The Grinch may have stolen Thanksgiving from markets, but Christmas came early for traders, with world stocks rising over one percent higher and pushing emerging currencies higher against the dollar, as S&P futures jumped as much as 2%...
... and the Shanghai Composite soared 2.9% after the U.S. and China agreed to halt new tariffs for 90 days. Commodities spiked and the dollar rebounded from session lows. The MSCI’s all-country world index rose 0.9% in its sixth straight day of gains and hit its highest level since Nov. 9 while emerging equities rose 2.1% and were set for their strongest day in a month.
The gains came after China and the United States agreed during a Saturday dinner at the G-20 in Argentina to halt additional tariffs on each other. The deal prevents their trade war escalating as the two sides try to bridge differences with fresh talks aimed at reaching a deal within 90 days.
"We have a deal. That’s wonderful news for global financial markets and signaling the start for a year-end rally in risky assets," said Bernd Berg global macro strategist at Woodman Asset Management. “We are going to see a rally in emerging market and U.S equities, EM currencies and China-related assets like Australia. I expect the rally to last until year-end.”
Oil soared 4% higher after dipping below $50 briefly last Friday, jolted by efforts across the globe to support prices as Saudi Arabia and Russia extended their pact to keep production low (although without providing details ahead of this week's OPEC+ meeting, while Canada’s largest producing province ordered unprecedented supply cuts. Optimism was dented slightly after Qatar said it was quitting OPEC, just as the group prepares to meet this week.
The risk-on mood initially drove the U.S. dollar as much as 0.4% lower against a basket of currencies before trimming some losses. The greenback was already under some pressure from the recent shift in the Fed's policy communication to a slightly more dovish stance. Comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell were interpreted by markets as hinting at a slower pace of rate hikes.
Emerging currencies were among the main beneficiaries of dollar weakness, with an MSCI index up 0.6 percent. It was led by China's yuan which rose one percent for its biggest daily gain since Feb. 2016.
The euro pared a gain after data showing manufacturing activity slowed, with factory growth stumbling again in November, as business confidence remains the weakest in 6 years.
“Such positive sentiment won’t fade very soon ... (the 90-day) period is not short, it’s long enough to soothe market sentiment,” trader at a foreign bank in Shanghai told Reuters.
Powell was scheduled to testify on Wednesday to a congressional Joint Economic Committee but his hearing is expected to be postponed to Thursday because major exchanges will be closed on Wednesday in honor of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, who died on Saturday.
While some have speculated that the trade war truce would bring back more hikes on the table, others disagreed: Florian Hense, economist at Berenberg, said the market rally would not bring a return to a more hawkish Fed stance. “We would need to see some rebound in economic activity to lift expectations of more rate hikes,” he said.
Maybe not: in a Bloomberg TV interview, Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said the US economy is in "good shape" and the outlook is "very solid" as the central bank is focused on meeting its dual mandate. He added that the concept of a “Powell Put" isn’t a useful concept, noting that the Fed could operate somewhat above 2% inflation goal.
More importantly, Clarida said that the dot plot of Fed interest-rate forecasts "is not going anywhere", though it may evolve.
Back to markets, where Asian shares kicked off the gains, with Chinese mainland markets rising more than 2.5% while Japan's Nikkei gained as much as 1.3% to a six-week high.
Miners and automakers led gains in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index after President Donald Trump said in a late-night tweet that China agreed to “reduce and remove” tariffs on imported American-made cars. The tweet sent the Dax 2.5% higher as auto stocks were set for best day in 2-1/2 yrs on Sino-US trade truce. Just before midnight on Sunday, Trump tweeted that China had agreed to remove car import tariffs, even though in a briefing in Beijing a few hours later, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang declined to comment on any car tariff changes.
China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. Currently the tariff is 40%.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2018
Trump gave no other details in his late-night tweet, which came shortly after he agreed with Xi to a truce in the trade war during a meeting at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina. Shares of German carmakers Daimler AG and BMW AG rallied Monday morning after the U.S. trade deal with China. Trump’s comments, if ratified, would also hand automakers like Tesla a potential reprieve after higher levies hit sales in the world’s biggest car market.
China said last week that tariffs on U.S. autos would be 15 percent if not for the trade dispute, and it called for a negotiated solution. Chinese officials discussed the possibility of lowering tariffs on U.S. car imports before Xi met Trump in Argentina, according to Bloomberg, but the magnitude and timing of such a reduction were unclear, the person said.
