‘Follow the Money’: Major Players Betting on Vaccinations to Keep Global Economy Afloat

The coronavirus is in the news again, not last year’s pandemic fueling COVID-19 version, but the fast-spreading Delta variant. While dominating the mainstream news in the United States (See CNN and FoxNews), and globally on business website such as CNBC, Reuters and Bloomberg, to name a few, we’re not really seeing a major impact on the financial markets.

This is interesting to note because the mainstream story is centered on rising infection numbers, the slow pace of vaccinations and what is likely to happen if countries don’t start clamping down on the spread of the virus. In other words, people’s health. Some experts are even calling it a “life or death” situation.

In the financial markets, obviously we’re not seeing the same reaction as we did in 2020 with stocks dropping 20% in a matter of weeks and crude oil testing prices below $20 a barrel. Instead we’re seeing a relative calm.

Is this telling us to “follow the money?” Is this telling us that since the situation is not as bad as last year, there is no need to panic? Are the financial markets indicating there is not enough information yet to understand the impact of this new outbreak? Do we wait for the bad economic numbers or do we anticipate them?

The answer is all of the above.

Of course, I don’t recommend putting your finances ahead of your health. I don’t think anyone is doing that. Traders are making their decisions on what they know at this time. Some are even basing their decisions on their belief in the vaccinations.

In this case, they feel that enough people are vaccinated so major economic shutdowns are warranted at this time. But we’ve seen different reactions all around the globe, which could be adding to the confusion over what to do. Lighten up on the long side? Buy more, start selling? Move to the sidelines?

I don’t think I am going to be able to answer any of these questions in this article, but if I had to center on one, I’d have to say “follow the money”. But I should add that I am vaccinated, so I may be biased.

Here’s What Others are Saying and Doing

Fed’s Powell Downplays Delta Variant’s Threat to the Economy

The spread of the COVID-19 delta variant is raising infections, leading some companies and governments to require vaccinations and raising concerns about the U.S. economic recovery, according to the AP.

But on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell injected a note of reassurance, suggesting that the delta variant poses little threat to the economy, at least so far.

“What we’ve seen is with successive waves of COVID over the past year and some months now,” Powell said at a news conference, “there has tended to be less in the way of economic implications from each wave. We will see whether that is the case with the delta variety, but it’s certainly not an unreasonable expectation.”

“Dining out, traveling, some schools might not reopen,” he said. “We may see economic effects from some of that or it might weigh on the return to the labor market. We don’t have a strong sense of how that will work out, so we’ll be monitoring it carefully.”

More Corporations are Requiring Workers to Get Vaccinated ~ Axios

The federal government in May said that it is legal for companies to require employees to get vaccinated for coronavirus.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent an email to employees announcing that those going back to the office needed to be vaccinated. The company is also extending its work-from-home policy through October 18.

Facebook said that anyone going back to work in their U.S. campuses must be vaccinated.

Netflix is requiring that the casts for all of its U.S. productions be vaccinated, as well as everyone who comes in contact with them.

Drop in UK COVID-19 Cases Indicates Infections Surge May Be Past Peak ~ Reuters

Early last week, the UK added to the confusion when it reported its lowest daily total of new coronavirus cases since July 4, adding to signs that a recent surge in infections driven by the spread of the Delta variant may have passed its peak.

Sydney Readies for the Army as Lockdown Fails to Squash Australia Delta Outbreak ~ CNN

Sydney’s poorest neighborhoods on Friday braced for military enforcement of the city’s toughest and longest lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic as the infection as the infection numbers held persistently high five weeks since restrictions began.

The situation appears to be so bleak in Australia that economists are already predicting a third quarter contraction.

Oil Climbs, Notches Fourth Monthly Gain on Growing Demand – Reuters

The crude oil market is interesting since it sold off sharply early in July when the Delta-variant story first broke. The biggest concern was demand destruction.

Since then, however, both WTI and Brent have recovered enough to post a fourth monthly gain, with demand growing faster than supply and vaccinations expected to alleviate the impact of a resurgence in COVID-19 infections across the world.

Conclusion

The best advice appears to be: bet on the vaccinations to work, keep monitoring the global economy especially output and labor and keep an eye on gasoline demand.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

The Week Ahead – Economic Data, Monetary Policy, and COVID-19 in Focus

On the Macro

It’s quieter week ahead on the economic calendar, with 51 stats in focus in the week ending 6th August. In the week prior, 71 stats had also been in focus.

For the Dollar:

From the private sector, ISM Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing PMIs for July will be in focus.

Expect the Non-Manufacturing PMI due out on Wednesday to have the greatest impact.

On the labor market front, ADP nonfarm employment change and weekly jobless claims figures on Wednesday and Thursday will also influence.

Nonfarm payrolls at the end of the week, however, will be the key stat of the week.

In the week ending 30th July, the Dollar Spot Index fell by 0.79% to 92.174.

For the EUR:

It’s a busy week on the economic data front.

Private sector PMIs for Italy and Spain together with finalized numbers for France, Germany, and the Eurozone will influence.

Expect Italy and the Eurozone’s PMIs to be key in the week.

German and Eurozone retail sales figures will also influence, with consumption key to a sustainable economic recovery.

For the week, the EUR rose by 0.84% to $1.1870.

For the Pound:

It’s a relatively quiet week ahead on the economic calendar.

Finalized private sector PMIs for July are due out on Monday and Wednesday.

Expect any revisions to the services PMI to have a greater impact in the week.

Construction PMIs also due out, should have a muted impact, however.

While the finalized numbers will influence, the Bank of England monetary policy decision on Thursday will be the main event.

Last week, the IMF talked up the outlook for the British economy. It now rests in the hands of the BoE.

The Pound ended the week up by 1.13% to $1.3904.

For the Loonie:

It’s a busier week ahead on the economic calendar.

Trade data on Thursday and employment change figures on Friday will be the key numbers.

While trade figures will influence, expect the employment change figures to have a greater impact.

The Loonie ended the week up 0.71% to C$1.2475 against the U.S Dollar.

Out of Asia

For the Aussie Dollar:

Manufacturing sector data, building permits, retail sales, and trade data will be in focus.

Retail sales and trade data, due out on Wednesday and Thursday, will be the key stats of the week.

On the monetary policy front, however, the RBA monetary policy decision on Tuesday will be the main event.

The Aussie Dollar ended the week down by 0.30% to $0.7344.

For the Kiwi Dollar:

It’s a quiet week ahead. Mid-week, employment change figures will draw interest ahead of inflation expectation numbers on Friday.

With little else for the markets to consider in the week, expect both sets of numbers to provide direction. The markets are expecting a further pickup in inflationary pressures…

The Kiwi Dollar ended the week flat at $0.6974.

For the Japanese Yen:

Finalized private sector PMIs and Tokyo inflation figures will be in focus in the 1st half of the week.

Expect any revision to the PMIs to be of greater influence.

Late in the week, household spending figures will also draw interest.

The Japanese Yen rose by 0.75% to ¥109.720 against the U.S Dollar.

Out of China

It’s a busier day, with private sector PMIs to provide the markets with direction.

Following NBS numbers from the weekend, the market’s preferred Caixin manufacturing PMI will set the tone. Over the weekend, the NBS Manufacturing PMI fell from 50.9 to 50.4…

With service sector activity a greater component of the economy, Wednesday’s services PMI will also influence, however.

The Chinese Yuan ended the week up by 0.31% to CNY6.4614 against the U.S Dollar.

Geo-Politics

Russia and China continue to be the main areas of interest for the markets. News updates from the Middle East will also need continued monitoring…

All Eyes on NFP as Fed Won’t Make a Move on Policy without Substantial Labor Market Growth

The Federal Reserve monetary policy statement and remarks from Fed Chair Jerome Powell set the tone in several financial markets last week with the biggest influence on the U.S. Dollar. Disappointing U.S. economic reports also weighed on the greenback.

Ahead of next week, however, investors are asking whether the sell-off represents a change in the longer-term trend or just a shift in momentum.

