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Newsquawk Week Ahead Preview 30/Nov-4/Dec: Highlights include OPEC; US jobs report, ISM; Eurozone CPI; RBA

  • MON: OPEC meeting, Chinese Manufacturing & non-Manufacturing PMI (Nov), Canada fiscal update, German Regional & National CPI (Nov), US Chicago PMI (Nov), Pending Home Sales (Oct)
  • TUE: OPEC+ meeting, RBA Policy Announcement, Final EZ, UK & US Markit Manufacturing PMIs (Nov), EZ CPI(Nov), Canadian GDP (Q3), US Construction Spending (Oct), ISM Manufacturing PMI (Nov).
  • WED: Australian GDP (Q3), US ADP (Nov)
  • THU: Turkish Inflation (Nov), Final EZ, UK & US Markit Services PMIs (Nov), EZ Retail Sales, US Challenger Layoffs (Nov), Initial/Continued Jobless Claims, ISM non-Manufacturing PMI (Nov)
  • FRI: Australian Retail Sales (Oct), RBI Policy Announcement, German Industrial  Orders (Oct), EZ Construction PMI (Nov), US & Canadian Labour Market Reports (Nov), Factory Orders (Oct)

OPEC (MON) AND OPEC+ (TUE) MEETINGS: OPEC and OPEC+ producers are poised to meet over November 30th and December 1st respectively to discuss and draft a potential tweak to the current Declaration of Cooperation (DoC), rolled out in light of the pandemic to recalibrate the demand/supply imbalance. Market expectations (as things stand) are widely skewed towards the second tranche (7.7mln BPD cuts) being extended through Q1 2021, a view also backed by Goldman Sachs, ING and UBS, despite positive vaccine noise and amid rising production in Libya. Recent sources also noted OPEC+ are still leaning towards a rollover of the current tranche notwithstanding the recent oil price rally, with Russia likely to agree to this if necessary, however, enthusiasm for cuts are not universal. The positively received vaccine updates from have provided a rosier (or less dire) demand outlook for the complex due to the prospect of a recovery in activity and jet fuel demand. Still, re-emerging COVID-19 cases and uncertain timeframes for mass rollouts of approved vaccines continue to cloud near-term outlook. The recent price rally has also prompted some to question the eagerness of some members to get on-board with extended cuts. Meanwhile, compliance among producers remain an issue but desks do not expect these compliance difficulties to be a near-term risk. In terms of market implications, a three-month extension of current cuts through Q1 2021 is largely priced into the oil market. A failure to deliver such an extension could trigger an oil price decline, whilst “buy the rumour, sell the fact” play cannot be dismissed. Analysts at GS forecast Brent to average USD 47/bbl in Q1 2021 assuming a three-month extension of current cuts, whilst an adherence to the current DoC (i.e. a 2mln BPD production increase) would warrant USD 42/bbl in the period. “This illustrates once again how short-term revenue maximization always comes through production cuts, as a 2 mb/d production increase but $5/bbl negative price impact would end up reducing core-OPEC and Russia’s 1Q21 fiscal revenues by more than $5 bn”, GS says.

CANADA FISCAL UPDATE (MON): The Globe & Mail news outlet reports that the economic update is expected to focus on immediate pandemic challenges, including new aid for hard-hit sectors such as retail, hospitality and tourism, while revealing a projected deficit that exceeds the record CAD 343.2bln announced in July. The paper, citing a senior government official, reports that the update will also provide a breakdown of pandemic-related spending to date, while setting aside billions for a future recovery plan that will be outlined in the 2021 budget. Analysts will be keeping an eye on any announcement for the FY 21-22 deficit estimate, with some local banks suggesting a figure between CAD 100-150bln.

