The Morning Call Podcast – February 2017
President Trump will make a lot of noise tomorrow
Tuesday February 28th, 2017
Even though we’d suggested President Trump will say very little new during his joint address to Congress, it seems nothing could be further from the truth. As Phil Dobbie discusses with NAB’s David De Garis, the President has hinted at announcements on the Obamacare replacement, a big hike in military spending and, presumably, a way to cut other areas of government expenditure whilst increasing investment in infrastructure. Not such a quiet affair, after all. Meanwhile the pound suffered a little on reports that Theresa May was preparing for another Scottish referendum, but no surprise there. We also look at Aussie indicators out today, ahead of positive GDP figures expected tomorrow.
Will Trump break the Mnuchin Malaise? High expectations for Australia’s GDP
Monday February 27th, 2017
US Treasury yields have been in a holding pattern this year (between 2.3 – 2.6% on 10 years) as the markets await more detail on Trump’s stimulus program. As Phil Dobbie discusses with Ray Attrill, NAB’s Head of FX Strategy, it’s unlikely any more will come from Trump’s appearance before Congress this week and Steven Mnuchin’s press appearances last week certainly seem to have knocked the wind out of the market’s sails. We also look ahead to Australia’s GDP figures this week, which the NAB is forecasting will be slightly higher than market expectations.
Mnuchin talks US tax policy
Friday February 24th, 2017
The US Secretary for the Treasury gave an interview on CNBC overnight, discussing the tax plans that will deliver high growth for the US. Phil Dobbie discusses the interview with NAB’s David De Garis. The big question is, will the plans make it through Congress? We also look at the continuing story for Europe – strong figures and deep political uncertainty. And what will Philip Lowe say before the House Economics Committee this morning?
Fed Minutes, the Aussie Bond Sale and Continued Uncertainty in Europe
Thursday February 23rd, 2017
Okay. Let’s be honest. There wasn’t a lot of movement in the markets overnight – many key indices moved no more than 0.1 percent. But Phil Dobbie and NAB’s David De Garis still find plenty to talk about, from the latest FOMC minutes, Australia’s record government bond sale and the continued political uncertainty in Europe.
Commodities & US Dollar Up, Europe & UK Uncertain
Wednesday February 22nd, 2017
The Fed’s Patrick Harper has left the door open to a March rate hike, but his hawkish tone hasn’t driven big changes in the markets. In the UK the Bank of England’s Mark Carney is changing his stand against rate changes in the UK, whilst strong European PMI figures haven’t had much influence, perhaps because of latest polls on the French election. Phil Dobbie discusses the overnight news with NAB’s Tapas Strickland.
Le Pen hits French bonds, bailout talks push Greek bonds higher
Tuesday February 21st, 2017
A poll released overnight has placed Marine Le Pen as a strong contender in the first round of the French Presidential election. The news hit the bond markets, with the gap for two year bonds between France and Germany the widest it’s been since May 2012. Meanwhile hopes of some sort of resolution to Greece’s bailout timetable has caused a minor rally on Greek bonds. As NAB’s Rodrigo Catril discusses with Phil Dobbie, it’s another day where geopolitics is having a bigger impact than any substantive data.
Waiting for the Phenomenal
Monday February 20th, 2017
Markets quietened down last week as the world waits for Donald Trump’s phenomenal announcement on tax. But, as NAB’s Ray Attrill discusses with Phil Dobbie, when the detail is released the markets could go either way – tax cuts could be a good thing, import tariffs run the risk of starting a trade war. We also look at the plight of the Aussie dollar, which seems to have settled itself just below the 77 US cents. Can we expect a week of sideways trading?
Down, down, prices are down
Friday February 17th, 2017
The markets seem to have taken a slight breather overnight. The US dollar is down, bond yields and equities too. Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s David de Garis why the lull, when the US continues to deliver strong data and Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer adds further inevitability to rate hikes this year? We also delve into the European Central Bank minutes.
Jobs for Britain. Strong CPI from the States. What now for Aussie jobs?
Thursday February 16th, 2017
The UK has just reported its highest level of employment ever, even though wage growth has slowed. Go figure. Meanwhile positive CPI and retail sales from the US pushed the dollar higher for a short while, then it reversed. Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s Tapas Strickland why the change in fortune? Could Trump’s battle against his intelligence agencies and questions over the extent of his team’s Russian involvement be part of the issue.
Yellen talks it up on a Trump free day. Aussie basks in the sunlight.
Wednesday February 15th, 2017
For once the Federal Reserve Chair seems to have had more influence on the currency and bond markets than the US President. Janet Yellen suggested waiting too long for an interest rate rise would be unwise, slightly raising the expectation for a rise as soon as March. She also spoke of shrinking the Fed balance sheet in an “orderly and controlled” manner. NAB’s Rodrigo Catril joins Phil Dobbie to discuss events in the US, the continued strength of the Aussie dollar and mixed signals from the UK.
Iron ore surge, Trump quiet, Yellen to speak up
Tuesday February 14th, 2017
Donald Trump has been too busy hosting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to send many tweets. Perhaps that’s why the US dollar (and most currencies) has had a quiet day. That could change, though, with Fed Chair Janet Yellen in front of Congress for two days this week. We also look at the NAB Business Survey, out later today. Will it show continued strength in the Aussie economy? The rising price of iron ore will certainly be helping that. NAB’s Ray Attrill joins Phil Dobbie on The Morning Call this morning.
