Morning Bid: Vigils
A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Tom Westbrook
London markets close on Monday for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. The tone everywhere else is sombre and nervous as no fewer than 13 central bank meetings loom this week.
Wednesday’s U.S. Federal Reserve decision – and the committee members’ rate projections – are the centrepiece but decisions in Britain, China and Japan are also in focus.
Stocks took a bath last week as traders re-priced the Fed’s outlook, with markets now positioned for a 75 basis point hike on Wednesday and U.S. rates seen galloping above 4% by March.
A holiday in Japan kept a lid on moves in Asia but pressure is building on both the yen and the yuan, as Beijing and Tokyo swim against the policy tide by holding rates low.
China cut reverse repo rates on Monday and the yuan slipped back to the weaker side of 7 per dollar. Benchmark loan rates are set on Tuesday, with an outside chance of more cuts.
The Bank of Japan is under growing pressure from speculators in the FX and bond markets to abandon a policy of pinning yields near zero – a policy change on Thursday is unlikely but not impossible.
The Bank of England also announces a policy decision on Thursday, delayed by the Queen’s death, with markets expecting a hike although split on the magnitude.
Meanwhile, London bids Elizabeth a final farewell. An official lying-in-state period ends shortly before sunrise, and mid-morning some 142 sailors pull a gun carriage holding her casket to Westminster Abbey for a funeral service.