•  
Tue, 17th January 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

  •  

Archives of “federal reserve system” Tag

Emerging Markets :An Update

EM FX ended the week mixed. Markets continue to grapple with the outlook for the so-called Trump Trade, which we believe is intact.  MXN and TRY recovered from the relentless selling of recent days, but both remain vulnerable.  Indeed, if the jump in US yields on Friday continues this week, most of EM should remain under pressure.

India reports December WPI Monday, which is expected to rise 3.50% y/y vs. 3.15% in November.  December CPI came in slightly lower than expected at 3.41% y/y, and so there are some downside risks to WPI.  RBI next meetsFebruary 8 and it will be a tough call since the impact of the November demonetization is still being felt in the economy.

Russia reports November trade Monday.  Exports are seen contracting -2.7% y/y, while imports are seen rising 5.1% y/y.  As a result, the 12-month surplus is expected to narrow to $88.5 bln from $90.1 bln in October and would be the lowest since February 2005.  Q4 current account data will be reported Tuesday and is expected at $7.4 bln.  If so, the 4-quarter surplus would fall to $21.8 bln, the lowest since Q3 1999.  Higher oil prices should prevent the external balances from deteriorating further in 2017.
 
Singapore reports December trade Tuesday NODX is expected to rise 7.0% y/y vs. 11.5% in November.  Despite the trade data, the economy remains a bit soft, but rising price pressures are likely to keep the MAS on hold at its semiannual policy meeting in April.
Malaysia reports December CPI Wednesday, which is expected to rise 1.9% y/y vs. 1.8% in November.  Bank Negara meets Thursday and is expected to keep rates steady at 3.0%.  The bank has been on hold since the last 25 bp cut back in July.  It does not have an explicit inflation target, but rising price pressures are likely to prevent any further easing for now.

Watch these 5 events for Next Week

What events and releases will impact trading in the week starting Jan 16th.

  1. ECB interest rate statement. Thursday 7:45 AM ET/1245 GMT.  ECB Draghi press conference to follow at 8:30 AM ET/1330 GMT.   The ECB will meet next week and announce that rates will remain unchanged.  The last meeting the ECB moved increase the types of bonds that could be purchased for QE purposes (read German notes). That included bonds with yields below the -0.4% deposit rate. In addition, they lowered the maturity requirement to one-year from two- years (read German notes).  However, they also reduced the amount of QE purchases from 80B Euro to 60B Euro until the end of December.  There will be no change in policy, nor change in QE. So the focus will be squarely on the comments from Draghi during his traditional prepared statement and then Q&A.  Will he sway more toward the hawkish Germans or keep committed to the the same path..
  2. Bank of Canada rate statement.  Wednesday at 10 AM ET/1500 GMT. Press conference at 11:15 AM ET. The bank will also release its quarterly Monetary Policy Report (MPR) at 10 AM ET.  Stephen Poloz and Senior Deputy Gov. Carolyn Wilkens will give a statement and hold a press conference. The rate is expected to remain unchanged at 0.5%. In their last MPR, they saw 2017 CPI at 1.9% and core CPI at 1.7%. That was down from earlier projections of 2.1% and 2.0% respectively. For GDP they estimate growth of 2.2% (up from 2.1%).

  3. US CPI/Core CPI. Wednesday at 8:30 AM ET/1330 GMT. The US will release consumer price data for December with expectations for MoM rising by 0.3% (vs. +0.2% last month). The Ex Food and energy is expected to increase by +0.2%  (vs +0.2% last).   The YoY numbers are expected to rise to 2.1% from 1.7% and 2.2% from 2.1%. The core YoY ended 2015 at 2.1% with the high extending to 2.3% in Feb and again in August

  4. Australia employment change. Wednesday at 7:30 PM ET/Thrusday 0030 GMT. The Australian employment report is expected to show employment change of 10.0K vs 39.1K last month. The gain last month was well above the estimate of 17.5K. The unemployment rate did move higher to 5.7% last month from 5.6%. The estimate is for the rate to remain at 5.7%.  Last month full time employment rose by 39.3K. The part time employment fell by -0.2K.
  5. UK Retail sales. Friday at 4:30 AM ET/0930 GMT. The November retail sales in the UK are expected to to dip by -0.1% vs. +0.2% estimate last month. Ex auto fuel a larger -0.4% decline is forecast. The YoY changes are expected to show healthy 7.2% and 7.5% gains respectively.
Other key events/releases

“Humiliated” by post-note ban events, RBI staff write to Urjit Patel

Feeling “humiliated” by events since demonetisation, RBI employees today wrote to Governor Urjit Patel protesting against operational “mismanagement” in the exercise and Government impinging its autonomy by appointing an official for currency coordination.

