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US jobless claims data beats expectations – but Wall Street struggles
Global stock markets are struggling around or below opening levels today despite an improvement in US jobless data.
Jobless claims drop, but the overall picture remains bleak
Markets are little cheered by the latest labour market data, with investors instead awaiting any news of progress as lawmakers continue to argue over a new stimulus bill. The proximity of tomorrow’s nonfarm payrolls report is also keeping markets soft.
This is despite initial weekly jobless claims printing at 1.186 million – well below the 1.415 million expected by analysts and also the lowest reading since the pandemic sent claims jumping by nearly 7 million at the end of March.
Continuing claims – which counts those claiming benefits for two or more consecutive weeks – have dropped from 16.95 million to 16.10 million, again below forecasts.
While this points to improving labour market conditions, the bigger picture remains bleak. This is the 20th straight week that the US has registered more than a million new weekly claims. 31 million Americans remain unemployed.
The figures have further complicated the outlook for the labour market, which had been showing signs of weakening again. Yesterday’s ADP private payrolls report showed jobs growth of just 167,000 compared to expectations of over 1 million.
Nonfarm payrolls in focus – is the jobs recovery under threat?
The latest numbers will put tomorrow’s nonfarm payrolls report under even greater scrutiny, as markets look for more clarity over the direction of the labour market.
Economists expect payrolls grew by 1.6 million, which represents a sharp slowdown in jobs gains after payrolls jumped 2.7 million in May and 4.8 million in June. However, payrolls returned to growth more quickly than expected.
President Donald Trump has promised “big jobs numbers are coming on Friday”.
Stocks steady as pubs prepare to reopen
European stocks were steady near the flatline on a quiet Friday session with the US market closed for the Independence Day holiday. Stocks rallied in the prior session after a bumper US jobs report showed 4.8m jobs were created in June.
Despite this, as detailed yesterday, the unemployment rate remains very high at more than 11%, the more up-to-date weekly initial and continuing claims numbers are not improving quickly enough, and the recent spike in cases means several states are re-imposing lockdown restrictions, which will hamper jobs growth in July.
Risk assets gained more support as the Chinese services PMI rose to a 10-year high at 58.4 – the usual caveats about diffusion indices apply, as to the usual caveats about any data out of China, but it’s solidly encouraging for markets. Australian retail sales bounced back almost 17%. The number of cases in the US continue to surge – more than 55k in a single day the latest total, with the governor of Texas now mandating the wearing of facemasks.
Major indices continue to track around the middle of the June range, though thanks to a decent run this week are now moving towards the upper end of the range having tapped the lower end last week. The S&P 500 cleared the 61.8% retracement yesterday but closed well off its highs, while the Dow is struggling to hold the 50% level.
In Europe the FTSE 100 is holding above the 50% level, while the DAX is facing resistance today at the 78.6% level. After a strong week and with the US shut, it might be a quiet session today. Scratch that – with pubs about to reopen and with every trader planning their weekend engagements, it will be a very quiet one in London.
UK government eases quarantine rules for travellers
Anyone arriving in England from a number of countries including Spain, France, Germany and Italy won’t need to self-isolate from July 10th, whilst the government is also easing international travel restrictions. A full list of countries that people can arrive from without self-quarantining will be published today.
Relaxing the draconian quarantine rules and allowing more ‘non-essential’ travel should come as a shot in the arm for many beaten up travel & leisure stocks, but there’s a long way to go to restore confidence and get people travelling as much as they did last year. It will take years to get air passenger numbers back to 2019 levels.
Pub and restaurant stocks have taken a beating during the pandemic, but investors may be able to raise a glass come Saturday as the various inns and hostelries reopen because share prices have recovered remarkably well. Marston’s has risen threefold from its March low, while JD Wetherspoon and Mitchells & Butlers have both more than doubled in that time. Mine’s a quadruple whisky.
