DAX ticks lower as investors look for cues

The DAX index has ticked lower in the Monday session. Currently, the DAX is at 12,521, down 0.12% on the day. On the release front, there are no major German or eurozone events. In economic news, the eurozone trade surplus slipped to EUR 16.9 billion, short of the estimate of EUR 17.6 billion. This marked the lowest surplus since January 2017.

European equity markets showed little change last week and the DAX continues to trade quietly on Monday. Still, the trading tensions hovering in the air have many investors wondering if this is the calm before the storm. On Tuesday, the Trump administration said it was considering imposing tariffs on some $200 billion in Chinese goods, which would be a significant escalation in the trade war between the two economic giants. China has promised to respond with “firm and forceful measures”, but hasn’t provided any details. With neither side showing any flexibility, the markets could be heading for stormy waters if China retaliates.

Trade policy is not part of the Federal Reserve’s mandate, but Fed policymakers continue to voice concern about the escalating trade war between the U.S and its major trading partners, particularly China. On Friday, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said he would have to downgrade his outlook if the tariff battle continues. Kaplan said that U.S tariffs on steel and aluminum imports had dampened capital expenditures plans and further trade tensions could lead to currency fluctuations and geopolitical instability.

 

Economic Calendar

Monday (July 16)

  • 5:00 Eurozone Trade Balance. Estimate 17.6B. Actual 16.9B

*All release times are DST

*Key events are in bold

 

DAX, Monday, July 16 at 7:40 DST

Previous Close: 12,540 Open: 12,534 Low: 12,523 High: 12,605 Close: 12,525

EUR/USD – Euro gains ground despite soft eurozone surplus

EUR/USD has posted gains in the Monday session. Currently, the pair is trading at 1.1707, up 0.18% on the day. In economic news, the eurozone trade surplus slipped to EUR 16.9 billion, short of the estimate of EUR 17.6 billion. This marked the lowest surplus since January 2017. In the U.S, the focus is on consumer spending reports, with both retail sales and core retail sales expected to drop to 0.4%. On the manufacturing front, Empire State Manufacturing Index is forecast to drop to 20.3 points. On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chair will testify before the Senate Banking Committee.

The U.S economy continues to perform well in 2018, and received a vote of confidence from the head of the Federal Reserve. On Thursday, Powell said that the economy is “in a really good place”, pointing to President Trump’s massive tax cut scheme and increased spending as key factors in boosting economic growth. Powell did not address monetary policy and said he was uncertain as to the effects of the current trade disputes which has embroiled the U.S and its trading partners. The Fed will likely press the rate trigger in the second half of the year, but it is an open question as to whether we’ll see one hike over the next six months. The Fed is projecting growth of 2.8% in 2018, compared to 2.3% in 2017. Powell will be in the spotlight next week when he appears for his semi-annual testimony before Congress.

Trade policy is not part of the Federal Reserve’s mandate, but Fed policymakers continue to voice concern about the escalating trade war between the U.S and its major trading partners, particularly China. On Friday, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said he would have to downgrade his outlook if the tariff battle continues. Kaplan said that U.S tariffs on steel and aluminum imports had dampened capital expenditures plans and further trade tensions could lead to currency fluctuations and geopolitcal instability.

  Trade ,earnings ,teapots and the US dollar

China Q2 GDP growth as expected, though lower than Q1

 

EUR/USD Fundamentals

Monday (July 16)

  • 4:04 Italian Trade Balance. Estimate 3.25B Actual 3.38B
  • 5:00 Eurozone Trade Balance. Estimate 17.6B. Actual 16.9B
  • 8:30 US Core Retail Sales. Estimate 0.4%
  • 8:30 US Retail Sales. Estimate 0.4%
  • 8:30 US Empire State Manufacturing Index. Estimate 20.3
  • 10:00 US Business Inventories. Estimate 0.4%

Tuesday (July 17)

  • 9:15 US Capacity Utilization Rate. Estimate 78.4%
  • 9:15 US Industrial Production. Estimate 0.5%
  • 10:00 US Federal Reserve Jerome Powell Testifies
  • 10:00 US NAHB Housing Market Index. Estimate 69
  • 16:00 US TIC Long-Term Purchases. Estimate 34.3B

