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Sun, 22nd January 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “monetary policy” Tag

Draghi refuses to comment on Trump EU claims; tells Germans to ‘be patient’

Mario Draghi has refused to respond to Donald Trump’s claims on the EU’s disintegration, saying he was unwilling to talk about the president-elect’s stance that keeping the federalist project together will be “harder” than imagined.

At his latest press conference in Frankfurt, Mr Draghi said he would only respond to “policies rather than just statements”, ahead of Mr Trump’s inauguration as president tomorrow.

The Italian was however more vocal on German criticism of the ECB’s record low interest rates, telling savers in Europe’s largest economy to “be patient” in the wait for higher interest rates.

“Real rates will go up” as the recovery regains momentum he said.

Mr Draghi’s broadly dovish tone on inflation has seen the euro weaken to its lowest in 10 days this afternoon. The ECB president said much of the recent spike in prices was down to higher energy prices with wage growth and other evidence of higher economic activity still low.

He also refused to make any comment on the looming bailout of one of Italy’s biggest banks and the implementation of new EU rules which will impose losses on junior bondholders.

Will ‘Dull Draghi’ Talk Up Downside Risks? – ECB Press Conference Live Feed

With Yellen hell-bent on tightening into Trump’s fiscal stimulus, and inflationary impulses popping up all around the world, ECB president Mario Draghi better note some serious downside looming (after leaving rates/taper unchanged) that opens the door to his un-tapering or the stagflationary pressures building everywhere willcome back to bite his precious asset prices.

As we noted earlier, with the market not expecting any changes from the ECB this morning, so far that is precisely what it got, when moments ago the ECB announced that it kept all of its rates unchanged as expected, keeping the rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.40%, respectively.

In additional language relating to non-standard measures, the ECB also said that “it will continue to make purchases under the asset purchase programme (APP) at the current monthly pace of €80 billion until the end of March 2017 and that, from April 2017, the net asset purchases are intended to continue at a monthly pace of €60 billion until the end of December 2017, or beyond, if necessary” and “in any case until the Governing Council sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation consistent with its inflation aim.

It also said that “the net purchases will be made alongside reinvestments of the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the APP” and cautioned that “if the outlook becomes less favourable, or if financial conditions become inconsistent with further progress towards a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation, the Governing Council stands ready to increase the programme in terms of size and/or duration.” 

In other words, it may move QE up or down, depending on what happens with inflation, in line with the ECB’s December announcement.

China’s 2016 capital outflows estimated at over $700bn

A new report from Standard Chartered estimates capital flows out of China totalled almost $730bn in 2016, a near-record level.

Analysts Shuang Ding and Lan Shen estimated outflows had moderated in December to $66bn, down from November’s $75bn.

Beneath the headline figure foreign direct investment flows turned positive for the first time in eight months with a $3bn inflow, while non-FDI outflows remained unchanged from the previous month at $69bn.

They also estimated China’s foreign exchange reserves had fallen $41bn last month to end the year at $3.01tn as depreciation of the euro, yen and pound against the greenback. That reduced the dollar value of China’s holdings in those currencies by about $13bn.

Eurozone inflation confirmed at three-year high of 1.1%

On the up.

The eurozone’s annual inflation rate climbed above the 1 per cent mark for the first time since 2013 in December, underscoring the impact of climbing energy costs on consumer prices which have lagged at worryingly low levels for the last three years.

At 1.1 per cent, year-on-year inflation in December was confirmed in a second reading from Eurostat, which also showed an uptick in core inflation to 0.9 per cent.

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, recorded a more than three-year high of 1.7 per cent last month while Italy remained more sluggish at 0.5 per cent.

South African fin min to Fed: beware the consequences of rate rises

South African finance minister Pravin Gordhan has called on the US Federal Reserve to remain mindful of the impact of its decisions on emerging markets as it continues with a programme of raising interest rates.

Speakng at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mr Gordhan said the so-called ‘taper tantrum’ of 2013 reminded investors and policymakers of the strong links between global financial markets

“The Fed has shown a new kind of sensitivity to their decisions and the impact on emerging markets and we hope that will continue,” he said.

He also noted that the Fed will be operating in an unusual environment under President Trump.

“The new administration has a particular political outlook, to put it politely, and the Fed has another. That will have implications.”

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.

Jeff Gundlach’s Forecast For 2017

Investors will confront excessive debt, high P/E levels and political uncertainty as they enter the Trump presidential era. In response, according to Jeffrey Gundlach, U.S.-centric portfolios should diversify globally.

Gundlach is the founder and chief investment officer of Los Angeles-based DoubleLine Capital, a leading provider of fixed-income mutual funds and ETFs. He spoke to investors via a conference call on January 10. Slides from that presentation are available here. This webinar was his annual forecast for the global markets and economies for 2017.

Before we look at his 2017 predictions, let’s review his forecasts from a year ago. His two highest conviction forecasts were that the Fed would not raise rates more than once, despite the Fed’s own predictions, and that Trump would win the presidency. Both predictions were accurate.

But he was also downbeat on emerging markets, and singled out Brazil and Shanghai as likely underperformers. Brazil turned out to be the best-performing emerging market last year, gaining 69.1%, but he was correct about Shanghai, which was the worst performing market, losing 16.5%.

Gundlach said he had a “low conviction” prediction that the yield on the 10-year Treasury would break to the upside. It began 2016 at 2.11% and ended at 2.45%. He said the probability was that U.S. equities would decline in 2016, yet the markets gained approximately 13%. Gold, he said, would hit $1,400 at some point in 2016. It began the year at approximately $1,100, hit a high of $1,365 during the summer and closed at approximately $1,150. 

13 Contrarian Economic Predictions For 2017

I don’t.

Did you ever notice that when you look at all the failed predictions in any given December, what ended up happening was the opposite of what everyone predicted?

Contrarian Economic Predictions

Given that most predictions end up being wrong, why not just take a look at what passes for conventional wisdom and do the opposite?

Warning: many of these involve Trump.

 1. Trump is going to nuke somebody in 2017

It is true that Trump wants to increase, rather than decrease, our nuclear capabilities, which runs pretty much counter to anybody’s idea of what constitutes peaceful behavior in 2017.

The interesting thing about the nuclear threat is that as the popular perception of it has waned since the Cold War, the actual nuclear threat has increased as the number of nuclear weapons has declined.

What if the opposite happens—what if peace breaks out all over in 2017? And what if it is because of Trump?

2. Trump’s billionaire cabinet is going to turn the United States into a vast plutocracy

ECB minutes: Headline inflation is picking up significantly

ECB minutes from the Dec 2016 governing council meeting

  • A few members couldn’t support either of QE options
  • A few  preferred a QE extension of 6months at €80bn
  • Praet & Coeure preferred extending for 9m at €60bn
  • Political and economic uncertainty remained high
  • Eurozone wage bargaining pressures could pick up

Here are the full minutes.