Oil (WTI-Aug) drifted higher to the top of the Jun 8th peak around $40.70 where it’s pulled back to the $40 round number. The move higher has been steadily losing momentum and failure at the $40.70 area suggests perhaps the progression of the double top into a head and shoulders reversal pattern.
GBPUSD hits resistance, EURUSD bullish flag nears completion
In FX, the pound’s bounce ran out of steam and the euro has come back to its anchor. GBPUSD rallied strongly out of the channel but hit resistance at 1.2520 and has consolidated in a very narrow range around 1.2470. As markets opened in Europe the pair slipped this range and started a move lower – it could retrace towards the round number support at 1.24.
Meanwhile EURUSD has come back to 1.1230, the anchor point for the whole of June. This is the 23.6% retracement of the 2014-2016 top-to-bottom rout. As the bullish flag pattern nears completion, we should expect a breakout soon – the swing highs around 1.14-1.15 offering the main resistance.
Stocks go up, cases go up, US jobs harder to call
European equities followed the US and Asia higher on hopes for a vaccine and a strong US jobs report, whilst shrugging off soaring numbers of new cases in the world’s largest economy.
US cases of Covid-19 continue to surge, rising more than 50,000 in a single day for the first time. Florida’s new case count rose 4.3%, vs the previous 7-day average of 5.7%, so indications perhaps that the rate of new cases may be coming down there. But California, Texas and Arizona recorded their largest one-day rise in cases.
Meanwhile, Tokyo also reported its highest number of cases in two months. Whilst the rise in cases is slowing the reopening of many states, some may argue that the US is simply heading for herd immunity a lot faster than anywhere else; in the long run this may help, not hinder, the country’s ability to get back to normal social and economic functioning.
Investors largely are shrugging off higher cases though as Pfizer reported positive results from a vaccine trial. But we have been here before – it’s too early to get too excited – but a working vaccine is the holy grail as it would allow real normality to return to the economy.
The S&P 500 rallied 0.5% to move to the 61.8% retracement, whilst the Nasdaq Composite set a new record high. The Dow finished a little lower. Shares in Asia took the cue to rally, whilst European bourses have opened with strength on Thursday morning. Lots of noise around but equity markets are not showing any real trend – major indices are still sitting around the middle of the June ranges.
Nonfarm payrolls tough to call
The ADP jobs report showed private employers in the US created 2.4m jobs in June, while the figure for May was completely revised to show a gain of 3m gained versus a previous estimate of 2.76m lost. Nonfarm payrolls today are again especially hard to call given the crisis. For May the consensus was for 8m jobs to be lost, but instead 2.5m were added.
For June the consensus is for 3m+ to be created. But the exceptionally wide range of forecasts suggests no true consensus – as I’ve mentioned a few times here the data is particularly difficult and noisy right now. Even if we get 5.5m created over the last two months, it still leaves 15m or so from the 20.5m lost in April unemployed, so recovery to the status quo ante remains a long way off.
Fed minutes indicated policymakers are keen to offer more detailed forward guidance about the path of interest rates but seemed less ready to go for yield curve control – a policy it last pursued during the second world war and one that the Bank of Japan is currently practising with limited success in achieving its goals.
Which leads us on nicely to the theme of Japanification, which is a thread which we like to explore from time to time. It can be summed up long-term economic malaise, deflation and a reliance on ever-larger monetary easing and low bond yields to prop up growth. Usually it’s Europe that seems to be tarred with this particular brush, but lately there are murmurings that the UK is heading down the same path.
For the first time, 30-year gilt yields fell below their Japanese counterparts this week. This is anomalous for a couple of reasons. First, the fact that gilt yields across the curve are at or near record lows highlights that investors haven’t blinked at the super-high issuance by the government to fund its response to the pandemic – the Bank of England’s asset purchase programme is doing its job. Two, the yield on Japan’s long bonds went up because the Bank of Japan said it would increase purchases of debt up to 10 years in maturity but keep buying of longer-dated maturities unchanged. This pushed up the yield curve, a fine example of yield curve control in action.