RBA POLICY ANNOUNCEMENT (TUE): Expectations are one-sided for the RBA to keep policy settings unchanged at next week’s meeting with the central bank likely to keep its key rate at the record low of 0.10% and maintain its current QE program. The consensus for no policy adjustments is largely due to timing as the central bank only just lowered the Cash Rate Target, 3yr yield target and rate on term funding facility by 15bps each at the November meeting, while it simultaneously announced AUD 100bln for bond purchases of 5-10 year maturities for 6 months and therefore would likely want to wait and gauge the impact of its recent policy loosening. Following the meeting, RBA Governor Lowe stated rates are at the effective lower bound now, with not much room between 0.1% and zero for the cash rate and suggested they have done all they can do on rates, although he mentioned the central bank was not out of firepower and can do more on bond purchases if needed. Furthermore, Lowe reiterated that negative rates are extraordinarily unlikely in Australia and would only consider negative rates if all major central banks adopted the same policy, while the central bank’s quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy also pushed back on further reductions stating it is not contemplating further lowering rates and there was little to be gained from moving to negative rates. Recent data releases have been mixed as preliminary Retail Sales in October rebounded M/M at +1.6% vs. Exp. 0.3% (Prev. -1.5%) and Employment Change surprisingly increased by 178.8k vs. Exp. -30.0k (Prev. -29.5k). Conversely, Q3 Capital Expenditure was less encouraging at -3.0% vs. Exp. -1.5% (Prev. -5.9%) and Construction Work Done also printed a wider than expected contraction at -2.6% vs. Exp. -2.0% (Prev. -0.7%), which feeds into next week’s Q3 GDP figures and further supports the case for patience.

EZ CPI (TUE): Expectations for the upcoming inflation report for the Eurozone call for headline CPI Y/Y to remain at -0.3% with the super-core reading also set to hold steady at just 0.2%. Lacklustre inflation is nothing new for the Eurozone economy, with a negative print this week marking the fourth consecutive occasion for sub-0% price pressure. As such, the upcoming report will unlikely have too much bearing on the December ECB policy announcement. Additionally, in the account from the October meeting, it was noted that some of the factors weighing on inflation are likely to be transitory given lockdown measures across the region. That said, concerns were also raised that the persistence of weak demand implied more prolonged weakness in non-energy industrial goods inflation. Therefore, market participants will be cognizant that there will be a limit as to how long sub-zero inflation will be tolerated by Frankfurt.

CANADIAN GDP (TUE): RBC says that the Q3 GDP report will garner less attention; StatsCan's prelim estimate sees annualised growth at 48% in the quarter (10.3% q/q), and the bank says there is no reason to deviate from this. "Even a headline gain deviating from the above will not change the story of a very strong bounce-back that has already been eclipsed by risks to Q4 and Q1 from the recent virus surge and associated restrictions (ahead of a full vaccine roll-out)." RBC says that the nowcasting estimate for future growth may be more interesting, adding that relatively solid early indicators suggest a mild gain of between 0.2-0.3% before expected declines in November and December.

US ISM MANUFACTURING (TUE) AND SERVICES (THU): The ISM gauge of manufacturing is expected to pare back to 58.0 in November from 59.3, while the services print is seen moderating more modestly, to 56.2 from 56.6. Analysts have noted that the impetus for growth has been easing since peaks in September. That said, Credit Suisse notes that the regional Fed manufacturing surveys have been strong in the month, and ISM has been a positive outlier, with the new orders subindex rising to a multi-decade high of 67.9 last month. "However, other indicators point to a slowdown; auto production schedules have started to trend sideways after their initial rebound, and job gains in the manufacturing sector have been modest," Credit Suisse says, adding that downside risks are rapidly materialising, and it recently downgraded its growth outlook for the winter. "A surge of new COVID-19 cases will mainly impact the services sector, but there may be sporadic shutdowns and supply shortages in manufacturing as well," the bank says, "meanwhile, fiscal support is uncertain under a divided government -- any agreement would likely be less generous than the CARES act from the spring." Looking ahead, CS thinks that a quick recovery could be seen in 2021, particularly as vaccines become more widely available, but until then, growth is likely to remain under pressure.

