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Tirgus panorāma. 24 Februāris 2017

UZMANĪBU: “Tirgus panorāmas” materiāls ir pieejams pēc 6 stundām pēc tā publicēšanas. Lai operatīvi saņemtu šo materiālu, iesakām parakstīties.

I. Market focus:

24/02/2017

Yesterday’s comments of the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on tax reform continued to put pressure on the dollar. On the one hand, the official announced rather ambitious timing of the tax reform bill’s passage, what, in his opinion, may occur before the August recess or at most by the end of this year. But on the other hand, some details of the anticipated reform did not impress the markets, awaiting rally "phenomenal" reform. Instead, it was announced that the new reform would be focused on “middle-income tax cuts, simplification, and making the business tax competitive with the rest of the world”. Mnuchin added that Donald Trump's administration is working with the Republicans in both houses of Congress in order to iron out all the contradictions, but he did not provide information about specific deadline for presentation of the tax reform bill.

The final session of the week will not be very busy with scheduled events and macroeconomic data. The main report on Friday is expected to be data on inflation in Canada at 13:30 GMT. Attention will be paid also to the U.S. data on new home sales and consumer sentiment index from Reuters/Michigan. Both readings will be released at 15:00 GMT.


II. The market highlights are:

  • The data from the Labor Department revealed on Thursday the number of applications for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but still remained at a low level consistent with a healthy labor market. According to the report, the initial claims for unemployment benefits increased 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 244,000 for the week ended February 18. Economists had expected 241,000 new claims last week. Claims for the prior week were revised to 238,000 from an initially reported 239,000. Meanwhile, the four-week moving average of claims fell 4,000 to 241,000 last week. It was the 103rd straight week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, the longest streak since 1970.

  • The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Thursday that crude inventories rose by 564,000 barrels to 518.7 mln barrels in the week ended February 17. Economists had forecast a build of 3.4 mln barrels. At the same time, gasoline stocks decreased by 2.6 mln barrels to 256.4 mln barrels, while analysts had expected a decline of 1.2 mln barrels. Distillate stocks reduced by 4.9 mln barrels to 165.1 mln barrels last week, while analysts had forecast a decrease of 0.4 mln barrels. In the meantime, oil production in the U.S. dropped to 9.001 mln barrels per day versus 8.977 mln barrels per day in the previous week. U.S. crude oil imports averaged 7.3 mln barrels per day last week, down by 1.2 mln barrels per day from the previous week.

  • The U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in his exclusive interview on CNBC on Thursday, indicated the timeline for tax reform. He said he anticipated the new administration's tax reform plan to pass through congress before the August recess. According to Mnuchin, the administration is committed to passing tax reform, which is to be “focused on middle-income tax cuts, simplification, and making the business tax competitive with the rest of the world”. He added that the administration is working on a “combined plan” with the House and Senate.

  • The Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) governor Philip Lowe testified to the parliamentary economics committee on Friday. In his speech, he signaled the Australian regulator had no plans to cut interest rates in the nearer future. He noted that cutting rates below a record low 1.5 percent could create problems  for the economy in the longer term, as this could encourage households to borrow to spend on housing purchases and investments. “One of the ways in which monetary policy works is to make it easier for people to borrow and spend. But there is a balance to be struck. Too much borrowing today can create problems for tomorrow, because debt does have to be repaid. At the moment, most households with borrowings do seem to be coping pretty well. But the current high level of debt, combined with low nominal income growth, is affecting the appetite of households to spend, and we are seeing some evidence of this in the consumption figures. The balance that is required is to support spending in the economy today while avoiding creating fragilities in household balance sheets that could cause problems for the economy later on,” the Lowe said.


III. Market Situation
Currency Market
The currency pair EUR/USD consolidated near the opening level. Experts note that the U.S. dollar remains under pressure amid speculations that the Fed may hold off from raising interest rates next month. Despite the fact the minutes of the the Fed’s latest meeting indicated that the regulator considered “it might be appropriate to raise the federal funds rate again fairly soon”, they did not provide clear signal of March rate hike. A much-anticipated interview of the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin gave almost no details about the tax reform plan. As a result, uncertainties over Trump’s fiscal policy remain, which in turn reduces the likelihood of a rate hike in March. According to Mnuchin, the administration is committed to passing tax reform, which is to be “focused on middle-income tax cuts, simplification, and making the business tax competitive with the rest of the world”. Fed funds futures shows a 17.7 percent chance that the Fed raises rates at its March meeting, unchanged from the previous day. Market participants are awaiting reports on new home sales and consumer sentiment index from Reuters/Michigan. Resistance level – $1.0679 (high of February 16). Support level – $1.0493 (low of February 22).

The currency pair GBP/USD rose slightly, approaching to its high of February 9 due to the weakness of the dollar and adjustments of positions ahead of the weekend. With an empty economic calendar in the UK ahead, the market participants’ focus is expected to be on the dynamics of the U.S. currency as well as the markets’ sentiment toward risky assets. Today's economic data on UK will include only BBA mortgage approvals. Meanwhile, the market participants continue to assess the latest monthly report from the Confederation for British Industry (CBI), which revealed that UK’s retail sales balance rose to +9 in February from -8 in January, when it suffered its biggest one-month drop since records began in 1983. Economists had forecast the index would grow to +5. Resistance level - $1.2705 (high of February 2). Support level - $1.2345 (low of February 7).

