US Market Open: Equities relatively contained, BA -8.3%, USD dips & Debt depressed, key events ahead
- Ukrainian President Zelensky said he is ready to negotiate with Russian President Putin; however, Turkey says Putin is not ready
- Russia's Kremlin says the progress of peace talks with Ukraine is not as big as it should be
- European bourses/US futures are pressured but relatively contained as developments within European hours have been limited
- China Eastern Airlines jet, a Boeing 737, crashed in Guangxi, BA -8.3% in pre-market
- WTI and Brent are supported as the EU is to mull an oil embargo on Russia, US' Biden set to join talks
- DXY is downbeat as EUR/USD moves closer to expiries at 1.11, while debt remains pressured and yields continue to climb
- Looking ahead, highlights include EU Foreign Affairs Meeting, Speeches from Fed’s Powell, Fed's Bostic, US President Biden speaking to European leaders
As of 10:30GMT/06:30EDT
- EU Foreign Affairs Meeting, Speeches from Fed’s Powell, Fed's Bostic, US President Biden speaking to European leaders.
- Note; US Clocks Changed to EDT from EST on Sunday, March 13th. London to New York time gap is four-hours until the UK change on March 27th.
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- Ukrainian President Zelensky said he is ready to negotiate with Russian President Putin and warned that if peace talks with Russian President Putin fail, it would mean the start of a third global war, according to an interview with CNN. However, a Turkish official said that Russian President Putin is not ready for talks with Ukrainian President Zelensky.
- Turkish Foreign Minister said Russia and Ukraine “have almost reached agreement” on four critical points of a potential peace agreement, as fierce fighting continued to devastate the key port city of Mariupol, according to FT.
- Russia's Kremlin says the progress of peace talks with Ukraine is not as big as it should be; there is no basis for possible Putin-Zelensky meeting, significant progress needs to be made first, there will be no ceasefire during the talks.
- Russian Defence Ministry called on ‘nationalists’ in Ukraine’s Mariupol to lay down arms and offered humanitarian corridors to both the east and west for this Monday, while it stated that Ukraine has until the early hours on Monday to give its answer on surrendering Mariupol.
- Ukrainian Deputy PM Vereschuk said there is no question of surrendering Mariupol.
- Ukraine says eight humanitarian corridors have been agreed on Monday, but the city of Mariupol is not included in that list.
- US threatens to expand sanctions on Russia and said they are nowhere near lifting restrictions, according to Sputnik.
- Russian Central Bank Governor Nabiullina said they will start purchasing Russian government bonds and will sell them after the market stabilises.
- EU Foreign Representative Borrell says Russia is guilty of "massive" war crimes, the EU is ready to talk about energy sanctions.
- Ukrainian President Zelensky appealed to Israel and said that they know Israel’s air defence is the greatest in the world and could protect Ukraine, while he said the Kremlin is discussing the final solution to the Ukrainian issue in the same way the Nazi’s discussed the European question.
- Ukrainian Deputy PM said they plan to send nearly 50 buses on Monday to evacuate people from the Mariupol region, while she added that 7,295 people were evacuated from cities on Saturday as four humanitarian corridors worked and that 3,985 people were evacuated from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia on Sunday.
- Kyiv Mayor said there were several blasts in the city's Podil district with residential houses and the shopping district hit.
- China’s ambassador to the US said China will work to de-escalate the Ukrainian conflict and said there is misinformation regarding China providing military assistance to Russia.
- UK Ministry of Defence said Russian forces advancing from Crimea are still attempting to circumvent Mykolaiv as they look to drive west towards Odessa and that these forces made little progress during the past week, while it added that Russian naval forces continue to blockade the Ukrainian coast and to launch missile strikes on targets across Ukraine.
- US officials see signals the Kremlin is shifting to a new strategy to secure key territorial objectives, according to WSJ.
- Luhansk separatists say they have recorded an increase in the intensity of Ukrainian shelling on their areas, especially the Pervomaysk region, according to Al Jazeera
- Kyiv Mayor Klitschko announced a curfew from 18:00GMT today until 05:00GMT on Wednesday 23rd.
- Israeli defence sources noted several intel warnings that suggest Iranian intention to carry out attacks via air, sea and on land, according to Israel Radar citing Walla News.
- US and Turkey are said to be in talks over a deal for Turkey to send its Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems to Ukraine in exchange for the scrapping of sanctions imposed by Washington, according to Reuters citing sources. The report suggested Turkey is unlikely to agree to such a deal
- European bourses are contained and haven't differed too far from the unchanged mark overall, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.1%, as we await updates on Russia-Ukraine.