With the Fed not scheduled to meet until September 21-22, the move likely represents a shift in momentum since policymakers left in place their change in the timeline for the next interest rate hike that it announced in its June 16 monetary policy statement.

In last Wednesday’s announcement, all it did was push the possible start of tapering nearly seven weeks into the future. It didn’t remove the possibility of tapering and it didn’t move the timeline for the next rate hike so we really can’t call its policy statement “dovish”. It should probably be best described as “less-hawkish”.

Furthermore, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will have two Non-Farm Payrolls and Consumer Inflation reports under their belt before making its late September policy decision. With the labor market and inflation the biggest concerns for the Fed and likely to exert the most influence on policymakers, these are the two reports that traders should pay attention to during August.

The U.S. will release its Non-Farm Payrolls report on August 6 along with data on Average Hourly Earnings and the Unemployment rate. Non-Farm Payrolls are expected to show the economy added 895K new jobs in July. The unemployment rate is expected to dip from 5.9% to 5.7% and Average Hourly Earnings are expected to remain steady at 0.3%.

Labor Market Growth is Powell’s Major Concern

During July, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell mentioned his concerns about labor market growth twice in his public speeches. The first mention was mid-month in his testimony before Congress. The second was in his post-monetary policy statement press conference last Wednesday.

On July 14, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress that while the economy has come a long way back from its pandemic-induced depths, the labor market “still has a long way to go.”

“Labor demand appears to be very strong; job openings are at a record high, hiring is robust, and many workers are leaving their jobs,” Powell said. “Indeed, employers added 1.7 million workers from April through June. However, the unemployment rate remained elevated in June at 5.9 percent.”

Powell added that the official unemployment rate understates the real condition of the job market as many potential workers remain on the sidelines for reasons ranging from continued fear of COVID-19, enhanced unemployment benefits and difficultly finding child case.

At last Wednesday’s press conference, Powell fielded many questions about inflation, but he also said that hiring needed to progress further before the Fed would be ready to dial down its support for the economy.

“I’d say we have some ground to cover on the labor market side,” Powell said. “I think we’re some way away from having had substantial further progress toward the maximum employment goal.”

Conclusion

While the initial reaction to the Fed and Powell was to sell the U.S. Dollar because the notion of tapering was put on hold at its last meeting, the real move in the U.S. Dollar over the short-term is likely to follow the July Non-Farm Payrolls report, due on August 6.

A weaker-than-expected report for July will be bearish for the U.S. Dollar because traders will start reducing the chances of the Fed announcing the start of tapering at its September meeting. Furthermore, if July employment data is weak then the August report due in September is also likely to be weak if the COVID crisis gets out of control.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

China Manufacturing PMI Eases; Hong Kong, China Shares Tumble on Regulatory Restrictions, COVID Worries

China released economic data early Saturday that showed factor activity expanded in July as the slowest pace in 17 months as higher raw material costs, equipment maintenance and extreme weather weighed on business activity, adding to concerns about a slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy, Reuters reported.

The report follows a week of volatile trading in Chinese markets that left Hong Kong Hang Seng Index 5% lower. Both Hong Kong and mainland-listed stocks fell on Friday, losing the partial recovery they made after diving earlier in the week.

China’s Factory Activity in July Grows at Slowest Pace Since February 2020

The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) eased to 50.4 in July from 50.9 in June, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Saturday, but remained above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.

Analysts had expected it to slip to 50.8. It was the lowest figure since the index slumped to 35.7 in February 2020, after China began lockdowns to control the coronavirus pandemic.

The official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) eased to 53.3 in July, from 53.5 in June, a separate survey from the NBS showed.

Hong Kong, China Stocks Resume Slump on Regulatory Concerns, COVID Jump

Shares in Hong Kong and China resumed their slump on Friday after rebounding in the previous session, with key indexes booking their worst monthly performance in years, as persistent concerns over regulatory crackdowns outweighed Beijing’s attempts to calm markets.

China’s blue-chip CSI300 Index closed down 0.8% and posted its biggest monthly loss since October 2018, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.42%, capping its worst month since 2019.

Hong Kong tech shares slumped again, pulling the benchmark Hang Seng Index to its biggest monthly fall since October 2018.

The Hang Seng closed down 1.4%, following Thursday’s 3.3% rally. Tech giants such as Meituan and Alibaba led Friday’s decline. The Hang Seng Tech Index plunged 2.56%, extending its weekly fall to 6.7%.

Global investors have been dumping shares in Chinese companies after Beijing banned for-profit tutoring on core school subjects, following crackdowns earlier this year on the tech sector. The regulatory moves have revived worries about the risks of investing in China.

Finally, a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in mainland China and Hong Kong also dented investors’ risk appetite.

Chinese Companies Looking for US Listings Must File More Disclosures – SEC Chair

The chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday that he had asked staff to mandate certain disclosures from offshore issuers associated with China-based operating companies before registration statements can be declared effective.

Gary Gensler also said in a statement that the new disclosures will require Chinese companies tell the regulator and investors whether certain actions could affect the firm’s “financial performance and the enforceability of the contractual arrangements.”

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Japan, South Korean Shares Pressured by Chinese Technology Crackdown, Renewed COVID-19 Concerns

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished lower across the board on Friday, ending a mostly bearish week on a down note. The markets were rattled all week as a Chinese crackdown on its technology sector and rising cases of the Delta coronavirus variant raged against still-dovish monetary policy and mixed earnings from a range of companies.

Friday’s Cash Market Performance

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index settled at 27283.59, down 498.83 or -1.80%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index finished at 25961.03, down 354.29 or -1.35% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3202.32, down 40.33 or -1.24%.

China’s benchmark Shanghai Index settled at 3397.36, down 14.37 or -0.42% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 7392.60, down 24.80 or -0.33%.

Nikkei Ends at Over 6-Month Low on Virus Worries, Earnings Lag

Japan’s Nikkei stock average closed at its lowest since the start of the year on Friday as spiking COVID-19 cases, some earnings disappoints and a decline in U.S. stock futures dented investor sentiment.

The Nikkei’s 1.8% decline on Friday was its biggest decline since June 21 and the lowest close since January 6.

For the month, the Nikkei slumped 5.24%, its worst performance since the coronavirus-induced market meltdown in March last year, after recording an 11th straight decline on the final trading day of the month.

In COVID-related news, Japan’s government on Friday proposed extending the state of emergency through August 31 for Tokyo and some other prefectures, as COVID-19 cases spike to record highs.

“The earnings weren’t that bad, but in terms of the outlook, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of confidence,” which is weighing on stocks, said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

“The market is wary that the Nikkei could break below 27,000.”

South Korea Stocks Post Worst Month Since March 2020 on Weak China Shares, Virus Woes

South Korean shares tumbled more than 1% on Friday, and posted its worst monthly decline in more than a year, weighed by continued worries about the Chinese government’s regulatory crackdown and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The KOSPI ended down 40.33 points, or 1.24%, at 3,302.32, its sharpest daily fall in more than two months. The index ended the month down 2.86%, its sharpest monthly decline since March last year, and snapped an eight month winning streak.

In economic news, Friday’s data showed South Korea’s factory output in June rebounded from May on a boost in semiconductor and car production.

In COVID-related news, South Korea reported 1,710 new cases for Thursday, still near the record infections marked this week, even after the country imposed the toughest distancing measures in the metropolitan Seoul area and some neighboring cities.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

European Equities: A Month in Review – July 2021

The Majors

It was another bullish month for the European majors in July, logging a 6th consecutive monthly gain.

The CAC40 and the EuroStoxx600 rose by 1.61% and by 1.97% respectively, while the DAX30 struggled, rising by just 0.09%.

It was a choppier month for the European majors. Concerns over the resilience of the economic recovery tested support for the majors at the start of the 3rd quarter of the year.

A continued rise in new COVID-19 cases across the world added to the market angst in the month.

Economic data from Germany was also disappointing, pegging the DAX30 back.

