RANsquawk Daily European Opening News – 7th December 2018

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Asian stocks saw cautious gains with the region getting an early tailwind after the sharp rebound on Wall St, where most majors finished lower albeit off worse levels UK PM May is said to be weighing plan to postpone next week’s Brexit vote, with her allies urging her to delay the vote amid forecasts for a catastrophic defeat Oil prices subdued following the lack of solid breakthrough at yesterday’s OPEC meeting and with Saudi Energy Minister Al-Falih lacking confidence of reaching a deal today Looking ahead, highlights include EZ Revised GDP, US and Canadian Jobs Reports, US EIA Natural Gas Storage, Fed’s Brainard Speaking, OPEC+ Meeting in Vienna ASIA

Asian stocks saw cautious gains with the region getting an early tailwind after the sharp rebound on Wall St, where most majors finished lower albeit off worse levels as tech recovered and the DJIA clawed back nearly 700 points from intraday lows. ASX 200 (+0.4%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.7%) were both higher at the open but gradually pared some of the gains as the risk tone began to turn cautious heading into today’s key-risk NFP jobs data. Hang Seng (+0.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.1%) were indecisive amid further PBoC inaction in which it remained net neutral for a 5th consecutive week and with the upcoming Chinese trade data over the weekend adding to tentativeness, while pharmaceuticals were the worst hit due to concerns of price declines from the government’s centralized procurement program. Finally, 10yr JGBs were flat amid a similar picture in T-note futures and although early selling pressure was seen in Japanese bonds alongside the strong open in stocks, prices later recovered as the risk appetite somewhat dissipated.

PBoC skipped open market operations and were net neutral for a 5th consecutive week. (Newswires)
PBoC set CNY mid-point at 6.8664 (Prev. 6.8599)

US President Trump said he agrees with the statement US and China are cooperating, while he also agrees that a deal is possible in the 90-day window. (Newswires)

US could use Huawei’s CEO arrest as leverage to US-China talks according to reports which cited US administration officials, while it was also noted earlier that US investigation into China’s Huawei includes accusations of bank fraud flagged up by HSBC and Iran sanction violations. (CNN/Newswires)

UK/EU

UK PM May is said to be weighing plan to postpone next week’s Brexit vote, with her allies urging her to delay the vote amid forecasts for a catastrophic defeat. (Newswires)

UK Tory back benches leader Brady told PM May to go back to Brussels for further talks rather than suffer a heavy defeat in Parliament next week. (Times) Elsewhere, there were reports UK cabinet ministers advised PM May to come up with an 11th hour plan to get the deal through Parliament as the chief whip admitted she will lose the vote. (Telegraph)

UK Labour Party leader Corbyn said his party could get a better deal and asked to be given a chance, while he added all options are on the table including election or 2nd referendum if PM May’s botched deals fails. (Guardian)

An aide to political strategist Lynton Crosby was said to be making behind-the-scenes preparations with prominent Leave campaigners for a 2nd referendum amid increasing view that Brexit stalemate in parliament could force a 2nd public vote. However, reports also noted that Lynton Crosby denied anyone from his company was working on 2nd referendum. (FT)

Italy’s PM Conte said deficit was not discussed at ministers’ meeting, while he added that must find a solution with EU on 2019 budget and is working on details of a new meeting with EU’s Juncker. (Newswires) Later it was reported that PM Conte and the 5 Star party are in favour of Finance Minister Tria resigning, while Italian Deputy PM Salvini opposes. (Stampa) However, further reports suggested that Tria has no intention of resigning. (La Repubblica)

FX

In FX markets, the DXY remained softer and below the 97.00 level after the losses during the prior session in which ADP employment data missed expectations ahead of the Non-farm Payrolls and with reports suggesting that the Fed could adopt a wait and see approach next year, while Fed’s Kaplan had also expressed concern regarding the knock-on effect of slower global growth. The weakness in the greenback had supported EUR/USD and GBP/USD although both pairs have since pulled back amid ongoing Italian budget and Brexit uncertainty, with price action then flatlining throughout Asia hours. Elsewhere, antipodeans were restricted amid lower oil prices due to the lack of solid breakthrough among OPEC members and following a weaker PBoC reference rate setting.

COMMODITIES

Commodities were mixed with oil prices subdued following the lack of solid breakthrough at yesterday’s OPEC meeting and with Saudi Energy Minister Al-Falih lacking confidence of reaching a deal today. However, not all were pessimistic with the Oman and UAE oil ministers hopeful of a deal, while reports also noted that a preliminary agreement was reached but with volumes not yet decided. Elsewhere, gold was relatively flat with only minimal support seen from the softer greenback as participants await the key US jobs data and copper was underpinned by the mostly positive risk tone.    

Saudi Energy Minister Al Falih said OPEC was still deliberating with a 1mln cut as the scenario under discussion and that he wants Russia to cut as much as possible while Al Falih had also stated he is not confident of an agreement today. However, TASS later reported that OPEC reached a preliminary agreement and that volumes were not yet decided upon. (Newswires/TASS)

Russia wants to cut oil production by a maximum of 150k BPD for the first three months of 2019, adding that the output could then be reviewed; according RIA citing sources. (RIA)

Iran oil minister said it was a difficult OPEC meeting but also commented “we are cooking something” and suggested to wait until today, while Oman Oil Minister said he sees at least a 1mln BPD cut deal today which will include Russia and that cuts could be for either 3 months, 6 months or a year. Elsewhere, UAE Oil Minister said he was still optimistic that OPEC will reach a deal today and noted that the OPEC meeting was very good. (FT)

US

Treasuries caught a bid on Thursday amid deteriorating risk sentiment, market volatility and as data begun to signal some negativity in the US economy. The 10yr yield hit a 3-month low in the session while yields overall were higher by c.5bps at settlement; the move was led by the front end encouraged by a block trade as well as bull-flattens in Eur/Usd. Next week, the US Treasury will sell USD 38bln in 3-year notes, USD 24bln in 10-year notes, USD 16bln in 30-year bonds. US T-note futures (Z8) settled 1.1+ ticks higher at 120-14+.

Fed Chair Powell (Neutral) said the economy is currently performing very well overall and labor market is very strong by many measures, while he added that job creation is strong and wages are gradually increasing. (Newswires)

Fed’s Williams (Voter, Neutral) said the US economy is pretty strong and suggested the need to be nimble in responding to unexpected economic conditions. Williams also commented that higher US tariffs is uncertainty for businesses and that he is hearing some business are stepping back from investments which is likely to reduce the pace of the economy a little. (Newswires)

Fed’s Bostic (Voter, Dovish) said Fed is within shouting distance from neutral rate. (Newswires)

US House and Senate approved a two-week stopgap Spending bill that would avert a government shutdown and funds government through 21st December. (Newswires)

US President Trump told advisers he will nominate William Barr to be the next attorney general, while US President Trump was also reported to have chosen Heather Nauert as US Ambassador to the U.N. (Washington Post)

US President Trump’s lawyers are said to have resumed discussions with Special Counsel Mueller’s office. (Newswires)

(RANsquawk)