David Fuller and Eoin Treacy's Comment of the Day
Category - General

    Bonds Reflect Diverging Growth Prospect

    This article by Mohamed A. El-Erian for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    For the first time in a very long while, the Fed’s decision was slightly more hawkish than I had been expecting. The anticipated 25 basis-points hike in the most-watched policy rate and the openness to another hike as soon as September were accompanied by a change in projections (albeit involving just one of the key “dots”) that raised the Fed’s baseline signal for 2018 to four rate hikes from three.

    The next day, the ECB took over from the Fed in exerting systemic market influence. It incorporated in its announcement an unanticipated addendum related to the path of interest rates in 2019. Mario Draghi, the president of the ECB, provided an unexpectedly dovish addition to the bank's plan to reduce its monthly purchases under its quantitative easing program after September and, if the data support it, stop buying bonds entirely at the end of December. At a news conference, Draghi said the soonest the next rate hike could occur would be after the middle of next year.

    Taken together, these developments added up to a greater widening of the policy differential between the Fed and ECB than had been expected by markets. This was amplified by data suggesting that U.S. economic growth continues to pick up, while Europe is hitting a soft patch, if not decelerating to a lower path.

    The growth and policy differentials could widen further in the months to come, putting fully in play two notions that markets had excessively embraced last year: a synchronized pick up in global growth and more correlated central bank policies in the new era of quantitative tightening.

    Economic developments in the next few months are likely to highlight more and more that U.S. growth is a major outlier in the advanced world. The U.S. is benefiting from policy actions that fuel three simultaneous and interrelated engines: higher consumption, underpinned by a strong labor market; greater business investment, supported by relatively strong balance sheets; and increased government spending, including on account of tax cuts.

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    Trade Angst Sinks Metals and Miners as Gold Sags Most in a Month

    This article by Susanne Barton for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    The stronger dollar and speculation that a trade war will hamper demand fueled a drop in raw materials, with the Bloomberg Commodity Index declining for a second straight day. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said this week that trade is a “risk” to the outlook, and that concerns about changes in trade policy are rising even if the impacts aren’t yet seen in economic numbers.

    The tariffs mean China “won’t be importing as much of the base metals,” said Peter Thomas, a senior vice president at Chicago-based metals broker Zaner Group. “As these tariffs take affect, we’ll see less consumption from each side until it gets settled. It started with base metals and it’s pulling on gold.” China is the biggest consumer of industrial metals.

    Gold futures for August delivery fell 1.6 percent to $1,292.20 an ounce at 10:14 a.m. on the Comex in New York, on course for the biggest decline since May 15.

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    Fund That Profited From Turkey Rout Sees Aussie Dollar Slump

    This article by Matthew Burgess and Ruth Carson for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    A Sydney-based fund manager that profited from the selloff in Turkey’s bonds and currency last month now expects a slump closer to home, as a stronger greenback weighs on the Australian dollar.

    The Aussie may fall more than 10 percent to the “mid-60s” U.S. cents in 12 months, said Vimal Gor, head of income and fixed interest at Pendal Group, at a conference Thursday. A hawkish Federal Reserve will continue raising rates “until something breaks,” while its Australian counterpart stands pat, he said.

    “The U.S. is the only country that’s genuinely hiking rates, so the interest-rate differential story is giving a huge tailwind to the dollar,” Tim Hext, a Sydney-based portfolio manager in Gor’s team, said separately by telephone.

    Pendal’s view follows the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to keep interest rates at a record low 1.5 percent last week after a key unemployment metric edged higher. RBA governor Philip Lowe once again highlighted concern over the outlook for household consumption amid sluggish wages growth and high debt.

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    Email of the day on moving average calculations

    Good afternoon, I am a long-time subscriber to your wonderful website and just have a question regarding the chart library. 

    I was looking at the moving averages on daily, weekly and monthly charts in your library, and noticed that when comparing to other chart terminals like Bloomberg or sites such as StockCharts, the MA values for weekly and monthly charts don't appear to match despite the same values being inputted. As an example, I attach the weekly charts for S&P500 with the MA values of 34, 89 and 200. Interestingly, the daily charts do have MAs matching.

    I was wondering what would be the cause of this discrepancy, perhaps a different formula or method for calculating the MA? I like the way that your chart library appears to calculate the MAs, so if this is indeed the case, is there a way to use the same method for calculating the MA on, say, a Bloomberg terminal? 

    Thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from you.

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    Draghi Ends ECB Bond-Buying Era Saying Economy Can Beat Risks

    This article by Piotr Skolimowski for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Mario Draghi said the euro-area economy is strong enough to overcome increased risk, justifying the European Central Bank’s decision to halt bond purchases and end an extraordinary chapter in the decade-long struggle with financial crises and recession.

    Policy makers agreed to phase out the stimulus tool with 15 billion euros ($17.7 billion) of purchases in each of the final three months of the year, the ECB president said after his Governing Council met on Thursday in Latvia. The central bank also pledged to keep interest rates unchanged at current record lows at least through the summer of 2019.

    In doing so, officials bet that the euro-area economy is robust enough to ride out an apparent slowdown amid risks including U.S. trade tariffs and nervousness that Italy’s populist government will spark another financial crisis. Almost half of economists in a Bloomberg survey had predicted the announcement would be put off until July.

    “We’ve taken these decisions knowing that the economy is in a better situation, with an increase in uncertainty,” Draghi said at a briefing in Riga, where the Frankfurt-based ECB held its annual out-of-town meeting. “We may well have this soft patch being somewhat longer than in the staff projections in some countries.”

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    China's Economy Is Slowing Just as Trump Readies a Trade Beating

    This article from Bloomberg News may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

     

    China’s economy fell short of expectations and its central bank chose not to follow the Federal Reserve in raising borrowing costs, adding fresh caution on the outlook for global growth as trade tensions with the U.S. escalate.

    With President Donald Trump renewing threats to impose tariffs on the world’s second-largest economy, May data for industrial output, retail sales and investment all came in beneath economist forecasts on Thursday. The People’s Bank of China kept the cost of reverse-repurchase agreements steady, defying predictions it would track the Fed’s hike of Wednesday.

    Investors now face greater uncertainty over what had been the strongest global upswing since 2011. That doubt is set to fester after Trump said on Wednesday that he’ll confront China "very strongly" over commerce in coming weeks. His administration is scheduled to announce a new list of duties on Friday.

    "A slowing China will add to the challenges for the global economy," said Louis Kuijs, chief Asia economist at Oxford Economics in Hong Kong and a former International Monetary Fund researcher. "Until recently, the resilience of growth in China was an important buffer for the global economy in the face of headwinds from trade friction, slower growth in Europe, higher oil prices and issues in various emerging markets."

    Both industrial output and retail sales rose less than expected in May compared to a year ago. Fixed-asset investment growth in the first five months was the slowest since the data began in 1999, as was the investment in the services sector. The decade-long decline in investment has intensified this year, as policy-makers act to reduce leverage at state-owned companies and local governments. While that’s a deliberate policy, officials risk a worse-than-desired deceleration in growth.

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