Central bank assurance of support, dip buying, corporate earnings, and economic data for France and the Eurozone delivered support, however.

The Stats

Key stats in the month included inflation, consumer spending, consumer sentiment, private sector PMIs, and 2nd quarter GDP numbers.

Once more, the stats were skewed to the positive, delivering support to the broader market.

The Private Sector

The Eurozone’s composite PMI rose from 59.5 to 60.6 in July, according to prelim numbers. Service sector activity picked up, delivering the upside at composite level.

Germany’s Manufacturing PMI increased from 65.1 to 65.6, which was key as private sector activity across France saw slower growth.

As a result of weak numbers from France, the Eurozone’s Manufacturing PMI fell from 63.4 to 62.6.

The German Economy

From Germany, while survey-based numbers were upbeat, non-survey-based data disappointed in the month.

Factory orders (-3.7%) and industrial production (-0.30%) were weak, with Germany’s trade surplus narrowing from 15.9bn to 12.6bn EUR.

German business and consumer confidence also failed to impress in spite of the reopening of the economy. Rising cases of the Delta variant across the world raised uncertainties over the economic outlook in the month.

Late in the month, 1st estimate GDP numbers for the 2nd quarter were also in focus.

The German economy expanded by 1.5%, quarter-on-quarter, partially reversing a 2.1% contraction from the previous quarter. Economists had forecast 1.9% growth.

A positive in the week, however, was a fall in the unemployment rate from 5.9% to 5.7%, which should support consumption.

The Eurozone

For the Eurozone, the economy expanded by 2.00% in the 2nd quarter, reversing a 0.3% contraction from the previous quarter.

The numbers were aligned with the ECB’s optimistic outlook on the economic recovery.

Inflation

In the month, the ECB also revised its price stability target, increasing the inflation target to 2.0%. The move was viewed as dovish, giving the ECB more legroom before having to make a move on the policy front.

In spite of this, the Eurozone’s annual rate of inflation accelerated from 1.9% to 2.2% in July, according to prelim figures.

From the U.S

Economic data delivered mixed results for the markets.

Inflationary pressures continued to build, though following assurances from the FED, failed to spook the markets.

The market’s preferred ISM private sector PMIs for June were disappointing for June, which raised concerns over the economic recovery.

Weekly jobless claim figures also failed to impress, with claims falling to a month low 360k before climbing to a high 419k.

In the final week of the month, consumer confidence and 2nd quarter GDP numbers delivered mixed results.

Consumer confidence picked up in July, suggesting a further increase in consumption. In June, retail sales had risen by a modest 0.5%. On the economic growth front, however, the U.S economy grew by just 6.5% in the quarter, falling well short of a forecasted 8.5%.

Monetary Policy

In July, both the ECB and the FED left monetary policy unchanged. Both central banks delivered assurances of unwavering support, ultimately propping up the European majors in the month.

The Market Movers

For the DAX: It was a bearish month for the auto sector in June. Continental and BMW slid by 7.88% and by 6.09% respectively. Daimler and Volkswagen ended the month down by 0.44% and by 2.49% respectively.

It was also a bearish month for the banks. Deutsche Bank fell by 2.86%, with Commerzbank sliding by 9.03%.

From the CAC, it was a bearish month for the banking sector. BNP Paribas fell by 2.69%, with Credit Agricole and Soc Gen seeing losses of 0.42% and 0.52% respectively.

It was also a bearish month for the auto sector. Renault slid by 6.02%, with Stellantis NV ending the month down by 2.20%.

Air France-KLM fell by a further 3.71%, while Airbus SE rallied by 6.69%.

On the VIX Index

It was a first monthly gain in 6-months for the VIX in July.

Reversing a 5.55% loss from June, the VIX rose by 15.22% to end the month at 18.24.

In July, the S&P500 rallied by 2.27%, with the Dow and the NASDAQ ending the month up by 1.25% and by 1.16% respectively.

VIX 310721 Monthly Chart

The Month Ahead

Following some mixed numbers from Germany, we can expect increased sensitivity to the German numbers in the month ahead.

Private sector PMIs will also remain key, with any fall back in private sector PMIs likely to test support for the majors.

Following the latest spike in inflation, a further pickup in inflationary pressure will also raise questions over consumption. As a key component of the economic recovery, any concerns over consumption would also pressure the majors.

From the U.S, labor market numbers will now be the key area of focus as inflationary pressures continue to pick up.

Consumer confidence and consumption numbers will need to impress to support riskier assets.

From elsewhere, private sector PMIs and trade data from China will also need tracking.

Away from the economic calendar, COVID-19 news will also need monitoring. As new cases continued to rise in July, the threat of a vaccine resilient variant remains, which would materially impact the growth outlook.

European Equities: A Week in Review – 30/07/21

The Majors

It was another choppy week for the majors in the week ending 30th July, with the majors taking another slide to kickstart the week.

The DAX30 fell by 0.80%, while the CAC40 and the EuroStoxx600 ended the week with relatively modest gains of 0.67% and 0.05% respectively.

Concern over the continued rise in new Delta variant cases weighed on the markets and sentiment towards the economic outlook.

Mixed economic data from Germany, in particular, also pressured the markets in the week.

There were a number of support avenues for the majors, however.

Upward growth revisions from the IMF for advanced economies, a dovish FED, and corporate earnings provided support.

GDP numbers from France and the Eurozone were also ahead of forecasts at the end of the week. The data limited the damage in what was a bearish end to the week.

The Stats

Through much of the week, the German economy was in focus.

Business and consumer sentiment figures delivered mixed results. While business sentiment waned in July, consumer confidence remained unchanged, in spite of the reopening of economies.

Unemployment figures from Germany were upbeat. The unemployment fell from 5.9% to 5.7% in July.

Inflationary pressures continued to surge, however, with Germany’s annual rate of inflation accelerating in July to 3.8%.

At the end of the week, 1st estimate GDP numbers and prelim inflation figures were the key stats of the week.

Quarter-on-quarter, the French economy grew by 0.9% versus a forecasted 0.7% in the 2nd quarter.

Germany saw growth of 1.5%, falling short of a forecasted 1.9%. In the 1st quarter, the economy had contracted by 2.1%.

For the Eurozone, the economy grew by 2.0%, coming in ahead of a forecasted 1.5%. The economy had contracted by 0.3% in the previous quarter.

Inflation also ticked up, aligned with member state numbers. According to prelim figures, the Eurozone’s annual rate of inflation accelerated from 1.9% to 2.2% in July, rising above the ECB’s 2% target.

From the U.S

Consumer sentiment and durable goods orders drew attention early in the week.

In June, durable goods orders ex transportation rose by 0.3%, following a 0.5% increase in May.

More significantly was a pickup in consumer confidence in July. The CB Consumer Confidence Index rose from 128.9 to 129.1. Economists had forecast a decline to 126.0.

On Thursday, jobless claims and 2nd quarter GDP numbers were in focus. The stats were skewed to the negative, however.

In the 2nd quarter, the U.S economy grew by 6.5%. This fell well short of a forecasted growth of 8.5%.

Jobless claims also fell short of expectations, with initial jobless claims falling from 424k to 400k. Economists had forecast a decline to 370k.

At the end of the week, personal spending and inflation figures came in ahead of forecasts, however.

Personal spending rose by 1.0% in June, with the annual rate of inflation seeing a pickup from 3.4% to 3.5%.

While the stats were material, the FED monetary policy and press conference were the main events of the week.

In line with market expectations, the FED left policy unchanged. The FED Chair also looked to assure the markets that there would be no near-term moves, the guidance considered dovish.

The Market Movers

From the DAX, it was a mixed week for the auto sector. Daimler rose by 0.32% to buck the trend in the week. Continental slid by 2.49% to lead the way down, however. BMW and Volkswagen also struggled, ending the week down by 1.64% and by 1.34% respectively.

It was also a mixed week for the banking sector. Deutsche Bank rose by 1.18%, while Commerzbank fell by 0.18%.

