Weekly Market Recap (22-26 January)

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The PBoC left the
LPR rates unchanged as expected:

  • 3.45% for the one year.
  • 4.20% for the five year.

PBoC

The US Leading
Economic Index (LEI) fell by less than expected:

  • LEI -0.1% vs. -0.3%
    expected and -0.5% prior.

From the Conference
Board: “The US LEI fell slightly in December, continuing to signal
underlying weakness in the US economy. Despite the overall decline, six out of
ten leading indicators made positive contributions to the LEI in December.
Nonetheless, these improvements were more than offset by weak conditions in
manufacturing, the high interest-rate environment, and low consumer confidence.
As the magnitude of monthly declines has lessened, the LEI’s six-month and
twelve-month growth rates have turned upward but remain negative, continuing to
signal the risk of recession ahead.”

US LEI

The New Zealand
December Services PMI fell back into contraction:

  • Services PMI 48.8
    vs. 51.2 prior.
  • Long-term average is
    53.4.

BNZ Comments: “The
softening in the PSI, alongside the weakness in the PMI, is bad news for both
near term growth and employment in New Zealand. Tourism has been a key driver
of the services sector and will continue to support the economy, but it can’t
do all the heavy lifting by itself”.

New Zealand Services PMI

The BoJ left
interest rates and the YCC setting unchanged as expected:

  • Short-term interest
    rate target -0.1%.
  • 10-year bond yield
    around 0% with 1% as a reference cap.
  • Makes no changes to
    forward guidance on monetary policy.

No
change to core-core inflation forecasts:

  • Core-core CPI fiscal
    2023 median forecast at 3.8 vs. 3.8% forecast in the October Outlook
    Report.
  • Core-core CPI fiscal
    2024 median forecast at 1.9% vs. 1.9% in October.
  • Core-core CPI fiscal
    2025 median forecast at 1.9% vs. 1.9% in October.

But core forecasts trimmed:

  • Core CPI fiscal 2023
    median forecast at 2.8% vs. 2.8% in October.
  • Core CPI fiscal 2024
    median forecast at 2.4% vs. 2.8% in October.
  • Core CPI fiscal 2025
    median forecast at 1.8% vs. 1.7% in October.

GDP forecasts:

  • FY 2023 1.8% vs. 2.0% in October.
  • FY 2024 1.2% vs. 1.0% in October.
  • FY 2025 1.0% vs. 1.0% in October.

BoJ quarterly report:

  • Risks to economic
    activity generally balanced.
  • Need to closely
    monitor whether virtuous cycle between wages and prices will intensify
    .
  • Will continue with
    QQE with YCC as long as needed.
  • Won’t hesitate to
    take additional easing steps if needed.
  • BoJ will patiently
    continue with monetary easing while nimbly responding to developments.
  • Japan’s financial
    system has maintained stability on the whole.
  • Uncertainty remains
    but likelihood of achieving sustained 2% inflation continues to gradually
    heighten.
  • Japan’s economy
    likely to continue recovering moderately.
  • Must be vigilant to
    financial, FX market moves and their impact on Japan’s economy, prices.
  • Inflation expectations gradually heightening.
  • Core consumer
    inflation moving below 2.5%, partly reflecting moderate rise in service
    prices.
  • Consumption
    continues to rise moderately.
  • Inflation likely to
    gradually accelerate toward BoJ’s target through end of projected period
    in quarterly report.
  • Japan’s output gap
    improving, likely to gradually expand ahead.
  • Medium and long-term
    inflation expectations heightening gradually.
  • Positive cycle of
    rising wages, inflation to strengthen.

BoJ

Moving on to the
Governor Ueda Press Conference:

  • Likelihood of
    achieving 2% inflation target is gradually rising.
  • Japanese economy to
    gradually pick up moving forward.
  • Must carefully watch
    financial, FX market moves and their impact on prices.
  • Will not hesitate to
    take additional easing measures if necessary.
  • Heard encouraging
    comments from big firms on wage hikes.
  • Closely watching the
    outcome of the spring wage negotiations.
  • Want to confirm
    virtuous cycle of wages and prices is in place.
  • Economy is
    progressing in line with our forecast.
  • Our confidence has
    grown in the achievement of price target.
  • This confirms
    economy is proceeding based on existing price outlook.
  • There is no change
    in our stance to carefully examine price trends.
  • Cannot fully grasp
    impact of earthquakes in Western Japan region just yet.
  • Uncertainty is still
    high about how widespread wage hikes will be.
  • But it is not as
    high as uncertainty seen last year.
  • Can’t deny side
    effects to negative interest rate policy.
  • Will foresee further
    rate hikes when exiting negative interest rate policy.
  • More firms have
    decided on wage hikes this year compared to last year.

