- It's Mission Half Accomplished as Kuroda Eyes Last Year at BOJ. As Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda enters what may be his final year in office, it’s looking unlikely he’ll achieve what he set out to -- end deflation once and for all. Continuing the bank’s history of radical policy measures, there were initial signs that prices were responding to the shock-and-awe of Abenomics in Kuroda’s early days in the job. But that was undercut by a collapse in oil prices and a fall in consumption after a tax hike pushed the nation into recession. While prices look to be rising again, Kuroda’s 2 percent inflation target looks a bridge too far in his final year: economists forecast prices will rise 0.6 percent this year and 0.9 percent in 2018. Unless he agrees to stay on for another five-year term, success or failure of the current policy will come in the term of his successor.
- Asia Set for Mixed Open as Tension Spurs Haven Bid. The Japanese currency breached 110 yen per dollar for the first time since November, and its strength is helping push down Nikkei 225 index contracts. Stock futures for Australia, South Korea and Taiwan foreshadow gains. The yield on 10-year U.S. notes closed below 2.3 percent for the first time since November and gold is near its highest level this year as North Korea and Syria tensions ramped up. Oil was steady after rising for a sixth day on Tuesday. The yen was steady against the dollar after jumping 1.2 percent on Tuesday, the biggest jump since January. Futures on the Nikkei 225 traded in Singapore fell 0.4 percent, while contracts on Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.3 percent. Futures on South Korea’s Kospi were up 0.2 percent, while those on the Hang Seng were down 0.3 percent.
Wall Street Journal:
- U.S. Says Russia Tried to Cover Up Syria Sarin Attack. White House officials suggest Moscow knew sarin would be used.
- Trump Issues New Warning to North Korea. President wants to put more economic and political pressure on Pyongyang, with military options under consideration long-term.
- PCs: Q1 Shipments a Bit Better, Says IDC; Actually, A Bit Worse, Says Gartner. Q1 personal computer sales are in from the two main keepers of data, research firms Gartner and IDC, and whether you believe things are getting better or getting worse depends on whom you believe. IDC said sales rose 0.6% from the first quarter of last year, the first growth for the market in five years, at 60.3 million. Gartner said sales fell 2.4%, and that shipments fell below 63 million for the first time since 2007, at 62.2 million.
Earnings of Note
8:30 am EST
- Some prominent Mexicans are calling for Mexico to take back Texas and the Southern US desert region.
- Asian equity indices are -.75% to +.25% on average.
- Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 99.0 +3.0 basis points.
- Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 22.0 +.75 basis point.
- Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 71.69 -.02%.
- S&P 500 futures -.14%.
- NASDAQ 100 futures -.14%.
Earnings of Note
8:30 am EST
- The Import Price Index MoM for March is estimated to fall by -.2% versus a +.2% gain in February.
- The Export Price Index MoM for March is estimated unch. versus a +.3% gain in February.
- Bloomberg consensus estimates call for a weekly crude oil inventory decline of -$981,250 barrels versus
a +1,566,000 barrel gain the prior week. Gasoline supplies are
estimated to fall by -1,343,750 barrels versus a -618,000 barrel decline
the prior week. Distillate inventories are estimated to fall by
-975,000 barrels versus a -536,000 barrel decline the prior week. Finally, Refinery Utilization is estimated to rise by +.37% versus a +1.5% gain prior.
- The Monthly Budget Deficit for March is estimated to widen to -$169.0B versus -$108.0B in February.
- None of note
- The China CPI report, $12B 30Y T-Bond auction, weekly MBA Mortgage Applications report, BofA Merrill Auto Summit, (JBLU) monthly traffic and the (MOS) analyst day could also impact trading today.