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  1. #741
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    Market Review – Fundamental Perspective 2 March 2018

    Fed Is Unlikely To Hike Rates Aggressively
    Today, we have published the fifth and last document in our series on inflation and what it means for financial markets. In this document , we look at the FX implications of the inflation and fixed income out look out lined in the first four pieces, Part 5: FX and inflation - US inflation outperformance + comfy Fed = weaker USD.
    This morning we also published ECB Preview - Striking a compromise, 2 March, ahead of next week's meeting. In short , we expect the ECB to strike a compromise between the doves and the hawks by removing the QE flexibility bias but have no discussion on rate hikes. We expect Mario Draghi to strike a relatively dovish tone at the press conference.
    Global market sentiment remains heavily influenced by developments in the US amid rising speculations that the Fed could soon signal a higher tightening pace whilst the risk of a global trade war has risen on the out look of more protectionist US policies. The US fixed income rally has continued and most Asian equity indices have followed US counterparts into red territory.
    Yesterday evening, US President Donald Trump announced that his administration contemplate imposing substantial tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium. We emphasize that while higher tariffs create a worse growth-inflation trade-off, both steel and aluminium only make up a very small part of US imports. However, the move is likely to trigger retaliation from the EU, Canada and China meaning that the risk of a global trade war that potentially could derail the global recovery has risen considerably on the announcement.

  2. #742
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    Market Review – Fundamental Perspective 5 March 2018

    • Equity markets fall as risk sentiment sours
    • EUR trades softer after hung parliament in Italian election
    • The SPD voted in favour of joining Merkel’s “Grand Coalition”

    Global equity markets have remained under pressure since the end of last week due to the announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in the US which sparked fears of the beginning of a global trade war. Most of the major European equity indices dropped by more than 2% on Friday whilst Asian equity markets are broadly lower as of midday local time today.
    EUR opened this week on the back foot after the Italian election resulted in a hung parliament whilst JPY and gold have opened stronger on the back of safe haven demand.
    In Italy, the election on Sunday resulted in a hung parliament and as has been the case in several European elections as of late, non-traditional parties made significant gains illustrating the frustration many voters have towards more established political parties. The Five Star Movement and the Lega Nord both surprised to the upside which leaves the future government highly uncertain although a wide coalition appears most likely
    In Germany, the SPD voted in favour of a Grand Coalition with a 66% majority as per the results released yesterday. This resolves a lot of political uncertainty and should be positive for the domestic and European economy.
    Whilst the agreement to form a coalition in Germany should be EUR positive, the Italian election is likely to weigh on the currency. The future Italian government still remains highly uncertain meaning that investors will have to wait before drawing any significant conclusions from the election.
    Looking to the week ahead, focus will be on the ECB meeting on Thursday and the US February jobs report on Friday.

  3. #743
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    Market Review – Fundamental Perspective 6 March 2018

    US: Non-Manufacturing Activity Largely Holds on to Last Month’s Gain
    The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing index fell by 0.4 points to 59.5 in February, after rising by an impressive 3.9 points in the month prior. The headline print came in better than expected, with market consensus anticipating a slightly larger decline of 0.9 points.
    Movements among the main subcomponents were mixed. Business activity and new orders continued to build on last month’s impressive gains, extending the two-month advance by 5.0 and 10.3 points respectively to 62.8 and 64.8. The level of the new orders in fact marked a new cyclical peak, rising to the highest level since-2005.
    On the other hand, the employment sub-index fell by 6.6 points and settled around mid-2017 levels – giving back all of the progress made in the prior two months. Meanwhile, the supplier deliveries sub-index held steady for the third consecutive month at 55.5 points.
    The performance among the remaining indicators was broadly positive, with the backlog of orders, new export orders and inventories all improving. The prices paid sub-index pulled back slightly but remained elevated at 61 points – suggesting continued price pressures.
    Comments from survey contacts maintained a positive tilt with respect to business conditions and the economic outlook. Meanwhile, the vast majority of industries reported growth on the month, with arts, entertainment & recreation and accommodation & food services being the only two exceptions

