The Morning Call Podcast
Healthcare – no deal (yet)
Friday March 24th, 2017
It looks like President Trump will have to wait to see his Healthcare Bill pass through the Congress. It raises the serious question about how much of his reforms will actually come to pass. Or will they be watered down significantly. Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s Rodrigo Catril what impact we’ve seen on the markets today, including the rising strength of the Yen. Meanwhile, more positive data from the UK, with more expected from Europe tonight.
Will it be a big day for healthcare? Or Not?
Thursday 23rd March 2017
Donald Trump has described today as a big day for healthcare. But will his healthcare bill manage to make it through Congress? Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s Tapas Strickland what the consequences are if it fails on the first pass. We also look at the falling price of oil, Japan’s expanded trade surplus, a bit about the Aussie dollar and the RBNZ rate decision this morning.
Trump rally unwinds a little, UK inflation rises, Euro assumes a Macron win
Wednesday 22nd March 2017
The post Trump rally continues to unwind a little today. Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s David de Garis whether we are starting to see a bit of risk-off sentiment in the markets, hitting the dollar, bond prices and oil. Meanwhile UK inflation is now above the BoE’s 2% target, the Euro has risen with hopes that Macron will see off Le Pen, and Canada has enjoyed strong retail sales ahead of their budget. Plus, what next for the Aussie dollar.
Britain Boldly Goes Where Nobody Will Ever Go Again
Tuesday 21st March 2017
Theresa May has named the date – March 29 is when the fun and games begin for Britain – and it might be a tortuous journey, with EU President Jean Claude Juncker saying nobody will ever leave after what Britain’s about to go through! Aside from that, a quiet night overnight. Maybe the main thing to look out for is the RBA minutes today – just how worried are they about home loans?
Mnuchin pushes G20 to accept protectionism
Monday March 20th, 2017
The G20’s long standing support for free trade was cut adrift at the weekend with Steven Mnuchin, The US Treasury Secretary, successfully removing reference to resisting “all forms of protectionism”. NAB’s Ray Attrill joins Phil Dobbie to discuss the implications of this shift, with the US clearly planning to significantly reduce its trade deficit. Also, could the UK face a hefty Brexit fee and the difficult path for Australia, given increasing concern about household debt driven by property investment.
US budget cuts run deep. What happened to pro-growth?
Friday March 17th, 2017
The blueprint for Trump’s first budget has hit the desks, with massive cuts to spending in a range of departments, but significant rises in Defence, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs. Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s Rodrigo Catril why there has been no market reaction to the figures – perhaps it’s because we won’t believe it till it’s passed Congress. We also look at yesterday’s Aussie employment figures, the Trump-Merkel meeting and the G20 this weekend.
US Rates up, Fed deletes a word, is Geert in the Wilders-ness?
Thursday March 16th, 2017
No surprise, the US federal reserve has just raised interest rates by 0.25 percent. But the more dove-ish tone from Janet Yellen in the press conference that followed has seen the markets stepping back a little – the US dollar spot index has fallen 0.8 percent. NAB’s Ray Attrill joins Phil Dobbie to talk about the announcement, the Dutch election, Australia’s labour force data and Donald Trump’s budget outline, which might be out sometime today or tonight. Or maybe not!
Saudi’s Pump Out More Oil, Dollar Up Ahead of Fed Decision
Wednesday 15th March 2017
Phil Dobbie talks to NAB’s Tapas Strickland about a sharp fall in oil prices overnight. Saudi Arabia is back to pumping out more than ten million barrels a day. Meanwhile the dollar has risen slightly in anticipation of tomorrow’s rate hike from the US Federal Reserve. And comments from Michelle Bullock, Assistant Governor of the RBA, suggest rates won’t be changing in Australia any time soon. Plus UK employment and US CPI data out tonight.
The calm before the storm (that stopped Merkel)
Tuesday 14th March 2017
It’s been a sideways kind of day where the keyword was procrastination. As the dollar shifted sideways the UK PM has pushed back the triggering of Article 50 till later in the month, and bad weather has stopped Angela Merkel from meeting President Trump at the White House. So what have the markets been reacting to? As NAB’s Rodrigo Catril discusses with Phil Dobbie, not a great deal really. Expect a quiet day. The calm before (another) storm.
