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The RBA with a 25bp hike Expected

The RBA is set to hold their November meeting tomorrow and whilst the consensus is for a 25bp hike, it doesn’t mean they won’t do a 50bp one instead. Economists favor a 25bp hike, although money markets estimate a 51% chance of a 50bp hike tomorrow. It may be a closer call than economists think. And we’ll keep close eye on whether the RBA retain the comment of the 25 vs 50 being finally balanced. Overnight implied volatility has spiked higher ahead of the meeting.

It is expected that the RBA will repeat a second 25bp hike tomorrow and potentially even pausing in December. On one hand, Governor Lowe has said the RBA tend to forecast their policy on inflation expectations – which remain well anchored. On the other hand, if October’s debate for 25 to 50bp was finally balanced then it poses the question as to whether the strong inflation report tips the scale towards a 50bp hike .

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Euro area annual inflation up to 10.7% – European Union

Eurostat’s preliminary estimate indicated an acceleration of annual inflation in the euro region from 9.9% immediately to 10.7%. Economists are expecting no change, and the difference of 0.8 points is one of the most prominent indicators economists predict quite accurately on average.

But it’s not only this surprise that we want to point out, but also how fast price growth has spread beyond energy and food categories. Core inflation accelerated to 5% YoY in September, adding 0.6% MoM. Non-energy industrial goods rose at 1.2% MoM and 6.0% YoY.

These dynamics should signal that the ECB should not reduce the pace of monetary tightening. 

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FOMC Meeting, Expected Hike 75bps

The FOMC will conclude it’s monetary policy today. The expectation is that traders are pricing in nearly 90% odds of a 75bps interest rate hike, an expectation that was supported by the Wall Street Journal’s. Traders are currently pricing in a peak Fed Funds rate around 4.9% in May 2023, and this is where it’s more likely to see expectations shift in the wake of this week’s Fed meeting. Traders should be more focused on the Fed’s expected destination not the journey in the coming months.

The stakes couldn’t be higher for this month’s FOMC meeting. While the decision for a 75bps hike itself seems relatively straightforward, the accompanying statement and press conference will be closely monitored for any hints that the central bank is thinking of slowing the pace of rate hikes in the coming months. 

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Another FED Hawkish 75bp Hike Rates

Fed hiked rates by 75bp as highly expected. Powell delivered a hawkish message, emphasizing the need to tighten financial conditions further. We have not seen Fed make significant progress towards its goals over the past month. It is expected that a 50bp hike will come in February in addition to our earlier forecast for one more 75bp hike in December. Markets took FOMC statement not seriously, but the move faded during the press conference and EUR/USD declined below pre-meeting levels while 2y UST yield rose around 6bp. The forecast for EUR/USD is maintained at 0.93 in 12M.

Fed hiked rates by 75bp in its October meeting as widely expected. There was no updated ‘dot plot’ or economic forecasts. While Powell did acknowledge the downside risks to the economy, he also emphasized that it is very premature to be thinking about stopping.

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Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement

Last week passed without any major movement. The main event was FOMC meeting of the US Federal Reserve at which it was unanimously decided to raise the key rate by 75 basis points to 4.00%. The highest level since 2008. Such a move was quite expected. Therefore, the subsequent press conference of the regulator’s management was of greater interest to market participants. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said at the meeting that although inflation must be reduced drastically, monetary policy parameters can be changed as needed.

The DXY Dollar Index moved up, hitting 113.00. The US currency strengthened against all G10 currencies, except for the Japanese yen. Then a reversal followed, and before the release of the data on unemployment in the US on Friday, November 04, it fell to 112.35, and EUR/USD consolidated around 0.9800

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 Australian Business and Consumer Sentiment

Business reported another strong month of sales and profitability, although a dip in new orders and rising costs weighed on sentiment. Whilst consumer-driven demand remains high, National Australian Bank’s chief economist noted that forms appear wary that the current pace of consumption will continue.

PMI survey’s for Australia continue to trend lower with the S&P global composite below 50, with services PMI dragging the composite lower. Manufacturing, services and construction PMI are all below 50 according to another PMI survey by AIG. Put together it makes to wonder if growth for 2023 will have to be revised lower, as consumer spending appears to be propping up the show.

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US CPI Preview CPI to remain elevated

The September headline inflation was 8.2% YoY, higher than expectations of 8.1% YoY, however lower than the August reading of 8.3% YoY. The Core CPI reading was higher than expected at 6.6% YoY vs expectations of 6.5% YoY and an August reading of 6.3% YoY. This was the highest reading since 1982.

The Fed has a dual mandate of price stability and maximum sustainable employment. With the labor market remaining strong, the Fed is focused on price stability, and has maintained that lowering inflation is its number one priority. During the press conference that followed the FOMC statement on 2nd November, Fed Chairman Powell noted that incoming data suggests that the ultimate level of rates will be higher than previously anticipated. In addition, he said that “how high to rise rates is more important that the pace of tightening”. These statements imply that the Fed believes inflation will remain higher for longer. But has the four consecutive 75bps rate hikes finally fed through to the real economy ? If yes, inflation may be lower than expected, which should lift stock prices and lower the value of the US Dollar.

EUR/USD has been moving higher since the US Non-Farm payroll data on November 4th. The first resistance is at the highs from October 26th at 1.0094.