In EMs, South Africa’s stock market was on course for its best day in four years, while Russian stocks climbed with the ruble as oil-production curbs spurred the biggest jump in Brent crude in two years. The peso advanced after a report that the new government was ready to re-purchase bonds issued to build Mexico’s City new airport
Meanwhile, in rates, ten-year Treasury yields rose back above 3 percent; the Australian curve bear steepens with 10-year yield three basis points firmer. Mexican peso rallies 1.3%, rand 1.1% stronger; won rose to its strongest since October. Germany’s 10-year government bond, the benchmark for the euro area, was set for its biggest one-day yield jump in a month, rising four basis points to a high of 0.347%. Yields on riskier southern European bonds fell across the board, with Italian yields sliding as much as 10 bps to new two-month lows.
As noted above, WTI (+4.1%) and Brent (+3.9%) were both stronger following the positive US-China trade news and reports that Russia and Saudi Arabia are agreeing to extend the OPEC+ agreement; although no production cut figure has been announced so far. Additionally, Qatar, which produces approximately 600,000 BPD of oil, has announced that they are withdrawing from OPEC as of January with this being in-line with their long-term plan. Separately, Canada’s Alberta province is to reportedly mandate a 9% oil output reduction, which amounts to 325,000 BPD, in order to ease a supply glut with this to come into effect from January.
Gold (+0.7%) was firmer, albeit off of a 3-week high of USD 1232.30/oz reached earlier in the session; after gaining support from the dollar being weighed on by positive US-China trade news from the G20 summit. Steel and copper prices have also benefited from the positive trade news, with Chinese rebar steel increasing by its 7% exchange-set trading; with copper’s London benchmark prices nearing a two-month high. Elsewhere in commodities, Chicago soybeans rally as much as 3.2%. Base metals gain with LME copper up 2%; Dalian iron ore 3.4% stronger.
In other news, Italian PM Conte stated they are examining several options for a budget deal with the EU in which a solution could be made within days. Later it was reported, that Italian PM Conte is reportedly preparing for a deficit of 1.9%-2.0%, while Italian Deputy PMs Salvini and Di Maio are said to be ready to accept new target, according to Messaggero. Italy's Deputy PM Salvini says that the EU cannot ask for a 1.9% target.
In the latest Brexit developments, UK PM May was reportedly under renewed pressure as the DUP threatened to abandon support for her in a confidence vote if she failed to get her Brexit deal approved in Parliament. May's chief Brexit adviser Oliver Robbins secretly warned her the PM that customs backstop is a "bad outcome" for the UK which will see regulatory checks in the Irish Sea and put security co-operation at risk, according to the Telegraph. UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Gove, has told Conservative rebels that there was a “real risk” of a second Brexit referendum if they don’t back PM May’s deal with Brussels.
In geopolitical news, South Korean President Moon and US President Trump agreed to revive momentum regarding negotiations for North Korea denuclearization. In related news, South Korean President Moon said a visit by North Korean Leader Kim to Seoul is still open and possible this year, while US President Trump is said to be targeting a summit with North Korean leader early 2019.
Expected data include manufacturing PMI and construction spending. Finisar, Coupa Software, RH and Smartsheet are among companies reporting earnings.
