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Bank of Canada expected to raise key interest rate again as inflation persists – Global News

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Inflation appears to have peaked but it’s still running hot and a supersized interest rate hike from the Bank of Canada next week is widely expected.

Some economists think Wednesday’s hike could be the last for a while.

“We think that by the time October comes around, we might be in a good enough position for the bank to take a pause and look at how the economy is reacting,” said Karyne Charbonneau, CIBC’s executive director of economics.

The September rate call comes at a crucial time for Canada’s economy.

Read more:

U.S. Fed chair signals ‘pain’ ahead; more rate hikes needed to tame inflation

As gas prices fell, the year-over-year inflation rate sat at 7.6 per cent in July, down from 8.1 per cent in June. Second-quarter GDP grew compared with the first three months of the year, though that slowed toward the end of the period and a preliminary estimate suggests a contraction in July. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is holding at a historic low.

Despite the drop in the inflation rate, Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said in an Aug. 16 op-ed that nearly 40-year high inflation was still a major concern.

“Inflation in Canada has come down a little, but it remains far too high,” Macklem wrote. “We know our job is not done yet — it won’t be done until inflation gets back to the two per cent target.”

Some of Canada’s major banks are forecasting the central bank will the key interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point, bringing it to 3.25 per cent.

In a closely watched speech last week, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell delivered a stark message on its own rate hike cycle, saying the Fed will likely impose more large interest rate hikes in coming months. His message that the U.S. central bank will stay aggressive on interest rates had some observers speculating that the Bank of Canada hike on Sept. 7 could even be a full percentage point.


Click to play video: 'U.S. Federal Reserve chair says interest rate hikes could continue ‘for some time’'



1:08
U.S. Federal Reserve chair says interest rate hikes could continue ‘for some time’


U.S. Federal Reserve chair says interest rate hikes could continue ‘for some time’ – Aug 26, 2022

The bank hiked its key rate in July by a full percentage point — the largest single rate increase since August 1998 after a series of hikes that began in March. Previously, the rate had been at 0.25 per cent where it sat since it was slashed to near-zero early in the pandemic.

Higher interest rates feed into higher lending rates across the economy, making it more expensive for Canadians and businesses to borrow money. The central bank is hoping that by making the cost of debt more expensive, spending in the economy will slow and inflation will cool.

However, senior economist David Macdonald at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives warns the rapid pace of the hikes could have serious repercussions because of the high level of business and household debt in the economy.

In his latest analysis, Macdonald said private sector debt amounts to 225 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product. By comparison, the last time the bank raised interest rates this rapidly was in 1995, when private sector debt stood at 142 per cent of GDP.

That higher level of debt, he says, will make it harder to achieve the bank’s desired “soft landing,” where interest rate hikes bring inflation down without triggering a recession.

Read more:

Recession fears won’t faze Bank of Canada, economists say. Why that may be a good thing

“What I really wanted to bring out in this analysis was the fact that private sector debt is much higher today than it was in the 1980s and 1990s and previous times that we’ve seen this kind of rapid rate increase,” said Macdonald. “And why this matters, of course, is that it’s not just the interest rate that matters, the interest rate is charged on something. It’s charged on private sector debt.”

Macdonald has been calling for alternative solutions to cool inflation using federal government rather than central bank policy.

Some of his recommendations include changing mortgage underwriting rules for investors to cool housing prices and expanding the new excess corporate profits tax beyond financial institutions.

However, Christopher Ragan, McGill University’s Max Bell School of Public Policy, said the central bank is best-suited to take on the responsibility of maintaining low interest rates.

“There’s very, very good reasons why we have operationally independent central bank trying to target inflation rather than governments, because governments in the past have done a very poor job at that,” he said.

Ragan said the independence of the Bank of Canada allows it to act forcefully in the face of inflation, while any government intervention would be highly political. Nevertheless, Ragan says bringing inflation down with interest rate hikes is painful.

“That’s actually why it’s so important to never let inflation get high in the first place,” said Ragan. “Because it’s not just that high inflation is bad, it’s that reducing high inflation back down to low inflation hurts a lot.”


