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Thursday June 18, 2015 - 15:45:11 GMT
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| | Email US Mid-Session Update: Fed Pushes Back Rate Hike Expectations

Thu, 18 Jun 2015 11:34 AM EST

***Economic Data***
- (PT) Portugal May PPI M/M: 0.7 v 0.1% prior; Y/Y: -1.7% v -2.4% prior
- (BR) Brazil Jun IGP-M Inflation 2nd Preview: 0.6% v 0.5%e
- (PL) Poland May Sold Industrial Output M/M: -1.3% v +0.5%e; Y/Y: 2.8% v 3.3%e
- (PL) Poland May PPI M/M: 0.3% v 0.2%e; Y/Y: -2.2% v -2.2%e
- (PL) Poland May Retail Sales M/M: 0.5% v 0.5%e; Y/Y: 1.8% v 1.7%e
- (US) May CPI M/M: 0.4% v 0.5%e; Y/Y: 0.0% v 0.1%e
- (US) May CPI Ex Food and Energy M/M: 0.1% v 0.2%e; Y/Y: 1.7% v 1.8%e
- (US) May CPI Index NSA: 237.900 v 237.955e; CPI Core Index SA: 241.760 v 241.819e
- (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 267K v 277Ke; Continuing Claims: 2.222M v 2.21Me
- (US) Q1 Current Account Balance: -$133.3B v -$117.3Be
- (US) May Real Avg Weekly Earnings Y/Y: 2.3% v 2.3% prior
- (RU) Russia May Real Retail Sales M/M: 2.1% v +1.5%e; Y/Y: -9.2% v -10.0%e
- (RU) Russia May Unemployment Rate: 5.6% v 5.7%e
- (US) Jun Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook: 15.2 v 8.0e
- (US) May Leading Index: 0.7% v 0.4%e
- (US) Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories: +89 bcf v +91 to +95 bcf expected range

European equity indices closed at their highs this morning after spending much of the session in the red, aided by hopelessly optimistic headlines regarding Greece. Meanwhile US stocks are rallying after yesterday's Fed decision, in which the FOMC appeared to push back rate hike expectations. Note that the 10-year yield is giving up its earlier gains, shedding more than three basis points but is still a few basis points below where it was before the Fed decision. As of writing, the DJIA is up 1.14%, the S&P500 is up 0.96% and the Nasdaq is marking a fresh all-time intraday high, up 1.34%.

The continuing jobless claims continued to reverse the slight Memorial Day pop higher, in line with estimates. The May CPI data was a bit softer than expected, with lower food and energy prices responsible for much of the weakness. The shortfall in the monthly increase resulted in an unchanged y/y reading. The regional Philadelphia Fed June factory survey more than doubled from May to a six-month high. Unlike the negative new orders component in the June Empire State survey on Monday, Philly new orders showed an 11-point gain to 15.2.

Once again we have seen a minor surge of optimism regarding Greece, as there are reports the EU and the ECB were drafting a possible debt relief plan to be used IF Greece and the creditors reach a final deal. However, the chances for a deal are looking highly tenuous and more realistic viewpoints have also been aired. IMF Chief Lagarde warned that the payment due from Greece at the end of June was definitive and there would be no grace period or possibility of delay. Austrian Finance Minister Schelling was more direct, saying the game is over, while German CDU MP Krichbaum said Athens is wasting its time. The debt relief headline sent EUR/USD up to the low 1.1400s, where it remains.

The Fed refrained from offering any clear signals it was contemplating a September rate hike. The FOMC's updated dot chart showed fewer members are anticipating a rate hike this year, though the median dots still indicate there could be two interest rate increases this year. In addition, the Fed maintained its outlook for inflation, cut its forecast for GDP growth, and raised its unemployment expectations for the year. In a note out yesterday, Goldman Sachs said it now believes the Fed will wait until December to raise interest rates.

Shares of Fitbit opened for trading on the NYSE this morning, gaining approximately 50% from the pricing level of $20/shr last night. Heavy demand for the company's IPO had already led it to boost the size of the deal. The wearable technology firm is already profitable, with sales tripling in 2014. Its fitness trackers monitor everything from heart rate to sleep patterns. Also out today was a market research report that suggested Apple has sold 2.79M units of its smart watch since launch in April. BofA had said it expected Apple to ship 4.0M units in the June quarter, while Piper Jaffray shipments of about 2.3M units in the same period.

***Looking Ahead***
- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $7.0B in 30-Year TIPS Reopening
- 17:00 (KR) South Korea May PPI Y/Y: No est v -3.6% prior
- 23:00 (JP) Bank of Japan (BOJ) Policy Statement, expected to maintain policy at annual pace of ¥80T


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