Economics

  • Technical indicators are lining up against the dollar without economic support.

    Economic Data may not Help the Dollar

    The dollar's push lower that we anticipate until later in the month gained momentum following the disappointing US retail sales report before the weekend.  The dollar's technical tone has deteriorated, while the economic data is unlikely to be sufficient to reverse sentiment.

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  • Overseas events include Japanese nuclear power and Spanish politics.

    Retail Sales, Japanese Nuclear Power and Spanish Politics for Your Weekend

    There is a general consolidative tone in the capital markets as the week draws to a close.  The US retail sales report may offer a brief distraction, but it is unlikely to significantly shift expectations about the trajectory of Fed policy.  Indeed, it might not really change investors' information set.  The US consumer was busy in Q2 and is likely to have stayed active in Q3.  Consumption is not the main challenge of the US economy (see inventories and investment).

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  • Autumn brings falling leaves and major market events.

    Relatively Quiet Markets (for Some) Should Liven Up this Fall

    US LIBOR continues to rise.  LIBOR may not be what it was before the Great Financial Crisis, or before the scandalous revelations.  However, it remains an important benchmark. 

    Three-month LIBOR rose from around 25 bp before last December's Fed hike to a little more than 60 bp.  It gravitated around there until edging a few basis points higher around the UK referendum and the end of H1.  This month it has taken another leg up to 70 bp. 

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  • China could divert climate change measures to help its economy.

    China's Economic Woes May Affect its Commitment to Climate Change

    As the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, China is under the spotlight in the global climate regime. In recent years, the country has become increasingly active in international climate negotiations, announcing ambitious mitigation goals. However, with its slowing economic growth rate, how committed can we expect China to be?

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  • Can't we all just get along in the South China Sea?

    Are Calmer Heads and Seas Prevailing in the South China Sea?

    In July, the much anticipated Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) decision on the South China Sea was delivered in favour of the Philippines. While Chinese propaganda machines were in full gear denouncing the ruling and the PCA, there is so far no sign that China is overreacting to the ruling. China has also been quite conciliatory towards the new presidential administration in the Philippines.

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  • No fines for Spain and Portugal, but there are consequences.

    Eurozone Finance Ministers to Iberia: No Fines for You

    The Eurozone finance ministers have accepted the EC's recommendation that Spain and Portugal not be fined for their fiscal excesses.  A few weeks ago, the EU Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Moscovici explained that punitive actions would strengthen anti-EU sentiment.  However, that consideration did not prevent the EU from threatening to cut off part of the European Structural and Investment (ESI) funds for next year.

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  • The theme of lower rates for longer is intact.

    Nothing New to Change the Lower Rates for Longer Theme

    The robust US jobs report at the end of last week had arrested the down draft seen the previous week in response to the disappointing Q2 GDP report.  The mostly sideways movement has given way to a broader pullback today.  The greenback is heavier against all the major and most emerging market currencies today.

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  • Experts are discounting improved security in the South China Sea.

    The PCA's Ruling was Supposed to Help South China Sea Security

    The Permanent Court of Arbitration’s (PCA) ruling in the South China Sea case filed by the Philippines has been labelled a ‘sweeping victory’ against China. It concluded that China has no legal basis to claim historic rights within the nine-dash line in the South China Sea and that none of the land features in the Spratlys meet the criteria for an island that China — or any other country — can use to claim a 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

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