Month: July 2021

IMF Raises Global Growth Forecast For Next Year

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday raised the global growth forecast for next year and the growth is projected to be driven largely by the expansion in the advanced economies, while their emerging and developing peers are set to have modest gains. The global growth forecast for 2022 was raised to 4.9 percent from 4.4 percent, the IMF said in an update to its World Economic Forecast. “The 0.5 percentage-point upgrade for 2022 derives largely from the forecast upgrade for advanced economies, particularly the United States, reflecting the anticipated legislation of additional fiscal support in the second half of 2021 and improved health metrics more broadly across the group,” the IMF said. The growth projection for this year was retained at 6.0 percent. “The recovery is not assured until the pandemic is beaten back globally,” IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said. The global lender forecast inflation to return to its pre-Covid levels in most countries next year, once the impact of the unusual developments related to the pandemic and transitory supply-demand mismatches work their way through prices. High food prices may lead to elevated inflation in some emerging market and developing economies, the report said. The IMF urged central banks to generally look through transitory inflation pressures and avoid tightening until there is more clarity on underlying price dynamics. The lender also stressed that clear communication from central banks on the outlook for monetary policy will be key to shaping inflation expectations and safeguarding against premature tightening of financial conditions. “There is, however, a risk that transitory pressures could become more persistent and central banks may need to take preemptive action,” the IMF said. .

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U.S. Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Inches Higher In July

Consumer confidence in the U.S. saw a slight improvement from an upwardly revised level in the month of July, according to a report released by the Conference Board on Tuesday. The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index inched up to 129.1 in July from an upwardly revised 128.9 in June. Economists had expected the index to drop to 124.9 from the 127.3 originally reported for the previous month. With the unexpected uptick, the consumer confidence index reached its highest level since hitting 132.6 in February of 2020. “Spending intentions picked up in July, with a larger percentage of consumers saying they planned to purchase homes, automobiles, and major appliances in the coming months,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. She added, “Thus, consumer spending should continue to support robust economic growth in the second half of 2021.” The modest increase by the headline index came as the present situation index crept up to 160.3 in July from 159.6 in June. Consumers’ appraisal of current business conditions improved slightly, while their assessment of the labor market was relatively flat. Meanwhile, the report showed the expectations index came in at 108.4 in July, virtually unchanged from 108.5 in the previous month. While consumers’ optimism about the short-term business conditions outlook eased slightly, they remained upbeat about their short-term financial prospects. On Friday, the University of Michigan is scheduled to release its revised reading on consumer sentiment in the month of July. The consumer sentiment index for July is expected to be unrevised from the preliminary reading of 80.8, which was down from 85.5 in June. .

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Treasuries Close Modestly Higher But Well Off Best Levels

After trending lower over the past few sessions, treasuries regained some ground during trading on Monday. Bond prices pulled back after seeing initial strength but managed to close modestly higher. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, edged down by 1 basis point to 1.276 percent. The early advance by treasuries may have reflected concerns about the outlook for the global economy as the delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread. Worries about tensions between the U.S. and China may also have increased the appeal of bonds, with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng saying that the relationship between the world’s two largest economies “is now in a stalemate and faces serious difficulties.” Buying interest waned shortly after the start of trading, however, as traders looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement on Wednesday. The Fed is expected to leave interest rates unchanged, but traders will be paying close attention to any comments regarding the central bank’s asset purchase program. In U.S. economic news, the Commerce Department released a report this morning unexpectedly showing another steep drop in new home sales in the month of June. The report said new home sales tumbled by 6.6 percent to an annual rate of 676,000 in June after plunging by 7.8 percent to a revised rate of 724,000 in May. The continued nosedive surprised economists, who had expected new home sales to jump by 4.0 percent to an annual rate of 800,000 from the 769,000 originally reported for the previous month. With the unexpected decrease, new home sales slumped to their lowest annual rate since hitting 582,000 in April of last year. Meanwhile, the Treasury Department revealed this month’s auction of $60 billion worth of two-year notes attracted modestly below average demand. The two-year note auction drew a high yield of 0.213 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.47, while the ten previous two-year note auctions had an average bid-to-cover ratio of 2.53. The bid-to-cover ratio is a measure of demand that indicates the amount of bids for each dollar worth of securities being sold. Looking ahead, the Treasury is due to announce the results of this month’s auction of $61 billion worth of five-year notes on Tuesday Trading on Tuesday may also be impacted by reaction to reports on durable goods orders and consumer confidence, although activity is likely to remain light ahead of the Fed announcement. .

