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The answer to "What's going to give the Fear Index a boost ?" was staring us in the face all along .... The threat of Thermonuclear War,...

August 11, 2017

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Heads Up ! Forthcoming attractions for your consideration ......

July 5, 2018

 

Just in case, three things you need to be looking out for over the next 36hrs or so :

 

Tonight 18.00 hrs GMT : Release of the minutes of the Fed's June Open Market Committee meeting (at which they decided to hike rates by 25 basis points, of course). It goes almost without saying that investors will be ferreting through the minutes in the hope of discovering some previously hidden pointer to current Fed thinking. The bias among committee members has swung towards two more rate hikes this year. We know from the Fed's "dot-plot" 8 of the 15 now think a total of four increases will be appropriate for 2018  ....  which naturally means that seven don't feel that way so it's a pretty narrow majority. How solid is it ? How do they see the balance of risk with regard to future policy ? Two areas in which investors will be particularly keen to learn of the Fed's thinking are : 1. The flattening yield curve  --  the premium of yields on 10yr US Treasury bonds over their 2yr equivalents narrowed to below 30 basis points this week, for the first time since Aug 2007. How worried are the Fed, or do they believe the practice of equating inverted yield curves with recession is another piece of market wisdom that's become outdated ? And 2., how worried are the Fed about the escalating trade conflict ? Do they see its effects being such that it will affect future policy ? Talking of which ....

 

Tomorrow : The other D-Day may have been on 6th June, but D-Day in this particular conflict is 6th July. The US is due to implement new tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese exports tomorrow. China stands by ready to reciprocate in exactly the same amount, but insist that they will not act first. Thus responsibility for firing the first heavy blows of what must then be called a trade WAR will be squarely in the hands of Donald Trump  --  something that will bother him not one iota. Will there be a last-minute climbdown by one party or another ? Doesn't seem that way right now, and once these things have kicked off escalation is a much more likely development than moderation.

 

Tomorrow 12.30 hrs GMT : Release of US Employment data for June. Probably the most watched for statistic, strong numbers support the expectations of a faster pace of policy tightening by the Fed, and vice versa. Look out for :

 

Non-Farm Payrolls : due +195,000

Unemployment rate : due unchanged at 3.8%

 

Average Hourly Earnings y-on-y : +2.8%

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