Gold inflows suggest investors continue to hedge against uncertainties ahead…..
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– Global equity ETPs attracted US$33mn. Inflows dominated by thematic ETPs related to robotics.
– The Bank of Japan easing measures fell short of expectations, boosting long JPY exposures.
Gold attracted US$277.6mn of flows this week suggesting the slightly hawkish FOMC statement failed to clear away uncertainty. The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged at its July meeting but noted that near-term risks to the US economy have “diminished” after a rebound in US hiring in June. The odds for September hike – calculated from the Fed funds futures – increased modestly to 28%. Gold strengthened marginally over the past week, by 2.16% to around US$ 1,351 per troy ounce. Platinum showed the strongest price increase for the second consecutive week, rising by 6.15% to US$ 1,148 per troy ounce.
Inflows into crude oil ETPs rise by US$35.3mn, while Brent crude has entered a new bear market. The inflows in long oils (US$40mn) are the largest since February this year suggesting that investors see buying opportunities in the weakness of Brent. Brent price fell more than 20% since the peak of US$52.86 in June, reaching US$42 per barrel. The latest drift downward in crude oil prices comes as outages are reduced, there is an overhang of refined products and US rig counts rise.
Inflows into wheat ETPs rise for the 7th consecutive week. The International Grains Council revised upward (+7mn tons) its estimate for the global wheat production in the 2016-17 harvest year. This increase of supply, together with an upward revision of opening stocks, resulted in a 1.8% decline of wheat price on the week.
Global equity inflows increase US$33mn led by thematic ETPs related to robotics. In the meantime, investors continue to reduce their long positions in Europe equity ETPs – although at a moderate pace – in the wake of weaker macro indicators in the region. Last week, we saw US$3mn outflows from EU equity ETPs after inflows culminated at US$10.3mn mid-July.
Investors increase their exposure to JPY by US$18.2mn. The central bank of Japan (BoJ) enlarged its annual purchase of equity ETFs by JPY2.7tn to JPY6tn, while keeping its key monetary tools unchanged. Investors judge the current action insufficient to have a material impact on the inflation outlook. As a result, the JPY soared by 2.85% to 102.30 against the US dollar at close.
Key events to watch this week. The Bank of England meeting will be held on Thursday. The July PMI indicators showed signs of a coming recession in the UK. Investors expect a 25bps decrease of the base rate from 0.5% to 0.25%, to support the UK economy in its transition outside of EU. In the US, the ISM Manufacturing and non-manufacturing indices and more importantly the employment report will get the full attention of the market. A solid increase of nonfarm payrolls after the 287k rise in June would increase the odds for a rate hike in September.