Fed leads race to cut last

By Thomson Reuters Apr 11, 2024 | 11:44 PM

A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Kevin Buckland

The question over which big central bank will be the last to cut rates took a major twist this week following dovish signals from the ECB’s policy meeting and a U.S. CPI shock that’s still reverberating in markets.

The focus in Europe now falls on the UK, with the release of monthly GDP for February for the latest clues on when the Bank of England will move.

BoE policymaker Megan Greene pushed back against punters betting the UK will cut before the Fed, arguing inflation in Britain was even stickier than it was in the U.S.

Markets can look forward to potential policy hints from ECB officials including Pablo Hernandez de Cos, Luis de Guindos and Frank Elderson at various events over the course of the day, with the Fed’s Jeffrey Schmid, Raphael Bostic and Mary Daly also on speaking duty.

Currently, traders expect an ECB cut in June, a BoE easing in August, and a Fed reduction in September. The currency market reflects that shift, with the dollar sitting near multi-month high to both the euro and sterling.

The yen, meanwhile, is clinging to the 34-year low against the greenback from Thursday, prompting another round of intervention warnings from Japan’s finance minister.

European equities look set to slump to another weekly decline, with the STOXX 600 entering Friday down 0.4%, and a Wall Street-inspired rally unlikely considering Asia’s lukewarm reception.

Corporate news will become increasingly important for equity direction from today, with the big banks – including JPM, Wells Fargo and Citigroup – kicking off the U.S. earnings season.

Big Tech’s reporting season gets underway next week, with Netflix on Thursday.

Key developments that could influence markets on Friday:

-UK GDP (Feb)

-Germany, France, Spain final CPI (Mar)

-Earnings from JPM, Wells Fargo, Citi, BlackRock, State Street

(This story has been refiled to fix a typo in paragraph 3)

(Editing by Sam Holmes.)