Random Market News, 20 July
"ECB calms markets by leaving bond-buying plan unchanged.
After previously sparking a mini tantrum in financial markets, the ECB has tried to play a balancing act, emphasizing improved growth while tempering expectations to avoid triggering serious market volatility."
"U.S., Chinese officials conclude contentious economic talks, steel stocks soar.
No new major steps to reduce U.S. trade deficit with China.
China, U.S. say still share lower trade deficit goal.
China says will expand cooperation in services, trade.
U.S. business disappointed with trade talk deadlock.
Fears U.S. may impose steel tariffs, quotas on China."
"Credit managers take bleaker view of North America — IACPM survey.
The Credit Default Outlook index for North America for the next 12 months is -41.2, down from -20.0 in the previous quarter's 12-month survey.
"Europe is still in the quantitative-easing part of the cycle," Mr. Leung said. "We've ended that. That definitely has an impact on the outlook but not as marked as you would think."
"A record 65% of money managers believe U.S. equities are overvalued, said Northern Trust's second-quarter investment manager survey released Thursday.
Meanwhile, another 36% of managers believe U.S. equities are undervalued or fairly valued, the lowest reading since Northern Trust's survey began in the third quarter of 2008."
"Seven charts that show how the developed world is losing its edge.
What is happening to the world economy? Here are some answers, in seven charts. They reveal a world undergoing profound changes."
"China's Perpetual Bent.
Notes with no fixed maturity have taken off as Beijing clamps down on leverage."
"Is Growth the New Value?
Value investing is on the decline as a result of a slower growth environment and faster technology innovation, one strategist argues.
According to Neuman, spending on intangible assets has increased, but it’s not captured on a balance sheet, and thus not in the price-to-book value of a company. As a result, many value investors are losing out on major tech stocks."
"Investors Are Putting Money in Hedge Funds Again.
Allocations have outpaced redemptions for the first time since the third quarter of 2015, according to HFR data."
"Clinton Group’s Quant Meltdown.
George Hall’s latest comeback strategy has hit hard times, with one fund down 22 percent over the past 12 months."
Implied rate hike probability on July 26th ~3.1%, September 20th ~8.2%; 0% probability of rate cut through June 13th, 2018.
VIX ~9.58. 10-yr treasury vol (TYVIX) ~3.72.
"Euro Hits 22-Month High
The euro increased to a 22-month high of $1.1631 around 3:45 PM London time on Thursday, after ECB Mario Draghi said at a press conference the bank would discuss the future of its stimulus programme at one of its next two meetings.
Eurozone Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Falls In July
The DG ECFIN flash estimate of consumer confidence in Euro Area decreased by 0.4 points to -1.7 in July of 2017 from -1.3 in the previous month and worse than market expectations of -1.1. It is the weakest reading since April. Also, the consumer confidence in the European Union fell by 0.1 points to -2.3.
Indonesia Leaves Monetary Policy Unchanged
Indonesia's central bank left its benchmark 7-day reverse repo rate unchanged at 4.75 percent on July 20th 2017, in line with market expectations. The overnight deposit facility rate and the lending facility rate were also left steady at 4 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively. Policymakers said the decision is consistent with efforts to maintain macroeconomic and financial stability while still encouraging domestic economic recovery process.
Paraguay Holds Interest Rate Steady At 5.50%
The central bank of Paraguay held the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 5.50 percent in its July 20th meeting. The decision was unanimous. The last time policymakers changed rates was in July of 2016, when they cut the monetary rate by 25 bps. The policy statement underscored that Brazil’s uncertainty persists on the external front. On domestic issues, the policymakers mentioned a moderation in economic activity, partially caused by weather shocks. They also emphasized the benign inflation environment and anchored expectations. Consumer prices in Paraguay increased at a slower pace of 2.9 percent year-on-year in June of 2017, following a 3.4 increase in the previous month. It was the lowest inflation rate since March and well below the 4.0 percent central bank target.
Brazilian Business Confidence Lowest In 6 Months
The Industrial Entrepreneur Confidence Index in Brazil fell again to 50.6 in July of 2017 from 51.9 in June, reaching the lowest since January. The decline is explained by both current conditions (44.2 from 46 in June) and by future expectations (53.8 from 54.9). Among sectors, confidence continued to deteriorate in construction (48.4 from 50.4), mining (52.3 from 52.7) and manufacturing (51 from 52.3).
US Stocks End Mixed As Nasdaq Books New Record
Wall Street closed mixed on Thursday July 20th of 2017, as earnings season continued and technology stocks passed their 17-year old high during the dot-com era. The Dow Jones edged down 29 points or 0.1% to 21612, while the S&P 500 closed flattish. Contrastingly, the Nasdaq inched up 5 points or 0.1% to 6390, booking a new record.