- S&P 500 futures up 1.7% to 2,805.50
- STOXX Europe 600 up 1.8% to 363.80
- MXAP up 1.9% to 156.55
- MXAPJ up 2.3% to 502.97
- Nikkei up 1% to 22,574.76
- Topix up 1.3% to 1,689.05
- Hang Seng Index up 2.6% to 27,182.04
- Shanghai Composite up 2.6% to 2,654.80
- Sensex up 0.05% to 36,210.60
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.8% to 5,771.16
- Kospi up 1.7% to 2,131.93
- Brent futures up 5.3% to $61.79/bbl
- Gold spot up 0.8% to $1,230.66
- U.S. Dollar Index down 0.5% to 96.84
- German 10Y yield rose 1.1 bps to 0.324%
- Euro up 0.4% to $1.1362
- Italian 10Y yield rose 0.9 bps to 2.846%
- Spanish 10Y yield fell 1.1 bps to 1.491%
Top Overnight News
- U.S. President Donald Trump said China has agreed to “reduce and remove” tariffs on American cars from 40 percent currently. He gave no other details in the late-night tweet, which came shortly after he agreed with President Xi Jinping to halt the imposition of new tariffs for 90 days as the world’s two largest economies negotiate a lasting agreement. In a briefing in Beijing a few hours later, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang declined to comment on any car tariff changes
- Oil rebounded from the biggest monthly loss in a decade after Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed to extend their deal to manage the crude market into 2019 and Canada’s largest producing province ordered an unprecedented output cut
- Leaders of the world’s largest economies agreed the global system of rules that’s underpinned trade for decades is flawed, in a post-summit statement Saturday that the White House quickly claimed as a win for Donald Trump’s protectionist agenda
- U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May faces yet another grueling battle this week as members of Parliament sink their teeth into her Brexit deal ahead of a crucial vote. On Monday, politicians on all sides will ratchet up the pressure on May to justify the terms she’s agreed to with the European Union by demanding she publish the government’s internal legal advice underpinning the accord
- France’s "Yellow Vest" anti-government demonstrations intensified Saturday. More than 400 people were arrested and at least 133 injured after rioters in Paris burned cars, looted stores and restaurants, and sprayed graffiti on the Arc de Triomphe. Emmanuel Macron convened an emergency cabinet meeting amid demands to alter his environmental and budget policies
- As the Brexit deadline approaches, about 50 banks and other financial institutions are having or have had talks with the Dutch central bank about setting up shop in the Netherlands
- The compromise to safeguard the euro is set to underwhelm supporters of the sweeping vision of an integrated and assertive Europe set out by French President Emmanuel Macron last year as the banking union, bailout plans and euro budget are all bogged down
Asian equity markets were higher across the board with global risk appetite boosted following the US-China trade truce at the G20. News of the tariff ceasefire spurred a rally in US equity futures in which the Emini S&P and DJIA futures reclaimed the 2800 and 26000 levels respectively, with the blue-chip index up nearly 500 points. ASX 200 (+1.8%) and Nikkei 225 (+1.1%) advanced with Australia led by commodity-related sectors as energy benefitted from the positive trade developments and Russia-Saudi agreement to extend the OPEC+ accord, while the JPY-risk dynamic was very much in play for Tokyo trade. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (+2.4%) and Shanghai Comp. (+2.6%) outperformed on the easing of trade tensions, with sentiment also supported by better than expected Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI and after the CFFEX relaxed domestic stock index futures trading conditions. Finally, 10yr JGBs initially saw a bout of weakness at the open amid the heightened risk appetite, although prices later recovered amid the BoJ’s presence in the market for JPY 800bln of JGBs with maturities of up to 5yrs.
Top Asian News
- Trump’s Auto Tariff Tweet Boosts Stocks, Leaves Beijing Silent
- Goldman Sachs-Funded Group Bids A$2.4 Billion for GrainCorp
- Macau Casinos Rise as J.P. Morgan Calls November Beat Impressive
- Saudi Prince Finds Both Friends and Disapproval at G-20 Summit
- India Is Said to Seek Seizure of IL&FS Officials’ Properties
European equities (Eurostoxx 50 +1.8%) trade with firm gains as markets react to the fallout of the G20 summit which saw US President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree to delay hiking tariffs on USD 200bln of Chinese goods to 25% for 90 days to allow for trade discussions between the two nations. In terms of sector specifics, mining names have been the main beneficiary from the trade optimism thus far with price action in metals markets giving a lift to Antofagasta (+8.0%), Arcelormittal (+6.6%), Anglo American (+6.3%), Glenore (+6.5%) and many more. Elsewhere, luxury names are also seeing some reprieve from the US-China developments with the sector previously hampered by tensions between the two nations; as such, Swatch (+6.1%), Kering (+5.5%), LVMH (+4.3%) and Burberry (+3.3%) all trade with firm gains. Auto names are also seen higher amid the spillover from US President Trump tweeting that China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the US which are currently at 40%; BMW (+6.1%), Daimler (+6.2%), Volkswagen (+3.9%). Finally, tech names have also been supported by the weekend’s developments with tech a key focus for negotiations, subsequently, STMicroelectronics (+7.3%), Infineon (+5.8%) and Wirecard (+4.4%) are also near the top of the Stoxx 600 leaderboard.
