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Oil rallies on China reserve ratio cut; stocks await flood of data, RBA preview

Oil rallies on China reserve ratio cut; stocks await flood of data, RBA preview

There are several big developments that could have an impact on today’s Asia Pacific trading. Overnight, China announced a surprise 0.50% cut to bank reserve requirements in a bid to increase lending even further. This also could be a move to offset rumours of over a million job losses coming in the coal and steel sectors. Regardless, the news of more Chinese government support to the economy helped stock markets in Hong Kong, Europe and North America to shake off some early weakness and post moderate gains on the day. CNH has been weakening on the news as one would expect. It will be interesting to see if the news helps mainland exchanges to recover from yesterday’s declines. Crude oil also continued to advance with both Brent and WTI up about 2.6% on speculation support of China’s economy could boost demand or at least stop it from falling further. RUB picked up a bit along with oil rising 0.6% while CAD and NOK were pretty much flat. There has been more movement of capital back into defensive areas today with both JPY and gold climbing within current trading ranges. JPY pairs and the Nikkei could be active today on Japanese employment and PMI reports. Purchasing managers reports, the first big look at how economies around the world have been doing into February may attract significant attention from traders, particularly if any cause reason to change speculation on what the ECB, FOMC or Bank of japan may do at their meetings this month. A drop in Chicago PMI was roundly ignored. The last six months have been all over the place, 47.6, 55.6, 42.9, 47.7, 52.6, 47.8, and because of this, this indicator appears to be losing some of its credibility. It’s also a big day for Australia news with the main event being the RBA meeting in addition to monthly PMI and commodity inflation data. The RBA is widely expected to hold steady on interest rates once again. Since the last RBA meeting in early December, AUD has nearly done a round trip from near $0.7400 down toward $0.6850 and back up toward $0.7140. The recent rebound has been driven by a USD retreat more than anything else and that appears to be ending with a March US rate hike back on the table. So it will be interesting to see if the RBA tries to talk down the dollar and cap the recent rally or not. In terms of stock trading, we may continue to see news reports come out from mineral exploration companies with the big PDAC convention in Canada continuing, a time when companies often put out assay results and try to make a big splash at the big show. Tomorrow morning brings monthly and quarterly GDP reports for Canada which could influence trading in CAD as it may give a better idea of how the transition away from oil dependence back toward a more balanced economy between the twin WTI and CAD crashes of the last 18 months. It also may indicate how much, if any, pressure the Bank of Canada may be under to cut interest rates again. Corporate News There have been no major announcements after the US close today. Economic News Significant announcements released overnight include: China PBOC reserve requirement surprise 0.50% cut to 17.00% US Chicago PMI Feb 47.6 vs street 52.5 Jan 55.6 Dec 42.9 US pending home sales (0.9%) vs street 4.1% Canada industrial prices 0.5% vs street 0.0% Canada raw material prices (0.4%) vs street (3.3%) Germany retail sales (0.8%) vs street 1.8% Norway retail sales 0.9% vs street 0.3% Greece retail sales (0.1%) vs street (3.8%) Sweden GDP 4.5% vs street 3.6% Poland GDP 3.9% unchanged Greece GDP (0.7%) vs street (2.0%) Eurozone consumer prices (0.2%) vs street 0.0% Eurozone core CPI 0.7% vs street 0.9% Upcoming significant economic announcements include: (Note: 11:30 am in Sydney/Melbourne is currently 1:30 pm in Auckland, 4:30 pm in Vancouver, 7:30 pm in Toronto/Montréal, 12:30 am in London and 8:30 am in Singapore) 10:30 am AEDT Japan unemployment rate street 3.3% 11:30 am AEDT Australia building approvals street (8.5%) 4:30 pm AEDT Australia commodity index previous (25.8%) 2:30 pm AEDT Australia RBA interest rate 2.00% no change expected 8:55 am GMT Germany unemployment change street (10K) vs previous (20K) 8:55 am GMT Germany unemployment rate street 6 2% 9:00 am GMT Italy unemployment rate street 11.4% 8:30 am EST Canada Q4 GDP street 0.0% vs previous 2.3% 8:30 am EST Canada December GDP street 0.0% vs previous 0.2% 10:00 am EST US construction spending street 0.3% Manufacturing PMI reports: 11:30 pm EST FOMC Dudley speaking 9:30 am AEDT Australia previous 51.5 12:00 pm AEDT China official street 49.4 12:00 pm AEDT China official non-manufacturing previous 53.5 12:45 pm AEDT China Caixin street 48.4 1:00 pm AEDT Japan Nikkei previous 50.2 4:00 pm AEDT India Nikkei previous 51.1 7:30 am GMT Sweden street 55.0 8:00 am GMT Norway street 48.0 8:00 am GMT Poland street 50.6 8:15 am GMT Spain street 54.5 8:45 am GMT Italy street 52.3 8:50 am GMT France street 50.3 8:55 am GMT Germany street 50.2 9:00 am GMT Greece previous 50.0 9:30 am GMT UK street 52.3 9:30 am EST Canada previous 49.3 9:45 am EST US Markit street 51.2 10:00 am EST US ISM street 48.5 10:00 am EST US ISM new orders previous 51.5

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