*All release times are DST

*Key events are in bold

 

EUR/USD for Monday, July 16, 2018

EUR/USD for July 16 at 7:05 DST

Open: 1.1686 High: 1.1722 Low: 1.1676 Close: 1.1721

EUR/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.1434 1.1553 1.1637 1.1728 1.1829 1.1916

EUR/USD was flat in the Asian session and has edged higher in European trade

  • 1.1637 is providing support
  • 1.1728 is a weak resistance line

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.1637, 1.1553, 1.1434 and 1.1312
  • Above: 1.1728, 1.1829 and 1.1910
  • Current range: 1.1637 to 1.1728

Trade War and Trump European Trip Boost US Dollar

The US dollar was higher across the board against major pairs on Friday. Trade war concerns rose heading into the weekend and the comments from US President Donald Trump during the week sparked a rally of USD buying. Trump has been outspoken on NATO, trade and the Brexit deal while economic indicators and the US Fed have been supportive of the greenback. The Trump administration has said that it would add 10 percent tariffs on additional $200 billion Chinese goods if the Asian nation retaliates. U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell highlights the week with his semi annual testimonies.

  • US retail sales expected to slow down
  • Fed Chair Powell to testify before congress and senate committees
  • Canadian inflation and retail sales data out on Friday

**Dollar Firmer on Trade Tensions and Fed Comments **

The EUR/USD fell 0.80 in the last five sessions. The single currency is trading at 1.1648 after the EUR lost ground int he first four days of the week, only to mount a half hearted recovery on Friday. The pair started the week trading at 1.1763 and will close at 1.1685. Hawkish Fed member rhetoric and strong inflation indicators in the US did their part on the fundamental side, but with geopolitics playing such an important part the focus of investors was on the ongoing trade war with China. The USD became a safe haven and attracted flows looking to hedge against uncertainty.



The U.S. Federal Reserve has lifted interest rates twice already in 2018 and Fed members have been out in numbers endorsing one or two more additional hikes. The tone of the testimonies from Chair Powell to the congress and senate committees will guide the currency.

European inflation data will be released on Wednesday and is expected to remain steady at 2.0 percent. US retail sales data is expected to drop to a small gain of 0.4 percent but the emphasis will be on Fed Chair Powell’s testimony alongside other member comments during the week. The G20 financial summit will be held in Buenos Aires starting on Friday, July 20 which will be interning as trade spats have escalated to tariff wars but have yet to fully impact global markets.

Yen Loses Safe Haven Appeal

The USD/JPY gained 1.83 percent during the week. The currency pair is trading at 112.47 with the yen one of the biggest losers against the USD in the past five sessions. The Japanese currency shed its safe haven status as a major source of its exports has been targeted in the trade wars (auto) and the US yield curve flattening making the greenback a more attractive destination.



Bank of Canada Hike Can’t Compete with Trade Concerns

The USD/CAD gained 0.65 percent in the last five days. The currency pair is trading at 1.3174 even after the Bank of Canada (BoC) made the benchmark interest rate 25 basis points higher on Wednesday. The official rate is now 1.50 percent, closing the gap with the Fed funds rate alongside some hawkish forecasts of the economy by Governor Poloz.


Canadian dollar weekly graph July 9, 2018

The main headwind for the loonie has been the current geopolitical climate, trade in particular. The Canadian economy is heavily dependant on its relationship with the US and the Trump administration has been pushing for a deep NAFTA renegotiation in exchange to exempt Canada form other tariffs.

The loonie got little support from oil prices with West Texas Intermediate falling since the higher than expected supplies coming online. The weekly inventories posted a large drawdown, but ends of disruption in Libya and a softer stance on Iranian oil by the US is pushing crude prices down. US officials are considering dipping into the oil receiver to prevent a sharp price increase.

