Marketmind: Business brakes in June swoon, dollar jumps

News Room

A look at the day ahead in U.S. and global markets from Mike Dolan

Just as world stock prices raced ahead this month, broader business activity appeared to be stalling again.

Surprisingly soft readings from flash business surveys for June show that in the euro zone at least overall factory and service sector growth almost ground to halt during the month, with another big contraction in manufacturing.

Equivalent Japanese and British surveys also showed sub-forecast growth and markets nervously await the U.S. version later on Friday. The dollar was the big market mover – surging into the weekend against Asia and European currencies.

With central bankers around the world this week still focused on squeezing the last vestiges of inflation from the system, questions will inevitably be raised about the remarkable resilience of economies to date in the face of tighter credit.

While Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell slightly softened his tone at the second day of his semi-annual congressional hearings on Thursday – talking of a “careful pace” in any further hikes – he continued to point to two more tightening notches this year even though markets still only see one.

But the hawkishness was more pronounced in Europe where inflation looks slower to retreat. The Bank of England and Norway’s central bank both executed stiff half-point rate rises on Thursday, with the Swiss National Bank hiking rates too.

For stock and commodity markets, the latest brush strokes to the combined picture provided another reason to reverse some of June’s ebullience, with European stocks on course for their worst week in three months.

Even though Shanghai was closed for a holiday, other Asia bourses were also lower by more than 1% on Friday.

prices, which are still falling at a rate of more than 30% year-on-year, dropped to a 10-day low.

After a late rally by Wall Street’s main stock indexes on Thursday after Powell’s comments, U.S. stock futures were back in the red early today.

Compared with Europe, the picture appears more benign stateside – even if still complicated. Inflation is falling faster, real wage growth is back positive, the jobs market is loosening slightly and housing is rebounding somewhat.

So even as stock prices have come off the year’s highs, the implied volatility gauge continues to fall away – closing below 13 on Thursday for the first time since January 2020.

Two-year Treasury yields did pop higher to 4.80% on Thursday for the first time in a week, but have slipped back a bit since.

And the Treasury yield curve inversion between 2- and 10-years, often seen as a harbinger of slowdown and recession, deepened below 100 basis points for the first time since the banking stress of early March.

The dollar was the big mover however – hitting its highest for the year against Japan’s yen and and surging also against the euro, sterling and Swiss franc.

Events to watch for later on Friday:

* Flash June business surveys from the United States and around the world

* Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic, St Louis Fed President James Bullard and Cleveland Fed chief Loretta Mester all speak

* U.S. Corporate earnings: Carmax


(By Mike Dolan, editing by Jane Merriman [email protected]. Twitter: @reutersMikeD)

Read the full article here

Share this Article
Leave a comment