Missiles and Fireworks for the week ahead
Monday 13th February, 2017
It’s shaping up to be quite a week. Donald Trump will be busy trying to relaunch his migration controls, whilst many question the timescale and impact of his fiscal measures. His meeting with Shinzo Abe, whilst cordial, didn’t address the trade imbalance between the two countries and was somewhat overshadowed by a missile from North Korea into the Sea of Japan. Back home it’s not just the temperature that has been hotting up, with the prospect of the Aussie dollar breaking the 77cent mark. NAB’s Rodrigo Catril joins Phil Dobbie to talk through the week ahead, with a plethora of data to look forward to, from Australia and the US in particular.
Something phenomenal in terms of tax
Friday 10th February 2017
President Trump came out a meeting with airline executives today promising “something phenomenal in terms of tax” in a matter of weeks. He also talked about helping to protect America’s airlines against foreign owned competitors. As NAB’s Tapas Strickland discusses with Phil Dobbie, it’s the kind of talk that buoys markets, with the S&P500 breaking a new record and giving the US dollar a slight jolt. We also digest comments from the RBNZ, RBA’s Philip Lowe and St Louis Fed President James Bullard.
A Quiet Day, Waiting for Trump? Plus the RBNZ decision.
Thursday 9th February 2017
It’s been a fairly quiet 24 hours. The equity markets have barely moved. Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s David de Garis why this is, given strong earning results from S&P 500 companies, and the promise of tax cuts and less regulation from the Trump administration. Yet the dollar has weakened, bond yields have stalled and gold is on the rise. It’s a similar story in Europe where things have quietened down, despite the continued political and fiscal risk. We also look at the RBNZ rate decision – on hold – the market reaction and the direction of the New Zealand economy. Plus #Nordstromgate.
US Dollar and Pound do the least worst
Wednesday February 8th, 2017
The US dollar continued to recover from its fall from grace over recent weeks, but NAB’s Rodrigo Catril suggests this is more to do with concerns in Europe than any positive news from the US – and, perhaps, a lack of inflammatory Tweets from the President. The attention now seems to have shifted from the politics of France to the fiscal concerns over Italy and Greece. Can the ECB really taper their bond buying when both these countries need to sell bonds to cover their debts? We also look at yesterday’s RBA decision and ahead to tomorrow’s rate announcement from the RBNZ.
Uncertainty Abounds on French elections and Trump’s delivery
Tuesday February 7th, 2017
On the eve of the RBA interest rate decision, Australia delivered some lower than expected retail figures for December. Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s David de Garis if this is significant enough to demonstrate a further weakening of the local economy? Meanwhile there’s uncertainty stemming from the French Presidential election in April , with Marine Le Pen reiterating her plans to leave the Euro and controversy surrounding conservative hopeful François Fillon, who’s allegedly had his wife on his payroll for 15 years. We also look at the market reaction to Friday’s weaker than expected US non-farm payroll data and the risk-off mood, perhaps based on concerns about the timeframe for the delivery of Trump’s plans.
US Wage Growth Slows; where next for Aussie retail sales?
Monday February 6th, 2017
The markets reacted to slower than expected wages and jobs growth in the US Non-Farms Payrolls data on Friday. It reminded us that data can have as much influence as Donald Trump’s tweets! Plus, NAB’s Ray Attrill talks to Phil Dobbie about the hawkish tone set by the Fed’s John Williams, and we look ahead to rate decisions for Australia and NZ, plus today’s Aussie retail sales figures.
Trump fires up, pound down, Aussie boosted by trade surplus
Friday February 3rd, 2017
Less than two weeks in and Donald Trump is throwing his weight around, including the barney with Malcolm Turnbull which garnered a lot of news coverage around the world. Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s David de Garis how the markets are reacting to the new President’s flamboyant style. We also discuss the reaction to Australia’s trade surplus bonanza, how the Bank of England’s forecasts have failed to inspire and what to expect from the US non-farm payrolls tonight.
Fed on hold, European fury and a possible record Aussie trade surplus
Thursday 2nd February, 2017
Not surprisingly, the US Federal Reserve held interest rates this morning but, NAB’s Tapas Strickland tells Phil Dobbie the markets still expect a rise in June, with more to follow. We also look at positive jobs data from the US, political unrest in Europe and Japan over US rhetoric, todays Bank of England rate decision and NZ’s worse than expected employment data. Last but not least, could this be the day that Aussie trade balance hits a record surplus?
A sacking, a dressing down and a falling US dollar
Wednesday 1st February, 2017
The US dollar fell again overnight. NAB’s David de Garis discusses the fall with Phil Dobbie. It’s not been helped by the sacking of US Attorney General Sally Yates, tough talks with the pharmaceutical industry and a Trump advisor saying the strong dollar was giving German companies a competitive edge. We also look at positive data from Europe and look ahead to today’s rate decision from the Fed, China’s PMI and NZ employment data.
Trump’s Travel Ban Feeds Risk Off Mood
Tuesday 31st January, 2017
It’s been a night of action as markets reacted to Trump’s travel bans. As NAB’s Rodrigo Catril explains to Phil Dobbie how the risk off sentiment hit equity markets on both sides of the Atlantic, whilst the US dollar lost ground against the Yen. We also discuss the Bank of Japan’s policy statement today, the NAB Business Survey and inflation figures for Europe. And we ask, what will Trump do next?
Big week for US data, but it’s what Trump does that counts
Monday 30th January, 2017
The Morning Call is back each weekday morning. Today NAB’s Ray Attrill joins Phil Dobbie to dissect Friday’s US GDP data and a slew of data for the week ahead. Phil asks to what extent the Trump factor is driving markets rather than hard data. We also look ahead to China’s PMI figures, Aussie building approvals and the prospects for the Australian dollar this week.