Morning Update – 11/04/2017 – by Arjun Lakhanpal

April 11, 2017 by

Morning all.. Wall St managed to grind out a very small gain in a quiet market but gave up solid gains made just after the open. However we saw some weakness driven by China and HK in Asia and the Nikkei closed down 0.44%. In the US the market had been waiting for the Yellen comments. Fed’s Yellen: can’t wait too long to tighten; appropriate to gradually raise rates if economy continues to perform; don’t want to have to raise rates rapidly, want to be ahead of the curve and not behind it; inflation reasonably close to target but don’t want it to ‘linger’ above 2%; expects US economy to continue to grow at moderate pace; economy mainly supported by consumer spending; appropriate policy stance is closer to neutral now; inflation still slightly below 2% goal; growth potential is likely a bit below 2%; labor force growth has been slowing in the US; productivity growth has been very disappointing; underlying trend for labour-force participation to fall further; last couple years, economy had more room to run than we thought. No comments on balance sheet reduction though. Risk-off tone prevailed on the margin overnight: USD/JPY down ~30bps from yesterday’s LDN close, whilst AUD and NZD were slightly lower against the greenback late in the day. Asian equity markets traded largely lower, led by a near 1% drop in Hong Kong where sentiment soured on energy, tech, and gaming sectors. Australia held resilient with a modest gain, as most mining and financials names turned higher; ahead of Australia’s critical employment report later this week, NAB Business Conditions data hit post-GFC highs, briefly sending AUD/USD about 0.7500. This morning we get Swedish CPI, UK PPI data and UK CPI, plus EU Industrial production and German ZEW. Good luck.