BoJ Ueda

Following the free fall
in the stock market, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with
the matter that Chinese policymakers are seeking to mobilise about 2 trillion
yuan ($278.53 billion), mainly from the offshore accounts of Chinese
state-owned enterprises, as part of a stabilisation fund to buy shares onshore
through the Hong Kong exchange link. Bloomberg said Chinese officials have
allotted at least 300 billion yuan of local funds to invest in onshore shares
through China Securities Finance Corp or Central Huijin Investment Ltd. They
are also weighing other options and may announce some of them as soon as this
week if approved by the top leadership of the country, according to the report.

Panic

The New Zealand Q4 CPI
came in line with expectations:

  • CPI Q4 Y/Y 4.7% vs. 4.7%
    expected and 5.6% prior.
  • CPI Q4 Q/Q 0.5% vs. 0.5%
    expected and 1.8% prior.

New Zealand CPI YoY

The Australian
Manufacturing and Services PMIs improved in January:

  • Manufacturing PMI 50.3
    vs. 47.6 prior.
  • Services PMI 47.9
    vs. 47.1 prior.

Australia Manufacturing PMI

The Japanese
Manufacturing and Services PMIs improved in January:

  • Manufacturing PMI
    48.0 vs. 47.9 prior.
  • Services PMI 52.7
    vs. 51.5 prior.

Japan Manufacturing PMI

The PBoC Governor Pan delivered some supporting
remarks and announced a 50 bps RRR cut (the last two RRR cuts in 2023 were both
of 25 bps):

  • Will use various
    policy tools to keep liquidity reasonably ample.
  • Will keep yuan
    exchange rate basically stable.
  • Will steadily
    promote yuan internationalisation.
  • Financial risks are
    generally under control.
  • Monetary policy is
    mainly based on domestic conditions.
  • There is still
    sufficient room for monetary policy.
  • China’s economy
    faces some difficulties, but there are also positive factors.

PBoC Pan

The Eurozone January Manufacturing PMI beat
expectations while the Services PMI missed forecasts:

  • Manufacturing PMI
    46.6 vs. 44.8 expected and 44.4 prior.
  • Services PMI 48.4
    vs. 49.0 expected and 48.8 prior.

Eurozone Manufacturing PMI

The UK Manufacturing and
Services PMIs beat expectations in January:

  • Manufacturing PMI
    47.3 vs. 46.7 expected and 46.2 prior.
  • Services PMI 53.8
    vs. 53.2 expected and 53.4 prior.

UK Manufacturing PMI

The US Manufacturing and
Services PMIs beat expectations in January:

  • Manufacturing PMI
    50.3 vs. 47.9 expected and 47.9 prior.
  • Services PMI 52.9
    vs. 51.0 expected and 51.4 prior.

US Manufacturing PMI

The BoC left interest
rates unchanged at 5.00% as expected and dropped the language about being
prepared to hike if needed:

  • Still concerned
    about risks to the outlook for inflation, particularly the persistence
    in underlying inflation.
  • Statement no longer
    says it “remains prepared to raise the policy rate further if
    needed”.
  • The Canadian economy
    stalled since the middle of 2023 and growth will likely remain close to
    zero through the first quarter of 2024.
  • Economic growth is
    expected to strengthen gradually around the middle of 2024.
  • BoC forecasts GDP
    growth of 0.8% in 2024.
  • BoC expects
    inflation to remain close to 3% during the first half of this year before
    gradually easing, returning to the 2% target in 2025.
  • Core measures of
    inflation are not showing sustained decline.
  • Consumers have
    pulled back their spending in response to higher prices and interest rates.
  • Economy now looks to
    be operating in modest excess supply.
  • Labour market
    conditions have eased, with job vacancies returning to near pre-pandemic levels
    and new jobs being created at a slower rate than population growth.
  • Growth in the United
    States has been stronger than expected but is anticipated to slow in 2024.
  • Inflation rates in
    most advanced economies are expected to come down slowly, reaching central
    bank targets in 2025.
  • Forecast for 2.8%
    inflation this year is down from 3.0% in October.
  • There was a clear
    consensus to maintain our policy rate at 5%.
  • We are trying to
    balance the risks of over- and under-tightening.
  • We need to see
    further and sustained easing of core inflation
    .