- Developments throughout the morning have been limited, and commentary from the Kremlin is predominantly in-fitting with last-week's/weekend updates.
- US futures are pressured, ES -0.2%, awaiting geopolitical catalysts with Fed speak, including Chair Powell, ahead
- China Eastern airlines passenger jet flying from Kunming to Guangzhou on Monday experienced an accident in Guangxi, via State Media; unknown injuries/deaths from the accident. Craft was a Boeing (BA) 737. Subsequently, China's Aviation Regulator confirms the crash of the China Eastern airlines passenger jet carrying 132 people. Boeing -8.3% in the pre-market
- Berkshire Hathaway (BRK/B) is to purchase Alleghany Corp (Y) for USD 848.02/shr (vs. close USD 676.75/shr) in a USD 11.6bln transaction.
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- DXY hovers on 98.000 handle awaiting speeches from Fed’s Bostic and chair Powell.
- Loonie underpinned by strong oil prices -Usd/Cad straddling 1.2600.
- Franc firm ahead of SNB policy assessment as Swiss sight deposits suggest less intervention; USD/CHF near 0.9300 and EUR/CHF sub-1.0300.
- Euro straddles 1.1050 with hawkish ECB commentary supportive, but hefty option expiries capping the upside (almost 2.8bln at 1.1100)
- Aussie unwinding recent gains on technical grounds and in wake of defeat for PM Morrison’s liberal party in local election - Aud/Usd back below 0.7400.
- Sterling still smarting after last week’s dovish BoE hike - Cable around 1.3150 and Eur/Gbp probing 100 DMA at 0.8415.
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Notable FX Expiries, NY Cut:
- EUR/USD: 1.1100 (2.79BN), 1.1150 (646M)
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- Debt remains depressed and curves steeper with some inversion along the maturity spectrum.
- US Treasuries also prepping for 20 year supply later this week.
- 10-year Bund yield hovers around 40bp and just under a Fib retracement level.
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- WTI and Brent have been dipping from best-levels, but remain underpinned on the session amid weekend geopolitical premia.; albeit, the European morning's developments have been more limited.
- WTI May resides around USD 107/bbl (vs high ~108.20/bbl) while its Brent counterpart trades just under USD 112/bbl (vs high ~112.75/bbl).
- Saudi-led coalition reported that Yemen Houthis targeted a gas station in Khamis Mushait on Saturday which resulted in material damage to civilian cars and homes but no casualties, according to the state news agency. Saudi-led coalition also said it destroyed an explosive-laden boat to thwart an attack on shipping in the Red Sea, while it was also reported that Aramco’s petroleum products distribution plant in Jeddah was attacked and production at a Saudi oil refinery in Yanbu declined momentarily after an attack by Houthis.
- Saudi Aramco reported FY net income USD 110.0bln vs prev. USD 49.0bln Y/Y, while the CEO expects oil demand to return to pre-pandemic levels by year-end and said they are seeing healthy demand especially in Asia. Saudi Aramco's CEO also noted that there is limited spare capacity which is declining every month with global spare capacity around 2mln bpd and that the market is very tight in terms of available barrels.
- Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov stated the OPEC+ format will still be required once new participants emerge on the oil supply market, while he sees no reason to believe the OPEC+ mechanism will be destroyed, according to IFX.
- EU reportedly may refrain from intervening in the bloc’s wholesale energy market amid divisions between member states on the most effective solutions to curb rising energy prices, while other reports noted the EU is to mull an oil embargo on Russia this week with US President Biden set to join talks.
- Germany and Qatar agreed on a contract for the supply of LNG that will help Germany reduce its dependency on Russian energy, although the long-term contract will not immediately stop flows of money to Russia, according to The Guardian.
- UK plans its first North Sea oil and gas licencing round since 2020, according to FT
- Pakistan’s Foreign Minister announced a deal with Barrick Gold to restart the Reko Diq gold and copper project in which a USD 11bln penalty against Pakistan would be waived.
- Spot gold/silver remain underpinned and benefitting from the USD's ongoing pullback
- Australia banned alumina and aluminium ores exports to Russia.
- LME Nickel -15% at the open, hitting limit down, at USD 31380/T.
- Iraq expects wheat harvest to reach 2.5mln-3.0mln tonnes this season which will supply the entire ration for 2022 and plans wheat output to reach 5mln tonnes next year.
