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Tirgus panorāma. 21 Septembris 2017

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I. Market focus:

21/09/2017

At the beginning of the Thursday session, the focus of the market participants was on the outcomes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) meeting. Yesterday, the U.S. regulator made the expected decisions, leaving the target range for the federal funds rate at 1 percent to 1.25 percent and setting October for the start of its previously announced plan to reduce its $4.5 trillion balance sheet. The Bank intends to reduce its securities holdings by decreasing its reinvestment of the principal payments it receives from securities it holds. The plan will start with only $10 billion a month initially, which would be then increased by $10 billion every quarter, up to $50 billion a month. Given the size of the Fed's current balance sheet (about $ 4.5 billion), the size of its monthly cuts will be relatively small and, “gradual and predictable” as the Fed promised. Markets see this approach as quite acceptable. The U.S. stock indexes, which grew after the financial crisis of 2007-2008 was largely due to the expansion of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet, closed flat, having managed to recover to the end of trading from moderate declines caused by the announcement of the Fed decision. The indicators’ performance reflected the market reaction to the Fed’s decision to start the balance sheet shrinking, a downward shift of the Fed officials' forecasts for long-term rate (from 3.0% to 2.8%) and statement that storm-related disruptions are unlikely to materially alter the course of the national economy over the medium term. Unlike the stock indexes, the dollar's reaction was more significant: the U.S. currency rose sharply against other major currencies. The dollar was helped by the fact that the Fed signaled support for another rate hike in 2017. The feds funds futures market now places the chances of a December rate hike at 70.5%, up from 56.6% before the release of the Fed statement. Expectations of further tightening of the monetary policy by the Fed will continue to support the dollar.

Against a backdrop of the Fed meeting, the markets almost did not notice the gathering of the Bank of Japan (BoJ). As widely expected, the Japanese central bank took no important decisions as well as made no changes to the parameters of its monetary policy. Perhaps, the reaction to the press conference of the BoJ’s governor, which is set to start at the beginning of the European session, will be stronger.

Today, the main scheduled events will be the speech of ECB President Mario Draghi at 13:30 GMT. In addition, investors will pay attention to the data on the UK’s public sector net borrowing (08:30 GMT) and the statistics on the initial jobless claims in the U.S. (12:30 GMT).


II. The market highlights are:

  • The National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced on Wednesday that the U.S. existing home sales fell 1.7 percent m-o-m to an annual rate of 5.35 mln units in August from an unrevised 5.44 million in July. Economists had forecast home resales increasing to a 5.46 million-unit pace last month. That was the lowest reading since August of 2016. Last month's sales pace was only 0.2 percent above a year ago. The NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun noted that the slump in existing sales stretched into August despite what remains a solid level of demand for buying a home. "Steady employment gains, slowly rising incomes and lower mortgage rates generated sustained buyer interest all summer long, but unfortunately, not more home sales," he said. Yun added that "Some of the South region's decline in closings can be attributed to the devastation Hurricane Harvey caused to the greater Houston area. Sales will be impacted the rest of the year in Houston, as well as in the most severely affected areas in Florida from Hurricane Irma. However, nearly all of the lost activity will likely show up in 2018."

  • The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced Wednesday that crude inventories rose by 4.6 million barrels to 472.8 million barrels in the week ended September 15. That was the biggest gain in inventories in six months. Economists had forecast an increase of 2.925 million barrels. At the same time, gasoline stocks reduced by 2.1 million barrels to 216.2 million barrels, in-line with analysts expectations. Distillate stocks decreased by 5.7 million barrels to 138.9 million barrels last week, while analysts had forecast a fall of 1.5 million barrels. Meanwhile, oil production in the U.S. climbed to 9.510 million barrels per day from 9.353 million barrels per day in the previous week. U.S. crude oil imports averaged about 7.4 million barrels per day last week, up by 888,000 barrels per day from the previous week.

  • Statistics New Zealand announced Wednesday that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent q-o-q and 2.5 percent y-o-y in the second quarter of 2017. Economists expected 0.8 percent q-o-q growth and 2.5 percent y-o-y advance. 11 of the 16 GDP industries increased in the second quarter in q-o-q terms, led by retail trade and accommodation (+2.8 percent q-o-q), transport, postal, and warehousing (+3.5 percent q-o-q) and manufacturing (+1.8 percent q-o-q).  At the same time, construction (-1.1 percent q-o-q) was the biggest drag on the GDP growth, as construction-related investment reduced. On the expenditures side, household spending grew 0.9 percent q-o-q, driven by spending on services and durable goods. Exports of goods and services were up 5.2 percent q-o-q, while imports were up 0.6 percent q-o-q. Investment in fixed assets fell 0.8 percent q-o-q, due to lower investment in residential building, non-residential building, and other construction.

