Investors retreated from risk trades
last night, the catalyst being
the day-old news of Dubai World's bond default (suggesting investor sentiment
at these elevated levels is fragile). Dubai World is a state owned company with
$59 billion in debt, and the ripple effect has extended to Dubai's banks (S&P placing four on negative
watch), emerging market credit default swaps, UK banks which may be exposed, and even major
equities and currencies. S&P futures (US holiday) are down 2.2%, most European
indices fell over 3%, and Shanghai lost 3.6% (in the second large outside down day this week). Gold
nudged to a fresh high, but most commodities fared poorly, copper making a
bearish outside down day. European government bonds were in demand with the US closed, 10yr EU yields moving around 10bp
US dollars were in demand amid the
credit concerns, the DXY up around 0.7%. EUR reversed all of its
previous day's gains, falling from 1.5150 to below 1.5000 and currently resting
just above. The riskier currencies fared worst. USD/CAD moved from
1.0450 to 1.0620, and ZAR (a good emerging currency barometer) lost 2.3%, both
forming bearish outside reversals. JPY stood its ground at 86.50 though,
holding yesterday's important break below 87.00.
The down-under currencies performed
similarly to the rand. AUD continued its slide post yesterday's weaker
CAPEX report, falling to just under 0.9100.
NZD followed suit to 0.7130. The AUD/NZD cross
firmed slightly to 1.2775 in line with the move to risk aversion.
No US data due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Bank of Japan minutes to October 30 meeting. As this is the meeting at which the six monthly
risk assessment and forecasts are discussed, there is more meat in this
document than in most minutes. The Board assesses that risks to the outlook are
more balanced now than six months previous - but even so, they are wary of a
balance sheet led weakening of the US and European economies blowing back on
Japan. What they do not see any risk of is an end to deflation on a two year
horizon. This was also the meeting where the decision to withdraw from CP
purchases was made, with market distorting impacts seemingly elevated in the
Eurozone Oct money supply growth
decelerated further from 1.8% yr to 0.3% yr, and growth in credit to the private sector declined by 0.8% yr.
Despite evidence of a bounce in industrial activity from the global
trade-driven crash a year ago, it is clear that the banking system remains
impaired and credit demand is very weak - key factors that will hamper European
German CPI fell 0.2% in November, weaker than market expectations. Higher fuel
prices were more than offset by subdued price pressures elsewhere. Base effects
saw annual inflation rise from 0% to 0.3%, as comparisons turn from last year's
oil price spike to the subsequent collapse.
UK CBI retail trade index saw reported sales rise
from 8 to 13 in November, the
highest in two years. Sales were seen as slightly below par for this time of
year, as opposed to being substantially lower for most of this year. The
separate quarterly survey showed a turn to net optimism (from -2 to 13) and a
slower decline in employment (from -41 to -27).
AUD/USD and NZD/USD outlook today:
The smoke from the Dubai wreckage has yet to clear, so caution reins
today. AUD may see some support at 0.9060. NZD's line of defense is 0.7080, a
break of which would be bearish for the medium term.
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Mon 19 Feb 2018
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