Six things that could change the world this week
Monday March 13th, 2017
Apologies for the alarmist headline, but you’d have to admit, it’s a very significant week for finance markets (and the wider community) in lots of ways. Phil Dobbie talks to NAB’s Ray Attrill about the week ahead including: the Fed rate decision; the US budget outline; the US debt ceiling; the Dutch general election; the UK invokes article 50 and; the G20 is pushed for a new stance on protectionism. Can you remember a week with so many significant events packed into it? By the end of the week lots of questions could be answered, or maybe, the world’s collective pool of thinking will look a little murkier.
Has Draghi won the fight against deflation?
Friday March 10th, 2017
Mario Draghi, the President of the ECB seems to be talking down the need to do more to boost inflation, and his optimism has had some impact on the markets overnight. The NAB’s Rodrigo Catril joins Phil Dobbie to dissect his comments and whether the pound could hit new lows with a swag of output data due today. Plus, of course, US non-farm payrolls tonight.
Jobs bonanza seals the deal for next week’s US rate hike
Thursday 9th March 2017
ADP jobs data shows US private sector jobs surged by 298,000 in February, well above estimates and paving the way for another surprise with non-farm payrolls on Friday. In today’s podcast Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s Ray Attrill whether this effectively seals the deal for a US rate hike next week. We also look at why the Aussie dollar is one of the worst performing of the major currencies this morning, and why there’s been a 3 percent drop in oil prices.
US Deficit widens, China’s forex reserve grows, Europe looks calmer
Wednesday March 8th, 2017
Talk about a quiet night. There’s been very little movement on currencies, equities or commodities. Perhaps because there was no surprise in data or the news cycle. As expected, the US trade deficit widened and expectations of a March rate rise increased slightly. In Europe fears of far-right wins in Holland and France seem to be on the wane. And even though China’s forex reserves have unexpectedly grown, NAB’s Tapas Strickland explains to Phil Dobbie it’ll only be significant if it is repeated next month. Otherwise, not much happened overnight. You could have had a lie-in!
Missiles have no impact; trade balance a bigger concern for Trump
Tuesday 7th March 2017
Even as North Korea fires missiles into the Sea of Japan the markets still see the Yen as a safe-haven, keeping up with the rise in the US dollar overnight. Most other major currencies failed to keep pace. But uncertainty is playing a little on equity markets, with most down overnight. As Rodrigo Catril explains to Phil Dobbie, the most significant data today is the US balance of trade – whatever the result, we can be certain President Trump will not be best pleased. We also discuss the PSA acquisition of GM’s European operations – good news or bad for a post-Brexit Britain? And what will the RBA say today when they announce their expected hold on interest rates?
Could China’s Blue Skies Muddy the Waters for Australia?
Monday March 6th, 2017
At the National People’s Congress in Beijing yesterday, Premier Li Keqiang predicted 6.5% growth in the Chinese economy this year and spoke of a return to ‘blue skies’ over China’s cities. Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s Ray Attrill what this could mean for Australia’s steel and coal exports. We also look at the rising rate hike expectation in the US and whether the emerging wire-tapping allegations could have any impact. Plus today’s retail sales figures for Australia – do we expect to recover from December’s slip?
A rate hike realisation, a Snap sale and a Brexit countdown
Friday 3rd March 2017
US equities fell today on the realisation that a Fed rate hike this month seems more likely than not. As NAB’s Rodrigo Catril explains to Phil Dobbie, a big drop in weekly jobless claims was a strong forward indicator of the strength of the US economy, to such an extent that it would take a disastrous set of non-farm payrolls to change the expectation. Meanwhile an investigation into Attorney General Jeff Sessions seems to have had little impact on the markets. And Theresa May is reported to have set May 15th as the day she will invoke Article 50. We also look at the fall in the Aussie dollar after yesterday’s lower than expected trade surplus.
