Posted May 18, 2017 by Martin Armstrong
Asian cash markets had their second chance today to react to the political shenanigans happening in the states. All cash markets were again marked lower with the Nikkei closing -1.3% and was also hindered by the yens strength; as we saw 110.35 trading in the early session. Considering it was trading with a 113 handle just five days ago, the markets are looking for comfort and stability, which after todays GDP data (2.2%) they probably feel they have found. The Shanghai and Hang Seng both played around -0.5% on the day. Nerves were also present in India as the SENSEX lost 0.75% but also had the INR losing over 1%; its biggest loss in almost a year.
It was not the bounce day that many had hoped for in Europe, completing their largest back to back losses this year. The worst performances came from the FTSE and IBEX (-0.9%) with the DAX and CAC both around -0.4% lower. It was the housing sector closely followed by leisure that led the declines. Better than expected Retail Sales helped GBP breach the 1.30 level and also managed to make ground (+0.35%) on the Euro. UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, unveiled their budget today ahead of June 8th general election with one of the main issues highlighted that they have drooped their pledge to not raise taxes. Also, a hotly debated topic is people earning in excess of £100,000 will see a cost for healthcare but can pay after death. This point will be much talked about together with the plan to balance the budget by 2025. This all sounds as though the PM may be overplaying her hand a little, but am sure we will see that reflected in the markets on Friday. Probably a little early just yet but best keep an eye on those rating agencies.
Us saw a better start to trading than they did yesterday that for sure. One point many were keen is that President Trump was tweeting again. This came as a sigh of relief as the lack of tweets led to much speculation over possibly throwing in the towel! An easier calm settled on markets with positive prices across the screens. The stability was provided by the banking sector, but don’t forget they did hit theirs highs back in March of this year. On the opposite side we have utilities countering as they continue to follow yesterdays line lower. In the final couple of hours the slow but steady appreciation was comfort for many after Wednesday’s aggressive sell-off. DOW closes +0.3%, S+P and Russell +0.4% and the NASDAQ +0.75%.
Talk in Brazil surrounding fresh political corruption hit both the BRL (-8%) and the stock market (Ibovespa) yesterday, which after a temporary close, ended the day down 8.8%. However, stocks remain 15% higher on the year.
2’s closed 1.27% (+2bp), 10’s 2.23% (+1bp), 30’s 2.90% (u/c), Bunds 0.34% (-3bp) which closes the US/Germany spread at +189bp (+4bp). France 0.80% (-3bp), Italy 2.13% (-1bp), Greece 5.65% (+16bp), Turkey 10.55%, Portugal 3.17% (u/c) and Gilts 1.06% (-1bp).