The latest employment report had every economist scratching their head. The stunning 2.51 million jobs created in May is leading many investors to become even more optimistic that the underlying economy is improving. The worst might be behind us but risks remain to the outlook. Some investors believe unprecedented stimulus from global central banks will drive the economic rebound and continue to support their dollar bearish bets. If the global economic revival continues, a tall task at hand when you consider the China risk and coronavirus second wave concerns, the greenback losing streak could continue.
The week ahead will focus the Fed’s upcoming rate decision and reopening momentum across the globe. Two highly coveted reports will also be released by the World Bank and the OECD, which will only represent their best guess on how the global economic recovery will turn out. Investors will also pay attention to the euro-area finance ministers’ next round of talks with the EU’s recovery package and the Eurogroup presidency succession. US-China trade tensions will also remain a focal point as both sides continue to exchange jabs.
After getting an A for their swift and strong response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Fed now needs to wait and see how the recovery unfolds. Wednesday’s policy decision announcement should be an easy one for Powell and company. The next natural step seems for them to consider adopting yield-curve control. This would make the Fed target yields for possibly two-or five-year maturities.
Following a surprisingly robust nonfarm payroll report, many investors will start to doubt we may see another strong fiscal response by the US government. Stimulus provided stocks a safety net, but now the next part of the rally will solely rely on improving economic activity.
The reopening of the US economy continues with New York City expected to reach their first phase of reopening on Monday. While New York continues to have the right trajectory regarding new coronavirus cases, concerns are growing that the recent protests could result in a significant spike of cases. Health experts are also growing cautious that many parts of the country are starting to see higher cases and that could eventually derail many states from reaching their next reopening phase.
President Trump was always in re-election mode, but now he can resume in-person funding. Trump’s first fundraiser in two months will take place on Thursday in Dallas with 25 attendees. The election is under five months away and the recent trend has former-VP Biden slowly widening his lead. It is still very early, but financial markets will soon need to start pricing in the possibility that Biden could win the Presidency and that the Democrats could take the Senate back.
The economy is continuing to reopen, despite widespread concern about whether measures are being unwound too soon. Still, the numbers continue to improve. That will be tested in the coming weeks though, especially if the good weather continues and people flock to beaches and parks.
The ECB increased purchases under PEPP by €600 billion this week and extended it until June 2021, taking the program to €1.35 trillion and asset purchases under all programs this year to a record €1.4 trillion. The move comes on top of the proposed recovery package from the European Commission last week and no doubt contributed to the ongoing rally in equity markets this week. Central banks once again proving that any talk of policy tools being exhausted is extremely premature.
The lira has steadied over the last few weeks. It’s more than 6% off its lows but still around 15% below January levels. The decline in the dollar recently may have alleviated some of the pressure on the currency, if that reverses, the lira’s good fortune could change fast. But the economy is emerging from the lockdown and reported coronavirus cases have fallen considerably. The crisis is far from over and the economy had major problems long before the pandemic but the situation appears to be improving.
China Balance of trade released on Sunday. Deterioration expected. Large miss either way will set the tone for Monday in Asia. Otherwise markets will be susceptible to increased trade/Hong Kong rhetoric.
Protests have died down for now over the securities law. Possible resurgence this weekend. HSBC and Stan Chart under fire for backing China’s HK security law. No significant data this week.
Economy starts reopening this week which should be positive for markets. Standoff with China continues in the Himalayas and non-bank financial woes continue to impact sentiment. No significant data.
AUD and equity rally continue with strong momentum. NAB biz confidence Tuesday and Westpac cons. Confidence Wednesday. Neither are likely to have more than short-term impact. AUD and Aust. equities are a strong proxy for global recovery. Sentiment and news in that space will be the primary risk/driver.
Japan’s final GDP Q1 on Monday. Machinery orders and PPI Wednesday. Industrial Production Friday. Nikkei has performed strongly, but repeated outbreaks of COVID-19 in Tokyo could sap sentiment. Supplementary budget before Parliament this week.
After much back and forth, it seems OPEC + is poised to meet over the weekend to finalize a production cut extension deal. The holdup was Iraq and late on Thursday they announced they will fully implement their share of oil production cuts by the end of July. Oil prices headed for a sixth weekly gain but are slightly softer as energy traders are taking the Iraqi announcement “with a grain of salt.” Iraq has a new government and is desperate for cash, so compliance is likely to be short-lived. A deadlock could have flooded the oil market and undermined the unprecedented oil price recovery.
Now that the Saudis and Russians are working together again, the focus for this next round of OPEC+ talks are with the cheaters, primarily Iraq (Nigeria, Angola and Kazakhstan). The risk seems low that they will fail to reach an agreement to extend cuts for one more month, but if talks stall oil prices will tank. There still could be a chance that they manage to stretch the cut deal to three months, but energy traders would be extremely skeptical that compliance would remain high beyond July. Floating oil storage levels have moderated over the past few weeks and tank top concerns have eased, but if the floodgates are released, we could see another major selloff. OPEC+ should still be motivated to keep prices firm here, but if WTI crude rallies above $45, they will be saving the US shale industry.
