Continued weakness in commodity prices weighed on European stock markets yesterday, and could well do so again today, though we did manage a rebound in oil prices on further comments from Saudi Arabian officials that they were prepared to work with other OPEC members to bring stability to oil prices.
Unfortunately for them we've all heard this song before and while we may get some semblance of a rebound in the short term, it seems more than likely that we will soon see the fundamentals reassert themselves and oil prices drift back lower again.
Ultimately OPEC will be judged on its 4th December meeting, and on any actions it takes then, and if history is any guide it is likely to be a low bar.
European economic data continues to improve
with the latest PMI's coming in at four year highs, however the French numbers were a little on the weak side, not surprising given the recent attacks in Paris. The data did nothing to dampen expectations that the ECB won't embark on further stimulus measures when it meets in just over a fortnight’s time.
The latest German IFO business survey for November is expected to come in more or less unchanged, at 108.30,
however it can be no means certain that recent events across Europe could well have damaged the business climate as we head into year end, another reason to expect some form of policy reaction from the ECB next week.
Today’s UK inflation report hearings will see Bank of England Governor Mark Carney
come in for his usual quarterly grilling in front of the Treasury Select Committee as MP’s pick through the contents of the latest quarterly report which was delivered earlier this month, and surprised by its dovish nature. While MPC member Ben Broadbent last week played down the unexpected long term impact on lower rates, the recent weakness in sterling suggests that Mr Carney could decide to wear his dove’s hat today. Given recent sterling strength against the euro one suspects he might, but there's very little he can do about the strength of the pound, given the policy divergence in play between the ECB and Bank of England.
Despite almost a universal expectation that the Fed will move on rates next month any decision is anything but a sure thing and in a sign that some policymakers are concerned about inflation, or the lack of it, Federal Reserve board member Daniel Tarullo, continued to express his concerns about that very topic in comments last night
He, along with other board member Lael Brainard are likely to be the hardest to convince of the merits of a rise in rates next month.
This week’s inflation data is likely to be particularly important in that regard,
particularly in light of published comments last night by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, when she stated that lift-off would only be warranted if continued gains in jobs and inflation. The jury is firmly out on inflation.
Before that we get the latest reading on US Q3 GDP
this afternoon which is expected to show a slight improvement on the first reading earlier this month, improving to 2% from 1.5%, while November consumer confidence is expected to improve to 99.5.
– we currently have down trend line resistance at 1.0700 from the 1.1500 highs, which is keeping the pressure on the downside. While below 1.0820 the risk remains for a retest of the March lows at 1.0460. If we do manage to get back above 1.0830 we could see a run at the 1.0980 area.
– the pound looks like it could well retest the previous lows at 1.5025 lows, after breaking below 1.5200. Major support remains at the 1.4980 area. To stabilise we need to see a push back above the 1.5330 area to encourage the prospect of a move towards 1.5420.
– we’ve seen a number of attempts to push below the 0.7000 area without too much follow through. We need to see a move back through the 0.7080 area to stabilise otherwise we could well see a move back to the July lows at 0.6935.
– last week’s bearish daily reversal could signal a return to the 122.20, but as long as we stay above here we can’t rule out a return to the 124.00 area, as well as the possibility of a move through to the August highs at 125.30. Only a move below the 121 80 area would delay the prospect of this scenario unfolding.
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