Fed chair Yellen’s comments shadowed by upward revisions to US GDP data set the tone for a 2015 rate hike, boosting confidence in the world’s largest economy. This helped markets recuperate initial losses….
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sparked by the weakest Chinese PMI reading seen in 6 years and an emissions scandal by the world’s largest automaker – Volkswagen. The repercussions of the Volkswagen emissions scandal were evident among the precious group metals (PGMs) with palladium rising 9.3% and platinum declining -3.6% this week as fears mounted over the preference for gasoline vs diesel cars.
Palladium and Platinum diverge after Volkswagen emissions scandal. Platinum known for deriving 44% of its use in reducing emissions from diesel engines faced the brunt of the scandal in which Volkswagen rigged the software used in its diesel cars to cheat the US emissions test. Palladium benefitted as investors expect consumers to favour gasoline engines. The clean air drive initiative announced by China provided a further boost to palladium as more of the metal will be needed for pollution abatement. In the long term, stringent emissions regulations will require more loadings of PGMs in autocatalysts raising their demand outlook. After rallying to a one month high $1156 troy ounce, gold fell out of favour declining -0.68% after Fed chair Yellen’s comments kept a 2015 rate hike still on the cards. The rise in net gold imports from mainland China reaching a 3 month high and the upcoming wedding and festival season in India remains supportive of demand for the yellow metal.
Global markets retrace losses after US GDP data surprises on the upside. The deterioration in Chinese manufacturing data to a 6-1/2 year low and the emissions scandal by Volkswagen dealt serious blows to the market at the start of the week. However the stronger US GDP data coupled with favourable comments from Fed chair Yellen of a probable rate hike this year renewed investor’s risk appetite, allowing stocks to retrace initial losses for the week. In Europe, a rise in employment for the 11th straight month along with steady PMI data left ECB President Mario Draghi undecided on whether further quantitative easing was warranted. Investors remain cautious ahead of the Q3 earnings season after industrial bellwether Caterpillar slashed 10,000 jobs and warned of an uncertain global economic outlook.
Dollar firmer as stronger US GDP data backs Feds case for a 2015 rate hike. Hawkish comments alluding to a probable rate hike this year by Fed chair Yellen,
helped push the dollar up 0.92% for the week. A rise in consumer spending helped the US economy grow faster than expected in the second quarter aiding the case for a rate hike by the Fed. The euro ended the week lower despite a lack of dovish comments from ECB president Mario Draghi and a risk off rally. Norway’s central bank trimmed rates for a second time this year to 0.75%, hinting at the likelihood further rate cuts, in an effort to boost the economy dented by falling oil prices and rising household debt. The loonie reached an 11 year low as uncertainty rose ahead of Canada’s fiercely contested elections less than a month away.