Random Market News, 23
"Emerging nations pivot toward monetary easing.
Low inflation, smaller outflow risks present a window of opportunity.
Emerging-market interest rates have fallen precipitously this year, particularly in South America. Brazil's central bank has cut its policy rate a total of 4.5 percentage points in five rounds since the beginning of 2017, arriving at 9.25% in July. Colombia's has made six cuts and Peru's has made two, to 5.5% and 3.75%, respectively.
On Tuesday, Bank Indonesia joined the pack, trimming its policy rate for the first time since last October to 4.5%. The Reserve Bank of India did the same at the beginning of the month, bringing a key rate to a seven-year low of 6%. South Africa's policy rate is close behind at a five-year low of 6.75% as of July, and Russia cut rates to 9% in June, meaning all the BRICS nations except China are now in easing mode."
"Germany wants EU to tighten foreign takeover rules.
The German government has ratcheted up the pressure on the European Union to tighten the rules on foreign corporate takeovers. Berlin fears Chinese transactions are giving Beijing too much access to key technologies.
According to a study by consultancy EY, Chinese investors acquired 68 companies in Germany last year alone, shelling out $12.6 billion (10.7 billion euros) for the transactions. It meant a record number of takeovers and more than in the past 10 years combined."
"U.S. stocks fell for the first time in three days, the dollar slumped and Treasuries gained as Donald Trump’s threat to shut down the government sparked concern Congress won’t easily raise the debt ceiling and deliver on tax reform."
"Capital Markets Union: Commission launches consultation on further reducing barriers to post-trade services across financial markets.
The Commission is launching today a public consultation on how to improve post-trade services used in financial transactions, including clearing, settlement and collateral management. As part of the Capital Markets Union Action Plan, the Commission is currently reviewing progress made in removing barriers to post-trade market infrastructure. This consultation seeks to gather views on a range of issues including the current state of post-trade markets, the main trends and challenges faced by post-trade services providers and users as well as the best ways to remove barriers, including through financial technology."
"And the Most Popular Active Manager Is...
Thanks to chief investment officer Dan Ivascyn’s hot hand, PIMCO’s Income Fund was the most popular active fund and PIMCO was the most popular active manager in the U.S. last month in terms of inflows, according to Morningstar."
"EMPEA: Alternatives firms hike emerging markets investments in first half of year.
Private equity, infrastructure and private credit firms invested $22 billion in emerging markets in the six months ended June 30, up 26% from investments made in the first half of 2016 and the highest half-year total since 2008, when $18 billion was invested, according to EMPEA industry data released Wednesday.
An increase in deals in emerging Asia helped to drive the increase, with $16.6 billion invested in the six months ended June 30, compared with $35 billion in all of 2016..."
"Credit Suisse: Commodities Picked Up in July on Signs of Economic Improvement.
The oil sector gained with improving demand, although expectations for OPEC’s prospects of bringing down global production were reduced.
Commodities were up in July, boosted by strong demand for petroleum products, and growing optimism on Chinese growth prospects, Credit Suisse Asset Management reports. This led to a positive total return for the Bloomberg Commodity Index for the month, with 15 of the 22 index inputs showing gains."
VIX ~12.25. 10-yr treasury volatility (TYVIX) ~4.29.
Implied Fed rate hike/cut probability for September 20th is ~1.4%/0.0%, November 1st is ~5.3%/0.0%.
"US Private Sector Growth Hits 27-Month High in August
The IHS Markit US Composite PMI Output Index rose to 56 in August 2017 from 54.6 in the previous month, the preliminary estimate showed. The reading pointed to the strongest pace of expansion in the private sector since May 2015, as services sector activity increased the most in over two years (flash PMI at 56.9 from 54.7 in July) while manufacturing output growth eased (flash PMI at 52.5 from 53.3 in July).
Stocks in Brazil Hit 6-year High
iBovespa increased to a 6-year high of 70339.
Eurozone Private Sector Growth Remains Strong in August
The IHS Markit Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index came in at 55.8 in August 2017, up fractionally from July's 55.7 and above market expectations of 55.5, the flash estimate showed. The reading remained around the best seen over the past six years, supported by a strong rise in manufacturing production (PMI at 57.4 from 56.6 in July), while services business activity increased at a weaker pace (PMI at a seven-month low of 54.9 from 55.4 in July). Still, business optimism was the lowest since last November. Among the bloc's economies, Germany and France continued to register strong output growth in August, while the rest of the Eurozone saw a slightly weaker increase in output during the month, due to a slower rise in services activity.
