FX News Today
European Fixed Income Outlook: Long yields traded mostly steady to lower as stock markets headed south. 10-year JGB yields are unchanged at 0.043%, the Chinese 10-year underperformed and yields are up 0.9 bp, but the 10-year Treasury yield is down -1.3 bp at 2.839%. A fresh shakeup in the Trump administration rekindled trade war concerns and worries about geopolitical risks and weighed on stock markets, which headed broadly south in Asia, after already retreating on Wall Street and in Europe yesterday. The Topix closed with a loss of -0.45%, the Nikkei was down -0.87% at the close, Hang Seng and CSI 300 are down -1.32% and -0.225 respectively and the ASX 200 lost -0.66%. U.S. stock futures are also heading south and oil prices are little changed at USD 60.69 per barrel. In Europe today, German Feb HICP inflation confirmed at 1.2% y/y as expected, with prices up 0.4% m/m. The breakdown confirmed that the dip from 1.4% y/y in January was mainly due to lower energy and food price inflation. This ties in with the steady core inflation reading in the preliminary Eurozone HICP rate and backs views that despite these monthly variations inflation is continuing to trend higher, especially with wage deals looking quite strong in Germany.
FX Update: USDJPY has remained heavy, settling around 106.50 after a short-lived lift to an intraday high at 106.74 ahead of the Tokyo fixing earlier. Broader dollar softness is at play, with market narratives pointing to political uncertainty following Trump’s dual sackings of his foreign secretary, Tillerson, and an aide, John McEntee — the latter over alleged “serious financial crimes.” The yen has been trading mixed in narrow ranges versus other currencies. BoJ Governor Kuroda maintained his recent re-commitment to a dovish script, saying earlier that a withdrawal from stimulus is not being considered as the 2% inflation target remains far from being achieved. The BoJ released the minutes from the January policy meeting, though to little market impact given their rear view nature (given that the central bank releases a summary sheet a week after policy meetings, and given the timeliness of recent BoJ member testimonies and communications). In data, Japan’s core machinery orders rebound by 8.2% m/m in January after a 9.3% contraction in the month prior. The data is volatile month-to-month and tends not to carry much market-impacting potential, as proved the case today.
Charts of the Day
Main Macro Events Today
ECB President Draghi Speech – Due to speak at the ECB conference hosted by the Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability, in Frankfurt.
ECB’s Praet and Constancio Speeches – Constancio and Praet is scheduled will have further opportunity to play down the importance of the change in guidance that took out the option to lift monthly purchase levels, while keeping the possibility of a program extension in place.
US PPI and Retail Sales – PPI is forecast sinking 0.1% in February, with core seen rising 0.2%. Here though, the 12-month pace should pick up to 2.5% y/y from 2.2%. While not as important as the consumer price data, it could raise eyebrows. Retail sales are seen returning a healthy 0.3% or 0.4% ex-auto after sluggishness around the turn of the year.
Crude Oil Inventories
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