From the CAC, it was a bullish week for the banks. BNP Paribas and Soc Gen rose by 1.74% and by 1.06% respectively, with Credit Agricole gaining 0.77%.

The French auto sector also found support with Stellantis NV and Renault seeing gains of 2.64% and 2.59% respectively.

Air France-KLM slipped by 0.05%, however, while Airbus rallied by 3.77%.

On the VIX Index

It was a back into the green for the VIX.

In the week ending 30th July, the VIX rose by 6.05%. Partially reversing a 6.78% fall from the previous week, the VIX ended the week at 18.24.

3-days in the green from 5 sessions, which included a 10.13% jump on Tuesday delivered the upside.

For the week, the NASDAQ fell by 1.11%, with the Dow and the S&P500 ending the week down by 0.36% and by 0.37% respectively.

VIX 310721 Daily Chart

The Week Ahead

It’s a relatively busy week ahead on the economic calendar.

Private sector PMIs for Italy and Spain will be in focus. Finalized numbers for France, Germany, and the Eurozone are also due out.

Any revisions to prelim numbers and Italy’s PMIs will likely draw the greatest interest.

Early in the week, Eurozone and German retail sales figures will also be key, however. The ECB is looking for a consumption driven economic recovery.

Later in the week, the ECB Economic Bulletin and member state trade data will also be in focus.

From the U.S, ISM Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing PMIs will be key through the 1st half of the week.

On the labor market front, however, ADP nonfarm employment change, weekly jobless claims, and nonfarm payrolls will also influence.

Away from the economic calendar, corporate earnings and COVID-19 news updates need continued monitoring.

The Weekly Wrap – A Dovish FED and Weak Stats Left the Greenback in the Red

The Stats

It was a busy week on the economic calendar, in the week ending 30th July.

A total of 71 stats were monitored, which was up from 33 stats in the week prior.

Of the 71 stats, 37 came in ahead forecasts, with 30 economic indicators coming up short of forecasts. There were 4 stats that were in line with forecasts in the week.

Looking at the numbers, 42 of the stats reflected an upward trend from previous figures. Of the remaining 29 stats, 27 reflected a deterioration from previous.

For the Greenback, disappointing economic data and a dovish FED left the Dollar in the red. The Dollar Spot Index fell by 0.79% to 92.174. In the previous week, the Dollar had risen by 0.24% to 92.906.

Out of the U.S

Consumer sentiment and durable goods orders drew attention early in the week.

In June, durable goods orders ex transportation rose by 0.3%, following a 0.5% increase in May.

More significantly was a pickup in consumer confidence in July. The CB Consumer Confidence Index rose from 128.9 to 129.1. Economists had forecast a decline to 126.0.

On Thursday, jobless claims and 2nd quarter GDP numbers were in focus. The stats were skewed to the negative, however.

In the 2nd quarter, the U.S economy grew by 6.5%. This fell well short of a forecasted growth of 8.5%.

Jobless claims also fell short of expectations, with initial jobless claims falling from 424k to 400k. Economists had forecast a decline to 370k.

At the end of the week, personal spending and inflation figures came in ahead of forecasts, however.

Personal spending rose by 1.0% in June, with the annual rate of inflation seeing a pickup from 3.4% to 3.5%.

While the stats were material, the FED monetary policy and press conference were the main events of the week.

In line with market expectations, the FED left policy unchanged. The FED Chair also looked to assure the markets that there would be no near-term moves, the guidance considered dovish.

Out of the UK

It was a particularly quiet week. There were no major stats for the markets to consider in the week.

The lack of stats left the Pound in the hands of IMF economic growth forecasts, which delivered Pound support.

In the week, the Pound rose by 1.13% to end the week at $1.3904. In the week prior, the Pound had fallen by 0.14% to $1.3748.

The FTSE100 ended the week up by 0.07%, following a 0.28% gain from the previous week.

Out of the Eurozone

Through much of the week, the German economy was in focus.

Business and consumer sentiment figures delivered mixed results. While business sentiment waned in July, consumer confidence remained unchanged, in spite of the reopening of economies.

Unemployment figures from Germany were upbeat. The unemployment fell from 5.9% to 5.7% in July.

Inflationary pressures continued to surge, however, with Germany’s annual rate of inflation accelerating in July to 3.8%.

At the end of the week, 1st estimate GDP numbers and prelim inflation figures were the key stats of the week.

Quarter-on-quarter, the French economy grew by 0.9% versus a forecasted 0.7% in the 2nd quarter.

Germany saw growth of 1.5%, falling short of a forecasted 1.9%. In the 1st quarter, the economy had contracted by 2.1%.

For the Eurozone, the economy grew by 2.0%, coming in ahead of a forecasted 1.5%. The economy had contracted by 0.3% in the previous quarter.

Inflation also ticked up, aligned with member state numbers. According to prelim figures, the Eurozone’s annual rate of inflation accelerated from 1.9% to 2.2% in July, rising above the ECB’s 2% target.

For the week, the EUR rose by 0.84% to $1.1870. In the week prior, the EUR had fallen by 0.30% to $1.1771.

The DAX30 fell by 0.67%, while the CAC40 and the EuroStoxx600 ended the week up by 0.67% and by 0.05% respectively.

For the Loonie

It was a relatively quiet week on the economic data front.

Inflation and GDP numbers were the key stats of the week.

In June, the annual rate of inflation softened from 2.8% to 2.7%, bucking the trend seen across key economies.

The Canadian economy also continued to struggle in May, with the economy contracting by 0.3%. The economy had contracted by 0.5% in April.

In the week ending 30th July, the Loonie rose by 0.71% to C$1.2475. In the week prior, the Loonie had risen by 0.39% to C$1.2564.

Elsewhere

It was a mixed week for the Aussie Dollar and the Kiwi Dollar.

While the Aussie Dollar fell by 0.30% to $0.7344, the Kiwi Dollar ended the week flat at $0.6974.

For the Aussie Dollar

Inflation was the main area of focus. The stats were mixed, however, pegging the Aussie Dollar back.

In the 2nd quarter, the annual rate of inflation surged from 1.1% to 3.8%. The trimmed mean rate of inflation picked up from 1.1% to 1.6%, however.

Wholesale inflation also saw a pickup but at a softer pace than anticipated.

Australia’s annual wholesale rate of inflation ticked up from 0.2% to 2.2%. Economists had forecast a rate of 3.5%.

For the Kiwi Dollar

It was a busier week, with trade and consumer and business confidence in focus.

Trade data disappointed, with the trade surplus narrowing from NZ$498m to NZ$261m in June. The narrowing stemmed from a more marked increase in imports, however, rather than a fall exports, which limited the damage.

Business and consumer confidence figures were also skewed to the negative. The ANZ Business Confidence Index fell from -0.60 to -3.80, with the ANZ Consumer Confidence Index falling from 114 to 113.1.

The week numbers were not enough to sink the Kiwi.

For the Japanese Yen

It was another relatively busy week.

Early in the week, private sector PMIs were in focus. Later in the week industrial production and retail sales also drew attention on Friday.

While prelim private sector PMIs softened slightly in July, industrial production and retail sales impressed.

Industrial production jumped by 6.2% in June, reversing a 6.5% slide from May. More significantly, retail sales increased by 3.1%, reversing a 0.4% decline from May.

The Japanese Yen rose by 0.75% to ¥109.72 against the U.S Dollar. In the week prior, the Yen had fallen by 0.44% to ¥110.550.

Out of China

It was a quiet week on the economic data front. There were no major stats from China for the markets to consider.

In the week ending 30th July, the Chinese Yuan rose by 0.31% to CNY6.4614. In the week prior, the Yuan had ended the week down by 0.03% to CNY6.4813.

The CSI300 and the Hang Seng ended the week down by 4.98% and by 5.46% respectively.

An Economic Data Deluge Delivers EUR Support as the Eurozone Economy Bounces Back

Following interest in the German economy through much of the week, it was the Eurozone and member state economies in focus this morning.

The numbers were skewed to the positive, supporting market optimism.

