Random Market News, 7 September 2017
"Dollar Tumbles as Yen, Euro Rally on Irma, ECB: Markets Wrap.
The dollar held losses as investors braced for damage that Hurricane Irma may inflict on Florida, and the euro was near a 20-month high after the European Central Bank stopped short of attempting to jawbone it lower. Stocks in Asia were flat at the open."
"ECB holds rates steady, expected to announce tapering plan next month.
The European Central Bank kept interest rates steady, but reinforced money managers' expectation that tapering will be announced in October."
"Senate approves Trump's debt deal with Democrats.
Senators voted 80-17 on the agreement, which includes an extension of government funding and an increase in the federal borrowing limit through Dec. 8. Those measures are paired with more than $15 billion in hurricane and disaster recovery aid."
"Irma on Collision Course With Miami After Wrecking Caribbean.
Category 5 storm with 175 mph winds just north of Hispaniola.
Killer storm seen slamming into Florida coast Sunday morning."
"British Politicians Press Regulator for Answers on Saudi Aramco.
Andrew Bailey, head of the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, is facing questions from two parliamentary committee leaders over his decision to consult about a new listing category that critics say will relax governance standards."
"ICGN: 'Investors faced with regulatory schizophrenia on governance'.
In a comment on the organisation’s website, Kerrie Waring said the principle of ’one share, one vote’ was under attack. ICGN is an investor-led organisation seeking to promote effective standards of corporate governance and investor stewardship; several major pension investors, like France’s Fonds de réserve pour les retraites and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, are represented on its board.
According to Waring, a growing number of companies were seeking to adopt multi-class share structures at the same time as stock exchanges and regulators were showing signs of being willing to accommodate companies with such share structures."
"Marking 30 Years since the Stock Market Crash of 1987.
Let’s travel back in time to the fall of 1987. Shoulder pads were big, hair was even bigger, and the decade of excess was well underway, although we wouldn’t hear Gordon Gekko proclaim “greed is good” in the movie Wall Street for a couple more months. This month marks the 30-year anniversary of the stock market crash that occurred on Monday, October 19, 1987, and ended a five-year bull market. On that day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 508 points, equivalent to 22.6% of its total value, while the S&P 500 lost 20.5% of its value. At the time, this was the largest single day point drop that Wall Street had ever seen, and it still stands as the single biggest one-day percentage decline."
VIX ~11.55. 10-yr treasury volatility (TYVIX) ~4.60.
Implied Fed rate hike/cut probability for September 20th is ~0.0%/1.4%, November 1st is ~2.0%/1.3%.
"Dollar Index Hits 32-month Low
US Dollar decreased to a 32-month low of 91.5.
Canadian Dollar Hits 27-month High
USDCAD decreased to a 27-month low of 1.2119.
Mexico Inflation Rate Hits Highest Level in Over 16 Years
Consumer prices in Mexico jumped 6.66 percent year-on-year in August of 2017, following a 6.44 percent rise in July and matching market expectations. The inflation rate accelerated for the fourteenth consecutive month to hit the highest level since May of 2001, led by higher prices of food, housing & utilities, energy and education. On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.49 percent. The central bank expects inflation to stay above the 3-4 percent target in 2017 and to converge to 3 percent by the end of 2018.
ECB Leaves Monetary Policy Unchanged
The ECB held its benchmark refinancing rate at 0 percent on September 7th, and confirmed the net asset purchases are intended to run at the current monthly pace of €60 billion until the end of December 2017, saying that a very substantial degree of monetary accommodation was still needed to support inflation. The ECB raised its GDP forecast for 2017 to 2.2 percent, the fastest rate since 2007, compared with 1.9 percent seen in June, while the inflation forecast for this year was unchanged at 1.5 percent. Still, HICP projection for 2018 was lowered to 1.2 percent (from 1.3 percent); and for 2019 it was cut to 1.5 percent (from 1.6 percent) on the back of a strong euro.
Eurozone Q2 GDP Growth Rate Confirmed at 0.6%
The Eurozone economy expanded 0.6 percent on quarter in the three months to June of 2017, in line with the second estimate and following a 0.5 percent advance in the previous period. Growth was mainly boosted by household consumption, fixed investment and exports. Among Eurozone's largest economies, GDP growth picked up in Spain; was unchanged in France and Italy; and slowed in Germany. Year-on-year, the economy expanded 2.3 percent, above the previous estimate of 2.2 percent.
