BoJ maintains policy - EMEA brief 31 July
- Asian markets broadly subdued to to global tech sell off.
- BoJ pledged to keep it's interest rates 'very low' and added flexibility measure to its stimulus package.
- This decision leads the way with the big IR decisions taken by the leading central banks this week. U.S. Federal Reserve concludes its policy meeting on Wednesday and the Bank of England is seen raising interest rates on Thursday.
- Dollar ends up paring losses against the yen after the BoJ meeting.
- Oversupply concerns cause oil to drop by it's largest daily amount in 2 years.
- Gold is slightly firmer but nothing to write home about at $1,222/oz.
- If you're looking for a big macro day, today is the one. Calendar below only shows high importance events.
Asian overnight: A largely negative session overnight saw marginal gains in the Nikkei and ASX 200 provide the only respite from a wider trend of downside for stocks. Following on from yet another bearish session in the US, we are seeing continued uncertainty despite the overnight BoJ decision to largely retain their monetary policy in similar shape. Monetary policy has been kept extremely accommodative. The bank’s shift in purchases of exchange-traded funds toward assets linked to the Topix index did little to help the index over the course of the session, yet for the most part market fears proved unfounded. A busy economic calendar saw a largely bearish picture for the Japanese economy, with a rise in unemployment coming alongside fall in industrial production and consumer confidence. Chinese PMI figures did little to enable a more bullish outlook, with a deterioration in both services and manufacturing readings.
UK, US and Europe: Looking ahead, the economic and corporate calendar really picks up, with the Germany starting in earnest with a better-than-expected retail sales figure of 1.2% (from -2.1%). The morning will largely focus in on the eurozone CPI and GDP figures, with core inflation expected to tick higher to 1%. On the GDP front, the only expected change comes in the year-on-year figure, with markets looking for a tick lower to 2.4% (from 2.5%).
The afternoon sees another important GDP figure, with the Canadian growth reading predicted to rise sharply to 0.3% from 0.1%. Elsewhere, the US economy comes into focus, with the core PCE measure of inflation released alongside personal spending. Also keep an eye out for the consumer confidence figure. On the corporate calendar, earnings from Apple will no doubt grab the headlines as traders look out for any negative fallout from the recent trade war.
South Africa: Commodity prices are relatively flat this morning with gold remaining at depressed levels, base metals mixed and oil marginally lower although still around multi-week highs. The rand is pretty much unchanged against the majors this morning. BHP Billiton is however up 2.25% in Australia suggestive of a firmer start for local resource counters. Tencent Holdings is down 2.6% in Asia, suggestive of a similar start today for major holding company Naspers. In turn we expect the Jse Top 40 Index to open flat to marginally lower this morning.
Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in BST)
8.55am – German unemployment (July): unemployment expected to fall by 17,000 from a 15,000 drop in June. Unemployment rate to hold at 5.2%. Markets to watch: eurozone indices, EUR crosses
10am – eurozone CPI (July, flash), employment (June), GDP (Q2, flash): CPI to be 2% YoY, unchanged from last month, and core CPI to rise to 1.1% YoY from 0.9%. Unemployment rate to rise to 8.5% from 8.4%, and GDP to be 2.5% YoY and 0.5% QoQ. Markets to watch: eurozone indices, EUR crosses
1.30pm – US personal income & spending (June): income and spending to both be 0.4%, from 0.4% and 0.2% respectively last month. PCE prices, the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation to be 0.2% MoM. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses
2.45pm – Chicago PMI (July): forecast to fall to 63 from 64.1. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses
3pm – US Conference Board consumer confidence (July): expected to rise to 126.5 from 126.4. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses
Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar
Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades
- Just Eat saw a 30% increase in orders compared with H1 2017, after the firm successfully integrated Hungry House into the business. While the firm saw revenues rise 45%, the short-term costs associated with Hungry House meant pre-tax profit fell 3% to £48.1 million.
- Thomas Cook played down expectations for full-year profitability, as a growing demand for low-margin budget Spanish holidays reduced demand for more profitable packages. The firm saw revenue rise 10%, yet profits fall 3% for the three months to June 30, as many delayed plans to book a holiday given the warm weather at home.
- BP saw better-than-expected earnings figures, as higher oil prices and increasing production boosted profitability. The Gulf of Mexico disaster payoff continues to drag profitability, with $700 million paid out over the quarter. BP raised their dividend by 2.5%, while also buying $200 million worth of ordinary shares back, totalling 29 million.
- Anglo American Plc In the sixth sales cycle of the year, demand for De Beers rough diamonds was in line with expectations during the seasonally quieter summer period for the industry’s midstream sector.
Abcam upgraded to buy at Berenberg
Aegon upgraded to neutral at Mediobanca SpA
DNO upgraded to buy at DNB Markets
Tamburi Investment Partners raised to buy at Kepler Cheuvreux
Macquarie upgrades AECI to outperform with a target price of 12800c
Renaissance Capital upgrade African Rainbow Mineralsto buy with a target price of 15000c
Heineken downgraded to hold at Jefferies
Wacker Chemie cut to hold at DZ Bank
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