Member States

In the 2nd quarter, the French economy expanded by 0.9%, quarter-on-quarter, reversing a 0.1% contraction in the previous quarter.

The German economy expanded by 1.5%, partially reversing a 2.1% contraction from the 1st quarter.

Italy and Spain also saw growth in the quarter.

In the 2nd quarter, the Spanish economy grew by 2.8%, reversing a 0.4% contraction from the 1st quarter. Stats from Italy were also positive, with the economy growing by 2.7%. In the 1st quarter, the economy had grown by just 0.2%, quarter-on-quarter.

The Eurozone

In the 2nd quarter, the Eurozone economy grew by 2.0%, quarter-on-quarter, reversing a 0.3% contraction from the previous quarter.

Year-on-year, the economy grew by 13.7% after having contracted by 1.3% in the previous quarter. Economists had forecast a 12.6% increase.

Inflation figures were also in focus, with the annual rate of inflation ticking up from 1.9% to 2.2%. Economists had forecast an annual rate of inflation of 2.0%.

The pickup in inflationary pressures muted unemployment figures for the Eurozone, however. In June, the Eurozone’s unemployment rate slipped from 8.0% to 7.7%. Economists had forecast a fall to 7.8%.

While the economy was in recovery, the need for a consumer driven recovery remains in question as inflationary pressures build.

Market Impact

In response to today’s stats, the EUR fell to a low $1.18751 before climbing to a post-stat and current day high $1.19087.

At the time of writing, the EUR was up by 0.09% to $1.18974.

EURUSD 300721 Hourly Chart

Next Up

Personal spending, inflation, and consumer sentiment figures from the U.S.

NASDAQ Bearish Divergence, Amazon’s After-Hour Losses Weighing on US Futures Overnight

U.S. stock index futures are down sharply in Friday’s pre-market session as a disappointing earnings report from Amazon.com threatened to dampen an otherwise strong month ahead of July’s final day of trading. The early price action has put the major futures indexes in a position to post a potentially bearish closing price reversal top. If confirmed, this could mean a weak start to August.

Early Trading Results

At 04:41 GMT, September E-mini S&P 500 Index futures are trading 4378.25, down 33.50 or -0.76%. September E-mini Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are at 34863, down 111 or -0.32% and September E-mini NASDAQ-100 Index is trading 34861, down 113 or -0.32%.

Possible Bearish Divergence

On Thursday, the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial touched record highs but the NASDAQ Composite underperformed. This created a divergence in the major indexes, suggesting weakness in the technology sector.

Weighing on the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite during the regular session were shares of Facebook, which tumbled 4% after the social media company’s earnings report.

A disappointing IPO from online brokerage firm Robinhood helped cap NASDAQ’s gains throughout the regular session. The stock opened at $38 per share on Thursday, but eventually closed its debut session more than 8% lower at $34.82 per share.

The weakness carried over into the after-hours and pre-market sessions after e-commerce giant Amazon and social media platform Pinterest released their earnings reports to investors.

Amazon equity sank 7.4% in extended trading after it reported its first quarterly revenue miss in three years and gave weaker guidance. The move in Amazon’s stock helped weigh on NASDAQ-100 futures. Pinterest fell even further, down 19%, after saying it lost monthly users during the three months ended June 30.

Thursday Recap

Thursday’s positive session came despite a government report that showed U.S. second-quarter gross domestic product accelerated 6.5% on an annualized basis, considerably less than the 8.4% Dow Jones estimate. Meanwhile, weekly initial claims surprisingly came in higher-than-expected.

Helping to underpin the markets was the Fed news from late Wednesday. Many investors were relieved that the Federal Reserve signaled no imminent plans for dialing back asset purchases.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell also noted that while the economy has come a long way since the COVID-19 recession, it still has a ways to go before the central bank considers adjusting its easy-money policies.

Near-Term Outlook

The bearish divergence between the NASDAQ and the other major indexes could be an early sign that a major top is forming. If the tech-heavy NASDAQ trades sharply lower, it will drag the technology sector of the S&P 500 with it. The Dow is not likely to feel as much pain since it is tech unweighted.

The U.S. stock markets could be facing several near-term headwinds including summer vacation until after the U.S. Labor Day holiday. This would lead to low volume trading sessions. Overvaluation is another concern as well as the coronavirus outbreak.

One major concern is that investors won’t have a clue as to what the Fed is planning to do about tapering until it meets on September 21-22.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

European Equities: 2nd Quarter GDP and July Inflation in Focus

Economic Calendar

Thursday, 29th July

German Unemployment Change/Rate JUL

German Inflation Rate MoM Prel JUL

Friday, 30th July

French GDP Growth Rate QoQ Prel Q2

French Household Consumption MoM JUN

German GDP Growth Rate Flash Q2

French Inflation Rate YoY Prel JUL

Spanish GDP Growth Rate Flash Q2

Italian GDP Growth Rate Adv Q2

Eurozone Core Inflation Rate Flash JUL

Eurozone GDP Growth Rate Flash Q2

Italian Inflation Rate MoM Prel JUL

Eurozone Inflation Rate Flash JUL

The Majors

It was another bullish day for the European majors on Thursday.

The CAC40 rose by 0.37%, with the DAX30 and the EuroStoxx600 ending the day up by 0.45% and by 0.46% respectively.

Market reaction to Wednesday’s dovish FED and economic data from the Eurozone and the U.S provided the majors with support.

From the Eurozone, German unemployment figures impressed, while stats from the U.S looked to have put a near-term lid on any need for the FED to make a move. U.S GDP and jobless claims figures were good enough, however, to support riskier assets and not spook the markets.

Support also came from corporate earnings releases on the day.

The Stats

The German economy was in focus once more on Thursday, with unemployment and inflation the key stats of the day.

In July, unemployment slid by 91k, following a 39k decline in June. As a result of the decline, the unemployment rate fell from 5.9% to 5.7%. Economists had forecast a 22k decline and for the unemployment rate to fall to 5.8%.

On the inflation front, Germany’s annual rate of inflation accelerated from 2.3% to 3.8% in July, according to prelim figures. Economists had forecast a pickup to 3.2%.

Month-on-month, consumer prices rose by 0.9%, following a 0.4% increase in June. Economists had forecast a 0.4% rise.

From the U.S

1st estimate GDP numbers for the 2nd quarter were out along with the weekly jobless claim figures.

In the 2nd quarter, the U.S economy grew by 6.5% in the 2nd quarter, ticking up from a 1st quarter 6.4%. Economists had forecast 8.5% growth in the quarter, however.

On the employment front, U.S jobless claims fell from 424k to 400k in the week ending 23rd July. Economists had forecast a decline to 370k.

The Market Movers

For the DAX: It was a bullish day for the auto sector on Thursday. Daimler rallied by 2.80%, with BMW and Volkswagen ending the day up by 1.40% and by 1.28% respectively. Continental saw a more modest 0.80% gain on the day.

It was also a bullish day for the banks. Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank ended the day up by 3.23% and by 1.74% respectively.

From the CAC, it was a bullish day for the banks. BNP Paribas gained 1.78%, with Soc Gen and Credit Agricole rising by 1.55% and by 1.38% respectively.

It was also a bullish day for the French auto sector. Stellantis NV rallied by 3.36%, with Renault ending the day up by 0.62%.

Air France-KLM and Airbus SE also found further support, rising by 1.06% and by 0.61% respectively.

On the VIX Index

It was a 2nd consecutive day in the red for the VIX on Thursday, marking the 2nd decline of the week.

Following a 5.42% fall on Wednesday, the VIX declined by 3.33% to end the day at 17.70.

The NASDAQ rose by 0.11%, with the Dow and the S&P500 ending the day up by 0.44% and by 0.42% respectively.

VIX 300721 Daily Chart

The Day Ahead

It’s a particularly busy day ahead on the economic calendar. Eurozone and member state 1st estimate GDP numbers for the 2nd quarter are due out later today.

