Silver as an investment

World Stocks Hit Record High For 10th Consecutive Day In “No-Vol Nirvana”

The relentless risk levitation continued overnight, as global shares extended their record high stretch on Thursday for a 10th consecutive day after a cautious BOJ lifted Asian stocks to a decade high with a dovish announcement that offered no surprises, while pushing back Kuroda’s 2% inflation target to 2020, the 6th consecutive delay. With all eyes on the ECB in just over an hour, US equity futures are in the green, following solid gains around the globe. European stocks extended their biggest gain in a week while Asian equities maintained their rally. Microsoft, Blackstone, Philip Morris and Ebay are among companies reporting earnings. Initial jobless claims data due.

Traders, so mostly algos, are riding a global risk “high” in stocks as Asia’s and then Europe’s early 0.4 percent gains ensured MSCI’s 47-country All World index was up for a 10th straight session. This is the longest winning streak in global stocks since February 2015 and shows little sign of fatigue even as bond yields edged modestly higher again. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.3 percent as of 9:53 a.m. in London.  The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose 0.5 percent to near the highest in a month. The MSCI Emerging Market Index fell 0.1 percent, the first retreat in almost two weeks. The VIX index closed below 10 for a record fifth consecutive day. Appropriately, Bloomberg dubbed the move a “no-vol” nirvana, in which stocks and bonds keep rallying as volatility evaporates.

The overnight focus was on the Japanese central bank’s decision to push back its ambitious inflation target again, sending the yean weaker to 112.4 per dollar. Attention now shifts to whether ECB head Mario Draghi will give a hint later that it plans to wind down its 60 billion-euro-a-month stimulus program. As previewed earlier, the most likely outcome is that Draghi will follow in Kuroda’s footsteps and not rock the boat. The risk, if any, is that Draghi does not come out sounding hawkish enough, which could prompt a big drop in the Euro which has been soaring in recent weeks on expectations the ECB will begin tightening policy soon. 

“They are going to try and not upset markets,” said Nick Gartside, international Chief Investment Officer of fixed income at JP Morgan Asset Management. “I think the real action is going to be the September meeting. That is when we probably get a little bit of news on tapering.”

A cheat sheet of what to expect from the ECB is below.

The euro is up almost 10% so far this year but and was a shade lower at $1.1507 ahead of Draghi’s post-meeting news conference, having hit a 14-month high of $1.1583 on Tuesday.

“It may be as we approach “1.20, which is realistic let’s be honest, that it generates a little more alarm for the ECB,” Gartside added.

European bourses followed markets from Tokyo to Sydney higher, and the MSCI All-Country World Index traded at a record high. With the Bank of Japan delaying the time-frame for reaching its inflation target — a sign its stimulus is in place for a while to come, attention turns to the European Central Bank’s meeting for clues on policy paths. Oil held onto gains as stockpiles decreased. The U.S. dollar strengthened for a second day after hitting a 10-month low Tuesday, though it was still down for the week.

After the BOJ failed to inspire any volatility, traders are now left with Mario Draghi who speaks at 8:30am ET. Like the BOJ, the ECB is forecast to keep policy on hold Thursday. A report that the bank has been examining options for asset purchases does add to speculation that Mario Draghi will concede time is approaching to adjust the bond-buying program as the economic recovery expands.

In global macro, the Yen was weaker after the BOJ failed to deliver even a trace of hawkishness, sending the Nikkei 0.6% higher. The Aussie dollar slipped on profit taking after initially nearing 80 cents on solid jobs data; The Yuan weakened against the dollar for a second day after the PBOC added a net 60 billion yuan in repos on top of reported liquidity injection via banks on Wednesday. Dalian iron ore futures flat.

Elsewhere in currencies, the euro fell 0.1 percent to $1.1506, still close to a 14 month high. The British pound fell 0.1 percent to $1.3005, the weakest in a week. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed 0.3 percent, the biggest increase in more than two weeks. The Japanese yen sank 0.3 percent to 112.34 per dollar, the largest decrease in almost two weeks.

In commodities, gold sank 0.3 percent to $1,238.03 an ounce, the largest decrease in almost two weeks. WTI crude fell less than 0.05% to $47.11 a barrel. The Bloomberg Commodity Index decreased 0.1%, the largest fall in a week.

