Technical Analysis

Week Ahead Preview: China CCP Congress; Inflation data from UK, NZ, EZ, JP, CA

  • SUN: Chinese CCP National Congress.
  • MON: New Zealand CPI (Q3).
  • TUE: RBA Minutes, Chinese GDP (Q3)/Retail Sales (Sep)/Industrial Output
    (Sep), German ZEW Survey (Oct).
  • WED: UK Inflation (Sep), EZ Final CPI (Sep), Canadian CPI (Sep).
  • THU: PBoC LPR Announcement, CBRT Announcement, Bank of Indonesia
    Announcement, Australian Jobs Report (Sep), US Philly Fed.
  • FRI: Japanese CPI (Sep), UK Retail Sales (Sep), Canadian Retail Sales (Aug).

NOTE: Previews are listed in day-order

Chinese CCP National Congress (Sun):

The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) National Congress kicks off on
Sunday 16th October. The meeting occurs every five years and will decide on
China’s top positions for the next five years. Any hints about China’s future
direction will be followed closely on a global scale, with China being the
world’s second-largest economy and with one of the largest military forces at a
time of heightened geopolitical tensions. Heading into the event, some have
suggested that the lack of leaks has been “a rare phenomenon.” At the party
congress this week, Xi Jinping appears certain to secure a third term as CCP
leader, and he is likely to retain the title of Chairman of China’s Central
Military Commission. At this point, he also looks set to keep the Presidency at
the annual National People’s Congress in Spring 2023 (touted to be in March).
With the reappointment of Xi Jinping, stability and continuity are expected –
including growth and housing market policies. The focus will likely be the
replacement of Premier Li Keqiang, who announced he will be stepping down. The
economic policy itself will likely not be discussed at the Party Congress,
according to SocGen. Another focal point could be China’s COVID policy – “Some
observers say the party may use the Congress to declare victory over the
pandemic and end the zero Covid policy.”, according to the BBC.

New Zealand CPI (Mon):

The Q3 CPI metrics are expected to cool from Q2, with the Q/Q rate seen
at 1.6% (prev. 1.7%) and the Y/Y forecast at 6.6% (prev. 7.3%). Desks suggest
that the quarter saw large increases in food and housing costs, which were
partially offset by a decline in fuel. Core inflation metrics are likely to
remain elevated amid ongoing pressures on wages, operating costs, and
resilience in demand. RBNZ’s last published forecast sees the Q3 metrics at
1.4%. The October RBNZ announcement touted larger OCR increases than previously
expected could be needed to tame inflation. “That suggests that the RBNZ is
already braced for a stronger rise in the CPI”, according to Westpac, who
themselves see a hotter Q/Q figure of 1.8% in Q3.

RBA Minutes (Tue):

The RBA will release minutes from the October meeting where it surprised
markets with a smaller-than-expected rate hike as it opted for a 25bps increase
instead of the consensus for another 50bps rise, although this followed several
hints by the central bank of a future slowdown in the pace of tightening. The
central bank’s statement suggested further upcoming hikes with the Board
committed to returning inflation to the 2%-3% target range over time and it
expects to increase interest rates over the period ahead. Furthermore, the RBA
reiterated that the size and timing of future interest rate increases will
continue to be determined by incoming data and the Board’s assessment of the
outlook for inflation and the labour market, while the central bank also noted
that the Cash Rate had been increased substantially in a short period of time
and it remains resolute in its determination to return inflation to target.

