Stock markets around the world have been trading down slightly as seasonal corrections take hold and Fed comments turned back to the hawkish side. US index futures, the FTSE and the Dax are all down 0.2% to 0.3% while Asia markets were mixed.
USD bounced back a bit sending gold and major currencies down slightly. USDJPY continued to hold the key 100.00 level. Crude oil is consolidating this week's big gains with Brent trading just above $50.00 and WTI near $48.00.
Although positive Gap Stores earnings could attract some attention today, overall summer earnings season is winding down and we are heading into what has historically been the seasonally worst time of the year for stocks, running through mid-October.
Overnight action, such as it was, has been impacted by mixed to hawkish Fed comments late in the day. SF Fed President Williams clarified his position indicating that while he still sees a lower neutral rate and thus fewer hikes over the course of the cycle, he thinks the next hike should come sooner than later with the economy growing to keep asset bubbles from forming. He also indicated that at full employment the US only needs to add 80K jobs a month, echoing recent comments from NY Fed President Dudley who suggested job growth of 50-100K a month would maintain the unemployment rate.
Williams also echoed Dudley indicating September as a live meeting, although I still think the Fed will use the September forecasts to signal a December hike after the election.
Former Fed Chair Greenspan also called for a rate hike soon in a speech yesterday. Because of all the debate and Fed members bouncing between the hawkish and dovish camps this week, current Fed Chair Yellen's speech to the Jackson Hole conference next week may attract even more attention from traders looking to her to give some clarity to the debate.
The Fed usually tries to stay out of politics, especially since the Republicans have threatened to fire the Fed Chair for the second campaign in a row. For what it's worth, politically a September rate hike amid talk of a strong economy would seem to favour the Democrats and could be seen as a sign that it's not a close race any more.
Today Canada moves into the spotlight with consumer prise inflation and retail sales due. These reports may give an indication of how the rebalancing of the Canadian economy is going. They also may indicate how much pressure, if any, the Bank of Canada is under to cut interest rates after other resource exporting countries like Australia and New Zealand cut rates earlier this summer.
It has been over a year since the last Canadian rate cut with Governor Poloz preferring to let the currency do the heavy lifting. Heading into the numbers, CAD has been climbing on the back of rising energy prices and could be active on today's news.
Gap $0.60 vs street $0.59
Germany producer prices street (2.1%)
Upcoming significant economic announcements include:
8:30 am EDT Canada retail sales street 0.5% vs previous 0.2%
8:30 am EDT Canada retail ex auto street 0.3% vs previous 0.9%
8:30 am EDT Canada consumer prices street 1.4%
8:30 am EDT Canada core CPI street 2.1%
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