Morning Bid: US jobs data and China bring cheer, for now

FILE PHOTO:German share price index DAX graph is pictured in Frankfurt

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the Frankfurt stock exchange after risks have climbed to multi-month highs in recent days as concerns over contagion from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and instability at European bank Credit Suisse gripped the markets, in Frankfurt, Germany, March 17, 2023. REUTERS/Staff/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Ankur Banerjee

The latest U.S. job openings data dipped to levels not seen since early 2021, bolstering the case for a Fed pause on rates, and that along with a lingering lift from China’s latest market-friendly moves had investors holding onto their risk-on hats as Europe wakes up.

Asian equity market rose on Wednesday, tracking a Wall Street rally, buoyed by bets that maybe, just maybe, the Federal Reserve is done with its monetary tightening, with traders scaling back the odds of a hike this year.

Markets are all but sure that the Fed will stand pat next month, so it’s the meetings in November and December that are drawing investor interest. The Fed has made it clear it will be data-dependent as it charts its monetary policy path.

The will-they-or-won’t-they question around the Federal Reserve and the endgame for interest rate hikes will cast a shadow over the markets, as investors peer through every piece of economic data and then tweak their expectations on what happens next. In short, buckle up.

European markets look set for a higher open, with the pan-European STOXX 600 (.STOXX) at two-week highs. Inflation reports from Germany and Spain later in the day will provide further clues on price pressures in the region ahead of the euro zone inflation report on Thursday.

Traders have raised their bets on a 25-basis-point European Central Bank rate hike in September, a slight shift from expectations of a pause following a sharper-than-expected contraction in euro zone business activity.

Over in Asia, the dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies after a steep dive overnight, hamstrung by sliding Treasury yields.

Australia’s inflation slowed to a 17-month low in July, signalling that interest rates might not need to rise again. The report sent the Aussie 0.17% lower.

The Biden administration on Tuesday released its list of 10 prescription medicines that will be subject to the first-ever price negotiations by the U.S. Medicare health programme, with drugs from Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY.N), Novo Nordisk (NOVOb.CO) and Pfizer (PFE.N) among them.

The limited share reaction overnight suggests investors are perhaps hesitant to make a call just yet.

And finally, the bad news for chocolate lovers just keeps on getting worse, with London cocoa futures on ICE repeatedly hitting new 46-year highs since late June. Supplies have been tightening as crop problems in West Africa contribute to a large global deficit expected in the current 2022/23 crop season.

Reuters Graphics

Key developments that could influence markets on Wednesday:

Economic events: German and Spanish inflation data for August, euro zone August consumer confidence, US ADP private payrolls

Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Singapore; Editing by Edmund Klamann

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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2023-08-30 06:01:59

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