Newsquawk Week Ahead Preview: US FOMC, ISM, NFP; BoE, RBA, OPEC+

Chinese Labour Day Holiday (May 1-4).
German Industrial Orders (Mar) and Retail Sales (Mar); EZ, and US Final
Manufacturing PMIs (Apr); US ISM Manufacturing PMI (Apr); UK Bank Holiday;
Japanese Holiday.
Announcement; South Korean CPI; German Unemployment (Apr); EZ Producer
Prices (Mar); US Durable Goods (Mar); UK Final Manufacturing PMI (Apr);
New Zealand Jobs Report; Eurogroup Meeting; Japanese Holiday.
Announcement; US Refunding; BCB Announcement; German Trade Balance (Mar);
EZ, UK, and US Final Services and Composite PMIs (Apr); EZ Retail Sales
(Mar), US ADP National Employment (Apr); Canadian Trade Balance (Mar); ISM
Services PMI (Apr); OPEC JTC; Japanese Holiday.
Announcement; Norges Bank Announcement; NPB Announcement; CNB
Announcement; JMMC/OPEC+ Meeting; Australian Trade Balance (Mar); Chinese
Caixin PMI Services PMI (Apr); Swiss CPI (Apr).
German Industrial Orders (Mar) and Retail Sales (Mar); EZ, UK, and US
Final Manufacturing PMIs (Apr); US Jobs Report; Canadian Jobs Report.

NOTE: Previews are listed in day-order

US ISM manufacturing PMI (Mon), ISM services PMI (Wed): The Manufacturing
ISM is expected to rise to 58.0 in April from 57.1 in March. Credit Suisse,
which is against the consensus view, looks for a decline to 56.5. The bank
writes that although the S&P Global PMIs have improved recently, many
regional surveys within the US have been turning lower this year. Credit Suisse
adds that the Production and New Orders sub-indices have been underperforming,
while it argues that the headline itself has been supported by the ongoing
supply chain disruptions, which has underpinned the Supplier Deliveries
sub-index; „We expect this trend to continue as COVID shutdowns in China
and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threaten new global supply disruptions,“
CS writes; it also expects to see ongoing weakness in manufacturing surveys in
the months ahead. Meanwhile, the services gauge is likely to pick-up to 59.0
from 58.3, according to analyst forecasts.

RBA announcement (Tue): The RBA will decide on rates next week in what is
widely viewed as a live meeting with swaps traders fully pricing in a 15bps
increase for the Cash Rate Target to 0.25% from the current record low of
0.10%, while swap markets also suggested a 25% chance of a greater 40bps move.
The expectation for a sooner lift-off was spurred after the mostly firmer than
expected inflation data for Q1 which showed headline annual inflation at 5.1%
vs. Exp. 4.6% (Prev. 3.5%) which is the fastest pace of increase in more than
two decades and the RBA’s preferred trimmed mean inflation also surpassed the
central bank’s 2-3% target at 3.7% vs. Exp. 3.4% (Prev. 2.6%). This prompted an
adjustment of rate hike expectations with JPMorgan anticipating the RBA to hike
by 15bps in May and Westpac also brought forward its rate hike call in which it
now expects a 15bps increase at next week’s meeting followed by a 25bps move in
June from a previous forecast of a 40bps increase in June. The RBA have opened
the door for a sooner hike after having dropped its reference to the Board
being „patient“ from the statement at the last meeting and noted that
developments have brought forward the likely timing of first rate hike, while
it also stated in the recent semi-annual Financial Stability Review that it is
important borrowers are prepared for an increase to interest rates. Conversely,
others are not convinced of a move at the upcoming meeting with Goldman Sachs
and Capital Economics in the June lift-off camp, while arguments for a pause
include the RBA’s previous desire to wait for data over the coming months and
with Australians set to go to the polls for the election on May 21st.

New Zealand jobs report (Tue): There are currently no market expectations for
the Kiwi Labour Force Report, but the release will not likely sway the course
of RBNZ monetary policy, with a 100% chance of a 25bps priced in alongside an
above-80% chance of a 50bps hike. Analysts at Westpac nonetheless expect the
employment change of +0.2% and the unemployment rate to decline to 3.0% from
3.2%. “Labour market indicators point to a further tightening in the market in
recent months, albeit with some disruptions from the Omicron wave. The bank
acknowledges its forecast is a modest upside surprise to the RBNZ’s view.

