Ukrainian Exports Of Agricultural Products May Increase In October | Rising Energy Costs Will Hurt Microsoft's Operating Margin

Australia Is Expected To Produce A Bumper Year Of Crops

Summary:  A whiplash-inducing session for equity traders yesterday as the strong market session was spoiled after hours yesterday by weak results from Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet. A drop in US treasury yields, meanwhile, has driven a sharp correction lower in the US dollar, with EURUSD eyeing parity suddenly ahead of next week’s FOMC meeting and AUDUSD trying to break higher after a hot core Q3 CPI reading overnight.


What is our trading focus?

Nasdaq 100 (USNAS100.I) and S&P 500 (US500.I)

Strong rally in US equities yesterday touching the 50-day moving average before settling a bit lower on the close. Price action has subsequently turned negative overnight after the cash session as disappointing earnings from Alphabet and worsening outlook from Microsoft are weighing on the indices. On the positive side, the US 10-year yield is coming down from its recent peak and the Chicago Fed National Activity Index showed yesterday that the US economy operated meaningfully above trend growth in both September and August suggesting inflationary forces are still intact despite tighter financial conditions.

Euro STOXX 50 (EU50.I)

Touched almost the 3,600 level as we indicated yesterday was the upside level the market was looking for, but the weaker US earnings overnight might impact equity sentiment today, but on the other hand European earnings releases this morning have broadly beaten estimates.

FX: USD punched lower as yields drop

Yesterday saw the potent, USD-negative combination of treasury yields pushing sharply lower and strong risk sentiment, but interesting to note that the USD weakness continued in late trading yesterday, even after important megacap companies in the US reported weak earnings and risk sentiment reversed sharply, suggesting that treasury yields are the primary driver of the moment. EURUSD came within spitting distance of parity again, and could head to 1.0200 on a break above if the US 10-year yield breaks below 4.00%, although traders may rein in their market exposure ahead of next Wednesday’s FOMC meeting. USDJPY is also under pressure, trading near 148.00, and may have a path to 145.00 or lower if yields continue to ease. Elsewhere, a hot CPI print from Australia overnight (more below) has AUDUSD making a bid above the important 0.6400 area.

Gold (XAUUSD) and silver (XAGUSD)

Gold and silver trade higher after receiving a boost from a weaker dollar and continued decline in US bond yields amid signs the US economy is showing signs of rolling over, just days before the next FOMC interest rate decision on November 2. US yields slumped across the curve after data showed home prices tumbling the most since 2009 and US consumer confidence was down by more than expected. While another bumper 75 basis points hike is expected next week, the FOMC may decide to ease the foot of the brakes in coming meetings while assessing the impact of their rate and quantitative tightening actions. As a minimum gold needs to break above $1730 before an end to the month-long downtrend can be called. Until then watch the dollar and yields for inspiration, while silver, in order to avoid creating a potential bearish head-and-shoulder formation, needs a break above $20.

Crude oil (CLZ2 & LCOZ2)

Crude oil remains rangebound, with Brent currently stuck in a $90 to $95 range, after a weaker dollar led pop on Tuesday was reversed after the American Petroleum Institute reported a 4.5-million-barrel expansion in US crude stocks. In today’s weekly update from the EIA, the market will be watching distillate stocks as concerns about tight supplies continue to grow ahead of the EU embargo on Russian fuel starting next February. Diesel inventories in the US are at lowest seasonal level ever heading into winter while the situation in Europe looks similar. Developments that have driven distillate crack spreads and diesel prices at the pumps higher in recent weeks relative to gasoline. Also focus this week on earnings from Big Oil.

US treasuries (TLT, IEF)

US treasury yields dropped further yesterday, with the 2-year benchmark yield easing below 4.50%, and the 10-year yield pushing all the way down below 4.10% and therefore nearing the important 4.00% area. A drop in the latest Consumer Confidence survey (more below) offered a tailwind, as have talks since Monday of a possible treasury “buyback” from US Treasury Secretary Yellen, said to be prompted by the need to improve liquidity in the treasury market and attractive from the Treasury’s point of view as lower yielding long treasuries issued at far lower yields can be bought back at significant discounts.

What is going on?

Australia September and Q3 CPI comes in hot

Yet another hot inflation report out overnight, particularly in the core inflation data, this time from Down Under, as Australia’s September CPI came in at +7.3% YoY vs. +7.1% expected, and the Q3 CPI was also higher than expected at +1.8% QoQ and +7.3% YoY vs. +1.6%/7.0% expected, with the “trimmed mean” core CPI out at +1.8%/6.1%, far above the 1.5%/5.0% expected, and 4.5% YoY in Q2. Housing prices were the biggest contributors up 10.5%, followed by Transport costs up 9.2% and Food price growth up 9%.