The Fed Trumps the President
Thursday March 2nd, 2017
There wasn’t a strong reaction to Donald Trump’s speech to the Congress yesterday. Instead the market moved on hawkish talk from Bill Dudley, vice chair of the OMC, who gave hints that a rate hike on March 15 could be on the cards. Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s Ray Attrill why the strongest response came from equities with the US dollar making only modest gains. We also look at mixed news from Europe and the expectations for Australia’s trade balance figures today.
Aussie GDP and the Trump Show
Wednesday 1st March, 2017
The US dollar and equities were slightly lower overnight as the nation – and the world – awaits President Trump’s appearance at a joint session of Congress later today. Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s Tapas Strickland whether he will say anything new. The slight downturn in markets presumably suggests not. Meanwhile there was mixed US data overnight, yet a rising expectation of a March rate hike. Today’s PCE deflator figures will be important to watch for more clues on that. And Australia’s GDP figures are released this morning. Does the NAB still expect 0.9% growth in the last quarter?
President Trump will make a lot of noise tomorrow
Tuesday February 28th, 2017
Even though we’d suggested President Trump will say very little new during his joint address to Congress, it seems nothing could be further from the truth. As Phil Dobbie discusses with NAB’s David De Garis, the President has hinted at announcements on the Obamacare replacement, a big hike in military spending and, presumably, a way to cut other areas of government expenditure whilst increasing investment in infrastructure. Not such a quiet affair, after all. Meanwhile the pound suffered a little on reports that Theresa May was preparing for another Scottish referendum, but no surprise there. We also look at Aussie indicators out today, ahead of positive GDP figures expected tomorrow.
Will Trump break the Mnuchin Malaise? High expectations for Australia’s GDP
Monday February 27th, 2017
US Treasury yields have been in a holding pattern this year (between 2.3 – 2.6% on 10 years) as the markets await more detail on Trump’s stimulus program. As Phil Dobbie discusses with Ray Attrill, NAB’s Head of FX Strategy, it’s unlikely any more will come from Trump’s appearance before Congress this week and Steven Mnuchin’s press appearances last week certainly seem to have knocked the wind out of the market’s sails. We also look ahead to Australia’s GDP figures this week, which the NAB is forecasting will be slightly higher than market expectations.
Mnuchin talks US tax policy
Friday February 24th, 2017
The US Secretary for the Treasury gave an interview on CNBC overnight, discussing the tax plans that will deliver high growth for the US. Phil Dobbie discusses the interview with NAB’s David De Garis. The big question is, will the plans make it through Congress? We also look at the continuing story for Europe – strong figures and deep political uncertainty. And what will Philip Lowe say before the House Economics Committee this morning?
Fed Minutes, the Aussie Bond Sale and Continued Uncertainty in Europe
Thursday February 23rd, 2017
Okay. Let’s be honest. There wasn’t a lot of movement in the markets overnight – many key indices moved no more than 0.1 percent. But Phil Dobbie and NAB’s David De Garis still find plenty to talk about, from the latest FOMC minutes, Australia’s record government bond sale and the continued political uncertainty in Europe.
Commodities & US Dollar Up, Europe & UK Uncertain
Wednesday February 22nd, 2017
The Fed’s Patrick Harper has left the door open to a March rate hike, but his hawkish tone hasn’t driven big changes in the markets. In the UK the Bank of England’s Mark Carney is changing his stand against rate changes in the UK, whilst strong European PMI figures haven’t had much influence, perhaps because of latest polls on the French election. Phil Dobbie discusses the overnight news with NAB’s Tapas Strickland.
Le Pen hits French bonds, bailout talks push Greek bonds higher
Tuesday February 21st, 2017
A poll released overnight has placed Marine Le Pen as a strong contender in the first round of the French Presidential election. The news hit the bond markets, with the gap for two year bonds between France and Germany the widest it’s been since May 2012. Meanwhile hopes of some sort of resolution to Greece’s bailout timetable has caused a minor rally on Greek bonds. As NAB’s Rodrigo Catril discusses with Phil Dobbie, it’s another day where geopolitics is having a bigger impact than any substantive data.