  • The Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced on Thursday it had decided at its September meeting to leave its interest rate unchanged at -0.1 percent, as widely expected by financial markets. The bank also left unchanged its 10-year government bond yield target around zero percent, while the annual pace of monetary expansion was remained at about JPY 80 trln. The Bank noted that Japan's economy was expanding moderately and public investment was increasing. On the price front, the year-on-year rate of change in the consumer price index is around 0.5 percent. Inflation expectations have remained in a weakening phase, the BoJ policy statement said. The member of the Policy Board of the BoJ Goushi Kataoka argued against the central bank’s view that current policy was sufficient to boost inflation to its 2 percent target. He said the effects of the current yield curve program weren’t strong enough, though inflation was likely to continue rising for the time being due to oil prices and foreign-exchange rates.


III. Market Situation
Currency Market
The currency pair EUR/USD traded slightly lower after yesterday’s tumble, caused by a sharp strengthening of the U.S. dollar after the Fed signaled support for another rate hike in 2017. Recall, the U.S. regulator decided yesterday to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1 percent to 1.25 percent but hinted it might raise interest rates for a third time this year even as inflation has remained below its 2 percent goal. The Federal Reserve’s dot plot of interest-rate projections showed that policymakers still expect to hike short-term interest rates one more time this year and put the median view of federal funds rate at the end of the year at 1.4 percent. The expectations also remained unchanged for 2018, with a projection of three 0.25 point rate rises to 2.1 percent at the end of the next year. At the same time, the dot plot signaled that the officials foresee a slightly slower path for rate hikes in 2019. They now expect there will likely be two rate rises ending at about 2.7 percent in 2019, down from its previous view of 3 percent. The Fed's projections also revealed the central bankers expect to achieve their 2 percent price rise target in 2019, rather than in 2018. For this year, they see inflation increasing by 1.6 percent. The policymakers also said they see 2017 growth at 2.4 percent, versus the 2.2 percent seen in at the June meeting. They also project the economy to expand by 2.1 percent in 2018, and by 2 percent in 2019. On the jobs front, the Fed believes jobless rate will move from the current 4.4 percent to 4.3 percent this year. In 2018, the unemployment will reduce to 4.1 percent. During today's session, the U.S. dollar is likely to continue to receive support from the increased expectations that the Fed will tighten its policy again this year. The feds funds futures market now places the chances of a December rate hike at 70.5%, up from 56.6% before the release of the Fed statement. The pair performance may be influenced by the speech of ECB President Mario Draghi. Resistance level - $1.2033 (high of September 20). Support level - $1.1823 (low of August 31).

The currency pair GBP/USD consolidated near the opening level, as investors took a breath after the pair's sharp decline the day before, and awaited data on Britain's public finances. Economists expect that the public sector net borrowing in August was slightly lower than in the same period in 2016 when they amounted to GBP6.8 billion. In July, Britain recorded budget surplus, due to a strong growth in production and tax collection. Meanwhile, borrowings for the first four months of the financial year have grown strongly compared to the previous year, as the acceleration of inflation (against the backdrop of the pound’s depreciation after Brexit) raised the cost of debt service. In addition, investors will continue to monitor the situation around the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday that Mr. Johnson might resign if Prime Minister Theresa May adopts a "Swiss-style" Brexit approach. Resistance level - $1.3700 (psychological level). Support level - $1.3157 (low of September 14).

The currency pair AUD/USD fell significantly, continuing yesterday's trend, and reaching a low of September 19. The pair remained under pressure as the U.S. dollar demonstrated a broad strengthening, supported by the Fed statement, which signaled one more hike in 2017 and three in 2018. The U.S. regulator also set October for the start of its previously announced plan to reduce its $4.5 trillion balance sheet. Additional pressure on the pair put the statement of the RBA governor Philip Lowe, who said that there was no automatic link between higher global rates and monetary action. Resistance level - AUD0.8101 (high of September 20). Support level - AUD0.7921 (low of September 1).

The currency pair USD/JPY rose slightly, continuing yesterday's rally, and updating a two-month high. The pair was supported by the broad strengthening of the U.S. currency in response to the increased chances of further tightening of the monetary policy by the Fed. In addition, the focus was on the outcomes of the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) meeting. As widely expected, the BoJ decided to leave its interest rate unchanged at -0.1 percent. The bank also left unchanged its 10-year government bond yield target around zero percent, while the annual pace of monetary expansion was remained at about JPY 80 trln. The Bank noted that Japan's economy was expanding moderately and public investment was increasing. On the price front, the year-on-year rate of change in the consumer price index is around 0.5 percent. Inflation expectations have remained in a weakening phase, the BoJ policy statement said. The member of the Policy Board of the BoJ Goushi Kataoka argued against the central bank’s view that current policy was sufficient to boost inflation to its 2 percent target. He said the effects of the current yield curve program weren’t strong enough, though inflation was likely to continue rising for the time being due to oil prices and foreign-exchange rates. Resistance level - Y112.85 (high of July 17). Support level - Y109.53 (low of September 15).