  4. #744
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    Market Review – Fundamental Perspective 7 March 2018

    British Pound Edges Higher, Investors Eye ADP Employment Report
    The British pound has posted gains on Tuesday, continuing the upward movement seen on Monday. In North American trade, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3884, up 0.26% on the day. In economic news, there are no major indicators in the US or the UK. In the US, Factory Orders were unexpectedly soft, with a decline of 1.4%. This was well short of the estimate of -0.4%. On Wednesday, the US releases ADP Nonfarm Employment Change.
    Tensions are growing between London and Brussels as the Brexit deadline of March 2019 looms ever closer. Last week, there were sharp exchanges between the two sides after the EU releases a draft of the legal framework of the Brexit agreement. On Friday, Prime Minister May outlined her vision of relations between the EU and Britain after Brexit. May sought to lower the recent sharp rhetoric surrounding Brexit, saying that both sides needed to show flexibility in order to reach an agreement. May said that she was seeking a free trade agreement with the EU that included financial services. The response from Brussels has been lukewarm, with some policymakers saying that Britain continues to operate under the illusion that it can leave the club but still enjoy the benefits.
    Over in the US, the “tariff tussle” shows no sign of being resolved anytime soon. US President Trump appears set on applying stiff tariffs on steel imports, much to the consternation of the European Union and other US trading partners. However, there is plenty of domestic opposition to Trump’s plan, as Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, have come out strongly against the move. If Trump doesn’t back down, the Republicans could even resort to legislation to limit Trump’s authority on tariffs. The announcement of the tariffs last week sent the dollar broadly lower, and if the tariffs are introduced, negative investor sentiment could send the greenback to lower levels.

  5. #745
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    Market Review – Fundamental Perspective 8 March 2018

    • European and Asian equities gain as trade war concerns ease
    • Central Banks in Poland, Turkey and Canada left policy unchanged
    • Today’s focus is on the ECB meeting and press conference at 13.30

    European equities retraced some of their losses from earlier in the week as markets recovered from the news of Cohn’s resignation and concerns about US protectionism eased somewhat. CAD and MXN rallied overnight after news headlines suggesting that Canada and Mexico may be exempted from planned US tariffs on steel and aluminum.
    Asian equities were broadly higher this morning and Chinese exports for February surged to a 2-year high in USD terms but CNH was relatively unchanged.
    Today’s focus lies on the ECB meeting and the press conference at 13.30 where no change in monetary policy or forward guidance is expected. Barclays Research expect the ECB to alter their forward guidance in April, to cease asset purchases in September and hike rates in December.
    EURUSD finds immediate resistance at 1.2450 ahead of 1.2555, with support coming in towards 1.2365/70 and 1.2250.
    GBPUSD came under pressure yesterday as European council President Donald Tusk said that the EU would not let the UK cherry pick when it comes to a future trade deal. However, GBP retraced most of its losses later in the day as headlines suggesting that a EU-UK trade deal will be in place by October improved sentiment.
    The BoJ will meet tonight after the US close and the bank is widely expected to stand pat. Barclays Research expects the next change in the BoJ’s policy to come in April 2019 when it is expected to revise its yield curve control target.
    Central Banks in Poland, Turkey and Canada kept their monetary policy unchanged at yesterday’s meetings, as expected. The BoC justified its decision on the basis that trade policy is an “important and growing source of uncertainty”; this is likely to delay the next BoC hike from Q2-18 to early Q3 in our view.