FOMC announcement (Wed): The FOMC is expected to lift rates by a 50bps
increment, taking the Federal Funds Rate target to 0.75-1.00%. Its March
statement laid the groundwork for such a move (“anticipates that ongoing
increases in the target range will be appropriate” – a line which is expected
to be stated again in May). Additionally, remarks from officials before they entered
the pre-meeting quiet period framed the Fed’s task as firmly in the
inflation-fighting sphere, with Chair Powell stating that it was “absolutely
essential” to restore price stability. Officials have also spoken about
“expeditiously” getting rates back to neutral (judged to be around 2.4%,
according to the Fed’s recent forecasts), which has built expectations for a
front-loaded rate cycle. Accordingly, money markets are now pricing 50bps rate
hikes at the May, June and July FOMC meetings; markets have also priced in the
Federal Funds Rate target rising to 2.50-2.75% by the end of this year (vs the
Fed’s March forecasts, which pencilled in rates rising to 1.75-2.00% by
end-2022). Elsewhere, the central bank may also announce the beginning of its
balance sheet runoff. The minutes from the March meeting flagged that the
process of quantitative tightening will begin at an upcoming meeting, while
there was also a discussion about the cap amounts that the Fed will allow to
roll-off the balance sheet on a monthly basis – the minutes suggested USD 60bln
for Treasuries and USD 35bln for MBS holdings. Some desks think that these caps
will be hit early, but the rising rate environment and lower mortgages
refinancing could mean that only around USD 20bln or so rolls off on an average
month. And given that the Fed wants its balance sheet to eventually be
comprised primarily of Treasuries, traders will be paying attention to see any
timelines of when the Fed is prepared to begin outright selling of its mortgage
holdings to lower the size of the overall balance sheet. Additionally, in light
of advanced Q1 GDP data this week, which showed a contraction of 1.4%, the
Chair will likely be asked the extent to which the Fed is comfortable
tightening policy in the face of slowing growth, and if it would be prepared to
engineer a recession to manage price pressures.

US quarterly refunding announcement (Wed): The quarterly
refunding announcement (08:30EDT/13:30BST) will be made hours before the FOMC
rate decision (14:00EDT/19:00BST), where the central bank is expected to lift
rates by 50bps, but crucially, many also expect it will announce the beginning
of quantitative tightening. UBS argues that the Fed will signal QT, while the
Treasury will outline how it will be financed. The key question for fixed
income traders is whether the Treasury continues to cut coupon issuance in the
face of the buying gap from the Fed. “Treasury’s decision will only be on the
level of coupon issuance for the next three months,” UBS writes, “however, it will
probably also signal how it plans to implement its financing over the coming
quarters when QT will be in full swing.” Since the February refunding
announcement, where it cut auction sizes and signalled further cuts ahead, UBS
notes that the fiscal outlook has improved after a strong tax season;
“therefore, we think that Treasury will go ahead with cutting nominal auction
sizes for the 7y, 10y, 20y, 30y, and FRN,” adding that the cuts for the 7yr and
20yr sectors are likely to be more aggressive to address supply and demand
imbalances. „We think that these additional cuts to nominals will lead to
a continued decline in the amount of nominal duration that the private sector
absorbs this year,“ the bank says, „we expect the supply of nominal
duration to the private sector to drop by 29% in 2022 Y/Y, and another 14% in
2023 due to a decline in the total net issuance of fixed-coupon nominals to the
private sector from USD 1.7trln in 2021 to USD 1.5trln in 2022, and cut further
to USD 1.1trln in 2023.“ Meanwhile, UBS sees the net issuance of TIPS to
the private sector increasing from USD -17bln in 2022 to USD +61bln in 2023,
and USD +75bln in 2023.