In a letter, they said autonomy and image of RBI has been “dented beyond repair” due to mismanagement and termed appointment of a senior Finance Ministry official as a “blatant encroachment” of its exclusive turf of currency management.

“An image of efficiency and independence that RBI assiduously built up over decades by the strenuous efforts of its staff and judicious policy making has gone into smithereens in no time. We feel extremely pained,” the United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees said in the letter addressed to Patel.

Commenting on “mismanagement” since November 8, when note ban was announced, and the criticism from different quarters, the letter said, “It’s (RBI’s) autonomy and image have been dented beyond repair.”

At least two of the four signatories — Samir Ghosh of All India Reserve Bank Employees Association and Suryakant Mahadik of All India Reserve Bank Workers Federation — confirmed the letter. The other signatories are C M Paulsil of All India Reserve Bank Officers Association and R N Vatsa of RBI Officers Association.

The forum represents over 18,000 employees of the RBI across the ranks, Ghosh said.

Chatter Of Fed Balance Sheet Unwind Spikes Yield Curve

While the Fed watchers have been obsessing in recent weeks about the pace and size of any upcoming Fed rate hikes, summarized best by Dallas Fed president Robert Kaplan who earlier today said:

  • KAPLAN: AMONG BIGGEST DISAGREEMENTS AT FED IS ON HOW QUICKLY TO RAISE RATES

… and unexpected new buzzword emerged today, namely Fed balance sheet unwind when first Philly Fed’s Steve Harker noted it in his speech earlier this morning…

  • HARKER: WHEN RATES AT 1%, NEED TO LOOK AT UNWINDING BAL SHEET

followed later in the day by St. Louis Fed’s James Bullard who, likewise, hinted that selling Fed assets may be coming soon:

  • BULLARD: BAL SHEET ROLLOFF MAY BE BETTER THAN AGGRESSIVE HIKING

Of course, how credible it is that the the Fed may actually engage in this is anyone’s guess: should the Fed “unexpectedly” start to reduce its balance sheet, the impact on global yields would be devastating, and make the Taper Tantrum and the TanTrump seems like child’s play in comparison. Which, perhaps, is why today for the first time we got not one but two such “trial balloons” from two separate Fed presidents, just to gradually acclimate the market with the concept of upcoming balance sheet normalization.

Brazil slashes rates by 75bps to 13% in surprise move

Don’t anyone accuse Brazil’s central bank of not being bold.

In a unanimous decision, the bank cut its policy interest rate by 75 basis points on Wednesday, exceeding the consensus call for a 50bps cut and sharply picking up the pace on an easing cycle it began with two back-to-back cuts of 25bps each in October and November

In a statement, the bank said economic activity had fallen below expectations and that a recovery would take longer than previously anticipated.

The size of the cut will be welcomed by many, given the economy’s stubborn refusal to return to growth. The rebound expected by many when congress ditched president Dilma Rousseff last year has failed to happen. GDP contracted by 8 per cent over the past two years under Rousseff’s watch; her pro-growth, market-friendly successor, Michel Temer, was expected to turn things round quickly.

How to Become a Trillionaire and Other Thoughts

Grab one of these:

zimbabwe_jan7

Careful what you wish for central bankers and fiscal policy makers.  Though we don’t see signs of “rollover risk” in any of the G5 or G20, it’s all about confidence and you know what Joe said about confidence:

Confidence is a very fragile thing.  – Joe Montana

.The World Economic Forum reports this about Zimbabwe’s ghost of hyperinflation past,

Zimbabwe was once so gripped by hyperinflation that the central bank could no longer afford paper on which to print practically worthless trillion-dollar notes. 

The government reported in July 2008 that Zimbabwe was experiencing inflation of 231 million percent (231,000,000%). However, the Libertarian think tank, the Cato Institute, believes that the real inflation rate was 89.7 sextillion percent or 89,700,000,000,000,000,000,000%.