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Dollar Loses Ground Against Peers As Traders Await Fed Meeting

The U.S. dollar lost ground against its major rivals on Monday ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting which begins on Tuesday. The dollar fell as treasury yields dropped after talks between the U.S. and China failed to resolve outstanding issues between the two sides triggered buying interest in safe-haven treasury bonds. China’s Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng accused the Biden administration for suppressing the country’s development and urged Washington “to change its highly misguided mindset and dangerous policy.” Traders now look ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting for more hints about its plan to scale back the bond buying program. It is widely expected that the Fed will likely keep its funds target rate and quantitative easing programme unchanged. All eyes will be on the central bank’s ongoing debate on tapering its $120 billion a month bond buying program. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged that current inflationary pressures could be transitory and stimulus measures will remain in place for some time. In U.S. economic news, a report from the Commerce Department showed an unexpected steep drop in new home sales in the month of June. The report said new home sales tumbled by 6.6% to an annual rate of 676,000 in June after plunging by 7.8% to a revised rate of 724,000 in May. Economists had expected new home sales to jump by 4% to an annual rate of 800,000 from the 769,000 originally reported for the previous month. With the unexpected decrease, new home sales slumped to their lowest annual rate since hitting 582,000 in April of last year. The dollar index, which drifted down to 92.53, recovered a bit to 92.62, but was still down more than 0.3% from Friday’s close. Against the Euro, the dollar weakened to 1.1806, giving up nearly 0.3% from Friday’s 1.1772. A survey showed German business confidence unexpectedly weakened in July as managers’ optimism was clouded by problems with the supply of raw materials and other products and by an upturn in coronavirus infections. The Pound Sterling was stronger against the dollar, fetching $1.3823 a unit, gaining from $1.3748. The Bank of England’s external monetary policy committee member Gertjan Vlieghe said in a speech to the London School of Economics that the current monetary stimulus should be maintained for several quarters at least, and probably longer. Against the Yen, the dollar weakened to 110.39 yen, easing from 110.55. The manufacturing sector in Japan continued to expand in July, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from Jibun Bank revealed on Monday with a manufacturing PMI score of 52.2. The dollar dropped to 0.7383 against the Aussie from 0.7366. The Swiss franc firmed to 0.9155 a dollar from 0.9194. The dollar was weak against the Loonie as well, dropping to C$1.2545 from C$1.2564. .

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Dollar Drifts Lower Against Major Rivals

After showing some strength in the Asian session amid concerns over a possible slowdown in global growth momentum, the U.S. dollar retreated on Friday as stock markets turned positive and the rally in Treasuries halted. The dollar index, which advanced to 92.54 in the Asian session, dropped to 92.09, down nearly 0.4% from Thursday’s close. Against the Euro, the dollar weakened to 1.1880, giving up nearly 0.3%. The Pound Sterling gained sharply, fetching $1.3899 a unit, compared with $1.3788 Thursday evening. Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the UK economy expanded for the fourth consecutive month in May, albeit at a slower pace and remained below the pre-pandemic levels. The Yen weakened to 110.13 against the dollar, easing from 109.76. Against the Aussie, the dollar dropped to 0.7492, losing 0.85% from 0.7429. The Swiss Franc recovered to 0.9138 a dollar from 0.9154. The Loonie strengthened to 1.2439 a dollar from 1.2534 Thursday evening, after data showed a bigger than expected increase in Canadian job growth. Data from Statistics Canada showed that employment rose by 230,700 jobs in June following a decrease of 68,000 jobs in May. Economists had expected employment to grow by 195,000 jobs. The unemployment rate in Canada dropped to 7.8% in June from 8.2% in May. Economists had expected the employment rate to fall by 7.7%. .

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