US October Consumer Confidence weaker than expected

The survey was out at 102.5 versus 105.9 expected and 107.8 in September, with a bad miss in the Present Situation component, which fell to 138.9 from 150.2 in September, a large drop and the lowest reading since early 2021.

Wheat futures (ZWZ2) slipped to a five-week low on Tuesday

... with Black Sea grain exports pressuring prices while rain in recently dry growing areas in the US and Argentine adding further downward pressure to prices, especially in the US where recently planted winter wheat fields in the US Midwest look set to receive a decent dose of moisture and potentially further speed of the planting currently 79% completed. Ukraine’s export of agricultural products could rise by more than 8% in October from last month, the Ukrainian Agrarian Council said on Tuesday while ADM’s chief grain trader on an earnings call said that he sees “nothing significant that could derail” an extension of the Black Sea grain export corridor next month.

Google shares down 7% on big Q3 miss

It turned out that Snap’s worse than expected results last week were a good leading indicator on Google’s performance in Q3. Revenue came in at $69.1bn vs $70.8bn and operating income was $17.1bn vs est. $19.7bn as the operating margin is coming under significant pressure q/q and y/y. Revenue growth in Q3 at 6% y/y is the slowest pace since Q2 2020.

Microsoft shares down 7% on worsening outlook

FY23 Q1 (ending 30 September) revenue was $↨50.1bn vs est. $49.6bn and EPS of $2.35 vs est. $2.29, but it was the forecast for the current quarter that negatively surprised the market. Microsoft expects the slowdown in PC sales and rising energy costs to hurt operating margin, and the company has more or less introduced a hiring freeze to keep costs under control.

What are we watching next?

Bank of Canada set to hike 75 basis points

We have an interesting combination of hot CPI readings in a number of places, including Canada and Australia, seeing the market adjusting expectations higher for the Bank of Canada and Reserve Bank of Australia, all while US yields have eased off on the anticipation that the FOMC will deliver a message. After the recent hot September Canada CPI reading, the market boosted expectations for today’s Bank of Canada hike to 75 basis points for today's, which will take the policy rate to 4.00%

UK PM Sunak may delay budget statement scheduled for early next week

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak may delay the report to give the new government a chance to find its feet first, with less urgency as sterling has not only stabilized, but rallied and UK Gilt yields have plunged, with the 10-year yield some 100 basis points lower, closing at 3.64% yesterday. Sunak reappointed Jeremy Hunt as Chancellor and announced a number of other appointments.

Earnings to watch

Today’s US earnings focus is Meta and given the weak results from both Snap and Alphabet due to worsening pricing on online ads we expect downward pressure on Meta’s business. Key for investors will be Meta admitting that its Metaverse bet is too expensive and will be reined in in the short-term as the company is facing tough headwinds on cash flow generation.

  • Today: Dassault Systemes, Mercedes-Benz, BASF, Deutsche Bank, PingAn Insurance, CGN Power, UniCredit, Canon, Barclays, Standard Chartered, Heineken, Aker BP, Iberdrola, Banco Santander, SEB, Meta Platforms, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Bristol-Myers Squibb, ADP, Boeing, ServiceNow, Ford Motor, Twitter

  • Thursday: ANZ, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Argenx, Shopify, Teck Resources, Neste, Kone, TotalEnergies, EDF, STMicroelectronics, PetroChina, China Life Insurance, CNOOC, Oriental Land, Shin-Etsu Chemical, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Hoya, FANUC, Shell, Lloyds Banking Group, Universal Music Group, Repsol, Ferrovial, Hexagon, Evolution, Credit Suisse, Apple, Amazon, Mastercard, Merck & Co, McDonald’s, Linde, Intel, Honeywell, Caterpillar, Gilead Sciences, Pioneer Natural Resources

  • Friday: Macquarie Group, OMV, ICBC, China Merchants Bank, LONGi Green Energy Technology, Midea Group, Imperial Oil, Danske Bank, Sanofi, Airbus, Volkswagen, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, BYD, China Shenhua Energy, Eni, Keyence, Hitachi, Denso, Equinor, CaixaBank, Wilmar International, Swiss Re, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, AbbVie, NextEra Energy, Colgate-Palmolive, Royal Caribbean Cruises

Economic calendar highlights for today (times GMT)

  • 1230 – US Sep. Advance Goods Trade Balance
  • 1400 – Bank of Canada Rate Decision
  • 1400 – US Sep. New Home Sales
  • 1430 – US DoE Weekly Crude Oil and Product Inventories
  • 1500 – Canada Bank of Canada Governor Macklem to speak
  • 1700 – US Treasury auctions 5-year T-notes
  • 2045 – New Zealand RBNZ Governor Orr to speak
  • 2130 – Brazil Selic Rate

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Australia Is Expected To Produce A Bumper Year Of Crops

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