BoC

Moving on to the Governor
Macklem Press Conference:

  • We are not
    forecasting a deep recession.
  • We don’t need to
    think that we need to get a recession to get inflation back to target.
  • Inflation is still
    somewhat broad-based. That we become the persistence of underlying
    inflation.
  • It’s important that
    we don’t give Canadians a false sense of precision as regards to timing of
    a rate cut.
  • Risk of a rate hike
    is not at 0%, but raising rates is not the base case.
  • We are at a point
    where there is a lot of push and pull. There are mixed signals. When have
    confidence we will open the door toward easing policy.
  • Need more progress
    on inflation before discussing cutting rates.
  • Asked if anyone
    wanted to cut, said the focus was ‘very much on holding’.
  • Repeats there was a
    ‘clear consensus’ to hold.
  • Our latest forecasts
    have increased our confidence that we’ve raised rates enough.
  • We’re concerned
    about persistence in underlying inflation.
  • It’s premature to
    discuss reducing our policy rate.
  • We need to see more
    progress on inflation before having a discussion about cutting rates.
  • On QT, will take it
    one decision at a time; we’re still ‘some ways’ from too tight.
  • We’re trying to
    balance the risks of too-high rates with too-low rates.
  • We need to give
    monetary policy “a bit more time” to let it do its work.

BoC’s Macklem

The Federal Reserve announced
that its bank term funding program will cease making new loans as scheduled on
March 11. The central bank adjusted interest rate on new BTFP loans to be no
lower than interest rate on reserve balances on day loan was made. The new
rate on BTFP loans effectively increases rate by nearly 50 bps; change is
effective immediately.
Says change to BTFP rate ensures the program
continues to support its goals in current rate environment.

Federal Reserve

The German January IFO
Business Climate Index missed expectations:

  • IFO 85.2 vs. 86.7
    expected and 86.3 prior (revised from 86.4).
  • Current conditions
    87.0 vs. 88.6 expected and 88.5 prior.
  • Outlook 83.5 vs.
    84.8 expected and 84.2 prior (revised from 84.3).

German IFO

The ECB left interest
rates unchanged at 4.00% as expected:

  • Incoming
    information has broadly confirmed previous assessment of the medium-term
    inflation outlook.
  • Aside from an energy-related upward base effect on headline inflation,
    the declining trend in underlying inflation has continued.
  • Tight
    financing conditions are dampening demand, and this is helping to push down
    inflation.
  • Future
    decisions will ensure that policy rates will be set at sufficiently restrictive
    levels for as long as necessary.
  • Stands
    ready to adjust all of its instruments within its mandate to ensure that
    inflation returns to its 2% target over the medium-term.
  • Based on current assessment, interest rates are at levels that,
    maintained for a sufficiently long duration, will make a substantial
    contribution to this goal.
  • Intends
    to continue to reinvest, in full, principal payments from maturing securities
    purchased under PEPP during 1H 2024.

ECB

Moving on to President
Lagarde Press Conference:

  • Risks to economic
    data remain tilted to the downside.
  • Economy likely
    stagnated in Q4.
  • Some surveys point
    to a pickup in 2024.
  • Demand for labour is
    slowing.
  • Upside risks to
    inflation include heightened geopolitical tensions, including in Middle
    East.
  • Market interest
    rates have moved broadly sideways since our last meeting.
  • We are determined to
    ensure inflation returns to our 2% target in a timeline manner.
  • We will continue to
    follow a data-dependent approach.
  • The consensus was
    that it was premature to discuss rate cuts.
  • I stand by my
    comments (regarding possible summer rate cuts).
  • We are data dependent,
    not date-dependent.
  • We’re watching
    shipping cost increases and delays.
  • Seeing some
    stabilization in wage tracker.
  • Seeing slight
    reduction of vacancies advertised.
  • Wage growth is
    already declining.
  • Not seeing second
    round effects.
  • We are trying to be
    a little simpler in our words, so don’t pay too much attention to word
    changes in our statement.
  • 80% of our survey
    respondents say they are happy to work at the ECB.
  • I’m honoured to lead
    the ECB.
  • It’s often said that
    wage data is backwards looking.
  • PMI numbers are a
    small signal of stabilization and that a pickup is coming into place.
  • In terms of data,
    we’re seeing hard data that’s weak (notes industrial production and retail
    sales). If we look at PMIs, we’re seeing some encouraging numbers.