BoE announcement (THU): The BoE is expected to continue its hiking cycle
at the upcoming meeting by delivering another 25bps hike, taking the Base Rate
to 1.0%. 33/44 surveyed analysts expect a 25bps hike, 1 expects a 50bps hike
and 10 look for no change. In terms of market pricing, 27bps of tightening is
priced in for the upcoming meeting with an additional five hikes priced in by
the end of the year. The previous decision was subject to dovish dissent from
Cunliffe who voted for a pause in the hiking cycle on account of concerns over
the current squeeze on real household incomes. This time around, the vote split
is expected to remain 8-1 with no other MPC members set to join Cunliffe in the
pause camp given that the consensus amongst policymakers is set to prompt just
a 25bps hike compared to the 50bps that the Fed is likely to proceed with next
week. The meeting comes amidst the backdrop of rampant inflation in the UK with
the Y/Y CPI metric rising to 7.0% in March from 6.2% ahead of the inclusion of
the OFGEM price cap hike in April. Furthermore, the CBI reports that
manufacturers are raising prices at the fastest rate in over 40 years to cover
rising raw material and energy input costs. The labour market remains hot with
the unemployment rate at multi-decade lows whilst wage growth remains elevated.
Of concern, GDP metrics for Feb saw a cooling in the pace of Q/Q growth to 0.1%
vs. the 0.8% observed in January whilst March’s retail sales report was
particularly soft with ING noting that “it’s getting increasingly difficult to
see how UK consumer spending avoids a downturn over coming months”. With this
in mind, Governor Bailey has cautioned that the BoE is walking a tightrope
between tackling inflation and avoiding a recession. With a rate hike a near
given for the Bank, focus will turn towards signalling for the coming months.
In the previous statement, the Bank tweaked guidance so that it reads “modest
tightening in monetary policy may be appropriate in the coming months” as
opposed to the February statement which noted it is “likely to be”. Any further
softening of forward guidance on rates will be of note given how aggressive
market pricing remains. SGH Macro suggests that the Bank is on the precipice of
what it describes as “a ‘second phase’ of tightening, characterized by less
frequent moves over a longer time horizon, with data dictating
meeting-to-meeting outcomes”. Elsewhere, current guidance from the BoE suggests
that it will actively start selling Gilts when the Bank Rate hits 1%. However,
policymakers have stated that selling Gilts when the Bank Rate hits 1% will not
be an automatic process. ING thinks now is not the best time to sell bonds and
therefore will hold off and instead opt to lay out details of how the policy
could work when implemented. In the accompanying MPR, inflation and growth
forecasts are set to be revised higher and lower respectively.

Norges Bank announcement (Thu): While the consensus continues to expect the
Norges Bank will leave rates unchanged at 0.75%, a surprising hawkish pivot by
its local peer, the Riksbank, has resulted in some analysts revising their own
expectations towards a more hawkish outturn. That said, the meeting is one of
the so-called intermediate confabs, so we will not get any updated economic
projections or rate path, and according to the Scandi bank SEB, we should still
be expecting an unchanged rate decision. “While recent developments have been
mixed, there are no substantial deviations from the Bank’s projections that
would support a policy shift,” it writes, and SEB thinks the central bank will
reiterate its guidance that “the policy rate will most likely be raised further
in June”, and SEB doesn’t even expect any fresh policy signals. “The market’s
hiking expectations are a tad more aggressive than implied by the rate path,
but the upcoming rate announcement should not result in any large market
moves,” it writes.

JMMC/OPEC+ (Thu): OPEC+ producers next week are expected to stick to their output plans,
which would see the June quota upped by 432k BPD under the agreement, also
backed by recent sources. The meeting comes against the backdrop of the ongoing
Russia-Ukraine war, with Western nations attempting to phase out their
dependence on Russian energy. Meanwhile, China’s COVID situation remains a
concern due to the government’s zero-COVID policy – which has dealt a blow to
the demand side of the equation whenever a city sees a resurgence in cases –
with Shanghai and Beijing currently on watch. China’s developments will likely
be the reason for the producer to express caution with regard to Western
desires for higher output quotas than planned. Further, ministers will likely have
to address the group’s over-compliance at some point as it produced 1.45mln BPD
below its March target (with data showing declines in Russian output), although
there is nothing to suggest that this issue will be picked up at this meeting.
All-in-all, everything currently points to another smooth set of meetings on
May 5th.

Australian trade balance (Thu): Headline trade balance for March is expected to
expand to a surplus of AUD 8.5bn from AUD 7.5bln the month before. The metric
will not change the course of RBA monetary policy with the calls growing for
the central bank to hike in May. Westpac expects imports to pull back following
the surge in February, whilst exports are seen leading the exports.

US jobs report (Fri): The consensus currently expects 400k nonfarm
payrolls will be added to the US economy in April (vs prior 431k; 3-month
average 562k, 6-month average 600k, 12-month average 541k). The weekly data for
the week that usually coincides with the reference period for the establishment
survey showed initial jobless claims rising to 185k from 177k heading into the
March jobs report, although the four-week average slipped to 177.5k from
188.75k; continuing claims eased to 1.408mln from 1.542mln, with the four-week
average also falling. With the Fed more concerned about the inflation part of
its mandate, rather than the employment side, there will be much attention on
the average hourly earnings metrics, which are seen rising by 0.4% M/M
(matching the March rate). That said, the Fed is likely to lift the Federal
Funds Target rate by a 50bps increment at next week’s confab; in fact, money
markets have priced 50bps in May, June and July.This article originally appeared on Newsquawk.

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