Whilst the crisis is disinflationary at present, the vast increase in the supply of money, which unlike the post-2008 QE is not going to end up sloshing around the banks but be put to work directly in the economy, means it may be too soon to call Britain the next Japan, whatever the chart vigilantes tell us.
Gold eases back from multi-year high, crude oil soft on rising gasoline stocks
Gold pulled back off its recent multi-year high in a sharp corrective move but has found support around $1765. Yesterday I said fading momentum on the CCI with a bearish divergence to the price action suggested a near-term pullback may be required – this came a little swifter than expected and we may see further weakness as a bearish flag formation may call for another leg lower to $1750.
Crude oil stocks declined by 7.2m barrels vs an expected drop of about 1m, driven by lower imports due to an expected drop from Saudi Arabia. Price action was weaker on the news though as gasoline stocks rose 1.2m barrels vs an expected decline of 1.6m. WTI (Aug) initially eased back but has recovered a little to sit on $40. Again, as mentioned previously, the estimates on WTI stocks right now are also way off the mark.
In FX, GBPUSD broke out as the dollar was offered across the board. The double tap on 1.2250 produced a strong bounce that carried forward to see the downtrend broken as it broke out of the channel resistance and cleared the 50-day simple moving average. Bulls will need to see the last swing high around 1.2540 cleared to reassert an uptrend. Brexit headline risk remains a big hurdle to getting real momentum behind a rally for cable, but if there is a breakthrough the upside could run very quickly. EURUSD pushed up on dollar weakness with bulls needing to take out the Jun 29th high at 1.12877.
Volgende week: Notulen FOMC en NFP domineren economische agenda
Hoewel de aandacht aan het begin van de week gericht zal zijn op de Chinese PMI’s, zal de VS de economische agenda de eerste dagen domineren. Zo staan onder meer de ISM Manufacturing PMI, de notulen van de FOMS en cijfers over de salarisstroken van niet-agrarische bedrijven op de planning.
Het is weer tijd voor de Chinese PMI’s: aangezien het de eerste PMI-gegevens van de maand zijn, zullen de markten de cijfers met interesse volgen om te zien hoe het economisch herstel verloopt.
De Chinese wederopstanding kan in gevaar zijn gekomen door nieuwe uitbraken van COVID-19, maar de PMI’s blijven desondanks een soort blauwdruk voor hoe het andere landen zal vergaan nu de ogen wereldwijd voorzichtig weer op economisch herstel worden gericht.
Inflatie Duitsland, eurozone
De consumentenprijzen zijn in mei in de hele eurozone met -0,1% gedaald, hoewel dit nauwelijks een verrassing mag zijn. De inflatiecijfers zouden deze week verdere dalingen kunnen laten zien, wat te verwachten valt gezien de ineenstorting van de vraag, de stijgende werkloosheid en de enorme bedragen die door de Europese Centrale Bank in de markt worden gepompt. Vorige week voorspelde Fitch dat de kerninflatie in de eurozone de komende 18 maanden zal vertragen en eind 2021 onder 0,5% zal uitkomen.
Een aanhoudende periode van deflatie zal de economie geen goed doen, maar op korte termijn vallen deze cijfers binnen de verwachtingen. De markteffecten van de CPI-gegevens zijn de laatste tijd dan ook minder sterk dan verwacht.
In de VS en het Verenigd Koninkrijk is de consumentenactiviteit sterk toegenomen sinds de lockdowns zijn versoepeld. Kan Duitsland dit voorbeeld volgen? De omzet van de Amerikaanse detailhandel steeg in mei met 17,7% en versloeg daarmee de marktverwachtingen van 8%, terwijl de omzet in het Verenigd Koninkrijk met 12% steeg ten opzichte van de prognose van 5,7%.