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NOTABLE EUROPEAN HEADLINES
- UK PM Johnson reportedly faces a backlash and received a wave of criticism after he compared the Ukrainian war to the 2016 referendum to leave the EU, according to FT.
- UK Chancellor Sunak said he will stand by people regarding the cost of living squeeze and attempt to make a difference where possible, Sunak added that cutting VAT on fuel would be the opposite of targeting support for the lowest-income households, however, Sunak is set to lower fuel duty by at least GBP 0.05. Sunak added that a planned tax increase to pay for social and health care is fair, although his priority moving ahead is to lower people’s taxes.
- UK Chancellor Sunak is reportedly resisting calls for a large increase in defence spending as he seeks to free up money for cuts to ease the rising living costs, according to FT.
- ECB’s de Guindos said inflation is to stay strong longer than seen before and fiscal policy should help consumers during the price shock. De Guindos added that the ECB has options should inflation be stronger and that the future ECB path is data-dependent, while he added strong euro area fragmentation could limit ECB policy.
- ECB’s Knot said a rate hike this year is realistic and the ECB is to assess the impact of the war on inflation at the end of summer.
- ECB's Holzmann argued again for a rate rise and said that the ECB could send a clear message on tackling inflation through hiking rates before ending its bond purchases.
- ECB President Lagarde says bottlenecks, energy and food are pushing short-term inflation, Ukraine war will have growth consequences.
- German Finance Minister Lindner called for fresh discussions on an EU-US free trade agreement, according to Handelsblatt.
- Fitch affirmed European Union at AAA; Outlook Stable, affirmed Belgium at AA; Outlook Stable, affirmed Slovakia at; Outlook Stable and affirmed Iceland at A; Outlook revised to Stable from Negative.
NOTABLE US HEADLINES
- US President Biden will host a call with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and UK on Monday at 11:00EDT/15:00GMT, while President Biden will travel to Poland on Friday following this week's meetings with NATO allies, G7 leaders and EU leaders, according to the White House.
- UK and US trade officials are said to be making progress in negotiations regarding US steel and aluminium tariffs; two-day meeting will begin Monday focused on broader trade ties, according to a USTR official cited by Reuters.
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- Bitcoin is modestly pressured but contained within last week's parameters overall, holding above USD 41k.
- APAC stocks were choppy with sentiment clouded amid the uncertain geopolitical climate and higher oil prices.
- ASX 200 was indecisive as outperformance in tech was offset by losses in financials and with PM Morrison’s Liberal Party defeated in South Australia's state election, raising concerns for the government ahead of the federal election in two months
- Nikkei 225 was closed for the Vernal Equinox holiday.
- Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. swung between gains and losses with an early surge in Hong Kong tech stocks ahead of a widely speculated relaxation to COVID restrictions after the city’s daily cases fell to a three-week low and with China’s tech hub of Shenzhen resuming normal work output. However, the gains were wiped out with the mainland hampered as Shanghai tussles with a COVID-19 outbreak, while the PBoC also kept its Loan Prime Rates unchanged, as expected.
NOTABLE APAC HEADLINES
- PBoC injected CNY 30bln via 7-day reverse repos with the rate at 2.10% for a CNY 20bln net injection.
- PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 6.3677 vs exp. 6.3584 (prev. 6.3425)
- PBoC 1-Year Loan Prime Rate (Mar) 3.70% vs Exp. 3.70% (Prev. 3.70%)
- PBoC 5-Year Loan Prime Rate (Mar) 4.60% vs Exp. 4.60% (Prev. 4.60%)
- Shanghai government is to keep certain regions locked down for additional testing, while Shanghai Disney Resort was closed from Monday due to a COVID outbreak.
- Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan said the epidemic situation in Jilin province is still grim and complex and urged officials to conduct thorough measures to stop infection in communities as soon as possible, according to Global Times.
- Hong Kong Chief Executive Lam said a flight ban for some countries are no longer needed from April 1st and they will reduce the inbound quarantine to 7 days, while Lam noted that some social distancing measures will remain in place until April 20th and face-to-face classes will resume after Easter break in April.
- China Evergrande (3333 HK) unit received bondholder approval to postpone coupon payments.
- New Zealand Trade Balance (Feb) -385M (Prev. -1082M, Rev. -1126M); Annual Trade Balance (Feb) -8.4B (Prev. -7.7B, Rev. -7.8B)
- New Zealand Exports (Feb) 5.5B (Prev. 4.9B, Rev. 4.8B); Imports (Feb) 5.9B (Prev. 5.9B, Rev. 5.9B)