Republicans will actually reveal the number of headwinds the new stimulus package will meet in the Congress during the voting.

Disclaimer: The material provided is for information purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice. The views, information, or opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual or company.

High Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% and 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Tickmill UK Ltd and Tickmill Europe Ltd respectively. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
 

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