Chinese Yuan Hits 48-week High
USDCNY decreased to a 48-week low of 6.6566.
Japan Factory Activity Growth Improves to 3-Month High
The Nikkei Japan Flash Manufacturing PMI rose to 52.8 in August of 2017, compared to a final reading of 52.1 in July and beating market expectations of 52.3. It was the highest reading since May this year, as output, new orders and new export orders rose at a faster pace. Also, employment increased further, backlogs rebounded and optimism moderated. On the price front, output charges increased at a slower rate while input costs continued to accelerate. "Expansion continues to be supported by a mix of strengthened demand from both domestic and external sources: public work projects and stronger sales to South East Asia were both reported by panelists as areas of growth in August", said Paul Smith, IHS Markit Director.
Corn Hits 37-week Low
Corn decreased to a 37-week low of 343.75 ¢USD/bu."
"2017 Top 50 3PLs: Investment and Consolidation Maintain Traction.
The trend set over the past few years for mergers and acquisitions has hardly subsided, and a fresh injection of equity investment is transforming the marketplace. At the same time, shippers may expect to see 3PLs continue to purchase high-tech “solutions” and hire young professionals for implementation."
"Descartes purchase of MacroPoint has cold chain implications.
In an interview with LM, Wood noted that cold chain compliance and visibility continues to be a challenge in the industry.
“Hardware, telemetry, and individual operator management tools for monitoring temperature have been in the market for some time.,” he said. “What has been missing is an effective way for food manufacturers, retailers, and distributors to integrate and monitor the cold chain across the many parties and partners involved in food logistics. MacroPoint has developed an effective platform to address this problem.”
He added that Descartes is looking forward to integrating MacroPoint’s existing cold chain capabilities into the Descartes Global Logistics Network, and making it available to even more customers and IoT partners around the world."
"BDO shares NAFTA risk mitigation strategies as rules may change.
The manufacturing industry is split on the proposal to strengthen NAFTA’s Rules of Origin."
"Nestle SA (NESN.S), Unilever Plc (ULVR.L), Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N) and other large food and retail companies have joined IBM's (IBM.N) project to explore how blockchain technology can help track food supply chains and improve safety, the companies said in a joint statement on Tuesday.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) also is participating and has worked with IBM since October to track the movement of food products.
"It is not just about building the technology, it is about building the ecosystem," Brigid McDermott, vice president for blockchain business development at IBM, said."
"Paytm Mall, which is run by Paytm Ecommerce, will invest $35 million in technology and infrastructure to strengthen its logistics network.
The company also plans to shorten delivery timelines by servicing demand with local supply to provide same-day and next-day deliveries in electronics and appliances categories across 25 cities.
“We aim to build a trusted and highly efficient logistics network to enable our partnered retailers to offer same-day and next-day deliveries,“ said Amit Sinha, chief operating officer, Paytm Mall."
"The Port of Los Angeles is poised to launch a $13 million, first-of-its-kind program to digitize cargo data at all its terminals, a move shippers hope will ease bottlenecks at the nation’s busiest seaport.
Begun as a pilot program at one terminal earlier this year, the effort will allow the port to do what most Americans already can do — track packages from the minute they leave a distribution center until they get to the front door through a single platform."
"Panama fights for backhaul with reduced tolls.
Just over a year on from the opening of the third set of locks on the Panama Canal, the government has approved proposals to modify canal tolls in an effort to attract more boxships on the backhaul leg to Asia.
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) will introduce new tolls from October 1 that will be $10-$15 per teu cheaper on the backhaul leg.
“The quick adoption of the widened canal by container lines was expected, given that the $5bn project enabled them to upsize vessels from a maximum of around 5,000 teu to nearer 14,000 teu; in the process adding a new release valve for the cascade of ships from other over-tonnaged lanes,” analysts at Drewry said in a report on the new toll structure."
"Asia to southern Africa freight rates hit seven year highs.
Freight rates on the Asia to southern Africa trade are likely to continue to spiral after volumes saw healthy growth rates in the second quarter, according to analysis by Drewry.
