Good morning, traders! Welcome back to our weekly look at the macroeconomic calendar interesting us as metals traders over the next five trading days.
Gold and silver prices are lower this morning, with the yellow metal’s spot value sliding back to $1485/oz while silver manages to trade above support at $17.55 despite its weakness. Both metals are being weighted down as the US Dollar is finding some stability and upward momentum following a rocky end to last week; likewise, US equities are off to a strong start to the trading week.
For a second week in a row, we’re looking and a fairly quiet calendar in terms of scheduled data releases. This means we can expect more influence on the precious metals and currency charts to come from the news flow and narratives that we continue to watch around the globe, namely: the ongoing negotiations and/or dramatics around US-China trade peace talks, impending impeachment proceedings in Washington, and the attention-grabbing histrionics around the UK and EU as they barrel towards the Brexit deadline.
US Economic Data to Watch
Tuesday, October 22 at 10am EDT // Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index (Oct)
[consensus expectation: -7.0 // previous: -9.0]
I know I said last week that I was going to be pulling back on my attention paid to these regional reads on industrial activity within the US economy, and I promise I meant it. But after last week’s data—Empire State improved, but still weak; Philly Fed beneath expectations —I feel compelled to track a little farther. For now, I just want to see where the Richmond data is going after having a very ugly summer.
Tuesday, October 22 at 10am EDT // Existing Home Sales (Sep)
[consensus exp.: -0.6% MoM // prev.: +1.3%]
If last week’s data can be expected to set the tone for the September housing market, it’s reasonable to expect Existing Home Sales to pull-back from and strong pop in August. To be honest, housing market reads still kind of bore me as a metals and currency trader, but in the search for input that might on-the-fence FOMC voters to the side of the hawks or doves I think housing remains a leading indicator worth observing.
Thursday, October 24 at 8:30am EDT // Durable Goods Orders (Sep)
[(headline) consensus exp.: -0.6% MoM // prev.: +0.2%]
[(core) consensus exp.: -0.2% MoM // prev.: +0.3%]
Durable Goods data (the headline number, at least) has outperformed expectations over the last couple of months. With the increased pressure of tariffs and retaliations between the US and China, the market seems justified in calling for a pullback here—especially since we know that the aircraft orders component remains very weak. The data point this week with the most immediate market impact traditionally, a month-over-month loss for September probably doesn’t spook risk positions unless it’s below -1.0%; but another increase for the month may well send hawkish FOMC signals, driving risk assets and the Dollar higher while weakening gold. The less-volatile core data should report in lockstep with the headline numbers, although the market would certainly be more upset by major weakness passed-though to that data specifically.
Thursday, October 24 at 8:30am EDT // Initial Jobless Claims
[consensus exp.: +215k // prev.: +214k]
Thursday, October 24 at 10am EDT // New Home Sales (Sep)
[consensus exp.: -1.4% MoM // prev.: +7.1%]
Similar to the outlook for Tuesday’s Existing Home Sales data, the market and its analysts generally anticipate a pull-back in September from strong outperformance in the August vintage of the data. I’ll be keeping an eye on this print for the reasons I mentioned above, but it does seem like the US-centric economic data flow will be down to a trickle by this point in the week—international data will pick up the slack a bit, for those interested.
Global Economic Data to Watch
Thursday, October 24 at 1am EDT // Bank of Japan Financial System Report
This is a semiannual assessment from the BoJ that doesn’t typically demand a lot of attention, but since expectations are growing for the central bank to push interest rates even deeper into negative space sometime in the coming months we can expect a few more eyes on the report this time around and there could be some headlines around it that drive Yen trading in a way that moves the US Dollar (as a heavily-weighted trade partner) or gold prices (as an often linked safe-haven asset.)
Thursday, October 24 at 4am EDT // Euro Area Composite PMI (Oct)
[consensus exp.: 50.3 // prev.: 50.1]
Analysts expect the EU economy to get a modicum of breathing room from a slight uptick in the composite (manufacturing + services) PMI data this month. While that’s a useful indicator on its own, its primary value for Dollar traders is its proximity to the ECB decision/statement later in the morning. With the ECB expected to leave rates unchanged but acknowledge an uptick in downside risk (see below,) an as-expected PMI print could solidify the Euro and leave it less-vulnerable to falling on gloomy language from the central bank; the Dollar’s upside would be limited for the early morning as well. Of course, the reverse is also true, should the Composite PMI number dip again.
Thursday, October 24 at 7:45am EDT // ECB Interest Rate Decision
[no change to monetary policy expected]
The market’s main interest here will be in the ECB’s assessment of the market reaction to last month’s rate cut and announced details of its resumption of quantitative easing. Presumably the committee with have to acknowledge the increased downside risk to their projections of inflation and growth which could see the Dollar strengthen significantly as the Euro gets roughed up (depending on how vulnerable the EUR/USD cross is following PMI data.) There will also be some more detail of the technical aspects of the new asset purchase program, but I don’t belief the inside baseball stuff will drive a market reaction unless there’s something really outlandish in there.
And that is our week ahead, traders. I wish you the best of luck out there in the precious metals and currency markets, and I’ll look forward to seeing you all back here on Friday for a recap of the week’s trading.