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ECONOMIC DATA ANALYSIS - MARKETS AWAIT UK ELECTION OUTCOME

ECONOMIC DATA ANALYSIS  FRIDAY 1 MAY 2015

 

MARKETS AWAIT UK ELECTION OUTCOME

  • Post-election attempts to form a government could be more protracted than in 2010
  • US labour market figures to suggest Q2 growth pickup
  • Firming euro area growth prospects provide counterpoint to ongoing Greek negotiations

UK electoral uncertainty could still disrupt markets. With opinion polls suggesting that Thursday’s General Election might not deliver a clear victor, markets appear to be accommodating the prospect of a hung parliament. Although it remains elevated, the implied volatility of the pound against both the euro and the dollar has fallen back a little over the last few days. Moreover, sterling has rallied against the USD with a rise from $1.46 in mid-April to $1.52, while firming euro area prospects have seen it hover around €1.35. Although Gilt yields have risen sharply over the last week, this primarily reflects a general backup in global rates. To the extent that Gilt yields have outperformed their US counterparts, this appears to be largely driven by a reassessment of the relative prospects for the timing of the first policy rate hike. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that much of the market reaction to the 2010 election took place during the post-vote negotiations which led to the formation of the governing coalition. If the current polls are correct, any discussions this time around could prove to be far more protracted and possibly inconclusive. Meanwhile, with this week’s preliminary ONS print for Q1 GDP suggesting that growth slowed to 0.3% from 0.6% in Q4, and today’s disappointing manufacturing PMI for April, the services PMI for April, which is released on Wednesday, will attract considerable attention as a Q2 momentum signal. A strong outturn could strengthen the case that the Q1 growth estimate will eventually be revised up.
 
US labour market data to steady nerves.  Worries about a Q1 loss of growth momentum have not been confined to the UK, as the US has seen a steady run of downbeat releases since the turn of the year, culminating in this week’s 0.2% (saar) Q1 GDP print. Some of this softness reflected poor weather and strike activity, and like the FOMC, we anticipate a Q2 rebound. Despite the ISM manufacturing index for April remaining stable at 51.5, its forward-looking components, such as new orders, point to pickup in  activity. April’s labour market figures (Fri) are set to offer another soothing exhibit. In particular, we expect payrolls to rise by 220k (alongside a possible upward revision to last month’s 126k outturn), with the unemployment rate edging down to 5.4% from 5.5% in March. This tightening of the labour market should underpin a rise in annual pay growth from 2.1% to 2.4% which would be the fastest pace since August 2009. Such a pickup would chime with the 0.7% Q1 climb in the employment cost index and support the Fed’s expectation of inflation rising back to target over the medium term. Other US data next week include factory orders (Mon) and trade balance (Tues), both for March, as well as the April non-manufacturing ISM (Tues). Despite easing a little, the ISM outturns have remained fairly robust during Q1 with a 56.7 average monthly print compared to 57.4 in Q4.
 
Further ballast for Euro area growth. Amid concerns about Greece’s current ability to make its scheduled IMF repayment of around €750m on May 12, a breakthrough in the ongoing discussions with its creditors could see a Eurogroup meeting convened at short notice and the release of the remaining €7.2bn of  bailout funds. Meanwhile, euro area retail sales (Weds) and German industrial production (Fri) should provide further evidence in support of an anticipated Q1 pickup in regional activity from the 0.3%q/q Q4 print.
 
Australia to cut policy rate again? Since the RBA  trimmed the policy rate to 2.25% in February, growth concerns have, if anything, gathered pace. While policy makers remain concerned about the potential impact of a lower rate on house prices, the rise of the Aussie dollar against the USD could prompt another 25bps cut on Tuesday.

 

 

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Amazing Trader EVENT RISK Calendar:


Mon 20 Nov
14:00 EZ- Draghi Speech
15:00 US- Leading Indicators
Tue 21 Nov
15:00 US- Existing Homes Sales
23:00 US- Yellen Speech
Wed 22 Nov
13:30 US- Weekly Jobless
13:30 US- Durable Goods
15:00 US- final University of Michigan Survey
15:30 US- EIA Crude
19:00 US- FOMC Minutes
Thu 23 Nov
US/JP- Holiday
All Day flash PMIs
13:30 CA- Retail Sales
Fri 24 Nov
All Day flash PMIs
09:00 DE- IFO Survey
US- Early Closes

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  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH Mon -- 14:00 GMT EZ- Draghi speaks in Brussels. Looking for any policy hints or bias


  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH Tue -- 13:30 GMT US- Existing Homes Sales. Top Housing Statistic

  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH Tue -- 23:30 GMT US- Yellen Speech. Early evening. Looking for anything on policy


  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Wed -- 13:30 GMT US- Weekly Jobless, Durable Goods
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  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH Wed -- 19:00 GMT US- FOMC Policy Minutes. Key policy release


John M. Bland, MBA
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