Expect plenty of interest in the numbers. We have seen concerns over the resilience of the economic recovery test support for the majors of late. Weaker than expected numbers would weigh.

Prelim inflation and consumer spending figures are also due out but will likely play 2nd fiddle to the GDP numbers.

From the U.S, inflation and personal spending figures will also influence late in the session.

Away from the economic calendar, corporate earnings and COVID-19 news updates will also need continued monitoring.

The Futures

In the futures markets, at the time of writing, the Dow Mini was up by 21 points.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Markets Called Higher on Opening as Investors Hope to Ride Wall Street’s Bullish Wave

A strong performance on Wall Street on Thursday and a rebound in Hong Kong the previous session following a steep plunge earlier in the week is expected to lead to stronger openings in the Asia-Pacific region on Friday.

In the U.S., the major stock indexes rose to record levels as investors shrugged off economic data pointing toward slower-than-expected growth. Investors also showed a delayed reaction to dovish news from the Federal Reserve the previous session.

Many investors were relieved that the Federal Reserve signaled no imminent plans for dialing back asset purchases. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell cautioned that although the economy is making progress towards its goals, it has a ways to go before the central bank would actually adjust its easy policies.

In economic news, U.S. second-quarter gross domestic product accelerated 6.5% on an annualized basis, considerably less than the 8.4% Dow Jones estimate.

Meanwhile, a separate data point showed that 400,000 people filed initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ended July 24. That level is nearly double the pre-pandemic norm and above a Dow Jones estimate of 385,000.

Asia-Pacific Investors Hoping to Feed Off Wall Street’s Gains

Asia-Pacific investors are hoping to build on gains from Thursday fueled by a rebound in Hong Kong from a two-day slump earlier in the week and after the U.S. Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate near zero.

On Thursday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 3.3% to close at 26,315.32. The index had dived more than 8% over two days early this week.

Meanwhile, Chinese tech stocks in Hong Kong, which were hit hard by the market rout earlier in the week, soared. Shares of Tencent jumped 10.02% while Alibaba gained 7.7% and Meituan climbed 9.49%. The Hang Seng Tech Index soared 8% to 6,958.77.

Helping to ease concerns in the region was the news that China’s securities regulators told brokerages late Wednesday that the country will allow Chinese firms to go public in the U.S. as long as they meet listing requirements, a source familiar with the matter told CNBC.

Traders should pay particular attention to the Australian stock market. Prices should firm because of strength in the energy and gold sectors due to strong gains on Thursday. Crude oil futures settled 1.41% higher. Gold futures posted a 1.54% gain.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

German Unemployment Slides, Delivering EUR Support

Following German business and consumer sentiment figures this week, German unemployment was in focus this morning.

Unemployment

In July, unemployment slid by 91k, following a 39k decline in June. As a result of the decline, the unemployment rate fell from 5.9% to 5.7%. Economists had forecast a 22k decline and for the unemployment rate to fall to 5.8%.

Market Impact

Ahead of today’s unemployment figures, the EUR had fallen to a pre-stat and current day low $1.18388 before visiting $1.186 levels.

In response to today’s stats, the EUR fell to a post-stat low $1.18647 before climbing to a post-stat and current day high $1.18801.

At the time of writing, the EUR was up by 0.27% to $1.18743.

EURUSD 290721 Hourly Chart

Next Up

Prelim inflation figures from Germany ahead of 2nd quarter GDP and weekly jobless claims figures from the U.S. It could get choppy for the EUR if initial jobless claims tumble and GDP numbers beat forecasts…

European Equities: Economic Data from Germany and the U.S in Focus

Economic Calendar

Thursday, 29th July

German Unemployment Change/Rate JUL

German Inflation Rate MoM Prel JUL

Friday, 30th July

French GDP Growth Rate QoQ Prel Q2

French Household Consumption MoM JUN

German GDP Growth Rate Flash Q2

French Inflation Rate YoY Prel JUL

Spanish GDP Growth Rate Flash Q2

Italian GDP Growth Rate Adv Q2

Eurozone Core Inflation Rate Flash JUL

Eurozone GDP Growth Rate Flash Q2

Italian Inflation Rate MoM Prel JUL

Eurozone Inflation Rate Flash JUL

The Majors

It was a bullish day for the majors on Wednesday.

The CAC40 rallied by 1.18%, with the DAX30 and the EuroStoxx600 ending the day up by 0.33% and by 0.66% respectively.

Following the early in the week sell-off across the Chinese markets, the Hang Seng and CSI300 steadied mid-week, providing support.

Corporate earnings were also in focus, with better-than-expected numbers delivering support to the majors on the day. From France, Capgemini (+3.77%) and Kering (+3.64%) delivered the upside for the CAC40.

The Stats

German consumer sentiment was in focus going into the European open.

For August, the GfK Consumer Confidence Index held steady at -0.30. Economists had forecast a decline to -2.0.

According to the GfK survey,

  • Following a 10-year high, economic expectations moderated in July, falling by 3.8 points to 54.6.
  • Income expectations slipped by 5.1 points to 29 points, which was still up 10 points year-on-year.
  • By contrast, the propensity to buy was on the rise, increasing by 1.4 points to 14.8. In spite of the rise, consumption propensity was still down by almost 28 points year-on-year.

From the U.S

From the U.S, trade data was in focus late in the European session. The numbers had a muted impact on the European majors, however.

There was caution ahead of the post-European close FOMC interest rate decision and press conference.

After the European close, the FED avoided delivering any market shocks.

In line with market expectations, the FED left monetary policy unchanged, while acknowledging that the economic recovery was progressing.

The Market Movers

For the DAX: It was a mixed day for the auto sector on Wednesday. BMW and Daimler fell by 0.08% and by 0.28% respectively. Continental and Volkswagen avoided the red, however, rising by 0.34% and by 0.60% respectively.

It was a bearish day for the banks, however. Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank ended the day down by 0.85% and by 0.35% respectively.

From the CAC, it was also a bearish day for the banks. Soc Gen fell by 0.41%, with BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole declining by 0.16% and by 0.22% respectively.

It was a bullish day for the French auto sector, however. Stellantis NV rose by 0.85%, with Renault ending the day up by 4.54%.

Air France-KLM and Airbus SE also found strong support, rising by 1.37% and by 2.65% respectively.

On the VIX Index

It was back into the red for the VIX on Wednesday, marking the first decline of the week.

Partially reversing a 10.13% jump from Tuesday, the VIX fell by 5.42% to end the day at 18.31.

The NASDAQ rose by 0.70%, while the Dow and the S&P500 ended the day down by 0.36% and by 0.02% respectively.

VIX 290721 Daily Chart

The Day Ahead

It’s a busier day ahead on the economic calendar. German unemployment and inflation figures are due out later today.

We can expect both sets of numbers to influence ahead of the U.S session.

From the U.S, weekly jobless claim and 2nd quarter GDP numbers will also influence.

Away from the economic calendar, corporate earnings and COVID-19 news updates will need monitoring, however.

The Futures

In the futures markets, at the time of writing, the Dow Mini was up by 28 points.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

German Consumer Sentiment Stagnates, Weighing on the EUR

Following German business sentiment figures on Monday, German consumer confidence was in focus this morning.

Consumer Sentiment

For August, the GfK Consumer Confidence Index held steady at -0.30. Economists had forecast a decline to -2.0.

According to the GfK survey,

  • Following a 10-year high, economic expectations moderated in July, falling by 3.8 points to 54.6.
  • Income expectations slipped by 5.1 points to 29 points, which was still up 10 points year-on-year.
  • By contrast, the propensity to buy was on the rise, increasing by 1.4 points to 14.8. In spite of the rise, consumption propensity was still down by almost 28 points year-on-year.

Market Impact

Ahead of today’s consumer sentiment figures, the EUR had risen from a pre-stat low $1.18125 to a pre-stat high $1.18276.

In response to today’s stats, the EUR rose to a post-stat and current day high $1.18306 before falling to a post-stat and current day low $1.17919.

