US energy market data sent a growth signal overnight with a surprise draw on both crude oil and petroleum. The numbers added momentum to a global stock rally that was spurred by good news on a vaccine and aided by stronger US corporate reporting. The greenback slid again as traders grew more comfortable with a positive outlook for the second half of 2020.
US crude oil inventories fell by 7.5 million barrels, and petroleum reserves dropped by 3.1 million barrels. Although the draw on crude is attributed to declining imports the petroleum data shows demand hit an eleven-week high. This accords with the v-shaped recovery market narrative, and emboldened share bulls despite fairly modest gains for West Texas and Brent contracts.
Much of the recent lift in sentiment is pinned to better results from Moderna’s vaccine trails on 45 patients. Reports from the White House that President Trump does not want to further sanction Hong Kong officials lowered worry about US-Sino relations, and US corporate reporting is off to a good start compared to much reduced earnings expectations.
Financial stocks starred in overnight reports. Goldman Sachs smashed estimates with a 93% lift in trading profits, delivering a Q2 result 58% above forecasts. BNY Mellon and US Bancorp also beat analysts’ forecasts. PNC Financial was the exception after providing for $2.46 billion in Covid-19 related loan losses. United Health’s quarterly earnings were also above forecast.
Asia Pacific futures indicate a mixed to mildly positive start to trading. Markets in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia are higher, although Nikkei futures finished in the red. China data due around mid-session could provide direction. Industrial production in June is estimated to increase by 4.8% year on year, and retail sales are expected to grow by about 0.5%. The Australian unemployment rate is forecast to increase to 7.3% today as more workers return.