***Economic data*** - (UK) Sept CBI Industrial Trends Total Orders: -17 v -14 prior - (SZ) SNB Interest Rate Decision: Leaves 3-month Libor target rate unchanged at 0.25% - (PD) Poland Aug Avg Gross Wages M/M: -0.8 v -1.1%e; Y/Y: 4.2% v 3.9%e - (PD) Poland Aug Employment M/M: 0.00 v 0.2%e; Y/Y: 1.6% v 1.7%e - (US) Aug Producer Price Index M/M: 0.4% v 0.3%e; PPI Ex Food & Energy M/M: 0.1% v 0.1%e - (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 450K v 459Ke; Continuing Claims: 4.485M v 4.46Ke prior - (US) Q2 Current Account: -$123.3B v -$125Be - (US) July Net Long-term TIC Flows: $61.2B v $47.5Be; Total Net TIC Flows: +$63.7B v -$6.7B prior - (US) Sept Philadelphia Fed: -0.7 v +0.3e - (US) EIA Natural Gas Inventories: +103 bcf v +85 to +95 bcf estimate
- Global equity markets are underperforming this morning, with both leading European and US indices putting along in the red in the absence of positive catalysts. Before the bell US futures traded off on softness in Asian and European trading, while the numbers in the weekly jobless claims report were approximately flat with last week's figures (initial claims are at two-month lows). The disappointing September Philadelphia Fed index hasn't helped in early trading. On the bright side US Treasury TIC data showed that China resumed net purchases of US government debt for the first time in three months in July, although the purchases were part of the overall inflows into long-term US assets over the summer. Before the TIC data came out, the chairman of China's Sovereign Wealth Fund CIC warned that if US policy remains loose, China should divert resources to non-USD assets. These comments sent gold to fresh all-time highs around $1,279, although it is off its best levels in mid morning trade. Treasury Secretary Geithner is testifying before Congress this morning, and said that China "may" meet criteria for being an FX manipulator at "some point" (note that the next semi-annual Treasury Dept currency report is due out around Oct 15). Crude is near yesterday's lows, with the front-month contract trading around the $75 handle while natural gas trades down 3% post a large build in inventories. Government bond prices are under pressure in the US and most of continental Europe. Yields are higher as consensus appears to be building that economic growth broadly remains weak, but the incoming data is not alarming enough to set off a new round of quantitative easing by Central Banks. The US 10-year yield is back above 2.75% while the German Bund is approaching 2.5% once again.
- In equity news, FedEx's less than stellar first quarter report is a central topic. The firm only just met expectations and offered a very conservative forecast for its Q2. However, FedEx did tweak its full-year outlook slightly higher. The company announced plans to merge two of its freight handling units, with the goal of restoring profit margins in its freight business. FDX is down 3.5%, while competitor UPS is down 2% or so. Rockwell Collins offered an initial look at its FY11 outlook (slightly conservative, a bit below expectations) and reaffirmed its 2010 outlook. Natural gas firm Williams Companies slashed its outlook for 2010 and 2011 on lower gas prices and softness in the economy. Shares of WMB were down nearly 5% on the news, although they've come back a bit in early trading.
- There has apparently been no further Japanese intervention in FX markets since yesterday morning. USD/JPY remains comfortably above the key 85 level, trading around 85.65 in the US session. Japanese officials have telegraphed that their campaign to weaken the yen will not be a short-term effort; Vice Finance Minister Ikeda said that the government has no fixed amount in mind for intervention and has no specific target level in mind for USD/JPY. The Swiss National Bank left its three-month LIBOR target rate unchanged at 0.25% this morning, as expected, and also cut its 2011 inflation forecast. EUR/CHF popped up to 1.33 from the neighborhood of 1.3025 prior to the decision, pulling EUR/USD above 1.3100 from earlier levels below 1.30. The Swiss Francs initial move lower sparked dealer chatter of possible SNB intervention, but talk quickly pointed to the unwinding of recently built up rate hike expectations for the SNB.
***Looking Ahead*** - 12:00 (TU) Turkey Central Bank Interest Rate Decisions: Expected to leave the Benchmark Repo Rate unchanged at the current 7.00% level - 16:00 (BR) Brazil Aug Tax Collections (BRL) No est v 68.0B prior - 18:00 (CL) Chile Central Bank Interest Rate Decision: Expected to raise the Nominal Overnight Rate Target by 50bps to 2.50%
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