AUSTRALIAN GDP (WED): Australian GDP for Q3 is expected to show an improvement next week following the 7% Q/Q drop in Q2 which was a record fall and sealed the country’s first technical recession since the 1990s. Hopes for a recovery have been spurred by spending data with Commonwealth Bank of Australia noting a material increase in the average annual change in card spending over Q3 compared to Q2 despite the extended lockdown in Victoria, as strong spending outside of the state dragged top-line figures higher. The lender was also encouraged by recent employment data with attention on the increase in total hours worked which showed a substantial rebound from the May trough and was a factor for CBA’s upward revision of its forecast in which it now sees about 2% growth for the quarter vs. prior flat estimate. The RBA also anticipated a rebound as it stated at the November meeting that positive GDP growth is now expected in the September quarter and sees GDP growth of around 6% over the year to June 2021. Conversely, there is a risk for an underwhelming print after the miss on Q3 Private Capex at -3.0% vs. Exp. -1.5% (Prev. -5.9%) and Construction Work Done at -2.6% vs. Exp. -2.0% (prev. -0.7%) which feeds into the upcoming GDP.

RBI POLICY ANNOUNCEMENT (THU): The Reserve Bank of India will conduct its latest policy meeting between December 2nd-4th in which the consensus is for the central bank to keep rates unchanged with the Repurchase Rate, Reverse Repo Rate and Cash Reserve Ratio likely to be maintained at 4.00%, 3.35% and 3.00% respectively. The expectations for the RBI to keep policy unchanged are mostly due to the continued high inflation with CPI remaining outside the 2%-6% target band in October at 7.6% vs. Exp. 7.3% (Prev. 7.3%), which was the 9th month of above-tolerance inflation this year and has firmly put the brakes on the loosening cycle that had already seen a total of 250bps of cuts since early 2019. The central bank outlined at the last meeting the main considerations for its decision to stand pat, which aside from the elevated inflation, included incoming data pointing to a recovery in global economic activity in Q3 and high frequency indicators suggesting domestic economic activity was stabilising, while domestic financial conditions have eased substantially. The MPC also decided to continue with the accommodative stance for as long as necessary and the minutes from the meeting noted forecasts for inflation at 4.5%-5.4% for H2 of the current fiscal year with Governor Das seeing scope for future rate cuts if the inflation evolves in line with expectations. As such, analysts are instead looking to future meetings for the resumption of policy easing with both Nomura and Barclays forecasting 50bps of cuts in H1 next year.

US LABOUR MARKET REPORT (FRI): The Street expectation is for 520k nonfarm payrolls to be added to the US economy in November, after 638k in October; it is worth noting that, given the Thanksgiving Holiday at the tail-end of the week, it is likely that the 'median' forecasts will change as we go into the payrolls event, as the predictions of more forecasters is added to the sample. The intiial jobless claims that coincides with the BLS survey period saw jobless claims rise to 748k, higher than the expected 707k, while continuing claims printed 6.07mln (expected 6.02mln from a prior 6.37mln). Pantheon Macroeconomics said the rise in jobless claims was not a fluke, and more likely, it captures the beginning of an upward trend which will persist until the Covid wave subsides. The consultancy is hoping to see cases peak by the middle of December, although its trajectory will clearly depend on how the virus progresses over the Thanksgiving period, when more Americans with gather together; "That still means that layoffs could continue to rise through the year-end, and continuing claims will follow initial claims upwards," it warns. Others have noted that the BLS data may not fully reflect the effect of rising cases and state and local government shutdowns, which have been picking up more recently. This suggests that the December jobs report might be more reflective of the stresses in the labour market. Elsewhere, the jobless rate is seen ticking down one-tenth of a percent to 6.8%.

CANADIAN LABOUR MARKET REPORT (FRI): RBC's analysts are expecting the six-month run of job gains to come to a halt in November, and forecasts an employment change of -50k."Although not capturing the most recent restrictions, some will have occurred by the survey week (Nov 9-15) and the industries hardest hit during the pandemic should be impacted the most (food/accommodation)," adding that "retail is also likely to struggle, even if only due to a lack of seasonal hiring." The bank argues that this will result in the unemployment rate rising 0.2ppts to 9.1%, and participation is seen falling from the 65.2% level seen in October; hours worked will decline for the first time in six months as well.