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European Midday Briefing: Stocks Firmer as Eurozone Inflation Drops

11/30/2022 | 06:19am EST

MARKET WRAPS

Stocks:

Stocks in Europe held solid gains on Wednesday with sentiment buoyed by hopes that China could backtrack on its zero Covid-19 policy and after data showed the annual rate of inflation in the eurozone fell in November for the first time since mid-2021.

Commerzbank said the latest CPI print came in at a lower-than-expected 10%, increasing the likelihood the European Central Bank will opt for raising interest rates by 50 basis points at its December meeting.

This would mark a slowdown from the 75bp increases implemented in the last two meetings. However, it still isn't safe to say that inflation has passed its peak as high volatility of energy prices prevent a reliable forecast, Commerzbank said.

Moreover, the core inflation rate--which excludes the more volatile categories of food and energy--is unlikely to peak until mid-2023.

"The ECB's goal of pushing the inflation rate back to just under 2% on a sustainable basis seems a long way off."

Stocks to Watch

Air Liquide's medium-term growth potential is underpinned by opportunities in energy transition including its focus on hydrogen, carbon capture and storage and energy upgrading, Deutsche Bank said, adding that green growth aims to boost the company's share price.

Air Liquide is expected to modestly increase its capital expenditure in the coming years, focusing on investments that are presold to customers, ensuring its growth remains low-risk, Deutsche Bank said.

It said Air Liquide has the potential of achieving an estimated 5% compound annual growth rate in sales with earnings per share of 11% between 2023 and 2025.

BASF may continue to face consensus downside risk in 2023, but its shares shouldn't be too negatively affected, Deutsche Bank said.

It believes the large majority of downgrades have already been made and that crucially, most, if not all investors are already aware of future cuts.

Deutshe Bank's data over the past 30 years show that BASF's stock inflection point is often during the fastest consensus downgrades.

"Overall, we see enough upside potential in the name in the coming 12 months and reiterate our buy recommendation."

Economic Insight

Slowing inflation in Spain and Germany is supportive of a downshift in the pace of the European Central Bank's interest-rate rise in December, BNP Paribas Markets 360 said.

"While far from being a done deal," the data support BNP's view that the ECB will slow the pace of the rate rise to 50 basis points at the December meeting from 75 bps.

"With underlying price pressures remaining elevated, however, we continue to expect the ECB to keep hiking until policy rates are well into restrictive territory," BNP said, forecasting the deposit rate--currently at 1.50%--peaking at 3% by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

Read ECB's Terminal Rate Could Be Above 3%, Higher Than Market Pricing

Read Eurozone Inflation Expected to Fall in November

U.S. Markets:

Stock futures were a touch firmer as traders looked ahead to Jerome Powell's speech and awaited a big batch of important economic data during the rest of the week.

The data docket on Wednesday for the Fed's perusal includes the November ADP employment report, real GDP data, the November Chicago PMI report, pending home sales for October and the Fed's Beige Book.

One of the Fed's most closely watched inflation gauges, the personal consumption expenditures index, will be published on Thursday, followed on Friday by the nonfarm payrolls report.

Forex:

Eurozone inflation data for November are expected to show an easing in price pressures but this is unlikely to materially move the euro, ING said.

"The impact of the inflation story on the EUR/USD has been, predictably, limited. External factors and dollar dynamics continue to drive the pair's performance, and we see downside risks today given that Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak later [1800 GMT]."

A fall in EUR/USD below 1.0300 could fuel more downside momentum, taking the pair to the 1.0200-1.0250 levels seen earlier this week, ING said.

---

The dollar has been under less selling pressure lately, but U.S. ADP jobs data and a speech by Jerome Powell could leave it vulnerable to further weakness, UniCredit Research said.

Investors "could return to selling the U.S. unit" if ADP data show an additional deceleration in U.S. net job creation.

More critically, when Powell discusses the economic outlook and the U.S. labor market later, any hints of the Fed slowing the pace of rate rises might prove negative for the dollar, although month-end position adjustments could help offset this, UniCredit said.

Read Dollar Heads For Biggest Monthly Loss Since 2010

Bonds:

German 10-year Bund yields are expected to trade range-bound in the first quarter of 2023 before falling to 1.70% in the second to third quarter, Mizuho said, maintaining its end-2022 target of 2%.

The flattening of the bond curve is more likely to be sustained in Germany than in the U.S., Mizuho said, as it sees a high likelihood of a recession.

"In the near-term, even on a downside inflation miss, we don't sense that this would necessarily be the trigger for a large re-steepening."

Energy:

Oil prices held minor gains in early European trading, helped by a drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles, but any rise for now has been tapered by the expectation OPEC+ will keep production flat at its meeting on Sunday.

Metals:

Base metals were under pressure, while gold gained, as investors continued to weigh China's Covid-19 rules and any possible shifts in U.S. monetary policy.

Investors in Asia were weighing "Covid-zero evolutions in China ahead of a much-anticipated speech from Jerome Powell," according to SPI Asset Management.

Gold, which is up 7% this month, "looks headed for its biggest monthly gain since May 2021 after the latest U.S. CPI reading sent dollar bulls cowering for cover," SPI added.

DOW JONES NEWSPLUS


EMEA HEADLINES

Eurozone Inflation Eased in November, but Further Rate Rises Likely

The annual rate of inflation in the eurozone fell in November for the first time since mid-2021 as energy prices dropped.

However, the slowdown isn't likely to stop the European Central Bank from increasing interest rates further, economists warned. Consumer-price inflation across the 19 countries that share the euro has increased since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the Kremlin's decision to weaponize the country's vast stores of energy to undermine European support for Kyiv.