Click to play video: 'Despite rising interest rates some home buyers are being lured back into the market by falling house prices'



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Despite rising interest rates some home buyers are being lured back into the market by falling house prices


Despite rising interest rates some home buyers are being lured back into the market by falling house prices – Aug 19, 2022

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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Oil Falls Below $80 As Powell Warns A Recession May Be Looming – OilPrice.com

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Oil Falls Below $80 As Powell Warns A Recession May Be Looming | OilPrice.com


Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com

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  • WTI crude dipped below $80 on Friday.
  • Fears of slower economic growth and a recession in Europe spooked oil markets.
  • A third consecutive 75bps interest rate hike by the U.S. Fed forced crude prices lower earlier this week.

Trade

Oil prices dipped by 5% early on Friday, with the U.S. benchmark slumping to the lowest level since January, on the back of heightened concerns about slowing economic growth and recessions looming.

As of 10:06 a.m. ET on Friday, WTI Crude had dipped below the $80 a barrel mark, and was trading down by 5.58% at $78.83 per barrel. Brent Crude, the international benchmark, was at $86.11, down by 4.81% on the day.

The front-month WTI contract was headed to a drop of more than 5% this week, in which fears of slowing oil demand amid possible recessions trumped the escalation of the Russian war in Ukraine.

Oil prices jumped earlier this week when Vladimir Putin ordered a “partial mobilization” of 300,000 men to send to fight in Ukraine in the first mass draft in Russia since World War II. Putin also hinted at the possibility of using “any means” to defend Russia, which analysts interpreted as a threat he could use nuclear weapons.

Yet, oil prices fell later in the week on the strong dollar and fears of a recession intensified with major central banks hiking interest rates again to fight inflation. This week, the Fed raised the key rate by another 75 basis points for a third consecutive time. On the following day, the Bank of England raised rates by 50 basis points to 2.25%, the highest rate since the start of the 2008 financial crisis.

“Crude oil meanwhile headed lower after spending most of the week confined to a relative tight range with the Powell versus Putin battle (demand versus supply) not having a clear winner until Friday when both Brent and WTI dropped as the FOMC driven slump in risk appetite and growth angst was dialed up a notch as the dollar and yields continued to surge higher,” Ole Hansen, Head of Commodity Strategy at Saxo Bank said in a weekly commodities note on Friday.

“A difficult and potentially volatile quarter awaits with multiple and contradictory uncertainties having their say in the direction. While the risk to growth is being priced in, the market has left it to another day to worry about the supply-reducing impact of an EU embargo on Russian oil and fuel as well as a part reversal of the US selling 180 million barrels from its Strategic Reserves,” Hansen added.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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Why selloff in gold is not over: $1600 danger zone for gold price – Kitco NEWS

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Editor’s Note: With so much market volatility, stay on top of daily news! Get caught up in minutes with our speedy summary of today’s must-read news and expert opinions. Sign up here!

(Kitco News)Gold is trading near 2.5-year lows after a hawkish Federal Reserve sent the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields higher. This macro environment is likely to push more people away from gold, creating a great buying opportunity, according to analysts.

Volatility in the markets and dramatic FX plays did not leave gold untouched as the precious metal fell another 1.7% this week. After raising rates by 75 basis points for the third time in a row, the Fed upped its funds rate to 4.4% by the end of 2022 and to 4.6% in 2023.

For markets, this could translate into another 75-basis-point hike in November and an additional 50-basis-point increase in December.

“We’ve seen significant increases in the markets’ estimates of what the federal funds rate will do over the next year. It is quite a big difference from a month ago, and it is in line with the Fed being more aggressive,” TD Securities global head of commodity markets strategy Bart Melek told Kitco News. “The real rates are rising. That’s negative for gold. High cost of carry and high opportunity cost will probably drive capital away.”

Also, this type of hawkishness means that the peak in the U.S. dollar rally is still some time away, which is bad news for gold.

“Looks like this dollar rally is not peaking. The current market environment will likely remain unsettling. Fed rate hike expectations are widely swinging. We are not going to see that ease up until we see inflation come down,” OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya told Kitco News. “The problem is that we do not see the economy weaken quickly. When we do, that’s when you’ll see a peak in the dollar. For gold, it is all about when we see that.”

With the Dow touching the lowest level of the year Friday and more volatility ahead, gold is unlikely to see a strong rally in the short term. “We will not get a strong rush to buy gold just yet. There are low volatility instruments out there that are now giving you some yield. That is taking away from gold,” Moya added.

Eventually, gold will become a safe haven again as the appetite for equities wanes. But before that happens, the economy needs to slow, and inflation needs to decelerate. “Once we start seeing inflation moving into a more benign type level, the Fed can quickly turn. As they went from dovish to hawkish, they can go the other way. But it is unlikely any time soon,” Melek pointed out.