It is interesting to note that the country is now grappling with the opposite problem.

Like Britain, Japan, the US and other nations dealing with the consequences of weak demand and cheap oil, Zimbabwe is threatened more by the prospect of falling prices. But that doesn’t mean its people are ready to trust that hyperinflation won’t happen again.

Note ban most disruptive policy innovation since 1991: Subbarao

Former Reserve Bank governor D Subbarao on Thursday termed demonetisation as “creative destruction and the most disruptive policy innovation since 1991 reforms” that has helped destroy black money.

“On November 8, the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and the Reserve Bank have demonetised 86 per cent of currency in circulation overnight, which is what is arguably the most disruptive policy innovation in India since the 1991 reforms,” he said.

“Demonetisation, in that sense, is creative destruction. But it is a very special type of creative destruction. Because what it has destroyed is a destructive creation — black money. So, you can understand that demonetisation is creative destruction of a destructive creation,” Subbarao said.

He was addressing an international conference organised by the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technologies (IDRBT) in Hyderabad. He further said demonetisation is “arguably” leading to a flurry of innovations in Indian financial sector by way of digitisation of payments.

Overnight US Market :Dow closed -43 points.

Stocks ended mixed Thursday as retailers dominated the news with Macy’s and Kohl’s both plunging following weak holiday-season reports that led the chains to cut their profit forecasts.

Still, the Nasdaq composite’s modest gain of 11 points, or 0.2%, was enough to notch a new all-time high. Settling at at 5487.94, it topped the old record by half a point.

The Dow Jones industrial average finished down 43 points, a 0.2% decline to 19,899.29. Losing 0.1% was the S&P 500, which settled at 2269 even.

nvestors were also focusing on upcoming U.S. jobs data following the publication of the minutes to the Federal Reserve’s last board meeting.

Private U.S. companies added 153,000 jobs in December, according to payroll processor ADP. That total was a bit lower than analysts expected and slightly slower than the pace of hiring for the rest of 2016. The government will issue its own hiring report on Friday.

FOMC Minutes: Saw gradual rate hike pace appropriate for now -Full Text

Highlights of the Minutes of the Dec 14 FOMC meeting

The Fed hiked rates by 0.25% at this meeting

Highlights of the Minutes:

  • Almost all officials saw upside risks to growth on expectations fiscal policies will be more expansionary under Trump
  • About half of policymakers incorporated those assumptions into forecasts
  • Many saw increased chance of faster rate hike pace due to higher risk of sizeable undershooting of longer-run normal unemployment rate leading to higher inflation
  • Policymakers emphasized their considerable uncertainties on timing, size and composition of legislative and spending changes
  • Almost all members saw unemployment rate running below longer-term normal level
  • Generally agreed o continue to closely monitor inflation
  • Full text

There is never as much detail or conviction in the Minutes as market-watchers hope for. This is the closest thing there is to guidance:

“At this meeting, members continued to expect that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, inflation would rise to the Committee’s 2 percent objective over the medium term as the transitory effects of past declines in energy prices and non-energy import prices dissipated and the labor market strengthened further. This view was reinforced by the rise in inflation in recent months and by recent increases in inflation compensation. Against this backdrop and in light of the current shortfall in inflation from 2 percent, members agreed that they would continue to closely monitor actual and expected progress toward the Committee’s inflation goal.”

The knee-jerk reaction in the FX market was disappointment and the US dollar fell 30 pips but it quickly rebounded back to unchanged.

On the election, here is what the Minutes said:

Preview: What’s priced in for the Federal Reserve ahead of the FOMC Minutes

The FOMC Minutes are due today at 2 pm ET (1900 GMT)

The economic calendar is light today so it’s all about flows to start the year and the FOMC Minutes later in the day.

In general, the Minutes are a release that always gets more attention than deserved. It’s rare the report moves the market and the initial move is often reversed.

But that might not be the case this time because the FOMC hiked rates at the December meeting and left the timing on subsequent rate moves ambiguous. The big market driver was the change in the dot plot.

Here is September compared to December:

Meanwhile, in the press conference Yellen emphasized that the thinking at the Fed hadn’t changed much.

“The shifts that you see here are really very tiny,” she said about the dot plot.