De Duitse detailhandelsverkopen daalden in april met -5,3%, al was dit veel beter dan de daling van -12% die analisten verwachtten. Een stijging van de online verkopen hielp het tempo van de ineenstorting te verzachten. De detailhandelsverkoop zal naar verwachting in mei met 2,5% zijn gestegen omdat fysieke winkels weer open zijn gegaan, maar net als in de VS en het VK kunnen we misschien wel een veel grotere stijging gaan zien.
De Amerikaanse industrie heeft nog altijd moeite om te herstellen van de schokken van de pandemie. De ISM PMI steeg in mei, nadat in april de laagste cijfers in meer dan een decennium werden genoteerd. Desondanks werden de marktverwachtingen met een half procentpunt gemist. Voor juni wordt een scherpere opleving voorspeld, maar de PMI die vorige week door IHS Markit werd gepubliceerd stelde teleur omdat er nog altijd sprake was van krimp – zelfs nu de eurozone en het VK weer lichte groei laten zien.
Het FOMC gaf de markten een flinke tik na de laatste vergadering, waarbij er slechter dan verwachte economische voorspellingen werden vrijgegeven die de hoop dat de VS een V-vormig herstel zou laten zien in de grond boorde. De beleidsmakers merkten op dat de rentetarieven tot minstens 2022 in de buurt van nul zouden blijven en dat het tempo van het aankoopprogramma de komende maanden zou stijgen.
De notulen van de vergadering zullen meer details geven, waarbij de markten met name geïnteresseerd zullen zijn in eventuele verwijzingen naar controle van de rentecurve (YCC). Waarschijnlijk zal dit het volgende beleidsinstrument zijn dat de Fed zal gebruiken om de rentetarieven laat te houden. Het tijdstip hiervan is nog onzeker, maar mogelijk zullen de notulen hier meer duidelijkheid over bieden.
Salarisstroken niet-agrarische bedrijven VS
Vrijdag is het vakantie in de VS vanwege de viering van de Amerikaanse onafhankelijkheid, aangezien 4 juli dit jaar op een zaterdag valt. Dit betekent dat de cijfers over salarisstroken van niet-agrarische bedrijven voor juni al op donderdag zullen verschijnen.
De cijfers waren afgelopen maand verbijsterend: de werkgelegenheid nam toe met 2,5 miljoen banen, terwijl er een daling van -8 miljoen was voorspeld. Het kan erop duiden dat de Amerikaanse economie zich wellicht sneller herstelt dan eerder werd gedacht.
De laatste tijd zijn de wekelijkse werkloosheidscijfers echter teleurstellend. Hoewel er nog altijd sprake van dalingen is, neemt het tempo van de dalingen wel af. Wijst dit op meer permanente schaarste op de arbeidsmarkt en zo ja, moeten we er dan van uitgaan dat het NFP zulke sterke cijfers kan blijven leveren?
Hoogtepunten op XRay deze week
Bekijk de volledige agenda van financiële marktanalyses en trainingen.