Waiting for the Phenomenal
Monday February 20th, 2017
Markets quietened down last week as the world waits for Donald Trump’s phenomenal announcement on tax. But, as NAB’s Ray Attrill discusses with Phil Dobbie, when the detail is released the markets could go either way – tax cuts could be a good thing, import tariffs run the risk of starting a trade war. We also look at the plight of the Aussie dollar, which seems to have settled itself just below the 77 US cents. Can we expect a week of sideways trading?
Down, down, prices are down
Friday February 17th, 2017
The markets seem to have taken a slight breather overnight. The US dollar is down, bond yields and equities too. Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s David de Garis why the lull, when the US continues to deliver strong data and Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer adds further inevitability to rate hikes this year? We also delve into the European Central Bank minutes.
Jobs for Britain. Strong CPI from the States. What now for Aussie jobs?
Thursday February 16th, 2017
The UK has just reported its highest level of employment ever, even though wage growth has slowed. Go figure. Meanwhile positive CPI and retail sales from the US pushed the dollar higher for a short while, then it reversed. Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s Tapas Strickland why the change in fortune? Could Trump’s battle against his intelligence agencies and questions over the extent of his team’s Russian involvement be part of the issue.
Yellen talks it up on a Trump free day. Aussie basks in the sunlight.
Wednesday February 15th, 2017
For once the Federal Reserve Chair seems to have had more influence on the currency and bond markets than the US President. Janet Yellen suggested waiting too long for an interest rate rise would be unwise, slightly raising the expectation for a rise as soon as March. She also spoke of shrinking the Fed balance sheet in an “orderly and controlled” manner. NAB’s Rodrigo Catril joins Phil Dobbie to discuss events in the US, the continued strength of the Aussie dollar and mixed signals from the UK.
Iron ore surge, Trump quiet, Yellen to speak up
Tuesday February 14th, 2017
Donald Trump has been too busy hosting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to send many tweets. Perhaps that’s why the US dollar (and most currencies) has had a quiet day. That could change, though, with Fed Chair Janet Yellen in front of Congress for two days this week. We also look at the NAB Business Survey, out later today. Will it show continued strength in the Aussie economy? The rising price of iron ore will certainly be helping that. NAB’s Ray Attrill joins Phil Dobbie on The Morning Call this morning.
Missiles and Fireworks for the week ahead
Monday 13th February, 2017
It’s shaping up to be quite a week. Donald Trump will be busy trying to relaunch his migration controls, whilst many question the timescale and impact of his fiscal measures. His meeting with Shinzo Abe, whilst cordial, didn’t address the trade imbalance between the two countries and was somewhat overshadowed by a missile from North Korea into the Sea of Japan. Back home it’s not just the temperature that has been hotting up, with the prospect of the Aussie dollar breaking the 77cent mark. NAB’s Rodrigo Catril joins Phil Dobbie to talk through the week ahead, with a plethora of data to look forward to, from Australia and the US in particular.
Something phenomenal in terms of tax
Friday 10th February 2017
President Trump came out a meeting with airline executives today promising “something phenomenal in terms of tax” in a matter of weeks. He also talked about helping to protect America’s airlines against foreign owned competitors. As NAB’s Tapas Strickland discusses with Phil Dobbie, it’s the kind of talk that buoys markets, with the S&P500 breaking a new record and giving the US dollar a slight jolt. We also digest comments from the RBNZ, RBA’s Philip Lowe and St Louis Fed President James Bullard.
A Quiet Day, Waiting for Trump? Plus the RBNZ decision.
Thursday 9th February 2017
It’s been a fairly quiet 24 hours. The equity markets have barely moved. Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s David de Garis why this is, given strong earning results from S&P 500 companies, and the promise of tax cuts and less regulation from the Trump administration. Yet the dollar has weakened, bond yields have stalled and gold is on the rise. It’s a similar story in Europe where things have quietened down, despite the continued political and fiscal risk. We also look at the RBNZ rate decision – on hold – the market reaction and the direction of the New Zealand economy. Plus #Nordstromgate.