Brexit Pressure and Trump Comments Take Down Pound

The GBP/USD lost 0.81 percent in the last week. The currency pair is trading at 1.3178 in the aftermath of a softer Brexit plan drafted by Prime Minister Theresa May was published. The strategy has already resulted in multiple resignations from hard line Brexiteers in May’s government but so far has been short on details. The EU withdrawal bill will be voted next week and then the UK government will sit down with the EU to keep hashing out the Brexit negotiation



UK data will be released that could end up putting the Bank of England (BoE) August rate hike out of reach. Labor data, inflation and retail sales are all due during the week. The Brexit negotiation continues to be a bumpy ride and that is only on the domestic side, EU negotiators might not agree with May’s promises back home regardless of the political cost.

Sunday, July 15
10:00pm CNY GDP q/y
Monday, July 16
8:30am USD Core Retail Sales m/m
USD Retail Sales m/m
6:45pm NZD CPI q/q
9:30pm AUD Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, July 17
4:30am GBP Average Earnings Index 3m/y
4:30am GBP BOE Gov Carney Speaks
10:00am USD Fed Chair Powell Testifies
Wednesday, July 18
4:30am GBP CPI y/y
8:30am USD Building Permits
10:00am USD Fed Chair Powell Testifies
10:30am USD Crude Oil Inventories
9:30pm AUD Employment Change
Thursday, July 19
4:30am GBP Retail Sales m/m
Friday, July 20
8:30am CAD CPI m/m
8:30am CAD Core Retail Sales m/m

US Import Prices Fell 0.4% in June

U.S. import prices fell the most in more than two years in June as prices for petroleum products fell and a strong dollar weighed on the costs of other goods, pointing to benign import inflation pressures.



The Labor Department said on Friday import prices dropped 0.4 percent last month, the largest decline since February 2016. Data for May was revised to show import prices increasing 0.9 percent instead of rising 0.6 percent as previously reported.

Economists had forecast import prices edging up 0.1 percent in June. In the 12 months through June, import prices increased 4.3 percent after advancing 4.5 percent in May.

via Reuters

Goldman Puts Probability of Higher Tariffs on Chinese Goods at 60%

Goldman Sachs economists said on Friday they placed a 60 percent chance the Trump administration would impose duties on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports that were recently targeted.



“While very uncertain, we would expect the tariffs could be imposed as soon as late September but possibly not until after the election,” they wrote in a research note.

via Reuters

Kuwait Could Reach Emerging Market Status

Kuwait has long been nicknamed the Sleeping Giant of the Gulf, and it is not exactly intended as a compliment. Kuwait is considered one of the least interesting of the Mideast regional economies and has done little to attract foreign investment. But that reputation might be set for a change.

Kuwait’s stock market is being considered for a bump-up to emerging markets status by major index providers, and that would be a significant reclassification within the world of investors. Index funds tracking emerging markets benchmarks, and active fund assets benchmarked against emerging markets indexes, are far larger in size and popularity than frontier markets portfolios.


West Texas Intermediate graph

There are 30 exchange-traded funds tracking EM benchmarks, and the three largest ETFs tracking the MSCI and FTSE emerging markets indexes have roughly $135 billion in assets between them. There are two frontier market ETFs with a total asset base of roughly $600 million. Kuwait is the largest country weight in the MSCI and FTSE frontier markets index, at over 21 percent and 19 percent, respectively.

In June, MSCI said it would place the MSCI Kuwait Index under review for a potential reclassification from frontier markets to emerging markets status in 2019. Rival index provider FTSE Russell hasn’t classified Kuwait historically, but starting September of this year, it will be classified as a secondary emerging market — it also has an advanced emerging market group.

via CNBC

Chinese Firms Exported More to US Ahead of Tariffs

China’s trade surplus with the United States swelled to a record in June as its overall exports grew at a solid pace, a result that could further inflame a bitter trade dispute with Washington.

But signs exporters were rushing shipments before tariffs went into effect in the first week of July suggest the spike in the surplus was a one-off, with analysts expecting a less favorable trade balance for China in coming months as duties on exports start to bite.



The data came after the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump raised the stakes in its trade row with China on Tuesday, saying it would slap 10 percent tariffs on an extra $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, including numerous consumer items.

