ECB: to LTRO, or not LTRO, what is the question?

Considering the weakness in most economic indicators the ECB should maintain an adequate degree of monetary accommodation. This will likely require delivering another longer-term refinancing operation (LTRO, targeted or not) to avoid any tightening in liquidity and credit conditions. We expect the ECB to send out a strong signal at its March meeting that it […]

Oil market update

Increased pressure from President Trump on the Saudis to halt oil production cuts last week had only a temporary impact. Brent prices are currently being underpinned by several factors, including hopes of a US-China trade deal and OPEC+ production cuts, in particular. The Saudis have been aggressively cutting their production recently. With output of 10.1m barrels/day (mbd) in February, they are already […]

Weekly View – Still going on and on

Chinese equities stole the show last week on optimism over US-China trade negotiations and MSCI’s decision to gradually increase inclusion of Chinese A-shares from the current 5% to 20% in 2019. This will bring China’s weighting in the MSCI Emerging Market (EM) index to 3.3% in November from its current 0.71%, translating to up to […]

Brexit update

Recent political developments in the UK and the increased focus on an extension to the current Brexit deadline in particular, have reduced the risk of a ‘no deal’ Brexit on 29 March. Prime Minster Theresa May will put her divorce deal to another Parliament vote on 12 March. While the vote will likely be much narrower than […]

US GDP update

Q4 2018 GDP growth was healthy at 2.6% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), close to the average over the previous three quarters (2.5%). Annual growth for 2018 was 2.9%. A particularly bright spot in Q4 was business investment, led by spending on equipment and software. Such business investment strength is particularly good news […]

After a slight rebound, Chinese business sentiment falls again

Chinese official manufacturing and non-manufacturing purchasing manager indices (PMI) fell again in February, following a pause in January. The manufacturing PMI came in at 49.2, down from 49.5 in the previous month. The non-manufacturing PMI, while continuing to signal expansion, also fell in February — to 54.3, from 54.7 the previous month. The data show […]

Germany: economy and sovereign bonds

A host of factors weighed on German growth in H2 2018: a sharp slowdown in global demand on the external side and several transitory factors on the domestic side impacted industrial activity. At the same time, the 10-year German Bund yield has been trending downward. The steep fall in the oil price in late 2018, the economic […]

Weekly View – Extend and pretend

On Sunday, President Donald Trump prolonged market calm by confirming over Twitter that he would extend the deadline for raising tariffs on USD 200 billion of Chinese goods beyond 1 March. He omitted reference to a new deadline as well as any specifics on the “substantial progress” in talks between the world’s two largest economies. […]

Fed wrap-up: staying dovish

The US Federal Reserve (Fed) is further reinforcing its stance on ceasing its balance sheet shrinkage before year end, essentially yielding to the demands of markets, which have been anxious about the potential for market liquidity shrinkage. Officially, the balance sheet question is still rooted primarily in the technical – commercial banks’ high demand for safe, liquid assets […]

Gold to consolidate before further leg up

Last year ended on a very strong note for gold demand, with a significant increase in jewellery and investment demand in the fourth quarter (see chart), leading to strong price performance (7.7% in US dollar terms in Q4). There was also a sharp increase in central bank demand in 2018, continuing a structural trend in […]

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