US markets have been turned on their heads since 8:30 am when US consumer inflation figures came out. While the headline number was in line, Core inflation was higher than the street expected while real average weekly earnings increased over last month, indicating that just as central bankers have been saying for some time, inflation pressures are starting to build.
The street has taken these reports to mean that even if the Fed doesn’t raise interest rates in June, they remain under pressure to start raising rates sometime this year. USD has rallied sharply on the news, wiping out most of the gains gold had made overnight and sending a number of paper currencies plus crude oil into the red.
UK markets have also been active this morning with the FTSE
rallying and GBP giving back some of its recent gains. Bank of England Governor Carney reminded the street that rising Sterling could drag on the UK economy and that even when the Bank of England does start raising interest rates the pace is likely to be gradual. The street appears to have taken these comments as being more dovish than expected.
Fed Chair Yellen speaks today at 1:00 pm EDT which means that markets could remain active right through the day. Traders may look to her comments for more colour on when the Fed may start to raise interest rates and what to watch as signs liftoff may be coming soon.
Crude oil has dropped back mainly due to pressure from the USD rally but inventory related gains may have run their course for now anyway. We could see some interest again this afternoon around the Baker Hughes rig count report.
Canadian retail sales beat the street today but trading in CAD has been mixed so far. The loonie has been unable to keep up with the soaring greenback but is outperforming GBP and AUD. Canada inflation was slightly below expectations, but with core CPI still running above 2%, further Bank of Canada cuts appear unlikely unless the economy really goes off the rails.
We may also see some activity related to traders positioning ahead of long weekends in both the US and UK. There are some central bankers speaking over the weekend as a big conference in Portugal continues. Greek negotiations also drag on but it remains difficult to see how much is noise and posturing and how much is actual news.
There are no major corporate announcements this morning.
Economic reports released overnight and this morning include:
Bank of Japan no changes as expected, 1 hawkish dissenter again
US consumer prices (0.2%) as expected
US CPI ex food and energy 1.8% vs street 1.7%
US real average weekly earnings 2.3% vs previous 2.2%
Canada consumer prices 0.8% vs street 1.0%
Canada core CPI 2.3% vs street 2.4%
Canada retail sales 0.7% vs street 0.3%
Canada retail ex auto 0.5% vs street 0.4%
Germany GDP 1.1% as expected
Germany IFO business climate 108.5 vs street 108.3
Germany IFO current assessment 114.3 vs street 113.5
Germany IFO expectations 103.0 as expected
Italy retail sales (0.2%) vs street 0.4%
New Zealand ANZ consumer confidence 123.9 vs previous 128.8
Economic reports due later today include:
1:00 pm EDT US Baker Hughes Drill Rig Count previous 888
1:00 pm EDT US FOMC Chair Yellen speaking