Tags: Brexit | Financial Markets | dxy | ecb | may | united kingdom

Strong Markets Sensibly Ignore 'Noise'

markets so far ignore noise remaining strong

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Wednesday, 27 March 2019 04:18 PM Current | Bio | Archive

The just released data of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau show that the U.S. monthly international trade deficit decreased in January 2019 from $59.9 billion in December (revised) to $51.1 billion as expected, as imports decreased and exports increased.

The goods deficit decreased $8.2 billion in January to $73.3 billion.

The services surplus increased $0.5 billion in January to $22.1 billion.

Of course, there is a lot of noise in the data, but we may be coming to a point where trade is affected by expectations of a trade deal being done between the United States and China.

Now, any U.S. company that believes that a trade deal is likely may strive to limit imports from China for now in the hope that they will have a tariff cut in the future, which should make imports cheaper. In that sense, the current trade tariffs reduce imports because anyone who thinks that trade tariffs will be reversed as part of a package of U.S. concessions in any China trade deal.

For now the dollar index DXY is for now at around yesterday’s closing rate of 96.7410.

U.S. equity futures remain all well in the green for now.

Meanwhile, the U.S. media has been getting somewhat excited about the fact that President Donald Trump’s expected nominee for the vacant seat at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Stephen Moore, said yesterday that the Fed should immediately reverse course and cut rates by half a percentage point, according to his interview with The New York Times.

Now, Mr. Moore is calling for an immediate 50 basis points Fed rate cut.

This puts him in a rather unique position compared to the other Fed members. Not one of them advocates slashing rates amidst trending growth, raising wages, normal credit growth, full employment, and low "real" interest rates.

Stephen Moore also believes that the December Federal Reserve rate increase was inexplicable. An economist might counter that the December Fed rate increase could be explained by trending growth, raising wages, normal credit growth, full employment, and low "real" interest rates.

During the interview Moore also said he would use commodity prices as a guide, which is in fact the opposite of what the Federal Reserve does today — as it focuses on the so-called "core" inflation rate that strips out energy and food prices.

Stephen Moore is a conservative economic commentator and a fellow at the Heritage Foundation. He has said he is not a "sycophant for Trump," nor a "dove" on monetary policy. This is something of interest for investors to take note of.

On the subject of the inexplicable, the United Kingdom continues to endure the interminably tedious process of exiting the European Union and the UK Parliament "vote" takes control today, if you believe the media.

In fact, Parliament takes control of what Parliament does today, and nothing else.

The government doesn’t have to take any notice of the "indicative" votes that Parliament produces, and because the interminably tedious process is interminable, this whole thing may not conclude today either.

In the background, we have the normal political machinations and unlikely as it may seem, leading anti-Europeans Boris Johnson, ex-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs under Prime Minister Theresa May until July 2018 and Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the pro-Brexit caucus in Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative party are "preparing" for accepting the government’s deal in spite of saying they never would.

Prime Minister Theresa May has until Friday to get her deal through Parliament.

Financial markets remain, for now, as being very sensible — ignoring as much of this nonsense as it's humanly possible to do.

The British pound remains practically unchanged for now at $1.3226.

Over in the Euro area, the ECB president very recently gave a prepared speech in Frankfurt, Germany. He related the outlook for the ECB monetary policy path, that substantial accommodation is still needed to secure the path of inflation convergence, and that this was reflected in the past monetary policy decisions the ECB took on March 7.

He also said that the weakening growth picture has naturally affected the inflation outlook as well. Our projections for headline inflation this year have been revised downwards and we now see inflation at 1.6 percent in 2021.

Slower growth will also lead to a more muted recovery in underlying inflation than we had previously expected.

For the moment the euro quotes at $1.1279, practically unchanged from yesterday’s close.

Etienne "Hans" Parisis is a bank economist who has advised investors on financial markets and international investments.

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Now, any U.S. company that believes that a trade deal is likely may strive to limit imports from China for now in the hope that they will have a tariff cut in the future, which should make imports cheaper.
dxy, ecb, may, united kingdom
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2019-18-27
Wednesday, 27 March 2019 04:18 PM
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