July 3, 2017
Qatar gets extension, RBA may join normalization chorus, and oil’s on its longest winning streak of the year. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.
Qatar’s foreign minister hand-delivered its response to the 13 demands made by the Saudi-led group of states that cut ties with the Gulf emirate on Monday. The deadline for compliance, originally Monday, was extended by 48 hours at the request of Kuwait’s emir, which gives the Saudi-led bloc an opportunity to digest Qatar’s response and potentially reach a compromise — though there’s little to suggest tensions between the two sides have simmered. U.S. President Donald Trump called leaders in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the U.A.E. to discuss the ongoing rift. At a news conference on Monday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said the nation considers Qatar to be a friendly country that has made some — insufficient — progress, and that there would be no further extensions to this deadline. The QE All Share Index bounced back with a gain of 1.1 percent Monday after shedding 2.5 percent the previous session.
Hawks Down Under?
The main event on today’s economic calendar is the Reserve Bank of Australia decision, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tokyo time. Economists are looking for rates to be held steady at 1.5 percent, but implied volatility for the Australian dollar versus its U.S. counterpart has soared ahead of the meeting as speculators bet that Governor Philip Lowe and his colleagues will join many of their peers who last week signaled policy normalization is imminent. However, the RBA may be reluctant to further fan any signs of strength in the Aussie dollar. 10-year Australian government bond yields have risen to an eight-week high ahead of the central bank statement. Meanwhile, retail sales down under are expected to rise 0.2 percent month-on-month in May on the heels of April’s 1 percent advance. Also on deck: headline inflation in South Korea, which is forecast to hold steady at 2 percent year-on-year in June with the annual core rate edging higher to 1.5 percent.
Rotations and Records
The Dow Jones Industrial Average set a new intraday all-time high but pared those gains to close up 0.6 percent in a holiday-shorted session with light volumes. Rotations out of tech and into banks and energy, however, saw the Nasdaq 100 fall 0.9 percent. West Texas Intermediate crude continued to see a tailwind from data Friday showing active U.S. rigs posted a weekly dip for the first time since January, extending its winning streak to eight sessions. That’s its longest positive run this year — and comes despite a continued rise in OPEC production. U.S. markets will be closed on Tuesday in observance of Independence Day.
Mixed U.S. Data
American manufacturing is hot, but auto sales are not. June’s reading of the ISM Manufacturing PMI pointed to the fastest rate of growth for the sector in almost three years, with external demand supporting a broad-based expansion. However, June auto sales suggest that 2017’s totals will be hard-pressed to match last year’s record pace, though there’s still relatively robust demand for expensive models. As such, major U.S. automakers like Ford and General Motors enjoyed solid gains on the session. The Dow Jones Transport Average — often considered to be a leading indicator for stocks and a barometer of economic activity — closed at fresh records for the first time since March.
Futures UpS&P/ASX 200 and Nikkei 225 futures are trading comfortably to the upside ahead of the open. The Japanese yen was the worst-performing G10 currency on Monday — typically a boon for domestic equities — reversing gains made in the immediate aftermath of the Liberal Democratic Party’s massive defeat in the Tokyo assembly elections. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index started the week off in the red amid a decline in technology shares.