In rates, the yield on 10-year Treasuries fell less than one basis point to 2.27 percent. Germany’s 10-year yield rose one basis point to 0.55 percent, the first advance in a week. Britain’s 10-year yield rose two basis points to 1.212 percent. Southern European government bonds underperformed better-rated peers having closed the gap with Germany to the tightest level in months in recent days. Italian, Portuguese and Spanish government bonds are seen as the biggest beneficiaries of the central bank’s ultra-loose monetary policy stance of the past few years, and some worry that the market is not fully reflecting the increased risk these countries now face if the ECB moves towards tighter policy. “We have seen very little impact on peripheral spreads since Sintra but this could change very rapidly in a short period of time if the messaging is a bit too hawkish today,” said DZ Bank strategist Daniel Lenz.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 2,473.50
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4% to 386.88
  • MXAP up 0.01% to 158.97
  • MXAPJ down 0.04% to 524.69
  • Nikkei up 0.6% to 20,144.59
  • Topix up 0.7% to 1,633.01
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 26,740.21
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,244.87
  • Sensex down 0.2% to 31,881.42
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.5% to 5,761.45
  • Kospi up 0.5% to 2,441.84
  • German 10Y yield rose 0.6 bps to 0.548%
  • Euro down 0.1% to 1.1504 per US$
  • Italian 10Y yield unchanged at 1.899%
  • Spanish 10Y yield rose 1.2 bps to 1.571%
  • Brent Futures down 0.1% to $49.64/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.3% to $1,238.00
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.2% to 94.98

Top News

  • BOJ keeps stimulus unchanged; pushes back 2% inflation goal timing to fiscal 2019; raises assessment of economy to ’expanding moderately’
  • Draghi Moves On From Sintra as ECB Refines Stimulus Message
  • BofA Said to Halt Transactions With HNA Amid Debt Concerns
  • McCain Diagnosed With Brain Cancer After Procedure for Clot
  • South Africa Regulator Seeks Further Information on DuPont, Dow
  • Goldman Partners Mark End of Era as Stock Holding Drops Below 5%
  • Blackstone Is Said to Raise $3b in First Asia PE Fund: Reuters
  • Japan June trade balance 439.9b yen vs 488.0b yen estimate
  • Australia June jobs 14k vs 15k est; unemployment rate 5.6% vs 5.6% est; full-time jobs 62k; participation rate 65.0% vs 54.9% est
  • China, U.S. agree on cooperation to cut trade deficit: Ministry
  • PBOC said to have injected liquidity via some banks on Wednesday
  • German June tax revenue down 6.5% on repayments, ’lively’ 2Q upswing
  • Deutsche Bank Expects DOJ Subpoenas Over Russia Probe: Guardian

Asia equity markets carried over the momentum from the US, where all three majors closed in the green with the energy sector outperforming on the back of a larger than expected draw in DoE crude oil inventories. ASX 200 (+0.6%) outperformed on the back of the upside seen in oil markets, as well as a strong performance from Financial names, while Nikkei 225 (+0.6%) benefitted from a softening JPY, although the currency breaking above the 112.00 handle. Elsewhere, Shanghai Comp. (+0.25%) and Hang Seng (+0.2%) conformed to the upbeat tone, with the former lagged following a lacklustre CNY 60b1n liquidity injection by the PBoC. Finally, 10yr JGBs traded lower amid the global risk-on conditions, with underperformance in the long end leading to steepening of the yield curve.

  • Top Asian News
  • BOJ Keeps Easing Unchanged as It Pushes Back Inflation Goal
  • Steel Rebar in Shanghai Tanks 5% From 2013 High as Buyers Wary
  • Kuroda: People Won’t Lose Trust in BOJ Because Forecasts Missed
  • Aussie Yield Retreats From Job-Data High Ahead of RBA Speech
  • Global Steelmaker Recovery on Show as Posco’s Profit Jumps
  • Yaskawa Electric Raises Forecasts After 1Q Profit Beat
  • Foreign Insurers Are Said to Plan $2 Billion of Malaysia Deals
  • Kuroda: Current Monetary Policy Is Sustainable, Flexible

European bourses trade in the green, as earnings continue to dictate play. A dovish BoJ has helped with the flow in equities, however full focus does remain on the ECB. 9/10 Stoxx 600 sectors trade in the green, with utilities in the red, evident of the risk on tone. The FTSE was also unfazed by the stela UK Retail Sales beat. Fixed Income markets do trade subdued however, with many arguing that the risk is to the downside for Gilts. Gilts were in focus as we approached the latest UK data, Retail Sales, beat on all accounts, however, could not spark any selling into Gilts, as Draghi approaches