|07.15 UTC||Daily||European Morning Call|
|From 15.30 UTC||30-Jun||Weekly Gold, Silver, and Oil Forecasts|
|17.00 UTC||01-Jul||Blonde Markets|
|19.00 UTC||01-Jul||Introduction to Currency Trading: Is it For Me?|
Belangrijke economische agendapunten
Kijk uit naar de belangrijkste economische agendapunten deze week:
|12.00 UTC||29-Jun||German Preliminary Inflation|
|23.30 UTC||29-Jun||Japan Unemployment / Industrial Production|
|After-Market||29-Jun||Micron Technology – Q3 2020|
|01.00 UTC||30-Jun||China Manufacturing, Non-Manufacturing PMIs|
|06.00 UTC||30-Jun||UK Finalised Quarterly GDP|
|30-Jun||easyJet – Q2 2020|
|09.00 UTC||30-Jun||Eurozone Flash CPI|
|12.30 UTC||30-Jun||Canada Monthly GDP|
|14.00 UTC||30-Jun||US CB Consumer Confidence|
|After-Market||30-Jun||FedEx Corp – Q4 2020|
|01.45 UTC||01-Jul||Caixin Manufacturing PMI|
|06.00 UTC||01-Jul||Germany Retail Sales|
|Pre-Market||01-Jul||General Mills – Q4 2020|
|Pre-Market||01-Jul||Constellation Brands – Q1 2021|
|12.15 UTC||01-Jul||US ADP Nonfarm Payrolls Report|
|14.00 UTC||01-Jul||ISM Manufacturing PMI|
|14.30 UTC||01-Jul||US EIA Crude Oil Inventories|
|18.00 UTC||01-Jul||FOMC Meeting Minutes|
|01.30 UTC||02-Jul||Australia Trade Balance|
|12.30 UTC||02-Jul||US Nonfarm Payrolls (Friday is US Bank Holiday)|
|01.30 UTC||03-Jul||Australia Retail Sales|
|All Day||03-Jul||US Bank Holiday – Markets Closed|
Week Ahead: Central banks on tap, NFP faces massive Covid hit
The economic calendar is packed full of top-tier releases this week, starting with manufacturing PMIs from China and the US. The RBA, BOC, and ECB all announce their latest policy decisions – and, in the case of the ECB, potentially ruffle a few more feathers in Germany. And, of course, we have the latest US nonfarm payrolls report to round off the week.
China Caixin Manufacturing PMI – does the headline reflect the story?
China’s Caixin Manufacturing PMI slipped back into negative territory in April, missing market expectations of another print just above the 50 mark. A look at the sub-indexes painted a rather more messy picture than the headline number.
New orders slumped for a third month and export orders dropped the most since December 2008. Order backlogs rose, while supplier delivery times improved and input costs fell on the collapsing oil prices, pushing the headline number higher.
May’s reading is expected to hold just below 50 – but once again, the vastly different performance of those sub-indexes is likely where the true story will lie. It looks like Chinese industry has a lot further to go yet before growth returns properly.
US ISM PMIs to stabilise
US manufacturing collapsed last month, with the index diving to 41.5 from 49.1 in March. Despite being the worst drop since April 2009, the reading was still better than market expectations of 36.9, although this was because of a surge in supplier delivery times. While usually a sign of a strong economy, deliveries were held up by supply shortages due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Things are expected to have stabilised in May, but getting back into growth territory (a reading above 50) could take a while; Oxford Economics doesn’t expect output losses to be recouped until 2021.
The decline in non-manufacturing is expected to moderate slightly, with the index forecast to tick higher to 44.2 from 41.8.
RBA, BOC, ECB interest rate decisions
The Reserve Bank of Australia is the first of three central banks to hold monetary policy meetings this week. Rates are already at a record low 0.25%, which is effectively zero, and the board has no appetite for taking them negative.
ASX 30 Day Interbank Cash Rate Futures for June show markets are pricing in nearly 50-50 odds of a cut to zero, but many analysts think the RBA has done all it will do, and that rates will remain unchanged for two or three years.
This week’s Bank of Canada rate announcement coincides with the start of Tiff Macklem’s tenure as governor. Senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins said recently that the BOC could look at adjusting its asset purchasing programme with the aim of stimulating the economy, rather than just enhancing the liquidity of financial markets, although policymakers may not be ready for such a move just yet.
The European Central Bank is expected to leave rates unchanged, although the pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP) is likely to be extended and expanded. Christine Lagarde will face questions about Germany’s ruling on the ECB’s quantitative easing programme during the post-meeting presser. Read our full preview on the ECB monetary policy meeting here.
Last week Isabel Schnabel, a member of the ECB board who joined in January, shrugged off the ruling, suggesting it was for the Bundesbank and Germany’s government to resolve the issue.