Chinese GDP/Retail Sales/Industrial Output (Tue):

Chinese GDP data for Q3 is due next week and will provide the latest
insight into the health of the world’s second-largest economy, and is expected
to show a recovery from the prior quarterly contraction with the Q/Q metric
forecast at 3.8% vs prev. -2.6% and with Y/Y growth seen accelerating to 3.5%
vs prev. 0.4%. Q2 GDP was disappointing with Y/Y growth at its slowest pace
since the start of the pandemic due to lockdowns and COVID restrictions
affecting the two most populous cities of Shanghai and Beijing as China
enforced a strict zero policy and with supply chain disruptions impacting the
manufacturing hub in the Yangtze River Delta region. Nonetheless, there are
forecasts for an improvement in Q3, although the rebound is likely to be
limited by the continued sporadic virus outbreaks across China, as well as the
record heatwave and severe drought in the south west during the quarter which
resulted in power supply cuts and factory closures in the key electronics and
lithium manufacturing province of Sichuan and auto hub of Chongqing. The data
will coincide with the latest release of monthly activity figures, which are
forecast somewhat mixed, with Industrial Production growth expected to
strengthen to 4.7% from prev. 4.2% and Retail Sales slow to 3.0% from 5.4%,
although the attention will be on the GDP numbers.

UK Inflation (Wed):

Expectations are for Y/Y CPI to climb to 10.1% from 9.9% with the core
Y/Y metric set to rise to 6.4% from 6.3%. The prior report was characterised by
some slight reprieve in price pressures after declines in contributions from
motor fuels offset upside pressure from food and non-alcoholic beverages. This
time around, analysts at Investec expect a similar story after petrol prices
fell by 4.1% on average in September and the secondhand car market continued to
soften. That said, against this trend, Investec cautions that they expect to
see “evidence of continued inflationary momentum, especially given the weakness
of sterling over September” which will push up “imported costs, particularly
food, which tends to react quickly to changes in the exchange rate”. The report
will likely be viewed as an input to the November meeting, however, the release
might be of lesser significance for the immediate policy outlook compared to
prior months given the impact of fiscal events on the UK economic outlook. At
the time of writing, after sacking Chancellor Kwarteng, another u-turn on the
government’s “mini-budget” is inevitable, however, the extent to which is yet
to be confirmed. Policymakers on the MPC will be hopeful that the government
will be able to stick to the October 31st date to outline its latest plans. As
it stands, markets currently price a 65% chance of a 75bps hike and a 35%
chance of a 100bps move with 187bps worth of tightening priced by year-end.
Looking further ahead, guidance from the BoE in the September statement noted
that “given the Energy Price Guarantee, the peak in measured CPI inflation is
now likely to be lower than projected in the August Report, at just under 11%
in October. Nevertheless, energy bills will still go up and, combined with the
indirect effects of higher energy costs, inflation is expected to remain above
10% over the following few months, before starting to fall back.”

PBoC LPR (Thu):

PBoC is likely to keep benchmark lending rates unchanged at its upcoming
monthly Loan Prime Rate setting with the 1-Year LPR, which is what most loans
are based on to be maintained at 3.65% and the 5-Year LPR, which is the
reference for mortgages, to be kept at 4.30%. As a reminder, the PBoC kept its
benchmark rates unchanged last month as expected, but had lowered rates in
August with a 5bps reduction to the 1-Year LPR and a 15bps cut to the 5-Year
LPR which suggested the central bank was geared towards providing relief for
the flagging property sector. In terms of the central bank’s rhetoric, the PBoC
has continuously reiterated a prudent monetary policy stance, albeit with a
pledge to step up the implementation of its prudent approach, while its recent
actions whereby it conducted the largest weekly net drain via reverse repo
operations at the end of the National Day Golden Week holiday also points to
the central bank’s preference for avoiding excess liquidity in the interbank
market. In addition, the continued weakening of the CNY against the USD owing
to the policy divergences between the Fed and PBoC is another factor supporting
the view for China’s central bank to refrain from further rate cuts, although
participants will be looking out for the decision on the 1-Year Marginal
Lending Facility Rate to support their views which is released a few days
beforehand and is a leading signal for the central bank’s intentions for
benchmark rates.