Turkish Lira Hits 39-week High
USDTRY decreased to a 39-week low of 3.4114.
Chinese Yuan Hits 16-month High
USDCNY decreased to a 16-month low of 6.4861.
Australian Dollar Hits 27-month High
AUDUSD increased to a 27-month high of 0.80655.
Gold Hits 52-week High
Gold increased to a 52-week high of 1351 USD/t oz."
"Mars looks to cut greenhouse gases from its supply chain to protect the planet.
Mars say it aims to cut emissions from its supply chain by 67 per cent by 2050 and is looking into eliminating exploitative labour practices."
More detailed records in logistics will probably become the norm soon. IoT will make this easier. Institutional investors are also mindful of ESG considerations.
"HMM completes its first blockchain pilot voyage.
The blockchain voyage, which included other members of shipping and logistics blockchain consortium, involved the transport of reefer containers from Busan, South Korea to Qingdao, China from Aug. 24 to Sept. 4. HMM applied blockchain technology from shipment booking to cargo delivery to review the feasibility of adopting the technology into shipping and logistics.
In addition, combining the blockchain technology with Internet of Things (IoT) technology was tested and reviewed through real-time monitoring and managing of the reefer containers aboard the vessel."
"DHL IoT trial cuts truck wait times by 50%.
DHL Supply Chain, together with Huawei Technologies, has launched a ‘proof of concept’ trial for an innovative Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) application to improve inbound logistics processes at an automotive manufacturing site in Liuzhou, China, reporting “promising” initial results.
"By 2025, Internet of Things have the potential to generate up to 1.77 trillion Euros in additional value for the international logistics industry..."
DHL’s proof of concept will continue until the end of September and is expected to be enhanced with additional features such as automatic number plate recognition and geofencing."
"EY teams with Microsoft, Maersk to use blockchain for marine insurance.
Blockchain will be used to take paper out of the marine insurance equation.
EY has worked closely with blockchain developer Guardtime.
Microsoft and Maersk are among firms to join the collaboration."
"UPS plan to hire delivery drivers using personal vehicles riles union.
Amazon.com, one of UPS’ biggest customers, started hiring on-demand drivers to deliver packages in some of its markets in 2015, a service known as Amazon Flex."
"Washington state to test pay-by-the-mile as a way to fund highways.
As cars get more fuel-efficient, gas-tax revenues won’t nearly keep up with the costs of highway work that those taxes fund. Washington is launching a pilot project to test a new way of funding roads — a tax on every mile you drive."
"Third-party logistics provider (3PL) Radiant Logistics Inc. has purchased Sandifer Valley Transportation and Logistics Ltd. (SVT) in a move that expands Radiant's cross-border capabilities with Mexico, the company said today.
Bellevue, Wash.-based Radiant is a non-asset-based provider that has grown through acquisitions such as the Canadian 3PL Lomas Logistics in January and the Minneapolis-based transportation and logistics services firm Copper Logistics Inc. in 2015.
The latest purchase will leverage SVT's trucking operations in McAllen, Texas to add the firm's range of domestic and international cross-border services to Radiant's portfolio, according to Radiant."
"Pitney Bowes completes Newgistics, Inc. acquisition.
Fitch Ratings views the acquisition “positively,” given Newgistics' strategic fit with PBI's ongoing investment in the global integration of mail and parcel processing.
Pitney Bowes will purchase all shares of the privately held company for approximately $475 million.
Newgistics, best known for its returns-processing capabilities, provides a range of ecommerce solutions on behalf of nearly 500 retail clients. It is a workshare partner of the United States Postal Service (USPS) and processes nearly 100 million parcels annually, including more than 50 percent of all Parcel Returns Select packages shipped through the USPS. It’s parcel services and ecommerce logistics network includes nine operating centers and an asset-light national transportation network of more than 50 partners."
"Equifax data leak could involve 143 million consumers.
But this leak is particularly worrisome because Equifax is a credit reporting service and tracks a history of your consumer life, credit cards, credit scores and more — and it gives the black market a potential gold mine of information about people’s financial lives."
"Equifax execs dumped stock before the hack news went public."
"FTC warns Instagram influencers to disclose business ties.
The Federal Trade Commission today sent warning letters to 21 influential Instagram users to tell them to disclose their business interests when sharing paid posts about brands or advertisers. Letters sent today cite specific posts by Instagram influencers the FTC believes may violate its Endorsement Guides. FTC complaints can come with a fine of about $40,000."
