IG Markets - Afternoon Thoughts
DAX 7214 -1
CAC 3517 -2
IBEX 7877 -6
DOW 13268 -39
NAS 2816 -9
S&P 1434 -4
Asian markets are mostly positive on the back of hopes of further stimulus this week. Risk currencies rallied on Friday after the US dollar was put on the back foot by a weak payrolls report. Non-farm payrolls rose by 96,000 in August, falling considerably below the consensus call for a modest 130,000 rise. This increased hopes of a new QE announcement in the FOMC meeting later this week on September 13. Risk sentiment in the Asian session has not remained quite as buoyant as it was on Friday, with some subdued performances in the regional equity markets. EUR/USD has pulled back to a touch below 1.28, while AUD/USD has dropped back to 1.0365. Investors have been digesting some data which was released out of China over the past couple of days. Yesterday, China reported that its CPI ticked up to 2.0% year-on-year (in-line with expectations), whilst industrial production came in a bit weaker than expected (8.9% versus 9.1%), the lowest reading since May 2009. China President Hu Jintao was on the wires over the weekend at APEC summit, where he said that a slowdown in exports has been putting downward pressure on growth, however he pledged to boost domestic demand and promote more balanced growth.
Today, data showed China’s exports grew less than economists estimated from a year ago, while imports slumped, dispelling forecasts of a rise, and suggesting weak domestic demand. This saw Chinese equities pare early gains and the Hang Seng is now only up 0.1%, while the Shanghai Composite is up 0.3%. Japan’s Nikkei is underperforming the region with a 0.3% drop on the back of a stronger yen. The steep fall in the 10-year Treasury yield after the US non-farm payroll data coincided with a plunge in USD/JPY from 78.90 to 78.01. The China data which showed imports of iron ore rose 7.9% in August failed to lift the resource-heavy ASX 200 which is currently flat. European markets are facing a flat start, while US markets are likely to open mildly weaker.
The US dollar is likely to stay offered this week as it now seems consensus that the Fed will embark on a fresh round of asset purchases. Whether this actually creates jobs is debatable, but equities and risk assets should like it and with the added kicker of the fear of missing out, buying the dips here is probably the way to go. Of course the finer details will need to be known, i.e. the size, duration and assets of choice (MBS/UST); will it give a full target or will it announce it is unlimited and perform monthly purchases? European issues should get sorted out although there is a chance of an upset at the Dutch elections and German constitutional ruling. Friday’s finance minister meeting may hold clues on Greece’s next aid tranche, and it’s interesting to see the number of articles about Greece over weekend, potentially becoming a sacrificial lamb.
The local market traded heavy for most of the session with only the resources sparking some buying interest after recent falls. The gold miners are enjoying a day in the sun after the precious metal rallied and continues to hold near $1740. Newcrest Mining has surged 4.5%, while Kingsgate and OceanaGold are both around 4% higher. Iron ore miners have also been well bid today with Fortescue Metals advancing 5%. Consumer staples have lagged with Woolworths down 3.7% after going ex-dividend.