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Week Ahead: NFP and elections to grab the headlines

Vantage Updated Updated Mon, 2024 July 1 01:46

It’s the start of the second half and first week of a new month which means Friday’s US non-farm payrolls will be the marquee event for markets. While domestic politics will grip the euro and sterling, the dollar is enjoying a fourth straight week of gains. That is essentially down to political uncertainty trumping (pardon the pun) easing US inflation data. A slowdown in consumer spending and the housing markets are also bolstering the odds of a Fed September rate cut, even though some officials are seemingly not yet that convinced.

The ongoing tightness in the jobs markets has a lot to do with this, so this week’s NFP data will be keenly watched to see if the disconnect between payrolls and household employment, which is much weaker, can continue. A solid headline print is expected with stable wage growth keeping policymakers still cautious on pulling the rate cut trigger too soon. There will be the usual forerunners to NFP released earlier in the week like JOLTs and ADP. ISM figures for manufacturing and services will be of interest as leading indicators to kick off the week.

It could be a volatile time in Europe with French elections casting a shadow over all markets, while eurozone inflation data might be a mixed bag after the country prints for Spain, France and Belgium provided a cloudy picture. The first round of Sunday voting in saw the far-right National Rally (RN) win, but the final result may not be clear for another week. 289 seats are needed to obtain an absolute majority in the National Assembly but currently, it seems no party has got to that point. Moderate comments from party leaders have calmed some markets, but the situation remains uncertain and should continue to pressurise the euro.

Finally, there will be continued speculation about Japanese authorities intervening in FX markets, after they spent over $60 billion in April and May when prices spiked in USD/JPY above 160. April saw a 10 yen move from 150 to 160 in less than a month, but we’ve not seen a move like that that so far. Japan’s top currency diplomat Kanda recently warned on excessive currency moves saying authorities were “seriously concerned and on high alert”. Unilateral intervention has historically struggled to markedly turn the trend. Only US monetary policy and rate cuts would change the broad direction of travel, with BoJ hiking rates also needed to help narrow interest rate differentials.

In Brief: major data releases of the week

Monday, 01 July 2024

US ISM Manufacturing: Expectations are for a June print of 49.0, which would be a modest pick up from the prior 48.7. The index had risen in March above 50 for the first expansion in 17 months. Prices paid will be watched after they previously jumped to the highest since July 2022.

Tuesday, 02 July 2024

–  RBA Meeting Minutes: Governor Bullock has recently admitted that the Board discussed rate hikes at their recent meeting. After the strong CPI data, any hints on what is needed to bring around a rate rise will be watched. 

–  Eurozone Inflation: Headline inflation is forecast to tick one-tenth lower to 2.5%, with the core printing at 2.8% from 2.9% in May. Services inflation and wage growth are key for the timing of the next ECB rate cut. There’s around a 40% of a July move.

–  ECB Forum, Sintra: ECB President Lagarde and Fed Chair Powell speak at this historic conference. They are not expected to bring many policy fireworks this year.

Wednesday, 03 July 2024

US ISM Services: The non-manufacturing sector should remain in expansionary territory, after it jumped back above 50 in May. The services sector is still growing, but risks are rising.

FOMC Minutes: The key median dot plot for 2024 signalled just one 25bps rate cut, while money markets currently price in two. Focus will be on thoughts around this process and inflation progress. 

Thursday, 04 July 2024

UK Election: Anything but a Labour landslide would be a surprise, considering all recent polls have pointed to PM Starmer and a big majority. No fiscal policy upheaval is expected, though public spending strains mean this could change. The BoE August rate cut will remain on the table.  

Friday, 05 July 2024

Canada Jobs: Expectations are for around 25k job gains in June. The unemployment rate is predicted to tick up one-tenth to 6.3%. Economists say wage growth could accelerate.

US NFP: Consensus expects a headline print of 188k, down from the prior 272k. The jobless rate is forecast to remain at 4.0% and average hourly earnings at 0.3%. The household survey and leading indicators continue to point to slowing job growth momentum.