Saturday, August 28, 2010

Worries are Intensifying


Market Movers Ahead

  • Market focus is likely to remain on the US economy in the coming week. The minutes of the most recent FOMC policy meeting could reveal important information about the Federal Reserve’s decision to reinvest the proceeds of its MBS portfolio in Treasuries. There have been rumours that several FOMC members were in doubt about the decision. In addition, the ISM will give us an update on the pace of the slowdown in the US manufacturing industry. We expect the ISM to decline to 53.6 in August. The August employment report will finish off a hectic week on Friday. Early labour market indicators are pointing towards a weak report, with private employment set to grow a meagre 20,000. 
  • In Europe, the key event of the week will be the ECB Governing Council meeting on Thursday. While policy rates are likely to remain unchanged, a key question is whether the ECB has become more worried about the effect of the increasingly disappointing US indicators on the European growth outlook. Another important question that might be addressed at the policy meeting is whether the ECB will extend the full liquidity allotment - we believe this is likely. In Sweden, we expect the Riksbank to hike policy rates by 25bp to 0.75%.

Global Update

  • The flow of weak economic indicators out of the US continued in the past week. Home sales have plummeted following the expiry of the tax credit for homebuyers. This has raised concerns about the strength of the underlying trend in home sales. Also, durable goods orders have called the strength of business investment into doubt. However, the reduction of weekly jobless claims was a positive, with initial jobless claims retreating to 473,000. 
  • The weakness in US indicators is likely to feed through to the European economy. In fact, new export orders in Europe’s manufacturing PMI weakened. The European economy, led by Germany, should nonetheless be able to continue delivering abovetrend growth in Q3. However, although it has remained strong so far, Germany’s Ifo manufacturing activity index is also pointing towards slowing growth. 

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