US Dollar and pound do the least worst
Wednesday February 8th, 2017
The US dollar continued to recover from its fall from grace over recent weeks, but NAB’s Rodrigo Catril suggests this is more to do with concerns in Europe than any positive news from the US – and, perhaps, a lack of inflammatory Tweets from the President. The attention now seems to have shifted from the politics of France to the fiscal concerns over Italy and Greece. Can the ECB really taper their bond buying when both these countries need to sell bonds to cover their debts? We also look at yesterday’s RBA decision and ahead to tomorrow’s rate announcement from the RBNZ.
Uncertainty Abounds on French elections and Trump’s delivery
Tuesday February 7th, 2017
On the eve of the RBA interest rate decision, Australia delivered some lower than expected retail figures for December. Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s David de Garis if this is significant enough to demonstrate a further weakening of the local economy? Meanwhile there’s uncertainty stemming from the French Presidential election in April , with Marine Le Pen reiterating her plans to leave the Euro and controversy surrounding conservative hopeful François Fillon, who’s allegedly had his wife on his payroll for 15 years. We also look at the market reaction to Friday’s weaker than expected US non-farm payroll data and the risk-off mood, perhaps based on concerns about the timeframe for the delivery of Trump’s plans.
US Wage Growth Slows; where next for Aussie retail sales?
Monday February 6th, 2017
The markets reacted to slower than expected wages and jobs growth in the US Non-Farms Payrolls data on Friday. It reminded us that data can have as much influence as Donald Trump’s tweets! Plus, NAB’s Ray Attrill talks to Phil Dobbie about the hawkish tone set by the Fed’s John Williams, and we look ahead to rate decisions for Australia and NZ, plus today’s Aussie retail sales figures.
Trump fires up, pound down, Aussie boosted by trade surplus
Friday February 3rd, 2017
Less than two weeks in and Donald Trump is throwing his weight around, including the barney with Malcolm Turnbull which garnered a lot of news coverage around the world. Phil Dobbie asks NAB’s David de Garis how the markets are reacting to the new President’s flamboyant style. We also discuss the reaction to Australia’s trade surplus bonanza, how the Bank of England’s forecasts have failed to inspire and what to expect from the US non-farm payrolls tonight.
Fed on hold, European fury and a possible Aussie trade surplus
Thursday 2nd February, 2017
Not surprisingly, the US Federal Reserve held interest rates this morning but, NAB’s Tapas Strickland tells Phil Dobbie the markets still expect a rise in June, with more to follow. We also look at positive jobs data from the US, political unrest in Europe and Japan over US rhetoric, todays Bank of England rate decision and NZ’s worse than expected employment data. Last but not least, could this be the day that Aussie trade balance hits a record surplus?
A sacking, a dressing down and a falling US dollar
Wednesday 1st February, 2017
The US dollar fell again overnight. NAB’s David de Garis discusses the fall with Phil Dobbie. It’s not been helped by the sacking of US Attorney General Sally Yates, tough talks with the pharmaceutical industry and a Trump advisor saying the strong dollar was giving German companies a competitive edge. We also look at positive data from Europe and look ahead to today’s rate decision from the Fed, China’s PMI and NZ employment data.
Trump’s Travel Ban Feeds Risk Off Mood
Tuesday 31st January, 2017
It’s been a night of action as markets reacted to Trump’s travel bans. As NAB’s Rodrigo Catril explains to Phil Dobbie how the risk off sentiment hit equity markets on both sides of the Atlantic, whilst the US dollar lost ground against the Yen. We also discuss the Bank of Japan’s policy statement today, the NAB Business Survey and inflation figures for Europe. And we ask, what will Trump do next?
Big week for US data, but it’s what Trump does that counts
Monday 30th January, 2017
The Morning Call is back each weekday morning. Today NAB’s Ray Attrill joins Phil Dobbie to dissect Friday’s US GDP data and a slew of data for the week ahead. Phil asks to what extent the Trump factor is driving markets rather than hard data. We also look ahead to China’s PMI figures, Aussie building approvals and the prospects for the Australian dollar this week.