  6. #746
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    Market Review – Fundamental Perspective 9 March 2018

    • Asian equities gain on Trump-Kim summit news
    • ECB kept policy unchanged as expected, but removes easing bias
    • Today’s focus is on the US employment report at 13.30

    Asian equities gained overnight, extending the firm tone from European and US markets, on news of an agreement between US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to meet in what would be an unprecedented summit.
    Equities were further bolstered from optimism that President Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum allowed for some exceptions (Canada and Mexico for now).
    Headlines saw USDJPY trade back above short term resistance at 106.50, to a 106.945 high.
    The ECB kept its policy and forward guidance unchanged as expected, but decided unanimously to remove the explicit pledge to increase the asset purchase program if needed.
    EURUSD rallied initially on the slightly more hawkish than expected ECB statement but dropped substantially after ECB President Draghi downgraded inflation forecasts and referred to concerns surrounding protectionism. EURUSD ended the day lower as a result.
    GBPUSD also underperformed after the ECB lowered its inflation forecasts at yesterday’s meeting. The negative sentiment was further fueled by Brexit headlines suggesting that a Brexit deal may take longer than currently expected, prompting GBPUSD to dip below 1.3800.
    Today we get the Industrial Production and Manufacturing print but UK data is likely to remain a secondary market mover in comparison to political headlines and broader USD and risk sentiment. GBPUSD support comes at 1.3780, while resistance lies at 1.3950.
    Today’s focus lies on the US February employment report at 13.30, where the market will particularly watch the wage component as it may provide some information on inflation and possible faster Fed tightening. Barclays Research expect “… another month of solid job creation (200k), but average hourly earnings growth should slow to 2.7% y/y”.

  7. #747
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    Market Review – Fundamental Perspective 12 March 2018

    • Global equity markets gained last week on easing concerns of a global trade war
    • US February payrolls surprised to the upside, but wage growth was lower than expected
    • Focus on the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels today

    Last week was a relatively subdued few days in the FX markets, despite a number of anticipated market and political events. Sterling overall had a positive week, GBPUSD closing above 1.3850 and EURGBP below 0.89, as resilient UK data outshone Brexit rumblings. Markets are waiting to see what develops in the lead up to next week’s EU summit, which is the next expected Brexit event.
    The market continues to digest President Trump’s rhetoric about trade, and only time will tell what he will do and the effect that it will have. On a more positive note, his outreach to North Korea could be an important stabilising factor in that region.
    Global equity markets ended the week higher led by Europe after a moderate softening of the US’s stance on trade helped ease concerns of an imminent acceleration of trade tariffs. Meanwhile, after the USD initially rallied on Friday’s US employment as payrolls showed robust growth in the US, the USD subsequently sold off as investors contemplated weaker than expected wage growth.
    Elsewhere, JPY and Asian equities pared their gains overnight as Japan’s Ministry of Finance admitted to altering key documents related to the sale of publicly owned land to a nationalist private school before submitting them to parliament. JPY recovered marginally after Finance Minister Aso commented that he will not be resigning.
    In Friday’s US employment report, February payroll growth surprised to the upside at 313k but wage growth came in lower than expected at 2.6% y/y, reversing last month’s gains.
    Whilst this may reduce the urgency for an aggressive hiking cycle as the Fed seeks to contain inflation, Barclays Research thinks that “… the March FOMC meeting is likely to simply show a strong support for three hikes this year, which is already priced in…”
    Looking to the week ahead, trade and politics will likely remain the key market drivers this week given the lack of major data releases and central bank meetings. On the central bank side, we expect both the SNB and Norges Bank to keep policy on hold at their policy meetings on Thursday.
    While risks of a trade war seem to have abated with the Trump administration’s decision to exempt Canada and Mexico from its steel and aluminum tariffs, any steps towards it would likely weigh on trade and risk-sensitive currencies and likely to benefit safe havens, including the USD in particular.