OPEC+ Leans Toward Maintaining Flat Production, Delegates Say

OPEC and other big oil producers are likely to decide to keep output levels flat at their meeting Sunday, the group's delegates said, amid mounting concerns over returning Covid-related lockdowns in China and lingering uncertainty over Russia's ability to pump.

The 13-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and a separate group of producers led by Russia-collectively as OPEC+-are leaning toward approving the same production levels agreed to in October, when they greenlighted a 2 million barrels a day output cut, the delegates said. Sunday's meeting was planned to take place in person at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna, but it will now be held remotely to avoid negative media scrutiny, the delegates said.


Rio Tinto Expects Steady Iron-Ore Shipments in 2023

Rio Tinto PLC said it expects iron-ore shipments from its Australian mines to be steady year over year in 2023, and for aluminum output to rise.

The world's largest iron-ore producer on Wednesday said it expects to ship between 320 million metric tons and 335 million metric tons of the steelmaking ingredient next year. It reiterated guidance for exports at the low end of the same range in 2022.


SAS 4Q Net Loss Widened on Jet Fuel Costs, Currency Effects

SAS AB on Wednesday reported a widened net loss in its fiscal fourth quarter as jet-fuel prices and foreign-exchange effects weighed, and said it is cautious about the winter season due to prevailing global uncertainty.

The Scandinavian airline reported a net loss of 1.24 billion Swedish kronor ($117.2 million) in the fiscal fourth quarter to Oct. 31 compared with a loss of SEK744 million a year earlier as revenue rose to SEK10.65 billion from SEK5.76 billion.


Hennes & Mauritz to Book 4Q Restructuring Charge of Around $76 Mln

Sweden's Hennes & Mauritz AB said Wednesday that it expects to book a restructuring charge of just over 800 million Swedish kronor ($75.6 million) in the fourth quarter related to its cost-cutting program.

The fashion retailer has previously outlined plans to reduce annual administrative and overhead costs by around SEK2 billion in a move that will see the loss of 1,500 jobs.


Ukraine's Power Shortages Force Millions of Refugees Into Lengthier Exile

Russia's attacks on Ukraine's civilian infrastructure are forcing millions of Ukrainian refugees who intended to return home to stay put, prolonging their ordeal and straining Europe's ability to absorb one of the biggest flows of migrants in decades.

Moscow's repeated strikes on power stations and heating equipment have caused rolling blackouts in Ukraine and deprived millions across the country of power, heating and running water amid subzero temperature. As it struggles to keep the lights on, Kyiv is now urging Ukrainian refugees to stay where they are for now.


Ukraine War's Economic Ripples Sow Discord Between Washington, Allies

WASHINGTON-Trans-Atlantic ties are starting to fray as French President Emmanuel Macron and other European leaders chafe at new U.S. policies they say compound economic woes fueled by the war in Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis.

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

11-30-22 0618ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AIR LIQUIDE 0.71% 146.7 Real-time Quote.10.80%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / EURO (AUD/EUR) -0.03% 0.64823 Delayed Quote.1.97%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (AUD/USD) -0.15% 0.70613 Delayed Quote.3.48%
AUSTRALIAN MINES LIMITED 3.64% 0.057 End-of-day quote.7.55%
BASF SE 2.09% 53.84 Delayed Quote.16.06%
BNP PARIBAS -2.52% 61.6 Real-time Quote.15.68%
BRENT OIL -0.21% 81.88 Delayed Quote.-0.55%
BRITISH POUND / EURO (GBP/EUR) 0.05% 1.12117 Delayed Quote.0.32%
BRITISH POUND / US DOLLAR (GBP/USD) -0.07% 1.22115 Delayed Quote.1.76%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / EURO (CAD/EUR) 0.04% 0.689071 Delayed Quote.0.33%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (CAD/USD) -0.05% 0.75 Delayed Quote.1.80%
COMMERZBANK AG -4.41% 10.07 Delayed Quote.13.97%
DEUTSCHE BANK AG -6.48% 11.456 Delayed Quote.8.20%
EURO / US DOLLAR (EUR/USD) -0.10% 1.08904 Delayed Quote.1.48%
FLOKI INU (FLOKI/USD) 0.00%End-of-day quote.0.00%
GOLD -0.05% 1914.71 Delayed Quote.5.69%
INDIAN RUPEE / EURO (INR/EUR) -0.12% 0.01116 Delayed Quote.-0.36%
INDIAN RUPEE / US DOLLAR (INR/USD) -0.30% 0.012156 Delayed Quote.1.10%
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (NZD/USD) 0.01% 0.64754 Delayed Quote.1.40%
RIO TINTO PLC -2.23% 6064 Delayed Quote.4.59%
S&P GSCI ALUMINUM INDEX -0.33% 164.6114 Real-time Quote.11.40%
S&P GSCI GOLD INDEX -0.12% 1122.73 Real-time Quote.6.52%
SAS AB (PUBL) 2.33% 0.484 Delayed Quote.5.35%
SILVER 0.04% 23.484 Delayed Quote.-1.20%
UNICREDIT S.P.A. 0.32% 18.138 Delayed Quote.36.66%
US DOLLAR / EURO (USD/EUR) 0.12% 0.918215 Delayed Quote.-1.46%
US DOLLAR / RUSSIAN ROUBLE (USD/RUB) 0.15% 70.18 Delayed Quote.-2.01%
WTI -0.51% 75.555 Delayed Quote.-1.72%
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