This week in the markets, run up to last May bank holiday
Debt ceiling dominates market chatter.
May 22, 2023
The Week Ahead (22nd May 2023):
The FTSE 100 and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index are little changed on the open in London this morning.
Ryanair Holdings Plc gained after predicting strong demand in the peak summer season will drive a 10% increase in passenger numbers and “modest year-on-year” profit growth in the coming year.
NatWest Group Plc rose slightly after agreeing to buy back £1.26 billion of its shares from the UK government.
The move has reduced the size of the government’s holdings from 41.4% to 38.6%.
The disposal, which was completed through an off-market purchase by NatWest, is part of an ongoing plan to wind down the Treasury shareholding taken during the financial crisis. It took place at Friday’s NatWest closing price of 268.4p. The bank intends to cancel about three-quarters of the shares and will keep the rest in treasury, giving it the flexibility to cancel or reissue them at a later date.
While last week ended with concerns that debt ceiling negotiations had broken down, today has seen hopes of further progress.
Debt-limit negotiators resumed discussions in Washington ahead of a meeting on later today between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, as time grows short to avert a US default and investors are girding for more volatility in markets.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said earlier Sunday that the chances the US can pay all its bills by mid-June are “quite low”, while Goldman Sachs economists estimated that the Treasury Department will by June 8 or 9 see its cash levels drop below the $30 billion it’s signalled as a bare minimum for meeting federal obligations falling due.
While the ASX 200 struggled overnight, the Nikkei made further progress and the Hang Seng rallied off its lows of the session.
Leader Board - Top Trading Strategy 22nd May
On Friday Fed chairman Jerome Powell said that his preference for the June meeting was a pause in policy tightening rather than another hike, helping to reverse a rising expectation that the Fed would have to move again on rates.
With the debt ceiling scheduled to hit before then, June's meeting will be an interesting one.
The notable reports in a run of American and British data this week are revised US first-quarter gross domestic product figures, the May minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee rate-setting meeting and UK inflation figures.
The Bank of England is expecting the annual rate of consumer price inflation to drop almost 2 percentage points from 10.1 per cent in March to 8.4 per cent in April, above the consensus, which is closer to 8 per cent.
Whilst inflation for the Eurozone remains uncomfortably hot and ECB members make hawkish noises, weak economic sentiment reads from Germany should not be ignored. We have seen the German (and Eurozone) ZEW 1-year expectations index roll over for the past three months, and there is a reasonable chance we will see this occur on the Ifo report too. And that eases pressure for the ECB to hike and can weigh on the euro, especially if Fed members continue to make hawkish noises as they have over the past couple of weeks.
For international economic comparison, there is the latest download of purchasing managers’ index data for manufacturing and services across the G7 nations.
Central banks in Indonesia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey are expected to leave their interest rates unchanged.
AI mania has sent the share price of Nvidia through the roof, more than doubling this year. Its graphics processing units are the main workhorses for training large language models — and with perfect timing, the company started shipping its new H100 chips this year, the first GPUs specifically designed to handle transformers, the crucial technology behind AI large language models.
There’ll therefore be much interest at Wednesday’s earnings call in how fast the company has been able to scale up production of the H100 to meet the latent demand.
The restaurant industry by way of contrast is having a rotten time. On Monday Prezzo holds a company voluntary arrangement meeting, aiming to close stores and cut staff to recover the core business. If approved by at least 75 per cent of the company’s creditors, 46 of Prezzo’s 143 UK sites will close.
Here are the important things to watch this week:
The Markets This Week:
Expect the debt ceiling to dominate market news this week. The ‘will they, won’t they’ saga still has some legs.
Good news regarding the debt ceiling talks, could see the markets move up.
Bad news probably doesn’t bare thinking about for stock bulls.
Our traders right now are positioned for a SELL OFF in US equities. Perhaps they think the markets have already factored in the ‘good news’ of an agreement being found.
Although as the week evolves, biases can obviously change.
It’s been a great start to 2023 for most of the strategies showcased on TPP. Whether it’s been by correctly calling a sell off, or riding the markets back up- the TPP strategies have coped well.
Here’s hoping for more of the same this week.
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Here is to a great week for your portfolio this week. 😀
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