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How to Profit From US Inflation: Investment Options

US inflation is expected to soften slightly – as markets have positioned themselves for it to do so. But that also presents opportunities for traders. The inflation prints as a proxy for Fed policy. Another hot report decreases the odds of a slower pace of Fed tightening, likely boosting the dollar whilst weighing on Wall Street, commodities and all other currencies. Whilst a softer inflation report keeps hopes alive that the big hikes are behind us and send dollar lower.

The US dollar index has held above a key support zone around 109.96, which comprises of the October 2002 high, October 2022 low and bullish trend line. A bar bullish reversal has also formed to suggest a swing low is in place, and with it comes the potential to head back to the monthly pivot point just beneath 112. At this stage it is equally open for it to top out, roll over and break trend support as it is breaking back above 112. But for now, the near term bias remains bullish whilst prices hold above this week’s low.

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US Consumer Sentiment and Elections

Officially which party has won control of the Congress is still not known. The trends and projections, the results are pretty much in line with what was expected. Republicans take control of the House, but by a smaller margin than expected. And control of the Senate is still unknown, and will likely come down to a run-off election in Georgia.

The initial reaction from the markets wasn’t favorable, likely because of the associated uncertainty. Investors don’t like knowing what’s coming, and with control of the Senate down to a single race that had less than a percentage point of margin, doesn’t inspire confidence. Additionally, Republican control by a small margin means that maintaining consistency will be harder. It only would take convincing a small number of Representatives to change legislative outcomes.

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United Kingdom Inflation Rate

The UK GDP revealed that the economy shrank by only 0.2% in 3rd Quarter, which means that a contraction of more than 0.55% may be needed in the last three months of the year for the BoE’s forecast of a 0.75% contraction during H2 2022 to materialize. Yet, investors dragged their rate-path projections lower. The probability for a 50bps hike at the December gathering renamed near 80%, but the implied terminal rate was lowered to 4.47% from 4.6%.

The jobs report is forecast to show that the unemployment rate held steady at 3.5% in September and that the average weekly earnings excluding bonuses have accelerated. With an inflation rate at 10.1% during that month, real wages likely stayed well into the negative territory and disposable incomes at record lows.

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AUD/USD – Australian Dollar US Dollar

The Australian dollar is in negative territory, after posting huge gains last week. In the European session, AUD/USD was trading at 0.6690, down 0.22%. US Dollar took a nasty spill last week, and the Australian dollar made the most of it, gaining 3.6%. The US dollar was slammed after a soft inflation report, with headline and core inflation slowing in October and beating the forecasts. This lit up risk appetite and sent the Australian dollar to its highest level since September 22nd.

The soft inflation report had such a strong effect on the greenback because it has raised expectations that the Fed will ease up on its rate tightening. After four consecutive hikes of 0.75%, the markets have now priced in a 0.50% increase at the December meeting. That would still represent an oversize hike, but investors have been looking for a reason to rush into stocks and the drop in inflation provided that excuse.

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Markets Position, The lower-than-expected US inflation

The lower-than-expected US inflation print simply extended with economic data serving as an accelerator. European stocks add a normal 0.6% but US indices open with very solid 0.9-2.5% gains. The US NY Empire manufacturing index surpassed the bar with ease, coming in at 4.5 vs a -6 consensus. But new orders turned negative again and the outlook for six months ahead turned deeper below zero from -1.8 to -6.1. Financial markets definitely also spotted the PPI easing by more than expected.

Headline factory inflation for September was revised lower to 8.4% and slowed to 8% vs 8.3% expected. Core gauges retreated from 7.1% to 6.7% and 5.6% to 5.4%. All of them are still at elevated levels but similar to last Thursday’s CPI, that’s of no importance to markets who just want to see pressure decline, both on prices and on the Fed. 

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US Consumer Remains Strong

Equity markets in Europe are back in the red yesterday, while the US looks largely unchanged around the open on Wall Street.

Reports of missile strikes in Poland on Tuesday naturally caused a shudder in the markets. The prospect of a sudden and unexpected escalation in the war in Ukraine, particularly involving a NATO state, doesn’t bear thinking about but it’s almost forced to and under the circumstances, the reaction was fairly modest.

It could have been much worse but investors appear to have come to the view that it was a situation that would be quickly de-escalated which is what occurred despite initial reports not looking good.

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Japan’s Inflation hits the ‘40-year high

Despite the BOJ’s best efforts to contain inflation, prices are indeed rising.

Nationwide inflation rose to its highest levels since 1984 at 3.7% y/y and core inflation is also at 3.6%. If food and energy are excluded, CPI is now 1.4% y/y- which is its highest since 1998 we exclude the pre-emptive buying ahead of 2015’s tax hikes. Services PPI is down to 9.1% but historically high after peaking at 10.2% last month.

At 3.7%, nationwide CPI is nearly twice their 2% target. The BOJ were relatively late to the 2% inflation bandwagon by introducing their 2% target in January 2013. Of the 118 months since it was introduced, only 16.1% of them have been above 2%. There was a 12-month period from April 2014, and more recently inflation has been above 2% since April this year and still rising.

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RBNZ seen raising rates by historic 75 bps

Whilst there has been some less expectations that inflation around parts of the world have topped out, recent data for New Zealand is remining us that inflation can remain at elevated levels for longer than anyone would like.

CPI rose 2.2% q/q, up from 1.7% and well above the 1.6% consensus. Annual CPI rose 7.2% y/y – slightly below the 7.3% peak – but if the quarterly is trending higher then it can send the annual higher too. Labor costs have risen to a record high of 3.8% y/y and, whilst the quarterly read pulled back from its record, at 1.1% q/q labor costs remain quite elevated from its long-term average of 0.01%.

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