CBRT Announcement (Thu):

The CBRTs latest survey shows business leaders and economists expect the
repo rate to be at 9.41% in three-months time (it was 12.59% in the previous
survey), and is seen at 15.53% in 12-months (prev. 15.42%); the rate is
currently at 12.00%. After a seven month pause, the CBRT cut rates in August
and September; even though inflation has continued to climb. Credit Suisse
thinks inflation will rise towards 85% Y/Y in the coming months; “authorities
will probably continue to implement ad hoc measures as long as they can in
order to sustain what we view as this ultimately unsustainable policy stance,”
the bank says (in December the central bank announced its Lira deposit scheme,
which compensates TRY deposits against currency depreciations), adding that
“our 12-month policy rate forecast of 12.00% does not imply that we think the
current policy stance is sustainable for 12 months, it reflects our view that
the timing of the policy adjustment required for price (and financial)
stability is impossible to predict given the authorities’ approach to
policymaking and that a conventional policy adjustment will likely be delivered
if/when ad hoc measures have been exhausted.” The bank argues that the timing
of moves towards conventional policy are likely to depend on political
considerations – the Presidential and Parliamentary elections are scheduled to
take place no later than the middle of next year.

Australian Jobs Report (Thu):

September is expected to have seen 25k jobs gains (vs +33.5k in August),
with the unemployment and participation rates both forecast to remain steady at
3.5% and 66.6% respectively. Desks suggest weekly payrolls are indicative of a
modest rise, whilst “there is likely to be upward revisions”, according to
Westpac. The Aussie bank expects the employment change to rise 17k, with
participation steady and the unemployment rate to be rounded down to 3.4% from
the previously rounded-up 3.5%. In the October RBA monetary policy statement,
Governor Lowe suggested “the labour market is very tight and many firms are
having difficulty hiring workers. The unemployment rate in August was 3.5 per
cent, around the lowest rate in almost 50 years. Job vacancies and job ads are
both at very high levels, suggesting a further decline in the unemployment rate
over the months ahead. Beyond that, some increase in the unemployment rate is
expected as economic growth slows.” To recap, the RBA surprised markets with a
smaller-than-expected rate hike in which it opted for a 25bps increase instead
of the consensus for another 50bps rise. Nonetheless, the central bank has
suggested further upcoming hikes with the Board committed to returning
inflation to the 2–3% target range over time and it expects to increase
interest rates further over the period ahead.

Japanese CPI (Fri):

The latest Japanese inflation data is due next week and will likely
remain elevated after the 3.0% increase in headline National CPI and 2.8% rise
in the Core (Ex. Fresh Food) CPI in August which were both higher than expected
and above the BoJ’s 2% price goal, as well as their highest readings since
2014. The upside was driven by increases in food prices and energy costs with
upward pressure on raw materials as the JPY continued to weaken, while the
Tokyo CPI data for September which is a leading indicator for nationwide inflation
matched expectations for the headline and core readings at 2.8% each vs
previous of 2.9% and 2.6%, respectively. Nonetheless, the above target
inflation is unlikely to spur a policy adjustment by the BoJ as Governor Kuroda
recently noted that once the impact of energy and fuel price rises starts
waning, Japan’s inflation rate will slow down to less than 2% in the next
fiscal year, while he also suggested that wages are increasing, but are not
sufficient enough to guarantee 2% inflation and suggested they cannot simply
jump to the conclusion that Japan will be able to achieve 2% inflation in two
years or one year to be able to change monetary policy now.

UK Retail Sales (Fri):

Expectations are for M/M retail sales in September to contract by 0.5%
with the core metric forecast at -0.3%. The August report saw a 1.6% M/M
contraction in retail sales with the ONS noting that “all main sectors (food
stores, non-food stores, non-store retailing and fuel) fell over the month;
this last happened in July 2021”. This time around, the cost-of-living crisis
is expected to continue to depress consumer demand with the latest BRC retail
sales report noting that “while UK retail sales grew in September, this
represented another month of falling sales volumes given high levels of
inflation. As consumer confidence continued to fall, people shopped cautiously,
avoiding large ticket items…”. Elsewhere, the Barclaycard spending report
observed that “consumers are taking a savvy approach to budgeting as they
reduce spending on discretionary items and seek more value in their weekly
shop, which is having a knock-on effect on retail and hospitality sectors”.

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