Inflationen i USA steg i april mere end ventet, og det gælder både den samlede inflation (8,3 pct.) og kerneinflationen (6,2 pct.). Det gav øjeblikkeligt kursfald. Nasdaq faldt med 3,2 pct. Samtidig er de ti-årige statsobligationer godt på vej til at overskride 3 procentsgrænsen. De asiatiske aktier fulgte med det amerikanske fald, men der var dog stigninger i Kina og Hongkong, hvor kurserne er ekstremt lave. Udviklingen bekræfter den bear-holdning, som Saxo Bank har til markedet. Saxo Bank venter, at inflationen i USA nærmer sig et toppunkt, men et fald i inflationen bliver en langvarig og vanskelig affære, mener banken, der også forudser, at oliepriserne vil stige på sigt, da olieproduktionen ikke kan følge med efterspørgselen.
Fast rising U.S. CPI data adds to equity market woes
Summary: The larger than expected April U.S. CPI and core CPI reversed the attempt of the equity market to rebound and brought major U.S. equity indices firmly back onto their down trends. The surprising strength in services is particularly worrying and the money market is pricing in 143 bp hikes (i.e. almost three 50 bp hikes) in the next three FOMC meetings.
What’s happening in markets?
What spooked markets overnight was US inflation rose more than expected, which gives the Fed more ammunition to rise rates (more than they mapped out). Rising rates will cause further carnage, as when rates rise, bond yields tend to rise, which may trigger the US 10-year bond yield, to rise back over 3%, (which is a better yield than the Nasdaq and S&P500 combined – just think about that for a second). As such the Nasdaq (with an average dividend yield of 0.9%) continued to fall and lost 3.2%. The Tech heavy index is down 28% from its high, and the technical indicators suggest it will likely continue to fall on a weekly and monthly basis, which supports our bearish fundamental view. The S&P500 lost 1.7% on Wednesday, (it has an average dividend yield of 1.66%).
The U.S. treasury yield curve flattened 13 bps since yesterday’s CPI release. The 10-year yield fell 10 bps to 2.89% while the 2-year yield rose 3 bps to 2.64%. It is worthwhile to note that the 10-year yield has fallen 30 bps in just three days from its May 9 high of 3.20%. The treasury market is sending signals of investors being worried about a sharper slow-down in the U.S. economy.
China and Hong Kong equity markets rebounded from their lows. After a weak opening, stocks traded in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen rebounded from their lows. Hang Seng Index (HSI.I) was down 1% and CSI300 (000300.I) recouped all its early loss to close the morning session flat. Infrastructure related A share, in particular county seat modernization names rallied. Sunac China, China’s 4th largest property developer, failed to make a coupon payment of a dollar bond. The news pushed down the shares of other Chinese developers traded in Hong Kong.
Asia stocks follow Wall Street down. Japan’s Nikkei (NI225.I) was down 1% in the Asian morning following US CPI release overnight and the slide in US indices overnight. Steel makers like Japan Steel (5631) and Kobe Steel (5406) surged in a big way after earnings results and profit outlook was better than expected. Singapore’s STI Index (ES3) was also in the red. Singtel (Z74) was up over 1% leading on the index as it broadened its 5G network to underground metro line. Chinese electric car maker Nio (NIO) is going to start trading on the Singapore stock exchange form May 20.
What to consider?
US inflation may have peaked but the descent will be slow and painful. April U.S. CPI came at 8.3% YoY. Core CPI, which excludes food & energy, was 6.2% higher from a year ago. Reiterating what we said in this piece, while headline inflation may be showing signs of peaking as base effects turn, it is likely to stay at these elevated levels. It was important to note that the 0.6% monthly increase of Core CPI has brought inflation back to the uncomfortably high 0.5%-0.6% range from October 2021 to February 2022, after a temporary moderation in March. Another worrying sign was the +0.7% core service price, which was the highest since 1990. Regular rents and owner-equivalent rents rose faster than expected and prices of reopening related spending, such as airfares and hotel lodging rose sharply.
The US consumer remains very strong, which gives pricing power to companies. Services inflation will also broaden further, suggesting we are in for a higher-for-longer mode. Take into the mix, a prolonged war, sustained disruptions from China and still-tight labor market. This means Fed’s hawkish rhetoric is set to stay. The money market has moved towards pricing in a 50bp hike in the Sept FOMC on top of the two 50bp moves anticipated for June and July.
Oil bulls pin their ears back: Both the Saudi oil Chief and UAE have warned that all energy sectors are running out of capacity, which supports our view that the oil price will hit higher levels over the longer term and also once China is out of lockdown. That being said, Saudi Aramco (ARAMCO) has strengthened regardless, along with many other oil companies, as their cashflows are rising at record paces. ARAMCO has now overtaken Apple as the world’s most valuable company. As we have been saying for some time now, it’s wise to consider revisiting oil stocks and oil ETFs. For instance, the ETF OOO that tracks the oil price, looks like it could break above a key trigger level and re-enter another uptrend, so that’s worth consideration. Also have a look at your favorite large oil stocks with rising earnings growth.