World stocks ended a four day rally overnight that pushed the MSCI World index to green for the year, after U.S. President Trump cranked up simmering tensions with China after late on Thursday has signed orders to ban Americans from transactions involving China’s ByteDance (TikTok’s parent) and WeChat (owned by Tencent), taking effect in 45 days. Furthermore, Trump’s Working Group on Financial Markets recommended that Chinese companies currently listed on US exchanges should be delisted if they do not become compliant with US accounting standards.
Tencent Holdings slumped 5% in Hong Kong after plunging as much as the 10% limit earlier.
Trump’s decision to take aim at WeChat, the world’s most-used messaging app, has the potential to upend the international businesses of companies from Apple Inc. to Walmart Inc.
“The executive orders leveled on TikTok and the scrutiny over WeChat has opened up a most unwelcome can of worms,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp. This could “be more of a signal than anything else, especially front-running the China trade talks” expected later this month, he said.
S&P futures pared some of their Thursday gains after the ES continued to print new post-COVID highs in late US trade on Thursday; the Emini hit a high of just shy of 3350, ahead of its ATH just beneath 3400.
MSCI’s index of world stocks fell 0.2% on Friday after up four consecutive days of gains. It was less than 3% away from a late February peak, and had just turned green on the year on Thursday. European stocks opened lower, with major indexes down between 0.2% to 0.4% in early trading, although they largely brushed off Asia’s tech-led slump. The Eurostoxx 600 is little changed as gains in telecoms and media are offset by weaker autos and oil & gas names. FTSE MIB and IBEX underperform.
Chinese stocks led losers in Asia and the yuan slumped after Trump issued the executive orders, noting that his admin was stepping up efforts to purge “untrusted” Chinese apps from U.S. digital networks and called TikTok and WeChat “significant threats.” “The U.S. pressure on China’s tech sector appears likely to continue in the presidential elections, injecting volatility in the sector and opening the door to escalatory retaliation,” UBS strategists said.
In addition to the TikTok crackdown, Trump confirmed he has signed proclamation re-imposing aluminium tariffs on Canada, to which Canada has said it would retaliate. However, as NewsSquawk notes, the measures appear more symbolic/political for now than part of a broader economic concern.
Meanwhile, concerns remain that lawmakers won’t be able to resolve differences over a new U.S. relief package. The White House and congressional Democrats are up against a self-imposed Friday deadline to strike a deal. Markets will also be closely watching details from the monthly U.S. jobs report today (full preview here), which is expected to show a steep slowdown in hiring during July.
In rates, there is a modest bull-flattening bias in Treasuries, 2s unch. At 11.5bps, 10s -2bps at 52bps and 30s -3bps at 117bps; the strength was made in futures overnight amid the escalating Sino-US tensions.
In FX, the dollar strengthened, while gold retreated for the first time in six days. The subdued risk tone has seen the Dollar Index reclaim the 93 handle after the late risk rally on Thursday kept it away, seeing cyclical currencies and EMFX on the defensive. Turkey’s lira slumped to a record low against the dollar even after the central bank spent billions to to prop it up, although a late burst pushed the battered currency to unchanged.
Sterling fell after a post-BOE advance on Thursday, as traders take stock of officials distancing themselves from negative rates and an optimistic view of the U.K’s economic recovery. The Australian currency weakened after dovish remarks from the Reserve Bank and the escalation of the U.S.-China row weighed on the currency. The New Zealand dollar followed suit, seeing the biggest losses in the G-10. The Norwegian krone follow oil and gold prices lower, although a mid-week spike in the commodities helped make the currency see the biggest weekly gains among its peers against the greenback.
In commodities, crude futures have been moving slightly lower through Europe, although by no means significant, with oil demand more sheltered from the US-China tech battle. Gold and silver have faded some of their record gains, with silver dropping modestly after rising just shy of $30 late on Thursday.
Economic data include the monthly employment report for July. Dish and Brookfield Renewable Partners are due to report earnings.