At the time of writing, the EUR was down by 0.20% to $1.17923.

EURUSD 280721 Hourly Chart

Next Up

U.S trade data ahead of the all-important FED monetary policy decision and press conference…

US Stock Index Futures Flat as Investors Eye Asia Markets Ahead of Fed Decisions, Earnings Reports

U.S. stock index futures are trading nearly flat in the pre-market session early Wednesday after retreating from record highs reached the previous session. Tuesday’s lower close snapped a five-day winning streak in both the cash and futures markets as the highly anticipated tech-heavyweight earnings reports released after the close failed to move the needle much.

At 02:52 GMT, September E-mini S&P 500 Index futures are trading 4398.00, up 3.50 or +0.08%. September E-mini Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are at 34952, down 1 or -0.00% and the September E-mini NASDAQ-100 Index is trading 14948.50, up 0.25 or +0.00%.

During the overnight session, the focus is being spread between the after-market earnings reports from Alphabet, Microsoft and Apple, Wednesday’s reports from Pfizer, McDonald’s, Qualcomm, Facebook, Ford and PayPal, the turmoil in China due to the country’s crackdown on technology firms and the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decisions.

Tuesday’s Recap

The major U.S. equity markets fell from record highs on Tuesday as a sell-off in Chinese shares, economic growth concerns and the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting put investors on guard and drove profit-taking.

Unsettled by events in China overnight, where share prices skidded on concerns about the impact of a recent tightening in government regulations, global stock markets pulled back on Tuesday as volatility spiked.

In other developments, a host of megacap tech names reported quarterly results on Tuesday after the U.S. market closed, including Apple, which beat top- and bottom-line estimates and said iPhone sales jumped 50% year over year. Google-parent Alphabet also posted quarterly results, registering a 69% jump in advertising revenue, while Microsoft beat earnings despite a dip in revenue from its Windows division.

Wednesday’s Outlook

Investors are likely monitoring new developments in Asia early Wednesday since steep declines in the region were one of the reasons U.S. investors used to book profits the previous session.

In morning trading on Wednesday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is down 0.28% after an earlier jump of more than 1%. Chinese tech stocks in Hong Kong, among the hardest hit in the recent sell-off, were mixed in Wednesday’s morning trade.

On Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee will release a statement followed by remarks from Chairman Jerome Powell during a press conference.

Investors aren’t expecting any major developments at this meeting, but they do expect the Fed to say it looked deeper into when and how it will start removing its emergency stimulus from the economy. Some analysts want Powell to address inflation, while others believe he will stick to his “it’s transitory” proclamation.

Finally, after removing concerns about coronavirus from its June statement, policymakers may mention the subject again due to the surge in COVID-19 infections.

Meanwhile, the busiest week of earnings continues on Wednesday with Pfizer, McDonald’s, Qualcomm, Facebook, Ford and PayPal among the major companies reporting. Of the S&P 500 companies that have reported quarterly results thus far, 89% have topped earnings estimates, while 86% have exceeded revenue expectations, according to data from Refinitiv.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

European Equities: German Economic Data and Sentiment Towards the FED to Influence

Economic Calendar

Tuesday, 27th July

France Jobseekers Total JUN

Wednesday, 28th July

German GfK Consumer Confidence AUG

Thursday, 29th July

German Unemployment Change/Rate JUL

German Inflation Rate MoM Prel JUL

Friday, 30th July

French GDP Growth Rate QoQ Prel Q2

French Household Consumption MoM JUN

German GDP Growth Rate Flash Q2

French Inflation Rate YoY Prel JUL

Spanish GDP Growth Rate Flash Q2

Italian GDP Growth Rate Adv Q2

Eurozone Core Inflation Rate Flash JUL

Eurozone GDP Growth Rate Flash Q2

Italian Inflation Rate MoM Prel JUL

Eurozone Inflation Rate Flash JUL

The Majors

It was a bearish day for the majors on Tuesday.

The CAC40 fell by 0.71%, with the DAX30 and the EuroStoxx600 ending the day down by 0.64% and by 0.54% respectively.

There were no major stats from the Eurozone to provide the majors with direction in the day.

Market sentiment towards the rout across the Chinese markets weighed on the majors going into the open.

Providing some support late in the day was the IMF’s latest economic growth forecasts. For 2022, the IMF revised up its growth forecasts by 0.5 percentage points to 5.6% for advanced economies.

Economic data from the U.S was also market positive. U.S consumer confidence took an unexpected jump in July, aligned with the IMF’s outlook towards the U.S economy.

The Stats

Economic data was limited to jobseeker numbers from France, which had a muted impact on the European majors.

In June, the total number of job seekers declined from 3,490.1k to 3,417.6k. Economists had forecast a decline to 3,430.1k.

From the U.S

Durable goods orders and consumer confidence figures were in focus late in the session.

In June, durable goods orders increased by 0.8%, following a 3.2% rise in May. Durable goods orders ex transportation increased by 0.3%, following a 0.5% rise in May. Economists had forecast increases of 1.9% and 0.9% respectively.

Consumer confidence strengthened in July, with the CB Consumer Confidence Index rising from 128.9 to 129.1. Economists had forecast a decline to 126.0.

The Market Movers

For the DAX: It was a bearish day for the auto sector on Tuesday. BMW and Volkswagen slid by 1.73% and by 1.86% respectively, with Continental and Daimler falling by 1.54% and by 1.52% respectively.

It was also a bearish day for the banks. Deutsche Bank declined by 0.52%, with Commerzbank ending the day down by 2.70%.

From the CAC, it was a bearish day for the banks. Credit Agricole fell by 1.09%, with BNP Paribas and Soc Gen declining by 0.91% and by 0.98% respectively.

It was also a bearish day for the French auto sector. Stellantis NV and Renault ended the day with modest losses of 0.20% and 0.13% respectively.

Air France-KLM slipped by 0.07%, while Airbus SE rose by 0.29%.

On the VIX Index

It was a 2nd consecutive day in the green for the VIX on Tuesday.

Following a 2.21 gain on Monday, the VIX jumped by 10.13% to end the day at 19.36.

The NASDAQ fell by 1.21%, with the Dow and the S&P500 ending the day down by 0.24% and by 0.47% respectively.

VIX 280721 Daily Chart

The Day Ahead

It’s a relatively quiet day ahead on the economic calendar. German consumer confidence will be in focus going into the European session.

Economists have forecast for the GfK Consumer Confidence Index to fall from -0.3 to -2.0 for August.

From the U.S, there are no material stats due out to provide the majors with direction. While there are no stats to consider, the markets will be looking ahead to the FED interest rate decision and press conference. The European majors will need to wait until Thursday’s session, however, to respond.

Away from the economic calendar, corporate earnings and COVID-19 news updates will also influence, however.

The Futures

In the futures markets, at the time of writing, the Dow Mini was down by 87 points.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

 

Robust Earnings, Revenue Numbers from Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft After-Bell Fail to Turn NASDAQ Futures Green

The major U.S. stock index futures are trading lower following the release of earnings numbers from Google-parent Alphabet, Microsoft and Apple after the bell. The trio of tech heavyweights had been pressured during the cash market session, declining about 1% each ahead of their numbers.

In the futures markets at 20:00 GMT, the September E-mini S&P 500 Index was trading 4394.75. At 20:36 GMT, they were trading 4389.75.

At 20:00 GMT, the September E-mini Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading 34952. At 20:36 GMT, it was trading 34886 and at 20:00 GMT, the September E-min NASDAQ-100 Index was trading 14950.50. At 20:37 GMT, it was at 14911.00.

In the cash market on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P 500 Index settled at 4396.48, down 25.82 or -0.58%, the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 35047.32, down 96.99 or -0.28% and the tech-driven NASDAQ Composite closed at 14638.77, down 201.94 or -1.36%.

The earnings are out and here are the numbers.

Alphabet Jumps 3% in After-Hours Trade After Earnings Beat

Alphabet Earnings per share (EPS) was reported at $27.26 versus $19.34 per share, according to Refinitiv estimates. Revenue was $61.88 billion versus $56.16 billion, according to Refinitiv.