Drewry said inbound flows had grown as importers had taken advantage of a partial recovery of the South African rand to restock. “After six months, the headhaul southbound market was up by 4.3%, well on course to record the first significant annual gain since 2013,” said the analyst in Container Insight Weekly (CIW)."
"Cybersecurity Funding On Pace For A Record-Breaking Year.
Cybersecurity deals hit an all-time quarterly high of 146 deals in Q1’17, up 26% from the previous quarterly high. The trend held through Q2’17, which saw just one fewer deal (145 total) compared to Q1’17.
The amount of disclosed equity funding to cybersecurity companies has also recently broken records, reaching an all-time quarterly high of $1.6B in Q2’17."
"Parents turn to Uber to shuttle kids, even though it's not allowed."
"Billionaires and big ag are joining venture investors to fund lab-grown meat.
Now, with $17 million in fresh financing from a slew of new investors, including the billionaires Bill Gates and Richard Branson, the big agriculture company Cargill and the venture capital firm DFJ, Memphis Meats is hoping to create an entirely new industry around what it calls “clean meat.”
The company has already successfully made synthesized beef, chicken and duck, according to Memphis Meats co-founder and chief executive Uma Valeti. Now the trick is to get the company to grow their meat at scale."
"Amazon opens its grocery delivery service to Amazon Business customers.
Amazon Business, the retailer’s free program for business customers offering fast shipping, discounts and purchase approvals, is now expanding to include grocery delivery from AmazonFresh. That means businesses can stock their employee break rooms with fresh goods, like produce, plus groceries and other items from local stores."
"Roku is the top streaming device in the U.S and still growing, report finds.
That’s the conclusion from the latest industry report out today from market intelligence firm Parks Associates, which states that 37 percent of streaming devices in U.S. households are Roku devices, as of the first quarter of this year.
Last month, it announced the Roku user base has now grown to 15 million monthly active users in the first half of this year, up from 13 million in 2016."
"Farmers face vendor lock-in as agriculture goes digital.
Adoption of precision agriculture technologies has been on the rise for years, as farmers realize how valuable comprehensive field data has become. It holds the ability to improve yields, lower input costs, and pave the way for cutting-edge R&D like yield guarantees from seed and chemical companies.
In fact, farmers are so aware of the value of the data that they’re beginning to change their operations to better support their data strategies. Farmers across the country are starting to ask tough questions about data from their many providers. Who owns it? How will it be used? How do I extract maximum value from it? How do I put a “fence” around my data so that it’s protected for future generations?"
"LexisNexis is testing chatbots for lawyers.
Powered by IBM’s Watson, the legal AI assistant Ross is being used by law firms today, as is CARA (Case Analysis Research Assistant) from the startup Casetext, which raised $12 million this spring."
Startup/SME of the Day.
Prefab and modular are not new concepts, nor is the idea of a shipping container home. Shipping container homes and modular homes often lack design, but at Honomobo we set out to take the best of both worlds and design our homes without compromise. We don't apologize for the fact that we are using shipping containers, but we embrace the fact that we are leveraging shipping containers to create modern, beautiful, and modular living spaces. Given the modular nature of a shipping container we are able to deliver a Honomobo anywhere in North America."
Homes made from cargo containers.
Maybe apartments from cargo ships next.
"Millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma and its Natural Environment.
The first Benedictine monks settled here in 996. They went on to convert the Hungarians, to found the country's first school and, in 1055, to write the first document in Hungarian. From the time of its founding, this monastic community has promoted culture throughout central Europe. Its 1,000-year history can be seen in the succession of architectural styles of the monastic buildings (the oldest dating from 1224), which still today house a school and the monastic community."
FR: Business Climate Indicator, 2:45 AM ET
HK: Merchandise Trade, 4:30 AM ET
GB: GDP, 4:30 AM ET
GB: CBI Distributive Trades, 6:00 AM ET
US: Jobless Claims, 8:30 AM ET
US: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, 9:45 AM ET
US: Existing Home Sales, 10:00 AM ET
US: EIA Natural Gas Report, 10:30 AM ET
US: Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index, 11:00 AM ET
US: Fed Balance Sheet, 4:30 PM ET
US: Money Supply, 4:30 PM ET
JP: CPI, 7:30 PM ET
https://tradingeconomics.com/calendar (More complete listing, including consensus)