Top European News

  • France Says ‘We Want Our Money Back’ as Brexit Talks Wrap Up
  • Danske Bank CFO Says Writebacks Can’t Continue in Normal Cycle
  • London’s Super-Prime Housing Slump Spreads to Luxury Properties
  • EasyJet Falls; ‘Good News, But Not Good Enough’: Analysts
  • Sports Direct Ends Four-Year CFO Wait as Ashley Plugs Key Gap
  • SAP Lifts Sales Outlook, Buying Back Stock on Cloud Growth
  • Zooplus Drops; Kepler Says Weak 2Q, Investment Case Unchanged

In currencies, FX markets have been subdued since the open, as much of the volatility was seen from JPY and AUD overnight. European FX traders did await the UK Retail sales beating across the board, aiding cable in retaking the 1.30 handle. EUR/GBP saw a dip lower; however, closer attention will be on the ECB later this afternoon. GBP has not seen all bullish news this morning, with comments from Fox stating that the UK can still survive with no Brexit deal, once again intruding the possibility of a ‘hard brexit.’

In commodities, precious metals trade lower, evident of the risk tone that has been seen in recent trade, as Gold, Silver and Platinum all trade in the red. Elsewhere, Oil trades subdued following the unexpected draw yesterday, yet has contained around yesterday’s high, with WTI firmly above 47.00/bbl.

Looking at the day ahead, the ECB rate decision and Draghi press conference around lunchtime will be the key focus. In the US, initial jobless claims numbers (est: 245K) and the Philadelphia Fed Business survey will be out. US earnings seasons remains a focus, with Microsoft, eBay, Visa, American Airlines, Alliance Data systems, PPG Industries and Philip Morris schedule to report

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Initial Jobless Claims, est. 245,000, prior 247,000; Continuing Claims, est. 1.95m, prior 1.95m
  • 8:30am: Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook, est. 23, prior 27.6
  • 9:45am: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, prior 47; Economic Expectations, prior 52
  • 10am: Leading Index, est. 0.4%, prior 0.3%

DB”s Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

If you’re a parent and got any advice for what to do when the “terrible twos” hit then I’d appreciate it. After being a wonderful mild mannered, mischievous little girl, 22-month old Maisie has suddenly over the last two weeks tried to stamp her independence. The good news is that she hasn’t yet fully rebelled and found a wayward boyfriend, demanded her ears pierced or got a tattoo but in a short space of time has decided that she won’t sit in her high chair for dinner, will run away when it’s time to have her nappy changed (or teeth cleaned) and will go feral when taken up for her nightly bath. Bedtimes have also suddenly got more difficult with a lot of crying from nowhere. With only around 6 weeks until the birth of the twins I’m hoping this is just a phase!! So what’s the only thing that calms her down… yes the TV. Bad parenting habits are beginning to creep in. I can now see how sometimes it easier to do the wrong thing and give in!

We’ll all be glued to the TV this afternoon as today sees the last main scheduled macro event before the summer slow season well and truly kicks in. In saying that I’m sure I’m tempting fate but if Mr Draghi doesn’t surprise it feels that after his press conference today (1.30pm BST) it may be relatively quiet on the macro front until the Jackson Hole Symposium on August 24th-26th. The Bank of England meeting in two weeks is surely less interesting post this week’s inflation figure so all eyes on the ECB. The Fed rate decision next week could bring further details on the balance sheet discussion but is also unlikely to be a meeting with a big surprise. Within the ECB the battle is perhaps between Draghi and the rest of the

council as the President was certainly more hawkish in Sintra on June 27th than he was when he spoke for the committee at the last meeting on June 8th. This power balance will be judged by the strength of the signal at the press conference. According to our economists, the more that Draghi’s new “confidence, persistence, prudence” mantra makes it into the press statement, the more confident the market will be about the Council converging to Draghi’s more constructive view. DB expect the President to open the door to a September decision on QE without any pre-commitment.

With that in mind we thought it would be interesting to quickly recap how European assets have performed since Sintra. Unsurprisingly the most eyecatching are the moves in European govies. Front and centre is the move for Bunds where 10y yields have shot up 29.7bps to 0.540%. Similar maturity OATs are 20.4bps higher at 0.799% while Dutch yields are up 21.6bps to 0.661%. The range is a little wider in the periphery but the same theme applies. In Portugal yields are 13.3bps higher while Spain and Italy have seen moves of 18.7bps and 29.8bps, respectively. Meanwhile the Euro has rallied nearly 3% and recently broke through 1.150 versus the Dollar for the first time since May last year. In equity land the Stoxx 600 is down -0.83% in total return terms however this translates to a +2.13% gain when converted into Dollars given the  strength of the Euro. The same applies for the DAX (-2.50% and +0.41%) while the FTSE MIB (+2.27% and +5.32%) has outperformed. Most notable however has been the moves for European Banks which have clearly benefited from the underlying rate move. The Stoxx 600 banks sector is +4.35% in Euro terms and +7.46% in USD terms.