The currency pair AUD/USD dropped moderately at the beginning of the session but then recouped all its losses. Focus was the The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) governor Philip Lowe’s comments, which signaled the Australian regulator had no plans to cut interest rates in the nearer future. He noted that cutting rates below a record low 1.5 percent could create problems for the economy in the longer term, as this could encourage households to borrow to spend on housing purchases and investments. “One of the ways in which monetary policy works is to make it easier for people to borrow and spend. But there is a balance to be struck. Too much borrowing today can create problems for tomorrow, because debt does have to be repaid. At the moment, most households with borrowings do seem to be coping pretty well. But the current high level of debt, combined with low nominal income growth, is affecting the appetite of households to spend, and we are seeing some evidence of this in the consumption figures. The balance that is required is to support spending in the economy today while avoiding creating fragilities in household balance sheets that could cause problems for the economy later on,” the Lowe said. Investors gradually shift their attention to Australia’s Q4 GDP data, which will be published next week. Analysts, surveyed by Bloomberg, project the GDP to record growth of 0.7 percent q-o-q and 1.9 percent y-o-y. Resistance level - AUD0.7739 (high of February 23). Support level - AUD0.7648 (low of February 21).

The currency pair USD/JPY traded slightly higher in the absence of fresh triggers for movement and as the investors took “wait-and-see” position. Expectations that the rate hike as well as tax reform will occur in the near future decreased. Despite the fact the minutes of the the Fed’s latest meeting indicated that the regulator considered “it might be appropriate to raise the federal funds rate again fairly soon”, many experts do not believe the hike will be approved in March. However, the markets cannot ignore the statement of the Fed’s Governor Jerome Powell, saying March rate hike is on the table. In addition, investors worry about the presidential elections in France. Investors’ behavior demonstrates that they hedge the exchange rate risk amid concerns about political instability in the eurozone. Resistance level - Y113.78 (high of February 21). Support level - Y111.59 (low of February 7).


Stock Market

Index

Value

Change

S&P

2,363.81

+0.04%

Dow

20,810.32

+0.17%

NASDAQ

5,835.51

-0.43%

Nikkei

19,283.54

-0.45%

Hang Seng

23,965.70

-0.62%

Shanghai

3,253.03

+0.05%


U.S. stock indexes ended mainly higher on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing at an all-time high for the 10th consecutive session. Investors weighed the Wednesday minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest meeting and a fresh batch of corporate earnings. In addition, the focus was on the statement of the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, saying that he expects the new administration's tax reform plan to pass through Congress before the August recess. In macroeconomic environment, the data from the Labor Department revealed the number of applications for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but still remained at a low level consistent with a healthy labor market. According to the report, the initial claims for unemployment benefits increased 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 244,000 for the week ended February 18. Economists had expected 241,000 new claims last week. It was the 103rd straight week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, the longest streak since 1970.

Asian stock indexes closed mainly lower on Friday, as the minutes from the FOMC’s latest meeting revealed officials confident they can raise rates gradually. The Japanese stock benchmark underperformed  as the yen strengthened against the dollar. In addition, the market sentiment was impacted by the political uncertainty in Europe and the lack of clarity regarding the new U.S. administration's policy.

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


Bond Market
Yields of US 10-year notes hold at 2.39% (+1 basis points)
Yields of German 10-year bonds hold at 0.22% (-1 basis points)
Yields of UK 10-year gilts hold at 1.15% (0 basis points)

Commodity Markets
Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures traded lower. Crude oil for delivery in March settled at  $54.37 (-0.15%). The crude oil prices fell slightly, after hitting a 19-month high on Thursday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a smaller-than-expected build in crude inventories. According to the (EIA), the U.S. crude inventories rose by 564,000 barrels to 518.7 mln barrels in the week ended February 17. Economists had forecast a build of 3.4 mln barrels. At the same time, gasoline stocks decreased by 2.6 mln barrels to 256.4 mln barrels, while analysts had expected a decline of 1.2 mln barrels. Distillate stocks reduced by 4.9 mln barrels to 165.1 mln barrels last week, while analysts had forecast a decrease of 0.4 mln barrels. In the meantime, oil production in the U.S. dropped to 9.001 mln barrels per day versus 8.977 mln barrels per day in the previous week. U.S. crude oil imports averaged 7.3 mln barrels per day last week, down by 1.2 mln barrels per day from the previous week. Market participants await weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count from Baker Hughes.

Gold traded at $1252.90 (+0.29%). Gold prices rose moderately, hitting a three-month high, as the investors’ expectations the Fed will hike interest rate in March decreased, while global political risks are in focus. The minutes of the the Fed’s latest meeting indicated that the regulator considered “it might be appropriate to raise the federal funds rate again fairly soon”, they did not provide clear signal of March rate hike. Fed funds futures shows a 17.7 percent chance that the Fed raises rates at its March meeting, unchanged from the previous day. Hikes in interest rates are negative for gold prices as the support the dollar strengthening. Since gold prices are tied to the dollar, a stronger dollar makes the precious metal more expensive for holders of foreign currencies.


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


13:30

Canada

Consumer Price Index

13:30

Canada

Bank of Canada Consumer Price Index Core

15:00

U.S.

Reuters/Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (finally)

15:00

U.S.

New Home Sales


Tirgus fokuss

  • Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States
  • Canada: Retail Sales, m/m, November 0.2% (forecast 0.5%)
  • U.S.: Nonfarm Payrolls, January 227 (forecast 175)
  • Eurozone: Consumer Confidence, January -4.9
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