The big risk for the precious metal is a drop below $1,600 an ounce. “If we break $1,600, then $1,540 would be the line in the sand where we start to see buyers emerge. Gold will benefit from safe-haven flows abroad,” said Moya.

Melek also sees gold falling below $1,600 an ounce as likely. “Volatility will be higher going forward. As volatility increases, margin calls increase. Long positions can’t be extended. We are not going to see a big reentrance of positions. Nasty environment for gold,” he described.

Gold is watching the upcoming employment and inflation data from September. “The market is still looking at very tight labor conditions in the U.S. and implication that wage pressures will continue to be an issue,” Melek said.

Market consensus calls are looking for the U.S. economy to have created 300,000 positions in September, with the unemployment rate at 3.5%, which is near 50-year lows.

On a positive note, gold at these levels is a great entry point for buyers.

“This makes physical gold cheaper. It’s a buying opportunity. The Fed has been stressing that they have a dual mandate. And as inflation gets under control, the Fed could be quick to reverse in 2023. Real rates will be much more friendly to gold. I do expect gold to do well in the long-term,” Melek said.

However, for now, resistance is at $1,678-80, and support is around the $1,580 an ounce level, he added.

Next week’s data

Tuesday: Fed Chair Powell speaks, U.S. durable goods orders, CB consumer confidence, new home sales
Wednesday: U.S. pending home sales
Thursday: U.S. jobless claims, GDP Q2
Friday: U.S. persoanl income and PCE price index, Michigan consumer sentiment

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Risk assets crushed with few signs drama is over – BNN Bloomberg

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A selloff in the riskier corners of the market deepened as the U.K.’s plan to lift its economy fuelled concerns about heightened inflation that could lead to higher rates, adding to fears of a global recession.

It was a sea of red across equity trading desks, with the S&P 500 briefly breaching its June closing trough — and failing to pierce its intraday low for the year. Chartists looking for signs of where the rout might ease had identified that as a potential area for support. Yet the lack of full-blown capitulation may be an indication the drawdown isn’t over. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. slashed its target for U.S. stocks, warning that a dramatic upward shift in the outlook for rates will weigh on valuations.

As risk-off sentiment took hold, Wall Street’s “fear gauge” soared to a three-month high, with the Cboe Volatility Index momentarily topping 30. Throughout the year, the U.S. equity benchmark has hit near-term lows when the VIX was above that level, according to DataTrek Research.

A surge in the greenback to a fresh record swept aside global currencies. The euro slid to its weakest since 2002, while sterling hit a 37-year low — with former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers saying that “naive” U.K. policies may create the circumstances for the pound to sink past parity with the dollar. 

Treasury 10-year yields fell after earlier topping 3.8 per cent. Meanwhile, two-year US rates climbed for 12 straight days — an up streak not seen since at least 1976. 

“It appears that traders and investors are going to throw in the towel on this week in what feels like ‘the sky is falling’ type of event,” said Kenny Polcari, chief strategist at SlateStone Wealth. “Once everyone stops saying that they ‘think a recession is coming’ and accepts the fact that it is here already – then the psyche will change.”

Liz Truss’s new U.K. government delivered the most sweeping tax cuts since 1972 at a time when the Bank of England is struggling to rein in inflation, which is running at almost five times its target. The plunge in gilts means that investors are now betting the central bank boosts its benchmark lending rate by a full point to 3.25 per cent in November, which would be the sharpest increase since 1989.

Amid heightened fears over a hard economic landing, commodities got hammered across the board. West Texas Intermediate settled below $79 a barrel for the first time since January, posting its longest stretch of weekly losses this year. Not even gold — a haven asset — was able to gain due to a surging dollar, and sank to the lowest level in two years.

The greenback’s strength has been unrelenting and will also exert a “meaningful drag” on corporate earnings — serving as a key headwind for stocks, said David Rosenberg, founder of his namesake research firm.

KKR & Co. sees potential trouble ahead, including a mild recession next year, with the Fed narrowly focused on driving up unemployment to tame inflation. The US labor shortage is so severe that it’s possible the Fed’s tightening doesn’t work, wrote Henry McVey, chief investment officer of the firm’s balance sheet.

“This is a more draconian outcome than corporate profits falling,” he noted, “because it will encourage the Fed to tighten even further.”

