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Monday November 1, 2010 - 10:24:31 GMT
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Economics Weekly - Markets poised for action from the Fed...

Economics Weekly - 1 November 2010

 

Markets poised for action from the Fed...

 

The week will be dominated by the Mid-term elections and the FOMC meeting on Wednesday. Markets are expecting the Fed to announce upwards of $750bn of additional QE. Failure to do so will lead to unfavourable market shifts. Additionally, QE may not do a huge amount to help the economy in our view; as savers want to save and interest rates are already at rock bottom. But it should help to improve sentiment in the markets and keep down long term rates. Watch out for any changes in the Fed’s language around inflation and whether it thinks it has now done enough and how any QE will be implemented this time round. Data this week will focus on Friday’s employment numbers, where we look for a rise of nearly 90k in October, as the census-worker driven decline wears off. Meanwhile, the ISM surveys should hold up with price pressures remaining low.

 

This week’s UK highlight is Thursday’s Bank of England’s policy decision, when it is widely expected that both Bank Rate and the size of the QE programme will remain unchanged. As in October, however, it is likely that opinions on the MPC remain polarised with Andrew Sentance and Adam Posen again poised to vote in entirely different directions. The policy decision will be consistent with the latest Inflation Report forecasts (due on 11 November) and if the Bank’s outlook for growth has worsened significantly relative to August, the outcome may yet surprise. Our own view is that the BoE will ultimately expand the size of its asset purchase programme, but not before growth shows clearer signs of losing momentum - which may take several months. PMI surveys will provide some guidance on this. October data are set for release early this week and we look for a continuing picture of weaker growth, albeit with manufacturing still outperforming the services sector.

 

In the euro-zone, as in other major economic regions, the focus this week will be on the latest central bank policy meeting. We look for the ECB to keep its main refinancing rate on hold at 1%. An uneventful press conference seems in prospect although questions about an eventual ‘exit strategy’ seem likely with 3-month Euribor now having risen above 1%. In practice, while the ECB will have an eye on a reversal from its current accommodative policy stance, the generous liquidity facilities still in place for banks are a reminder of the fragility associated with the euro-zone economic recovery. Indeed, Mr. Trichet could make reference to a prospective weaker pace of activity in Q3 compared with the healthy 1% quarter-on-quarter pace seen in Q2. Preliminary Q3 GDP figures for the euro

area are released on 12 November. Elsewhere in the euro-zone, this week sees the release of final euro-zone PMI data for both the manufacturing and services sectors (see calendar).

 

Following last week’s tepid Q3 inflation data in Australia, we now expect the RBA to keep its cash policy rate unchanged at 4.5% at Tuesday’s meeting. Nonetheless, the arguments still hold for a 25bp hike and we have pushed our forecast for an interest rate hike from November to December, when the RBA will be in possession of the latest wage data. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s central bank is expected to keep its interest rate unchanged at 6.5%. But we look for the Reserve Bank of India to raise both its repo and reverse repo rate by 25bp this week, to 5.25% and 6.25%, respectively.

 

Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets Economic Research, 10 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7AE, Switchboard: 0207 626 1500. www.lloydstsbcorporatemarkets.com Bloomberg: LLOY<GO>

 

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