So we’ll wait to see what today’s message brings. Before we get there though we’ve already had the outcome from one central bank meeting this morning, that being the BoJ. As expected, there were no changes to policy. The policy balance rate was held at -0.100% and 10y JGB yields will continue to be targeted at around 0.000%. Notably, while the BoJ has raised its assessment of the economy (noting that growth will continue above potential through fiscal 2018), the inflation outlook was revised lower. The BoJ has delayed its target for inflation reaching 2% to around fiscal 2019. The BoJ previously delayed its target for inflation back in November last year to fiscal 2018. Inflation forecasts for this year and next were also revised lower. The Yen (-0.10%) is a shade weaker post the headlines while JGBs are little changed.

Staying with Japan briefly, our economists have noted that the Abe government’s approval rating has dropped below 40% with a Jiji press survey putting his rating at 30%. Our team highlight that a rating in the 30s is viewed as a caution signal for an administration’s viability and a drop into the 20s could be terminal. The team hold the view however that there are no opposition parties with sufficient public backing to run a government. Nonetheless its one to keep an eye on. Elsewhere in Asia this morning, most equity markets have climbed with the Nikkei (+0.36%), Hang Seng (+0.20%), Shanghai Comp (+0.16%), Kospi (+0.08%) and ASX (+0.56%) all nudging higher.

Back to yesterday. Despite there being fairly minimal newsflow to feed off, it was on the whole a relatively positive day for risk assets. Another leg higher for Oil (WTI +1.55% to just over $47/bbl and matching the highs from earlier this month) as well as a better than expected earnings report from Morgan Stanley appeared to be enough to drive markets higher. The S&P 500 (+0.54%) finished up for the 10th time in the last 13 sessions with all sectors finishing a bit stronger. The recent rally and bounceback for tech stocks is certainly catching the eye though. The S&P 500 IT index last night surpassed its dotcom peak from 17 years ago to close at an all-time high. The Nasdaq (+0.64%) also turned in another record high and is now up 5% from the lows earlier this month. The Dow was up +0.31% with  the underperformance driven by some disappointing IBM earnings, however the index did still close at a new record high.

At the same time the VIX, for the fifth day in a row, closed below 10 (at 9.79) which is the longest such run since data started getting collated in 1990. Meanwhile closer to home European equity markets firmed up with the Stoxx 600 closing +0.77% ahead of the ECB. In bond land 10y Treasury yields were just 1.1bps higher at 2.270% while Bunds 1.0bp lower.

Away from markets, developments in and around Washington continue to bubble away in the background. Last night the CBO announced that a repeal of Obamacare without replacement would result in 32 million more people being uninsured over 10 years, which is 10 million more than the previous Senate Republican bill. A vote next week is still being talked about with Republican senators supposedly scrambling behind the scenes to come to some form of consensus however it still feels like most have moved on to other policies. On that note, Politico ran an article last night suggesting that Trump is targeting a corporate tax rate ‘in the 20s’ which is being talked about as a more realistic goal for the administration after previously pledging in their campaign to slash the rate to 15%. So it will be interesting to see if there are any further stories on that front.

Staying with the US, the US / China trade talks got off to a slightly tense start yesterday, with US Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross noting the $309bn trade deficit as “…if this were just the natural product of free market forces, we could understand it, but it’s not…”. Shortly after, both the US and China cancelled their press conference scheduled for the end of the day, originally expected to discuss the outcomes of the trade negotiations.

Before we look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with other data releases from yesterday. In US, both the June housing starts and building permits data were slightly better than expectations. After three consecutive months of decline, US housing starts rebounded to be up 2.1% yoy to 1,215k. Permits were also stronger, rising 5.1% yoy to 1,254k. The MBA’s new purchase mortgage applications index rose 1.1% last week and was up 6.0% yoy.

Looking at the day ahead now, in UK, the June retail sales figures are due, with YoY (ex-auto and fuel) expected to be 2.5% as per Bloomberg consensus. The ECB rate decision and Draghi press conference around lunchtime will however by the key focus. Over in the US, initial jobless claims numbers (est: 245K) and the Philadelphia Fed Business survey will be out. US earnings seasons remains a focus, with Microsoft, eBay, Visa, American Airlines, Alliance Data systems, PPG Industries and Philip Morris schedule to report