Investors are flocking to cash and shunning almost every other asset class as they turn the most pessimistic since the global financial crisis, according to Bank of America Corp. Investor sentiment is “unquestionably” the worst it’s been since the turmoil of 2008, strategists led by Michael Hartnett wrote in a note.

“It’s a realization that interest rates are going to continue to rise here and that that’s going to put pressure on earnings,” said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank. “Valuations are still a little high even though they’ve come down, interest rates still have a lot further to go up and what impact that will have on the global economy — are we headed for a sharper recession than the recession everybody expected? I think it’s a combination of all of that, it’s not good news.”

‘MEANINGFUL DRAG’

Amid heightened fears over a hard economic landing, commodities got hammered across the board. West Texas Intermediate tumbled below $79 a barrel for the first time since January, posting its longest stretch of weekly losses this year. Not even gold — a haven asset — was able to gain due to a surging dollar, and sank to the lowest level in two years.

The greenback’s strength has been unrelenting and will also exert a “meaningful drag” on corporate earnings — serving as a key headwind for stocks, said David Rosenberg, founder of his namesake research firm.

KKR & Co. sees potential trouble ahead, including a mild recession next year, with the Fed narrowly focused on driving up unemployment to tame inflation. The US labor shortage is so severe that it’s possible the Fed’s tightening doesn’t work, wrote Henry McVey, chief investment officer of the firm’s balance sheet.

“This is a more draconian outcome than corporate profits falling,” he noted, “because it will encourage the Fed to tighten even further.”

Investors are flocking to cash and shunning almost every other asset class as they turn the most pessimistic since the global financial crisis, according to Bank of America Corp. Investor sentiment is “unquestionably” the worst it’s been since the crisis of 2008, strategists led by Michael Hartnett wrote in a note.

“It’s a realization that interest rates are going to continue to rise here and that that’s going to put pressure on earnings,” said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank. “Valuations are still a little high even though they’ve come down, interest rates still have a lot further to go up and what impact that will have on the global economy — are we headed for a sharper recession than the recession everybody expected? I think it’s a combination of all of that, it’s not good news.”

EXTREME PESSIMISM

Stocks are indeed still far from being obvious bargains. At the low in June, the S&P 500 was trading at 18 times earnings, a multiple that surpassed trough valuations seen in all previous 11 bear cycles, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In other words, should equities recover from here, this bear-market bottom will have been the most expensive since the 1950s. 

Bleak sentiment is often considered a contrarian indicator for the US stock market, under the belief that extreme pessimism may signal brighter times ahead. But history suggests that equity losses may accelerate even further from here before the current bear market ends, according to Ned Davis Research.

In another threat to stocks, different iterations of the so-called Fed model, which compares bond yields to stock earnings’ yields, show equities are least appealing relative to corporate bonds and Treasuries since 2009 and early 2010, respectively. This signal is getting attention among investors, who can now know look to other markets for similar or better returns.

“The next question is when and how far do earnings estimates decline for 2023,” said Ellen Hazen, chief market strategist and portfolio manager at F.L. Putnam Investment Management. “Earnings estimates for next year are too high, they really have not come down, and as that happens you’re going to have further equity pain because in addition to the multiple coming down via the yield mechanism, the earnings you’re applying that multiple to are going to come down as well.”

As slower growth and tighter financial conditions start catching up to companies, a wave of downgrades will come for the US investment-grade corporate bond market.

That’s according to strategists at Barclays Plc, who say companies are facing margin pressure thanks to high inventories, supply chain issues, and a strong dollar. The firm expects the average monthly volume of downgrades to increase to $180 billion of bonds over the next half year. The current monthly average is closer to $40 billion.

Some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 fell 1.7 per cent as of 4 p.m. New York time
  • The Nasdaq 100 fell 1.7 per cent
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.6 per cent
  • The MSCI World index fell 2.1 per cent

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 1.3 per cent
  • The euro fell 1.5 per cent to $0.9693
  • The British pound fell 3.5 per cent to $1.0868
  • The Japanese yen fell 0.6 per cent to 143.30 per dollar

Cryptocurrencies

  • Bitcoin fell 2.2 per cent to $18,823.63
  • Ether fell 2.4 per cent to $1,292.77

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined four basis points to 3.68 per cent
  • Germany’s 10-year yield advanced six basis points to 2.02 per cent
  • Britain’s 10-year yield advanced 33 basis points to 3.83 per cent

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 5.3 per cent to $79.06 a barrel
  • Gold futures fell 1.7 per cent to $1,651.80 an ounce

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