Stock Market

Index

Value

Change

S&P

2,508.24

+0.06%

Dow

22,412.59

+0.19%

NASDAQ

6,456.04

-0.08%

Nikkei

20,347.48

+0.18%

Hang Seng

28,120.91

-0.02%

Shanghai

3,358.19

-0.23%

S&P/ASX

5,655.42

-0.94%


U.S. stock indexes closed mostly higher on Wednesday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 hitting new-all time highs, after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled it expects another interest rate hike by year-end and disclosed timing for unwinding its huge balance sheet. The focus also was on August existing home sales. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced that the U.S. existing home sales fell 1.7 percent m-o-m to an annual rate of 5.35 mln units in August from an unrevised 5.44 million in July. Economists had forecast home resales increasing to a 5.46 million-unit pace last month. That was the lowest reading since August of 2016. Last month's sales pace was only 0.2 percent above a year ago.

Asian stock indexes closed mainly lower on Thursday, as investors reacted to the outcomes of the meetings of the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan (BoJ). At its latest meeting, the Fed officials decided to leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged as widely expected but signaled one more rate hike by year-end despite recent weak inflation readings. The U.S. regulator also announced that it would begin unwinding its balance sheet in October. The BoJ decided to leave its interest rate unchanged at -0.1 percent, as widely expected by financial markets. The bank also left unchanged its 10-year government bond yield target around zero percent, while the annual pace of monetary expansion was remained at about JPY 80 trln. Japanese stock benchmark rose as the yen's fall against the dollar after the Fed's decision provided support to the Japanese export-oriented companies.

European stock indexes are expected to trade mixed in the morning trading session.


Bond Market
Yields of US 10-year notes hold at 2.27% (-1 basis points)
Yields of German 10-year bonds hold at 0.44% (0 basis points)
Yields of UK 10-year gilts hold at 1.34% (0 basis points)

Commodity Markets
Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures traded lower. Crude oil for delivery in November settled at $50.61 (-0.16%). The crude oil prices slipped, correcting after yesterday’s surge. The oil prices are also pressured by a stronger dollar. The focus remained in the latest report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), which showed that the U.S. crude inventories rose by 4.6 million barrels to 472.8 million barrels in the week ended September 15. That was the biggest gain in inventories in six months. Economists had forecast an increase of 2.925 million barrels. At the same time, gasoline stocks reduced by 2.1 million barrels to 216.2 million barrels, in-line with analysts expectations. Distillate stocks decreased by 5.7 million barrels to 138.9 million barrels last week, while analysts had forecast a fall of 1.5 million barrels. Meanwhile, oil production in the U.S. climbed to 9.510 million barrels per day from 9.353 million barrels per day in the previous week. U.S. crude oil imports averaged about 7.4 million barrels per day last week, up by 888,000 barrels per day from the previous week.

Gold traded at $1298.40 (-0.22%). Gold prices fell as the U.S. dollar demonstrated a broad strengthening after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled it expects another interest rate hike by year-end. The index, measuring the value of the U.S. dollar relative to a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.05 percent to 92.55 Since gold prices are tied to the dollar, a stronger dollar makes the precious metal more expensive for holders of foreign currencies. The feds funds futures market now places the chances of a December rate hike at 70.5%, up from 56.6% before the release of the Fed statement. Recall, hikes in interest rates are negative for gold prices.

IV. The most important news that are expected (time GMT0)


06:30

Japan

BOJ Press Conference

08:00

Eurozone

ECB Economic Bulletin

08:30

United Kingdom

BBA Mortgage Approvals

08:30

United Kingdom

PSNB

12:30

Canada

Wholesale Sales

12:30

U.S.

Continuing Jobless Claims

12:30

U.S.

Initial Jobless Claims

12:30

U.S.

Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey

13:00

U.S.

Housing Price Index

13:30

Eurozone

ECB President Mario Draghi Speaks

14:00

Eurozone

Consumer Confidence

14:00

U.S.

Leading Indicators


Tirgus fokuss

  • US nonfarm payrolls rise more than expected in July
  • Canada’s merchandise trade deficit widens in June
  • Canada unemployment rate falls to lowest level since October 2008
  • Canada Ivey PMI falls less than expected in July
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