Morning Bid: PMIs to lead as central banks wait on rates

By Thomson Reuters May 22, 2024 | 11:31 PM

A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Rae Wee

Flash Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) figures in the euro zone, the UK and the United States take centre stage on Thursday, and investors will be on the lookout for whether the global growth narrative is showing signs of change.

Strategists at S&P Global Market Intelligence noted that after the composite PMI in the United States came in below its euro zone and UK counterparts last month, May’s flash PMI numbers will be eagerly awaited to “gauge whether global growth momentum has shifted” from the U.S. to Europe.

Part of that shift could get some momentum on expectations that the Bank of England (BoE) and the European Central Bank(ECB) are likely to cut rates next month, while an easing cycle in the United States is meanwhile still some time away.

Bets for an imminent rate cut by the Federal Reserve were again pared after minutes of the central bank’s latest policy meeting came in more hawkish than expected, breathing new life into the dollar and keeping U.S. Treasury yields elevated.

Patience on rates has reemerged as a theme across central banks globally, with New Zealand’s central bank governor Adrian Orr on Thursday expressing disappointment over stubborn domestic inflation.

In other news, Taiwan’s military mobilised its forces and said it was confident it could protect the island, after China started two days of “punishment” drills around Taiwan on Thursday in what it said was a response to “separatist acts”.

That kept a lid on risk sentiment in Asia hours, though Taiwan’s stock market seemed to prefer the positive news from AI darling Nvidia’s revenue forecasts and surged to a record high.

Key developments that could influence markets on Thursday:

– Euro zone flash composite PMI (May)

– UK flash composite PMI (May)

– U.S. flash composite PMI (May)

(By Rae Wee; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)