China’s trade surplus with the United States, which is at the center of the tariff tussle, widened to a record monthly high of $28.97 billion, up from $24.58 billion in May, according to Reuters calculations based on official data going back to 2008.

The record surplus “won’t help already sour relations and escalating tensions”, Jonas Short, head of the Beijing office at Everbright Sun Hung Kai, wrote in a note.

via CNBC

USD Rises on Trade War Concerns

The euro fell to a nine-day low on Friday after data showing a record Chinese trade surplus stirred worries about a deeper United States-China trade conflict, encouraging investors into the safety of the dollar.



The Chinese yuan, which has suffered in the past six weeks on concern that U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will eventually hit its economy, reversed earlier gains in Asia and fell half a percent in offshore markets CNH=.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that the United States and China could reopen trade talks, briefly easing concerns about the trade dispute.

But data showing China’s trade surplus with the United States swelled to a record in June as exports grew could further inflame tensions. Trump this week pledged to impose tariffs on $200 billion more of Chinese imports and Beijing has vowed to retaliate.

via Reuters

What sparked the dollar rally ? ( OANDA Trading Podcast on Money FM 89.3)

Stephen Innes Head of Trading Asia tells Michael Switow why the yen is weak, and stocks are rallying.

Money FM Singapore 89.3

 

 

USD/CAD – Canadian dollar dips, US consumer confidence next

The Canadian dollar has posted losses in the Friday session, erasing the gains from the Thursday session. Currently, USD/CAD is trading at 1.3197, up 0.31% on the day. There are no Canadian releases on the schedule. In the U.S, the key event is UoM Consumer Sentiment, which is expected to dip to 98.1 points.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell gave the U.S economy a solid report card on Thursday. In a radio interview, Powell said that the economy is “in a really good place”, pointing to President Trump’s massive tax cut scheme and increased spending as key factors in boosting economic growth. Powell did not address monetary policy and said he was uncertain as to the effects of the current trade disputes which has embroiled the U.S and its trading partners. The Fed will likely press the rate trigger in the second half of the year, but it is an open question as to whether we’ll see one hike over the next six months. The Fed is projecting growth of 2.8% in 2018, compared to 2.3% in 2017. Powell will be in the spotlight next week when he appears for his semi-annual testimony before Congress.

After weeks of hints, the Bank of Canada pressed the rate trigger on Wednesday. The hike of 25 basis points raised the benchmark rate to 1.50%, its highest level since December 2008. The Bank followed up with a hawkish rate statement, as policymakers noted that the economy continues to operate close to capacity. The BoC has upwardly revised its growth forecast for Q2 from 2.5% to 2.8%, and projected inflation to climb to 2.5%, before falling to 2% in the second half of 2019. As for the escalating trade war, the BoC said that U.S tariffs on steel and aluminum and retaliatory tariffs by Canada would lower economic growth. However, the effect of the tariffs would be modest, due to strong global demand and high commodity prices. Despite the rate hike and hawkish comments from the BoC, the Canadian dollar lost ground against the greenback on Wednesday.

  The sky hasn’t fallen just yet

  First signs of tariffs impact in China’s June trade numbers

Friday (July 13)

  • 8:30 US Import Prices. Estimate 0.1%
  • 10:00 US Preliminary UoM Consumer Sentiment. Estimate 98.1
  • 10:00 US Preliminary UoM Inflation Expectations
  • 11:00 US Fed Monetary Policy Report

*All release times are DST

*Key events are in bold

 

USD/CAD for Friday, July 13, 2018

USD/CAD, July 13 at 6:55 DST

Open: 1.3155 High: 1.3205 Low: 1.3152 Close: 1.3197

 

USD/CAD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2970 1.3067 1.3160 1.3292 1.3436 1.3530

In the Asian session, USD/CAD ticked lower but then recovered. The pair has edged higher in European trade

  • 1.3160 is providing support
  • 1.3292 is the next line of resistance
  • Current range: 1.3160 to 1.3292

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.3160, 1.3067, 1.2970 and 1.2831
  • Above: 1.3292, 1.3436 and 1.3530