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Fundamental Analysis 2017.09.22 – EU and German PMIs Today
Today’s market
The European day starts off with the manufacturing and service-sector purchasing managers’ indices (PMIs) for France, Germany and the EU as a whole. The manufacturing PMIs are expected to be slightly lower, which could prove negative for the euro, at least temporarily. However, given the rather high level that these indices are at to begin with (the EU manufacturing PMI is at its highest level since April 2011), I’m not sure a small decline as is forecast would really make much of a difference to anyone’s view.

When the North American day starts up, it’s a big day for Canadian indicators with both CPI and retail sales coming out.
Canadian CPI headline figure is expected to rise notably, bringing it closer to the center of the Bank of Canada’s 1%-3% target band. This could boost the likelihood of another rate hike this year. But since the market’s estimate of the probability has gone from 47% last Friday to 65% on Thursday, it seems opinion is already shifting that way. That suggests the figure may already be largely discounted and although it should be positive for CAD, we might not see much movement if indeed it does come out as forecast. 

On the other hand, Canadian retail sales are expected to come in below trend. That could prove negative for CAD and slightly offset any positive impulse from the CPI figure – although there’s little doubt that the Bank of Canada is more focused on the CPI, as it seems confident about the strength of the economy.

The Markit US PMIs are expected to show a mixed picture, with manufacturing rising but services falling. The market generally pays more attention to manufacturing though, so the news could be mildly positive for the dollar, especially given the currency’s recent surge following the FOMC meeting.

UK PM Theresa May will make an important speech on Brexit in Florence, Italy. The official comments on the speech are only that May will give an "update on Brexit negotiations so far" and “will underline the government's wish for a deep and special partnership with the European Union once the UK leaves the EU." But with the negotiations deadlocked, everyone is hoping for a major policy initiative that can get the talks going again when they resume next Monday.

The main stumbling block in the negotiations seems to be what’s being called the “divorce bill,” or how much Britain has to pay to cover existing commitments at the time it leaves. The Financial Times has reported that she will offer EUR 20bn, but this is only about half what the EU is looking for. This payment is the main priority for the EU negotiators, while maintaining trade relationships after Brexit is the main priority for the UK. That’s why I expect the speech to disappoint the EU and the markets by failing to provide any breakthrough, and why I expect the pound to fall afterwards.
Over the weekend, Germany holds an election for the Bundestag, or Parliament. This is the first vote since Chancellor Merkel opened the door to a huge influx of immigrants in 2015. While Merkel is expected to win a fourth term, it’s expected that six parties will win seats for the first time in the post-war period. This may make it more difficult for Merkel’s coalition to pass legislation, especially if the junior party in the coalition, the Christian Socialist Union (CSU), decides to distance itself from Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in preparation for Merkel’s eventual retirement. Nonetheless, she is expected win, which could be EUR-positive at the opening on Monday.

This article comprises the personal view and opinion of the STO Investment Research Desk and at no time should be construed as Investment Advice.
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