Top European News
- U.K. Manufacturing Growth Recovers From 27-Month Low in November
- Spanish Establishment Suffers Another Fracture in Andalusia
- Sewing’s Options Dwindle as Fresh Scandals Hit Deutsche Bank
- Albert Frere, Belgian Billionaire Investor, Dies at 92
- $80 Billion Locked in a ‘Golden Cage’ in Austria May Be Set Free
FX: DXY, CNY, JPY – An optimistic end to the G20 summit with Trump and Xi agreeing on a 90-day tariffs ceasefire until a trade deal can be negotiated (with sticking points such as IP remaining). As such DXY fell to lows of 96.710 vs. last week’s low of 96.622, though the index is nursing losses in an attempt to take another jab at 97.000. USD/CNY fell below the key 6.90 level despite a higher USD/CNY fix by the PBOC overnight, while JPY unwound some risk premium with USD/JPY stopping just shy of 114.00, but the headline pair supported just ahead of a downside tech-level (Tenken at 113.34).
- AUD, NZD, CAD – Major high-beta beneficiaries in the aftermath of the G20, with AUD/USD within striking distance of 0.7400 (where 1.365bln in option expiries lie) ahead of its 200DMA at 0.7418, while the Kiwi holds above 0.6900, marginally hampered by weaker than expected Q3 terms of trade and softer export volumes. Meanwhile, CAD also takes advantage of the rising oil prices after Russia and KSA extended their OPEC+ pact, on top of the tactical 325k BPD production cut at Canada’s Alberta refinery. USD/CAD currently sub-1.3200 but off post-G20 lows of 1.3160.
- GBP, EUR - Little reaction in the pound and the single currency following mixed manufacturing PMIs with Cable back down below 1.2750 (after having breached its 10DMA at 1.2800 where stops were reportedly tripped) and through the Raab-low at 1.2724 to test bids ahead of 1.2700, while EUR/USD couldn’t sustain gains to 1.1400 before retreating through 1.1350 and towards 1.1300. Note, the single currency was supported earlier on Italian press reports that PM Conte is said to be preparing for a deficit/GDP target in the range of 1.9%-2.0%, with the Deputy PMs apparently ready to accept the new target but has eased back in wake of the ECB’s announcement of Capital Key changes, including a perhaps surprisingly lower Italian ratio. In terms of option expiries, EUR/USD sees 1.32bln around 1.1380-90 ahead of reported offers at 1.1400.
- EM – TRY back in focus with softer than expected Turkish CPI helping the Lira retest recent highs around 5.1500 vs. the buck at one stage, but unable to breach resistance as the USD stage a broad comeback.
In commodities, WTI (+4.1%) and Brent (+3.9%) are both stronger following the positive US-China trade news and reports that Russia and Saudi Arabia are agreeing to extend the OPEC+ agreement; although no production cut figure has been announced so far. Additionally, Qatar, which produces approximately 600,000 BPD of oil, has announced that they are withdrawing from OPEC as of January with this being in-line with their long-term plan. Separately, Canada’s Alberta province is to reportedly mandate a 9% oil output reduction, which amounts to 325,000 BPD, in order to ease a supply glut with this to come into effect from January. Gold (+0.7%) is firmer, albeit off of a 3-week high of USD 1232.30/oz reached earlier in the session; after gaining support from the dollar being weighed on by positive US-China trade news from the G20 summit. Steel and copper prices have also benefited from the positive trade news, with Chinese rebar steel increasing by its 7% exchange-set trading; with copper’s London benchmark prices nearing a two-month high.
US Event Calendar
- 6:30am: Fed Vice Chairman Clarida Interviewed on Bloomberg TV & Radio
- 8am: Fed’s Quarles speaks at Council on Foreign Relations in NYC
- 9:15am: Williams Speaks at a NY Fed Conference on Treasury Market
- 9:45am: Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 55.4, prior 55.4
- 10am: Construction Spending MoM, est. 0.35%, prior 0.0%
- 10am: ISM Manufacturing, est. 57.5, prior 57.7
- 10:30am: Brainard Gives Keynote at NY Fed’s Treasury Market Conference
- 1pm: Fed’s Kaplan Speaks at Community Forum in Laredo, Texas
- Wards Total Vehicle Sales, est. 17.2m, prior 17.5m