A big part of yesterday’s oil rally came from American Airlines announcement that they will boost their July flights by 74% from the prior month, as the US consumer seems ready to return to travel. The crude demand recovery expects air travel to lag, so any surprises with improving air travel will be very supportive for oil prices. The 74% increase would however only represent about 40% of what was done last year. Jet fuel and diesel products saw sharp increases. Some insiders are also questioning the inventory data and that the government may have overreported. If we see a correction with the reporting of US inventories, that may help bring the market to balance a lot faster. Hurricane season is here, and fears are high this could be one of the worst ones since 2005 when we had Hurricane Katrina. Tropical Storm Cristobal has already forced some oil platforms to be evacuated as it still has a chance of strengthening to a hurricane. The US Gulf’s offshore energy region is bracing for Cristobal and it seems that unexpected disruptions to production could be a recurring theme this summer.
Gold prices have been under pressure after a miraculous stock market run that seems to be showing some signs of plateauing. Friday’s surprisingly strong nonfarm payroll report also dealt a strong blow to gold bulls, taking prices well below the $1700 level. Gold is looking vulnerable in the short-term, but should still be supported as a choppy global economic recovery will continue to see the majority of central banks remain accommodative. Despite some calls for the Fed to slow down, the amount of stimulus that is being pumped into the global economy will provide a nice safety-net for gold prices.
With the Presidential election under five months away, tensions with China are unlikely to be alleviated anytime soon and that should provide underlying support for gold. Eventually the tit-for-tat trade war will force China to come down on US tech and that will put significant pressure with this historic stock market rebound. The dollar is weakening, trade tensions are here to stay, risks for a second wave of the coronavirus are just a handful of reasons why it will be difficult for a downtrend to form for gold.
Bitcoin traders had some humble pie after the latest attempt above $10,000 saw a main crypto-exchange deliver another key outage during another volatile trading day. Bitcoin mania was making a comeback as institution interest grows and hedge funds scramble for risky bets to make up for underperformance.
Institutional traders will not tolerate exchange crashes, so it will be interesting to see if Bitcoin interest starts to fade again. The only thing certain about Bitcoin is that volatility is likely to remain elevated. Bitcoin’s true believers however seem determined to see this out until prices return to record territory, so extreme selloffs should not surprise anyone.
Key Economic Releases and Events
Saturday June 6th
Possible OPEC+ meeting
Sunday, June 7th
Possible OPEC+ meeting
Australian Markets observe Queen’s Birthday
CNY China May Trade Balance: $40.0Be v $45.3B prior; Exports Y/Y: -6.5%e v +3.5% prior; Imports Y/Y: -7.8%e v -14.2% prior
7:50pm JPY Japan Q1 Final GDP Q/Q: -0.5%e v -0.9% prelim; Annualized SA Q/Q: -2.1%e v -3.4%prelim
7:50pm JPY Japan Apr Current Account (JPY): 360Be v 942.3B prior
Monday, June 8th
ECB President Lagarde attends European Parliament hearing
2:00am EUR Germany Apr Industrial Production M/M: -15.5%e v -9.2% prior
4:30am EUR Eurozone Jun Sentix Investor Confidence: No est v -41.8 prior
8:15am CAD Housing Starts: No est v 171.3K prior
9:00pm NZD Jun Prelim ANZ Business Confidence: No est v -41.8 prior
9:30pm AUD May NAB Business Confidence: No est v -46 prior
Tuesday, June 9th
5:00am EUR Eurozone Q1 Final GDP Q/Q: -3.8%e v -3.8% prelim; Y/Y: -3.2%e v -3.2% prior
6:00am USD NFIB Small Business Optimism: 91.5e v 90.9 prior
9:30pm CNY May CPI Y/Y: 2.6%e v 3.3% prior; PPI Y/Y: -3.2%e v -3.1% prior
9:30pm AUD Jun Westpac Consumer Confidence M/M: No est v 16.4% prior
Wednesday, June 10th
The OECD releases its economic outlook
2:45am EUR France May Industrial Production M/M: No est v -16.2% prior
8:30am USD Apr CPI M/M: 0.0%e v -0.8% prior; Y/Y: 0.3%e v 0.3% prior
10:30am Crude Oil Inventories
2:00pm FOMC Interest Rate Decision: No changes to interest rates expected; could discuss yield curve control
2:30pm Fed Chair Powell Press Conference
Thursday, June 11th
Euro-area finance ministers meet to discuss the EU’s recovery package and Eurogroup presidency succession.
2:30am EUR May Bank of France Ind. Sentiment: No est v 48 prior
8:30am USD Weekly Initial Jobless Claims
6:30pm NZD New Zealand May Business Manufacturing PMI: No est v 26.1 prior
6:45pm NZD New Zealand May Food Prices M/M: No est v 1.0% prior
Friday, June 12th
5:00am EUR Eurozone April Industrial Production M/M: -20.0%e v -11.3% prior; Y/Y: -30.0%e v -12.9% prior
10:00am USD Jun Preliminary Michigan Sentiment: 76.0e v 72.3 prior
1:00pm Baker Hughes US rig count
Sovereign Rating Updates after the close:
– Fitch on Germany
– Fitch on Spain
– DBRS on UK
– Moody’s on Norway