“I’m sure there is going to be communication between the Bundesbank and the German parliament and the German government, and one will have to find a solution,” Schnabel told the Financial Times last week. “If the ECB can be constructive in supporting that process, we will of course do so.”
Australia quarterly GDP: the end of three decades of growth
First-quarter economic data is expected to show that the Australian economy contracted -0.8% on the quarter and -1.2% on the year. Australia is expected to fall into recession for the first time in three decades this year, with GDP dropping -10%.
Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined the government’s plans to help revive the economy, but he also warned that any recovery was likely to take between three and five years.
Eurozone retail sales and Germany factory orders
The collapse in Eurozone retail sales is expected to have worsened at the start of Q2. Analysts are forecasting a month-on-month decline of -18.6% during April, after a -11.2% drop in March. Year-on-year sales are predicted to have cratered -24%.
Germany’s April factory orders data will likely reveal some similarly painful numbers. Orders fell -15.6% in March and economists are expecting a -21.3% drop when the April data is published on Friday.
US NFP – jobless rate to hit 20%?
After tanking -20.5 million last month in the worst drop on record, this week’s US nonfarm payrolls report is expected to show another decline in employment of up to -5 million. The jobless rate, which leapt to nearly 15% in April, is likely to print just shy of 20%. Economists expect unemployment will peak around 25%, although Goldman Sachs analysts have suggested it could climb higher.
Join Markets.com chief market analyst Neil Wilson for live analysis of the market reaction to the US nonfarm payrolls report with our free webinar.
Heads-Up on Earnings
The following companies are set to publish their quarterly earnings reports this week:
|After-Market||02-Jun||Zoom Video Communications – Q1 2021|
|Pre-Market||03-Jun||Campbell Soup – Q3 2020|
|After-Market||04-Jun||Broadcom – Q2 2020|
|After-Market||04-Jun||Slack – Q1 2021|
|05-Jun||Toshiba Corp – Q4 2019|
Highlights on XRay this Week
Read the full schedule of financial market analysis and training.
|07.15 UTC||Daily||European Morning Call|
|From 15.30 UTC||02-June||Gold, Silver, and Oil Weekly Forecasts|
|12.50 UTC||03-June||Asset of the Day: Indices Insights|
|19.30 UTC||04-June||Daily FX Recap and Looking Forward|
|10.00 UTC||05-June||Supply & Demand – Approach to Trading|
Key Economic Events
Watch out for the biggest events on the economic calendar this week:
|01.45 UTC||01-Jun||China Caixin Manufacturing PMI|
|14.00 UTC||01-Jun||US ISM Manufacturing PMI|
|01.30 UTC||02-Jun||Australia Company Operating Profits (Q/Q)|
|05.30 UTC||02-Jun||RBA Interest Rate Decision|
|07.15 – 08.00 UTC||02-Jun||Eurozone Member State Finalised Manufacturing PMIs|
|08.30 UTC||02-Jun||UK Finalised Manufacturing PMI|
|01.30 UTC||03-Jun||Australia GDP (Q/Q)|
|01.45 UTC||03-Jun||China Caixin Services PMI|
|07.15 – 08.00 UTC||03-Jun||Eurozone Member State Finalised Services PMIs|
|08.30 UTC||03-Jun||UK Finalised Services PMI|
|14.00 UTC||03-Jun||Bank of Canada Interest Rate Decision|
|14.00 UTC||03-Jun||US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI|
|14.30 UTC||03-Jun||US EIA Crude Oil Inventories|
|01.30 UTC||04-Jun||Australia Retail Sales / Trade Balance|
|09.00 UTC||04-Jun||Eurozone Retail Sales|
|11.45 UTC||04-Jun||ECB Interest Rate Decision|
|12.30 UTC||04-Jun||ECB Press Conference|
|14.30 UTC||04-Jun||US EIA Natural Gas Storage|
|06.00 UTC||05-Jun||Germany Factory Orders|
|12.30 UTC||05-Jun||US Nonfarm Payrolls|