- S&P 500 futures down 0.5% to 3,327.50
- STOXX Europe 600 down 0.1% to 362.08
- MXAP down 0.6% to 168.82
- MXAPJ down 0.9% to 563.20
- Nikkei down 0.4% to 22,329.94
- Topix down 0.2% to 1,546.74
- Hang Seng Index down 1.6% to 24,531.62
- Shanghai Composite down 1% to 3,354.04
- Sensex down 0.05% to 38,007.48
- Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.6% to 6,004.84
- Kospi up 0.4% to 2,351.67
- German 10Y yield fell 0.6 bps to -0.537%
- Euro down 0.4% to $1.1829
- Brent Futures down 0.4% to $44.89/bbl
- Italian 10Y yield fell 4.1 bps to 0.806%
- Spanish 10Y yield fell 0.3 bps to 0.276%
- Brent futures down 0.8% to $44.74/bbl
- Gold spot down 0.1% to $2,060.74
- U.S. Dollar Index up 0.3% to 93.10
Top Overnight News from Bloomberg
- President Donald Trump signed a pair of executive orders prohibiting U.S. residents from doing business with the Chinese- owned TikTok and WeChat apps beginning 45 days from now, citing the national security risk of leaving Americans’ personal data exposed
- The Trump administration’s move to ban U.S. residents from doing business with Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat app erased $30 billion from the Internet giant’s market value and sent the yuan to its biggest slump in two weeks
- Hopes for a speedy economic rebound in large parts of Europe are holding ground as manufacturing starts to recover from pandemic lows. Industrial output in Germany rose at a faster-than-expected pace of 8.9% in June, and factory demand is also increasing. With France and Spain experiencing similar trends, signs are mounting that Europe’s initial bounce-back from the worst recession in living memory may be faster than anticipated
- OPEC’s second biggest producer Iraq made its strongest commitment yet to implement deep cuts in crude production after the country’s oil minister and his Saudi counterpart held a phone call Thursday. The country failed to meet its production-cut target in May and June
Asian equity markets failed to sustain the positive handover from Wall St where all major indices notched gains as tech resumed its outperformance and Apple continued to print fresh record highs to edge closer towards the USD 2tln market cap status, while sentiment stateside was also underpinned by lower jobless claims data and with COVID-sensitive sectors such as airlines, hotels and casinos supported in late trade after the US State Department lifted advisory against all international travel and returned to its previous system of country specific levels of travel advice. Nonetheless, the momentum faded in Asia with the region cautious heading into the latest Chinese trade data which later proved to be mostly better than expected and with US-China tensions stoked after US President Trump signed executive orders to ban transactions with TikTok’s parent ByteDance, as well as Tencent-owned WeChat in 45 days. ASX 200 (-0.6%) and Nikkei 225 (-0.4%) were both negative in which Australia’s mining names gave back some of their recent gains and as Japan digested earnings, with sentiment also dampened by concerns of a weaker consumer as although Household Spending in June rose by its fastest pace since data was made available in 2000, the actual decline in household spending for the April-June quarter of 9.8% Y/Y was the steepest contraction on record. Hang Seng (-1.8%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.9%) conformed to the downbeat tone due to the US recent actions against TikTok and WeChat which saw Tencent shares slump over 7%, while US President’s Working Group on Financial Markets earlier recommended Chinese companies currently listed on US exchanges to be compliant with US accounting standards or be delisted. Finally, 10yr JGBs were relatively flat with minimal gains seen amid the risk averse tone and the BoJ present in the market for JPY 940bln of JGBs focused on 1yr-3yr and 5yr-10yr maturities.
Top Asian News
- Japan Looks to Scrap New Libor-Tied Lending Six Months Early
- China Official Reserves Rise to Highest Since July 2016
European stocks are modestly softer [Euro Stoxx 50 -0.3%] as the downbeat APAC performance seeps into the region after China lodged stern opposition to the US’ executive order on China’s TikTok and WeChat, alongside the State’s drone sale to Taiwan. Broader sectors are mixed with underperformance seen in the energy sector amid losses in the complex, whilst Telecoms remain firm as Deutsche Telekom (+2.8%) holds onto gains amid stellar numbers from T-Mobile (+5.5% pre-mkt) of which Deutsche Telekom owns 43.5%. The sectoral breakdown adds little meat to the bones and provides no clear risk bias, whilst the Travel & Leisure sector remain pressured amid fears of further additions to quarantine lists prompting travel cancellations. In terms of individual movers: BP (-2.6%) trades lower as sources stated that it is poised to sell a large chunk of its oil and gas assets even if crude prices rise; oil giants usually hold assets in the longer-term even if prices fall – with a view of bringing marginal production online contingent on improving market conditions. Rolls-Royce (-3.4%) is hit on the back of source reports that activist investor ValueAct has reportedly sold its entire 10.9% stake in the group since 2017. Finally, Hikma Pharmaceuticals (+9%) extended on gains after raising its FY20 generic revenue guidance alongside its operating margin, whilst the CEO later stated that the group entered a manufacturing deal for Gilead’s remdesivir treatment, potentially providing added impetus.
