European Equities: Futures Point Northwards with Economic Data and Monetary Policy in Focus

by Warrior2

Friday, 19th February

French CPI (MoM) (Jan) Final

French HICP (MoM) (Jan) Final

French Manufacturing PMI (Feb) Prelim

French Services PMI (Feb) Prelim

German Manufacturing PMI (Feb) Prelim

German Services PMI (Feb) Prelim

Italian CPI (MoM) (Jan) Final

Eurozone Manufacturing PMI (Feb) Prelim

Eurozone Markit Composite PMI (Feb) Prelim

Eurozone Services PMI (Feb) PrelimAdvertisement

The Majors

It was a bearish day for the European majors on Wednesday, with the DAX30 sliding by 1.10% to lead the way down. The CAC40 and the EuroStoxx600 saw more modest losses of 0.36% and 0.74% respectively.

While market optimism towards an economic recovery continued to provide a cushion, concerns over inflation weighed mid-week.

January inflation figures affirmed a pickup in inflationary pressures, raising concerns of a possible tapering to monetary policy.

With economic data on the lighter side and the FOMC meeting minutes out after the European close, there was little else to provide the markets with direction.

The Stats

It was a particularly quiet day on the economic calendar on Wednesday. There were no material stats from the Eurozone to provide the majors with direction on the day.

For the auto sector, however, car registration numbers from France, Germany, and Italy did provide direction early in the session.

German car registrations tumbled by 45.5% in January, month-on-month, reversing a modest 7.3% rise from December.

The slide in January left car registrations down by 31.1% year-on-year. In December, car registrations had risen by 9.9% year-on-year.

Things were marginally better out of France, where car registrations slid by 32.2% in January. In December, car registrations had jumped by 47.8% month-on-month.

Year-on-year, car registrations were down by just 5.8% in January. This was an improvement on December, where registrations had fallen by 11.8%.

While the domestic auto sector struggled in both France and Germany, Italy did buck the trend.

Car registrations rose by 12.2%, month-on-month, reversing most of a 13.7% slide from December.

Year-on-year, registrations were down by 14.0%. In December, registrations had been down by 14.9%.

While the numbers were dire, the auto sector had a pretty bullish outlook for the year ahead, limiting the damage from the stats.

From the U.S

Key stats included industrial production and retail sales figures.

In January, core retail sales jumped by 5.9%, month-on-month, with retail sales rising by 5.3%. Both came in well ahead of forecasts. In December, core retail sales had fallen by 1.8% and retail sales by 1.0%.

Industrial production figures were also positive, with production rising by 0.9% in January, following a 1.3% increase in December. Economists had forecast a 0.5% rise.

Other stats included business inventory numbers for December that had a muted impact on the majors.

The Market Movers

For the DAX: It was mixed day for the auto sector on Wednesday. Continental and Volkswagen fell by 1.82% and by 0.43% respectively, while BMW and Daimler saw rose 0.57% and by 1.05% respectively.

It was also a mixed day for the banks. Deutsche Bank rose by a modest 0.16%, while Commerzbank fell by 0.30%.

From the CAC, it was a relatively bullish day for the banks. BNP Paribas rose by 0.08%, with Credit Agricole and Soc Gen gaining 0.27% and 0.71% respectively.

It was a bearish day for the French auto sector, however. Stellantis NV slid by 2.44%, with Renault falling by 1.06%.

Air France-KLM also struggled, falling by 2.48%, while Airbus SE eked out a 0.11% gain.

On the VIX Index

It was a 2nd consecutive day in the green for the VIX on Wednesday. Following on from a 7.46% gain on Tuesday, the VIX rose by 0.19% to end the day at 21.50.

The NASDAQ and the S&P500 fell by 0.58% and by 0.03% respectively, while the Dow gained 0.29%.

The Day Ahead

It’s a quiet day ahead on the European economic calendar. Eurozone consumer confidence figures for February are due out later today.

Ahead of the numbers, the ECB monetary policy meeting minutes will also influence. Any gloomy sentiment towards the economic outlook will test support for the majors.

From the U.S, the weekly jobless claims and February Philly FED Manufacturing numbers will also draw interest.

Away from the economic calendar, chatter from Capitol Hill will also need monitoring as the China markets reopen following the Lunar New Year.

The Futures

In the futures markets, at the time of writing, the Dow Mini was up by 62 points, with the DAX up by 45 points.

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