Markets underpricing China risk( OANDA Trading Podcast BFM Kuala Lumpur 89.9)

Stephen Innes, Head of Trading in Asia-Pacific, OANDA, Singapore
Stephen reckons markets are “seriously underpricing economic risk in China”.

Economists suspect the direct impact from the two sets of US tariffs aimed at Beijing could drag China’s GDP down by 0.3 percentage points in the longer run.

Stephen also shares some insights on how China can contain the adverse impact from its ongoing trade war with the US.

We also discuss the market expectation on China’s 2Q GDP that is scheduled to be out today.

BFM Radio Kuala Lumpur 89.9

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

Oil Ends Week Lower on End of Supply Disruptions

Oil prices were set for a second straight week of decline on Friday after Libyan ports reopened and on the view that Iran might still export some crude despite U.S. sanctions.

West Texas Intermediate graph

Brent crude LCOc1 was down 10 cents at $74.35 per barrel by 1308 GMT, having fallen earlier by 1.3 percent. It was heading for a weekly fall of around 3 percent.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 was up 10 cents at $70.43, and was on course for a weekly decline of around 4 percent.

Oil approached $80 in late June and early July due to Libyan and Venezuelan supply disruptions and fears the United States would press all buyers of Iranian oil to cut imports to zero from November.

But prices weakened in recent days as OPEC member Libya reopened its ports in the east and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would consider granting waivers to some of Iran’s crude buyers.

via Reuters

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

Dollar Gains vs JPY and CHF

The U.S. dollar held steady at a six-month high against the Japanese yen and a two-month high against the Swiss franc on Thursday, bolstered by solid inflation data and investor sentiment that the greenback stands to benefit from a trade war.

The yen and the Swiss franc are favoured as safe-haven investments. But against the dollar, both have weakened in the past week as trade tensions between the United States and China have mounted. That suggests investors believe the greenback is better suited to withstand trade volatility, as a safe-haven investment or as a beneficiary of new policies.

“The U.S. dollar has been playing more of a role as a safe-haven,” said Juan Perez, currency trader at Tempus, Inc in Washington.

via Reuters

US Sec Mnuchin Says China Trade Could Re-Open

The United States and China could reopen talks on trade but only if Beijing is willing to make significant changes, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday.

“I would say to the extent that the Chinese want to make serious efforts to make structural changes, I and the administration are available any time to discuss those,” Mnuchin said during a hearing before lawmakers in Washington.

via Reuters

GBP/USD – British pound ticks higher, U.S consumer inflation remains soft

The British pound is showing slight gains in the Thursday session. In North American trade, the pair is trading at 1.32246, up 0.15% on the day. In economic news, the BoE released its credit conditions survey. In the U.S, CPI edged down to 0.1%, shy of the forecast of 0.2%. Core CPI remained steady at 0.2%, matching the forecast. Unemployment claims dropped to 214 thousand, easily beating the estimate of 226 thousand. The indicator last posted a gain since November. On Friday, the U.S releases the UoM Consumer Sentiment report.

On Thursday, the British government released a white paper, which outlined its proposed new trade arrangements with EU when Britain leaves the club in March 2019. The proposal suggests that the UK and the EU will maintain the current agreements with regards to goods but not services. This would hurt the London financial district, which is already facing the loss of hundreds of financial jobs from London to the continent. European policymakers could give the plan a thumbs-down, arguing that the UK continues to cherry-pick, choosing to keep those aspects of trade with Europe that it likes, while rejecting other items such as free movement.

Prime Minister Theresa May is in a precarious position, as her government is in crisis following the stunning resignation of foreign secretary Boris Johnson on Monday. This comes on the heels of the resignation of Brexit Secretary David Davis on Sunday. Both senior ministers were protesting the “Chequers Agreement” in which the cabinet backed May’s stance in which the UK would maintain current customs arrangements for manufacturing and agricultural products after Brexit. Brexit hardliners such as Davis and Johnson have argued that such an arrangement would force Britain to harmonize much of its economy based on the dictates of Brussels. There is growing speculation that May will be replaced, and if the political crisis in Whitehall worsens, the pound could face some significant headwinds.

  Equities shrug off trade tariff tensions

  US Inflation Eyed as Markets Pare Losses


GBP/USD Fundamentals

Thursday (July 12)

  • 4:30 BoE Credit Conditions Survey
  • 8:30 US CPI. Estimate 0.2%. Actual 0.1%
  • 8:30 US Core CPI. Estimate 0.2%. Actual 0.2%
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 226K. Actual 214K
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate 55B
  • 13:01 US 30-year Bond Auction
  • 14:00 US Federal Budget Balance. Estimate -92.3B

Friday (July 13)

  • 10:00 US Preliminary UoM Consumer Sentiment. Estimate 98.1

*All release times are DST

*Key events are in bold


GBP/USD for Thursday, July 12, 2018

GBP/USD July 11 at 12:15 DST

Open: 1.3205 High: 1.3245 Low: 1.3181 Close: 1.3224


GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2996 1.3088 1.3186 1.3263 1.3494 1.3613

GBP/USD was flat for most of the Asian session. The pair edged higher in European trade and has posted small gains in the North American session

  • 1.3186 was tested earlier in support
  • 1.3263 is the next resistance line
  • Current range: 1.3186 to 1.3263

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.3186, 1.3088 and 1.2996
  • Above: 1.3263, 1.3494, 1.3613 and 1.3712