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Friday August 30, 2013 - 15:59:45 GMT
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ECONOMIC DATA ANALYSIS - TENSIONS IN SYRIA CAST CLOUD OVER RECOVERY PROSPECTS

ECONOMIC DATA ANALYSIS  FRIDAY 30 AUGUST 2013

 

 

TENSIONS IN SYRIA CAST CLOUD OVER RECOVERY PROSPECTS

 

• Escalating tensions in Syria push oil prices above $115/barrel; EM currencies under pressure

• ECB and MPC to keep policy unchanged - for now

• US August payrolls likely to pave way for ‘tapering’ announcement at next Fed meeting

 

Although it has been a thin week for economic data, the markets have had plenty to focus on. Escalating tensions in Syria, the knock-on impact on oil prices and the gyrations in emerging markets have vied for attention amid expectations of impending Fed ‘tapering’. With the market braced for a possible military strike in Syria, geopolitical event risk looms large.

 

Upside risk to oil?... Although Syria accounts for a tiny share of world oil production, the potential ramifications of military action across the Middle

East has pushed Brent Crude to six-month highs above $115/barrel. Amid ongoing capital flight, Brazil and Indonesia were forced to raise interest rates this week to support their beleaguered currencies. Rising oil prices did little to help, with India and Turkey - both highly dependent on oil imports to support growth - coming under attack.

 

Focus on policy makers this week... Against this backdrop, the latest pronouncements from policy makers will be closely scrutinised in the coming week. The G20 reconvene, while the MPC, ECB, BoJ, BoC, RBA and Riksbank are all due to hold policy meetings. The latest US employment report will also be pored over ahead of the FOMC meeting on 18th September.

 

Markets doubt Carney...Closer to home, the disappointing reaction of the sterling bond markets to the forward guidance announcement is likely to exercise the MPC’s thinking at its upcoming policy meeting. At a speech in Nottingham this week, Governor Carney hinted strongly that policy could be loosened further if there were signs that rising market interest rates were jeopardising the recovery. This holds out the possibility of more Quantitative Easing (QE) if the economic data soften in the coming months.

 

But policy on hold for now... For now, however, there is little sign the economy is slowing. The upcoming manufacturing and services PMIs for August are both expected to post further improvements. Given signs of recovery, the MPC is highly unlikely to change policy in the coming week. If, as we suspect, the MPC decides to issue an accompanying statement, it is likely to reinforce the MPC’s view that monetary policy should remain exceptionally loose to help cement economic recovery.

 

ECB and others also on hold... Amid recent signs of economic recovery, there is no pressing need either for any further policy changes in the coming week from the ECB, BoJ BoC, RBA or Riksbank. Comments from their respective heads, however, will be watched closely - particularly those of ECB President Draghi given some recent signs of dissent on the ECB Council and the uncertainty generated by the September events calendar (which includes the German election, constitutional court ruling and possible third Greek bail-out).

 

Another solid rise in payrolls.. In the US, markets are closed on Monday for Labor Day. But it is a big week for economic data, with the August employment report, ISMs, trade data and Fed Beige Book all due. These will be watched closely ahead of a widely expected ‘tapering’ announcement from the Fed at its 18th September policy meeting We look for another solid 188k gain in payrolls, with the unemployment rate forecast to remain unchanged at 7.4%. The manufacturing and non-manufacturing ISMs are also expected to be firmer.

 

Germany and China... Elsewhere, factory orders and industrial production releases in Germany are expected to show further signs of revival. Following the improvement in the HSBC ‘flash’ PMI in China, the official manufacturing and service sector PMIs will also be watched for signs that the Chinese economy is starting to stabilise.

 

 

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15:00 US- Existing Homes Sales
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15:30 US- EIA Crude
19:00 US- FOMC Minutes
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