  8. #748
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    Market Review – Fundamental Perspective 13 March 2018

    • Global equity markets were mixed in a muted trading session
    • NZD outperforms G10 peers after government bond auction draws strong demand
    • Markets await the US inflation report today ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting

    Asian equity markets adopted a cautious tone in a muted session yesterday following a dip in US equities as the S&P 500 Index slipped overnight following its biggest rally in five weeks. In FX, the USD gained broadly across the board, but NZD was the key outperformer overnight as it rallied against all G10 peers after the government bond auction drew strong demand.
    In Europe, ministers at the Ecofin meeting are to discuss the European Union’s Brexit position and attempt to agree on measures that further reduce risks in the banking sector. They are also expected to agree on draft transparency rules for tax planning intermediaries.
    In the UK, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond will present the final 2018/19 budget in his Spring Statement, which will be based on the November 2017 Autumn Budget.
    We expect GBPUSD price action to remain fairly muted, with short term support at 1.3875 and 1.3780 with resistance at 1.3950 and 1.4070. We expect to see continued GBP demand on dips from the Real-Money and Corporate client-base.
    Focus turns to the US inflation report today, with markets closely watching for hints on the pace of Federal Reserve policy tightening ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting next week. Barclays Research expects headline inflation to rise to 2.1% y/y but forecast some reversal of the strength in January’s core rate, predicting an increase of 1.7% y/y.
    In FX, our traders have noted better selling of EUR following the ECB last week, suggesting cleaner positioning in the single currency. For EURUSD, our traders see near-term trading ranges between 1.2275-1.2360/70 with broader levels around 1.2100-1.2450.

  9. #749
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    Market Review – Fundamental Perspective 14 March 2018

    USD Falls On Washington Politics. CPI Rises At A Slower Pace
    The U.S. dollar was seen declining as the day unfolded with President Trump removing Rex Tillerson and appointing CIA director Pompeo as the secretary of state. The changes sparked speculation of the increasing number of officials who are more favorable towards protectionist policies.
    On the economic front, consumer prices in the U.S. matched expectations rising 0.2% on the month in February, but the increase was slower compared to January’s gain of 0.5%. The annual CPI was seen rising to 2.2% from 2.1% as expected while core inflation rate was steady at 1.8%.
    Developments on Brexit also dominated the news wires as the EU President Jean-Claude Junker and the chief negotiator Barnier were seen turning up the heat on the negotiations just a week before the EU conference. They asked UK to come up with solutions on the Irish border. The UK also released the Spring statement with Chancellor Hammond giving an upbeat view. He also said that the cost of Brexit to the UK’s economy was estimated to be 38 billion GBP.
    Looking ahead, the ECB President Mario Draghi will be speaking at the ECB Watchers conference which could be a key event risk for the euro currency. Retail sales from the U.S. will be released later in the day and is expected to rise 0.3% on the month, reversing the declines from January.

  10. #750
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    Market Review – Fundamental Perspective 15 March 2018

    Risk – Off Continues To Seep
    Risk off continues to seep through markets as traders scramble to revise both inflation and US growth forecast in the wake of a tepid CPI and PPI prints while February’s dreary US retail sales deliver more disappointment to the markets.
    The sagging USD and the fear of an escalating trade war with China have global markets on edge with investors taking a defensive posture moving from buying on dips to the more careful preservation of cash strategy. According to Investment Company Institute (ICI), U.S. fund investors withdrew billions from domestic stocks during the equity market’s tariff tantrum.
    The “Rexit” to Pompeo transition continues to cast a dark cloud over the markets as investors are preparing for more market-alarming, protectionist headlines. The US is determined to reduce China’s bilateral trade surplus by 100 billion, but things are about to get very messy as reports continue to circulate that the Trump administration is ready to levy US tariffs on China imports targeting intellectual property which could come as early as this week.
    All the usual go-to haven trades have been on the move, JPY is eyeing 106, EUR has found a bid while gold remains firmly supported on dips.
    However, adding to the US dollar downdrafts, US yields are looking very tired approaching the significant support around. 2.80 in 10 Year US Treasuries. If the level gives it could spring a trap door type of reaction on the USD.
    Despite yesterday’s robust Chinese data as industrial production and fixed asset investment surged, concern about the tariffs plagued mainland and Hong Kong equity sentiment which is unlikely to abate short term given trade war escalation is looking more likely than ever.

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