"Avitas Systems has partnered with Nvidia to use artificial intelligence, drones, and analytics to improve inspections of heavy industry facilities, such as oil rigs."
"Microsoft and Facebook launch open source project to make neural networks portable.
Microsoft and Facebook have announced a new open source project today that’s aimed at creating a shared model representation for neural networks across different programming frameworks. Called the Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX), the new project will make it possible to share models across the Cognitive Toolkit, PyTorch, and Caffe2.
ONNX is supposed to help solve one of the key issues in the machine learning ecosystem right now. There is a profusion of different frameworks for setting up and executing neural networks and other machine learning systems, but they’re all different, and they aren’t interoperable."
"Google now lets enterprises connect directly to its cloud network.
Companies that want to connect their data centers directly to Google’s cloud now have a tool with which to do so. The company unveiled a new service today called Dedicated Interconnect that lets companies set up a direct link to the cloud that’s supposed to provide higher speeds and lower latency compared to transferring data over the public internet.
Other cloud providers including Microsoft and Amazon Web Services already offer similar functionality to their customers, and this feature is important for Google Cloud to attract the interest of enterprises."
Note, Amazon Web Services accounted for ~USD 916mm of Amazon's ~USD 628mm operating profits in 2Q17.
"Kohl's to open Amazon shops inside some of its stores.
Kohl's said Wednesday that it will open up Amazon shops in 10 of its stores, making it the latest department store operator to make a deal with the e-commerce giant.
Kohl's shoppers will be able to buy Amazon Echos, Fire tablets and other gadgets from the 1,000-square-foot Amazon shops. Customers can also ask to have an Amazon employee come to their home and install a device or suggest products to buy."
"Startup Nanoport Wants Your Obsolete Smart Phones to Be Your New Best Friends.
“When you buy your new smart phone, we want your old phone to become your home controller, or your baby monitor, or your security camera,” Szeto says.
If smart phones used magnetics for all their connections—data and power—they would be easy to connect together into new and more powerful devices, or to connect to wall plates or other peripherals that would turn them into powerful components of the Internet of Things, says Szeto."
"Human skin cells transformed directly into motor neurons.
In new research, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have converted skin cells from healthy adults directly into motor neurons without going through a stem cell state.
Avoiding the stem cell phase eliminates ethical concerns raised when producing what are called pluripotent stem cells, which are similar to embryonic stem cells in their ability to become all adult cell types.
To convert skin cells into motor neurons, the researchers exposed the skin cells to molecular signals that are usually present at high levels in the brain. Past work by Yoo and his colleagues—then at Stanford University—showed that exposure to two short snippets of RNA turned human skin cells into neurons. These two microRNAs—called miR-9 and miR-124—are involved with repackaging the genetic instructions of the cell."
Startup/SME of the Day.
We store your solar and wind energy on site and above-ground for a 24/7 uninterrupted service using our MW-scale thermodynamic energy storage modules. We use electricity to power a heat pump and store the heat at 500°C (932°F) in low cost materials. The heat pump then becomes a heat engine to convert the heat back into electricity when it's needed."
Compressed air storage.
The castle where Martin Luther secretly translated the New Testament from Greek to German while in hiding.
The beautifully imposing Wartburg Castle has been around for nearly a thousand years, but it’s what happened there between 1521 and 1522 that had the most profound effect on Germany
On May 4, 1521, fake robbers abducted Martin Luther, who started the Protestant Reformation, after he was excommunicated from the Catholic Church and declared a heretic and outlaw who could be killed without consequence. They took him to Wartburg Castle for safekeeping. To help keep his sanctuary a secret, he grew out his hair and beard and went by the name Junker (“squire” or “knight”) Jörg."
500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation on October 31st this year.
CH: Unemployment, 1:45 AM ET
DE: Merchandise Trade, 2:00 AM ET
FR: Industrial Production, 2:45 AM ET
GB: Industrial Production, 4:30 AM ET
GB: Merchandise Trade, 4:30 AM ET
CA: Labour Force Survey, 8:30 AM ET
US: Wholesale Trade, 10:00 AM ET
US: Baker-Hughes Rig Count, 1:00 PM ET
US: Consumer Credit, 3:00 PM ET
CN: Consumer Price Index, 9:30 PM ET
CN: Producer Price Index, 9:30 PM ET
https://tradingeconomics.com/calendar (More complete listing, including consensus)
https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/geopolitical-calendar-week-sept-4-2017 (Geopolitical calendar)