Top European News
- Standard Life Loses Top Spot Among U.K. Asset Managers
- SAS Makes Last-Ditch Bid to Secure Backing for Rescue Plan
- TP ICAP Says July Trading Activity ‘Materially Lower’ Than 2019
In FX, the Dollar continues to benefit from corrective and positional trade rather than any real fundamental shift in sentiment or direction, as consolidation and short covering persists pre-NFP and the showdown talks in Washington to resolve differences on the next relief bill. It’s debatable whether the monthly BLS report or fiscal deadline will be Friday’s headline-grabbing event, but for now the Buck has clawed back more lost ground against G10 peers and the index is holding between 93.227-92.759 parameters, above Thursday’s 92.495 new 2020 low.
- NZD/EUR/CHF/CAD – The major victims of the Greenback’s ongoing recuperation, if not quite revival, as the Kiwi backs off from a test of resistance/offers into 0.6700 and the Euro fades into 1.1900 where 1.5 bn option expiries reside. Note also, the single currency has found ventures above the round number unsustainable and is now south of almost equally large expiry interest at 1.1850 (1.2 bn), with bids said to be underpinning around 1.1820-10 and a key Fib in close proximity (1.1823). Meanwhile, the Franc remains sub-0.9100 and straddling 1.0800 vs the Euro as SNB reserves data reveal a decline, and the Loonie has reversed further towards 1.3400 from recent 1.3250+ multi-month highs following the reintroduction of US tariffs on Canadian aluminium and impending like-for-like countermeasures. More immediately, the 2 NA nations go head-to-head on the jobs front with July data due simultaneously ahead of Canada’s Ivey PMIs.
- AUD/GBP – Also down vs their US counterpart, but clinging to or near big figure/psychological levels at 0.7200 and 1.3100 respectively, as the Aussie draws some underlying support from encouraging or arguably upbeat Chinese trade data and the Pound retains an element of post-BoE strength even though MPC member Ramsden leaves the door open for more stimulus in November should the need arise. For the record, no major reaction down under to the RBA’s SOMP or comments from Deputy Governor Ellis largely underlining latest policy meeting assessments and guidance.
- JPY – Still no big make or break for the Yen that is pivoting 105.50 after a late fixed related recoil yesterday and Japanese reserves showing a rise conducive with, but not conclusive, a degree of official intervention, albeit this time around 100 pips above the low 104.00 area.
- EM – Simply no respite for the Lira that has crashed to fresh all time depths against the Dollar and Euro for that matter, even though the CBRT has started withdrawing liquidity provisions and instructing banks to use the overnight lending facility at 9.75% ahead of a 50% reduction in primary dealer OMO limits as from Monday. Usd/Try paring back a tad from 7.3650 or so.
In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures drift lower in a correlated move with the equity markets as news-flow for the complex remains scarce ahead of the US jobs report. An earlier Saudi-Iraq statement did the rounds but provided no fresh substance – with the two nations reaffirming their commitment to the OPEC+ pact. WTI Sept resides around USD 41.50/bbl having had briefly dipped below the figure, whilst Brent Oct lost its 45/bbl-status after oscillating on either side of the figure in early hours. Elsewhere, spot gold is relatively uneventful and remains contained around the USD 2060/oz mark, as has been the case throughout the European morning, whilst spot silver sees more pronounced losses as price consolidate from yesterday’s outperformance. In terms of base metals, Dalian iron ore prices retreated overnight following yesterday’s warning from the Dalian exchange around investing rationally amid the recent rally, whilst Shanghai copper saw losses as US-Sino tensions continue to ratchet.
US Event Calendar
- 8:30am: Change in Nonfarm Payrolls, est. 1.48m, prior 4.8m
- Change in Private Payrolls, est. 1.18m, prior 4.77m
- Average Hourly Earnings MoM, est. -0.5%, prior -1.2%
- Average Hourly Earnings YoY, est. 4.2%, prior 5.0%
- Average Weekly Hours All Employees, est. 34.4, prior 34.5
- Unemployment Rate, est. 10.55%, prior 11.1%
- Labor Force Participation Rate, est. 61.8%, prior 61.5%
- Underemployment Rate, prior 18.0%
- 10am: Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. -2.0%, prior -2.0%; Wholesale Trade Sales MoM, prior 5.4%
- 3pm: Consumer Credit, est. $10.0b, prior $18.3b deficit