A combination of factors have come together to keep stocks on the back foot and in retreat, picking up from where they left off on Friday.
First, although the headline China trade balance sounded good, it was due to exports falling off a cliff raising questions about the health of China’s economy and its demand for resources. This news sent the Hang Seng and S&P/ASX lower.
Second, Greece and the EU continue to stake out early hard line negotiating positions that have rattled European markets sending all major indices except the FTSE
down 1-2% and Greek treasury yields decisively above 10%. Meanwhile, strong German trade balance and weak Greek industrial production shows that nothing has changed in recent years and that Germany continues to benefit from the Euro at the expense of its partners. While a deal still looks probable the road to get there looks increasingly bumpy and the potential for error increasing. This uncertainty has also helped to boost defensive havens like gold, CHF and JPY while sending EUR to the bottom of the performance pile.
Third, US indices have been backsliding again in response to a lacklustre overall earnings and guidance season and Friday’s strong US nonfarm payrolls which keep the Fed on track toward raising interest rates in the coming months, further removing the easy money that had boosted stocks so much over the last two years.
Meanwhile, crude oil is up moderately as WTI and Brent continue to stabilize in the $45-$60 range. OPEC cutting its non-OPEC production forecast was seen as a positive but slower production growth is still not the same as falling production, so this doesn’t mean the broader supply war is over by any stretch. Higher gold and oil prices today are helping boost commodity currencies like NZD, AUD and CAD toward the top of the relative performance table.
Cameco $0.52 vs street $0.30, guides 2015 year, revenues flat to down 5%
Hasbro $1.22 vs street $1.19, raises dividend by 7%
Economic reports released overnight and this morning include:
China trade balance $60.0B vs street $48.9B
China exports (3.3%) vs street 5.9%
China imports (19.9%) vs street (3.2%)
OPEC cut production growth forecast for non OPEC producers by 420K bbls/d, including a 170K cut for the US. It attributed the reduction to cuts in exploration and capital budgets but traders should note that non-OPEC production is still expected to grow 850K this year.
Canada housing starts 187K vs street 178K
Germany trade balance €19.1B vs street €16.0B
Germany exports 3.4% vs street 1.0%
Greece industrial production (3.8%) vs street (1.5%)
India GDP estimate 7.4% vs street 6.6% and previous 6.9%
Economic reports due later today include:
There are no major announcements scheduled for North America later today.