ECB’s President Lagarde

The US Advance Q4 GDP
beat expectations:

  • Q4 GDP 3.3% vs. 2.0%
    expected.
  • Consumer spending 2.8% vs. 3.1% prior.
  • Consumer spending on
    durables 4.6% vs. 6.7% prior.
  • GDP final sales 3.2%
    vs. 3.6% prior.
  • GDP deflator 1.5%
    vs. 2.3% expected and 3.3% prior.
  • Core PCE 2.0% vs.
    2.0% expected and 2.0% prior.
  • Business investment 2.1% vs. 10.0% prior.

US Advance Q4 GDP

The US Jobless Claims
missed expectations across the board:

  • Initial Claims 214K
    vs. 200K expected and 189K prior (revised from 187K).
  • Continuing Claims
    1833K vs. 1828K expected and 1806 prior.

US Jobless Claims

The Tokyo January CPI saw
all the measures easing further:

  • CPI Y/Y 1.6% vs. 2.4%
    prior.
  • Core CPI Y/Y 1.6%
    vs. 1.9% expected and 2.1% prior.
  • Core-Core CPI Y/Y 2.2% vs. 2.7% prior.

Tokyo Core-Core CPI YoY

ECB’s Vujcic (hawk –
voter) seemed to suggest that he prefers to wait patiently for clear signs and
if something breaks before that they can always cut more aggressively:

  • There was no dovish
    tilt on Thursday.
  • It is possible to cut
    rates later but with bigger steps.
  • Personally prefer 25
    bps rate cuts to begin with though.
  • Economy is more in a
    stagnation phase rather than recession.
  • The overall picture
    is good at the moment.

ECB’s Vujcic

ECB’s Simkus (hawk –
voter) shared his scepticism on market’s expectations:

  • I am confident that
    the data will not support a rate cut in March.
  • Rate cuts will be
    more likely as the year progresses.
  • We are still less
    optimistic than markets are on rate cuts at the moment.

ECB’s Simkus

ECB’s Kazaks (hawk –
voter) continues to support a patient approach:

  • Confident about
    monetary policy but preaches patience for now.
  • Interest rates
    should start to go down.
  • But ECB is in no
    rush to begin the process for now.
  • Cutting rates too
    early would be by all mean worse than waiting just a bit.
  • There’s the risk
    that inflation starts to come back and then one would need to raise rates
    much more.

ECB’s Kazaks

The US December PCE came
in line with expectations:

  • PCE Y/Y 2.6% vs.
    2.6% expected and 2.6% prior.
  • PCE M/M 0.2% vs. 0.2%
    expected and -0.1% prior.
  • Core PCE Y/Y 2.9%
    vs. 3.0% expected and 3.2% prior.
  • Core PCE M/M 0.2% vs.
    0.2% expected and 0.1% prior.

Consumer
spending and income:

  • Personal income 0.3%
    vs. 0.3% expected and 0.4% prior.
  • Personal spending 0.7%
    vs. 0.4% expected and 0.4% prior (revised from 0.2%).
  • Real personal
    spending 0.5% vs. 0.5% prior (revised from 0.3%).

US Core PCE YoY

The highlights for next
week will be
:

  • Tuesday: Japan Unemployment
    Rate, Eurozone Q4 GDP, US Job Openings, US Consumer Confidence.
  • Wednesday: BoJ Summary of
    Opinions, Japan Industrial Production and Retail Sales, Australia CPI, Chinese
    PMIs, Switzerland Retail Sales, US ADP, Canada GDP, US ECI, FOMC Policy
    Decision.
  • Thursday: China Caixin
    Manufacturing PMI, Switzerland Manufacturing PMI, Eurozone CPI, Eurozone
    Unemployment Rate, BoE Policy Decision, US Challenger Job Cuts, US Jobless
    Claims, Canada Manufacturing PMI, US ISM Manufacturing PMI.
  • Friday: Australia PPI, US NFP.

That’s all folks. Have a
nice weekend!

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