Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"Yen Surrenders Yesterday's Gains, while Euro Struggles to Hold above $1.04"

The euro bounced (a little) at $1.04, here's tthe last 24 hours action:
From Marc to Market:
The yen's incredible ride this year has been recapitulated in recent days.  Consider that before last weekend; the US dollar reached a little above JPY118.40.  At its extreme yesterday, the dollar fell to JPY116.55.  Today it reached traded near JPY118.25 in the European morning, where it was encountering some offers.

The BOJ met and as widely expected it left policy on hold. Since September it is targeting the 10-year yield at zero, which in practical terms may mean +/- 10 bp. This appears to have reduced the number of bonds it is buying, and some see in this a tapering.  In addition, Bloomberg estimates that about JPY40.5 trillion of bonds on its balance sheet will mature next year.   

The BOJ will provide new forecasts next month, but the Cabinet did so today.  It is projecting 1.5% GDP in 2017, up from 1.2%   Nominal growth is put at 2.5% compared with 2.2% forecast in September.  The budget will be JPY97.5 trillion, a small (0.8%) increase from the previous estimate.  More spending is customarily provided in one or more supplemental budgets.  

Japanese shares have begun weaker but reversed as the yen weakened.  The Nikkei snapped a nine-day advance yesterday but closed 0.5% higher.  At stake is a six-week advance. Financials and energy were the only sectors to close lower.   In addition to Japan, Korean, Taiwanese, and Australian markets advanced, but it was not enough, and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.5%.  

Turkey, Germany, and Switzerland were hit by terrorist strikes yesterday.  The political implications are seen strengthening the populist-nationalist and anti-immigration forces.  European markets are resilient.  The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is up about 0.25% in late London morning turnover, thinned by the holiday. It has recorded a marginal new high since the very start of the year today, led by health care, financials, and energy.  

The Italian bank drama continues.  Bank shares are higher amid reports that the Cabinet has agreed to request as much as 20 bln euros authorization from parliament to provide precautionary public guarantees to Monte Paschi (and a couple of smaller banks)....