FTSE 100 Gains On Weak Pound, Strong Retail Trade Data
The FTSE 100 jumped 57 points, or 0.8%, to 7,488 on Thursday after the pound fell to an eight-month low against the euro and UK's June retail sales data came in stronger-than-expected.
Stocks in South Korea Hit All-time High
KOSPI increased to an all-time high of 2444.
Stocks in Norway Hit All-time High
Oslo Bors All-Share increased to an all-time high of 802.46.
Dollar Index Hits 46-week Low
US Dollar decreased to a 46-week low of 94.27.
Corn Hits 56-week High
Corn increased to a 56-week high of 400 ¢USD/bu."
"Federal Maritime Commission now evaluating Transpacific carrier agreements.
Carriers otherwise known as "Flags of Convenience" are being investigated.
The ongoing trend of consolidation in the ocean cargo carrier arena is being confronted with more scrutiny by regulatory agencies."
"June Cass Freight Index report is solid.
Most key metrics in the June edition of the Cass Freight Index Report from Cass Information Systems, which was released yesterday, were in the right direction, with both freight shipments and expenditures posting annual gains for the sixth consecutive month."
"Trailer orders jump for seventh consecutive month.
Net trailer orders for June topped 18,900 units according to FTR, a 12 percent improvement from May and a 58 percent jolt from June last year.
FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles Don Ake says June’s activity exceeded expectations, with trailers orders totaling 261,000 units over the past 12 months."
"Ethical supply chains: more style than substance?
While four-fifths of respondents to a new study say they have a "responsible supply chain," only a quarter said their companies are addressing issues such as child labor or climate change in their supply chains."
"Declaring it the largest environmental investment ever undertaken by a cargo complex to wean itself off diesel dependency, Los Angeles and Long Beach port officials Wednesday unveiled their Clean Air Action Plan update, with a price tag that could reach $14 billion."
"Self-driving trucking startup Embark has raised $15 million in Series A financing, the company announced on Tuesday. Embark first broke cover back in February, when it revealed trucks equipped with its neural net-based deep learning approach to autonomous trucking. The startup’s also revealing a team-up with heavy equipment manufacturer Peterbilt today, which will help it roll out its new group of test trucks."
"Cosco Shipping Energy Transportation issues profit warning.
First-half earnings are expected to fall by more than 50%."
"Cash-hungry niche carrier PIL pops up on the radar of acquisitive mega-carriers.
Singapore-based Pacific International Lines (PIL) could be the next container line to appear on the acquisition radar of the mega-carriers.
According to Alphaliner, PIL’s niche status, particularly on the improving Africa trades, could make it “an attractive target for buyers”, and now that Cosco has snapped up OOCL it is “the only unencumbered candidate”."
"Agency Sector Management (ASM), the leading software provider to the UK freight forwarding industry, has launched a major upgrade of its Sequoia software, which it claims now gives users “a complete freight management system, from job and shipment management and documentation through to Customs declarations, job costing, and invoicing”."
"U.S. House panel approves broad proposal on self-driving cars."
"Dark web crackdown as two biggest markets are taken offline.
Two of the biggest criminal dark web markets, AlphaBay and Hansa, have been shut down by a police sting. These markets were responsible for the trading of over 350 000 illicit goods such as drugs, firearms and cybercrime malware. Europol described it as one of the most “sophisticated takedown operations ever seen in the fight against criminal activities online”."
"Drilling Down: Where Smart Money VCs Are Placing Bets In Construction Tech.
The construction tech industry, while still nascent, has garnered increasing investor interest as startups exploit opportunities to digitize the sector. This year has already seen 25 construction tech deals to date, totaling approximately $169M."
"The very first question to answer when taking on new investors."
"Microsoft’s cloud business continues to offset weaker operations."
"The future of enterprise chatbots.
Enterprise chatbot adoption has reached what some would call a fever pitch. But the reality is that the capabilities and possibilities of chatbots are just beginning to be mined, and the space is expected to grow exponentially."
"Musk Claims "Verbal" Approval for a Hyperloop Tunnel From New York To D.C."
"Elon Musk: I got 'government approval' for New York-DC Hyperloop. Officials: no he didn't."
"Autonomous vehicle technology company Nauto has closed a $159 million Series B financing round, led by a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp. and Greylock Partners.
Other participants include previous strategic investors BMW iVentures, General Motors Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures and the venture unit of global financial services and insurance provider Allianz Group, and Series A investors Playground Global and Draper Nexus."
"Experiment finds evidence for the Majorana fermion, a particle that's its own antiparticle."
"In Bolivia’s Reserva Nacional de Fauna Andina Eduardo Abaroa, there is a surreal, barren, wind-swept swath of land that has been frequently compared to a Dalí painting."
GB: Public Sector Finances, 4:30 AM ET
CA: CPI, 8:30 AM ET
CA: Retail Sales, 8:30 AM ET
US: Baker-Hughes Rig Count, 1:00 PM ET
https://tradingeconomics.com/calendar (More complete listing, including consensus)