YouTube advertising revenue was $7.00 billion versus $6.37 billion expected, according to StreetAccount estimates. Google Cloud revenue was $4.63 billion versus $4.40 billion expected, according to Street Account estimates.

Traffic acquisition costs (TAC) revenue came in at $10.93 billion versus $9.74 billion expected, according to Street Account estimates.

Microsoft Beat Expectations on the Top and Bottom Lines

Microsoft shares fell 3% in extended trading on Tuesday after the software and hardware company reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings.

The report showed earnings of $2.17 per share, adjusted, vs $1.92 per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv. Revenue was $46.15 billion, versus $44.24 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.

Revenue rose 21% year over year in the quarter, which ended June 30, according to a statement. In the previous quarter revenue had increased by 19%.

Apple Earnings Blow Away Forecasts

Apple reported strong fiscal third-quarter earnings on Tuesday, demolishing Wall Street expectations, according to CNBC. Additionally, every one of Apple’s major product lines grew over 12% on an annual basis.

Overall, Apple’s sales were up 36% from the June quarter last year. iPhones sales increased nearly 50% on an annual basis.

Apple’s Earnings per Share (EPS) came in at $1.30 versus $1.01 estimated. Revenue was $81.40 billion versus $73.30 billion estimated.

Starbucks Credits Strong Cold Beverage Sales in U.S. for Fueling Earnings Beat

In other non-tech-related earnings news, Starbucks topped Wall Street’s estimates for its fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue. The company also tightened its forecast for fiscal 2021 same-store sales growth.

Starbucks on Tuesday reported soaring cold drink sales in the United States, fueling an earnings and revenue beat for the company. The company also narrowed its forecast for same-store sales growth for rascal 2021.

Here’s a comparison between the company’s numbers and Wall Street analyst expectations.

Earnings per share was $1.01 adjusted versus 78 cents expected. Revenue came in at $7.50 billion versus $7.29 billion expected.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

 

Asia-Pacific Shares Called Mixed to Lower on Opening; Investors Hoping for US Tech Stock Bailout

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes are called lower on Wednesday, following Wall Street’s weaker lead as the rout on Hong Kong and China tech stocks is expected to resume. Conditions could change ahead of the openings, however, if the U.S. markets can get back on track after key technology companies report their latest quarterly data after the U.S. close.

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on Tuesday as the sell-off of major Chinese tech stocks in Hong Kong continued following Monday’s tumble. The broader Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong briefly fell more than 5% in Tuesday afternoon trading (local time) before paring some of those losses, eventually closing 4.22% lower at 25,086.43.

The Hang Seng Index is off more than 8% in just two days of trading this week. On Monday, it was also hit hard, falling more than 4% on the back of regulatory fears surrounding China’s technology and private education sector.

Wall Street Could Fuel Early Session Weakness in Asia-Pacific Region

U.S. stocks fell for the first time in six days on Tuesday ahead of quarterly earnings reports from several megacap technology companies. The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average decline 170 points. The benchmark S&P 500 Index fell 0.8%, led by weakness in consumer, technology and energy sectors. The NASDAQ Composite retreated 1.6%. The drop in the major averages from their respective records reached on Monday could bring an end to their five-session winning streaks.

Of concern for Asia-Pacific traders will be the U.S. market’s reaction after the closing bell in New York. Second-quarter earnings season will kick into high-gear with Google-parent Alphabet, Microsoft and Apple set to report after the bell on Tuesday. The trio of tech heavyweights is down about 1% each ahead of their numbers.

Fedwatch Continues

Investors are awaiting the Federal Reserve’s update on its monetary policy as the central bank’s two-day meeting began. The Federal Open Market Committee will release a statement when the meeting concludes Wednesday, followed by Chairman Jerome Powell’s news conference.

Since the Fed will make its announcements at 18:00 Wednesday, Asia-Pacific traders won’t have a chance to react to the news until Thursday’s opening.

Nikkei Closes Below 28,000 Level for Second Day

Japanese equities rose on Tuesday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street as investors cheered upbeat corporate earnings, but the benchmark Nikkei 225 failed to close above the 28,000 key psychological level for a second straight session.

Like Monday, the Nikkei briefly traded above that level but pared gains before the close amid caution ahead of this week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting and a pick-up in both the U.S. and Japanese earnings seasons.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

European Equities: Futures Point to another Shaky Start for the Markets

Economic Calendar

Tuesday, 27th July

France Jobseekers Total JUN

Wednesday, 28th July

German GfK Consumer Confidence AUG

Thursday, 29th July

German Unemployment Change/Rate JUL

German Inflation Rate MoM Prel JUL

Friday, 30th July

French GDP Growth Rate QoQ Prel Q2

French Household Consumption MoM JUN

German GDP Growth Rate Flash Q2

French Inflation Rate YoY Prel JUL

Spanish GDP Growth Rate Flash Q2

Italian GDP Growth Rate Adv Q2

Eurozone Core Inflation Rate Flash JUL

Eurozone GDP Growth Rate Flash Q2

Italian Inflation Rate MoM Prel JUL

Eurozone Inflation Rate Flash JUL

The Majors

It was a mixed start to the week for the majors on Monday.

The CAC40 rose by 0.15%, while the DAX30 and the EuroStoxx600 ended the day down by 0.32% and by 0.08% respectively.

Economic data from Germany disappointed on Monday, pegging the DAX30 back at the start of the week,

In spite of the threat of the Delta variant on the economic recovery, the losses for the DAX30 and EuroStoxx600 were modest.

Market optimism towards a pickup in economic activity, supported by last week’s private sector PMIs and a dovish ECB remained key drivers.

The Stats

Business sentiment figures from Germany were in focus early in the European session.

In July, the Ifo Business Climate Index fell from 103.7 to 101.2, versus a forecasted decline to 103.6.

According to the July survey,

  • Sentiment towards current conditions improved, with the current conditions sub-index rising from 99.7 to 100.4.
  • Concerns over the outlook weighed, however, with the business climate sub-index falling from 101.7 to 100.8.

At sector level,

  • The index in manufacturing fell due to a marked decline in optimism in companies’ expectations. It was a 4th consecutive monthly decline.
  • By contrast manufacturer assessment of current conditions hit the highest level since Aug-2018.
  • There was a similar trend across the services sector, with the business climate sub-index weakening, while firms were more satisfied with their ongoing business.

From the U.S

New home sales figures for June were in focus that had a muted impact on the European majors.

The Market Movers

For the DAX: It was a mixed day for the auto sector on Monday. Daimler rose by 0.03% to buck the trend. Continental slid by 1.50%, however, with BMW and Volkswagen falling by 0.40% and by 0.89% respectively.

It was a bullish day for the banks. Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank ended the day up by 0.66% and by 1.41% respectively.

From the CAC, it was a bullish day for the banks. BNP Paribas rallied by 2.25%, with Credit Agricole and Soc Gen rising by 1.73% and by 1.78% respectively.

It was also a bullish day for the French auto sector. Stellantis NV and Renault ended the day up by 0.85% and by 1.04% respectively.

Air France-KLM rallied by 2.32%, with Airbus SE rising by 0.45%.

On the VIX Index

A run of 4 consecutive days in the red came to an end for the VIX on Monday.

Partially reversing a 2.77% fall from Friday, the VIX rose by 2.21% to end the day at 17.58.

The NASDAQ eked out a 0.03% gain, with the Dow and the S&P500 both ending the day up by 0.24% respectively.

VIX 270721 Daily Chart

The Day Ahead

It’s a particularly quiet day ahead on the economic calendar. There are no major stats from the Eurozone to provide the majors with direction.

From the U.S, consumer confidence figures late in the day will provide the majors with direction, however.

Away from the economic calendar, corporate earnings and COVID-19 news updates will remain areas of focus.

The Futures

In the futures markets, at the time of writing, the Dow Mini was down by 130 points, with the DAX down by 71 points.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.