June 5th - June 9th
OPEC+ MEETING (SUN): It is currently unclear which path the alliance of oil producers will opt for at the upcoming
weekend meeting, although desks are seemingly in consensus that the group will keep production steady, but will stress
flexibility. Analysts are also in unison in assigning non-zero chances of further production cuts, mainly given the Saudi
Energy Minister's recent warning to speculators, and the fall in prices since the group's surprise, coordinated, voluntary
curb announcement in April. Sources also suggested OPEC+ is unlikely to deepen output cuts at the June 4th meeting,
according to Reuters. Reuters OPEC+ sources added that ministers to meet at 10:00BST on Saturday and 13:00BST on
Sunday, but said it is too soon to be sure of the outcome on Sunday; another source said the idea of formalising the
voluntary cuts as an OPEC+ decision was being looked at. In terms of factors that support further production cuts - oil
prices have declined some 8% since the eve of the additional, coordinated, and voluntary cuts announced between the
nine major members. Prices are now under the USD 80-85/bbl range - which activated the OPEC put in April 2023 and
October 2022, according to Goldman Sachs. Furthermore, analysts have been citing the recent rout in oil prices to
extreme bearish positioning alongside expectations of a deeper global growth slowdown - not helped by sentiment from
the mini-banking crisis alongside the US debt ceiling debacle. Chinese data has mostly been disappointing of late, with
the most recent Retail Sales, Industrial Output, and NBS Official PMIs all pointing to slower economic activity, although
the Caixin Manufacturing PMI offered some relief as it was unexpectedly revised higher. On the flip side, notions backing
a hold include an expected tightening in the oil market on the back of Chinese demand continuing to come back online.
Several prominent desks see the market in deficit in H2 2023. Analysts at ING believe the market to be in a deficit of
some 2mln BPD over the latter part of 2023, while Goldman Sachs sees "signs that the market remains on track for H2
deficits." Add to that, the US Energy Secretary announced mid-May that the DOE is looking to purchase up to 3mln
barrels of sour crude for the SPR. Despite the volumes being somewhat small (vs the 220mln barrel release), ING at the
time suggested "the move does show that the US administration is serious about refilling the SPR, something that the
market started doubting in recent months". Furthermore, on April 2nd, OPEC countries in a surprise move over the
weekend, announced coordinated voluntary production cuts. The de-facto head of Saudi Arabia suggested the move
was "a precautionary measure aimed at supporting the stability of the oil market," according to Energy Intelligence. The
total cuts announced by OPEC amount to 1.157mln BPD (from May through to the end of 2023), and with Russia's
previously announced 500k BPD, this equates to an OPEC+ tally total of 1.657mln BPD. Desks suggest the group may
want to, for this month at least, take a wait-and-see approach to observe the effects of these cuts. It's also worth noting
that FT reported recently that a slew of media groups have been barred from attending the OPEC+ meeting this
weekend, but given the meeting will be happening over the weekend and during market closures, all information should
be known by the time oil futures come back online.
SWISS CPI (MON): Expectations are for Y/Y CPI to decline to 2.2% from 2.6%. Inflation in Switzerland experienced an uptick toward the start of the year, but has since been gradually easing from the 3.0% mark and approaching the 0-2% target band. In March, the SNB forecast Q2 inflation at 2.7% and the April figure was incrementally below at 2.6%; at the March gathering, the SNB announced a hawkish-hike as their inflation forecasts were lifted alongside 50bp tightening and the expected return to target pushed out by two quarters. Commentary since, and after the April release, has made clear that further tightening is to be expected and the SNB believes underlying inflation remains strong. As such, the May print is unlikely to change the skew for further tightening in June, but could if it continues to ease and spark a dovishalteration to the Bank's inflation forecasts; a view supported by the findings in the month's PMI that "the pricing situation continues to ease". Albeit, and pertinent for the longer-term trajectory, the Swiss Federal Office of Housing has approved the first ever increase in the rental reference rate to 1.50% (prev. 1.25%), effective June 2nd. The 25bp increase allows landlords to hike rental prices by up to 3.0% and as such will fan the associated inflation component and potentially weigh on broader economic activity; desks expect further upside to the rental rate later in the year.
ISM SERVICES (MON): The headline is expected to rise to 52.1 in May from 51.9 in April. As a proxy, the S&P Global flash PMI data showed the US services sector saw a strong performance in May, seeing the fastest growth in activity in over a year, with service providers stating that demand was being driven by both new and existing clients. New business and export orders also rose at a solid clip. That said, inflationary pressures remained high, with input prices and output charges increasing faster than average, S&P said. But service providers were able to bring in new staff at a quicker pace, and job creation reached a 10-month high. Overall, service firms are optimistic about future business activity, with the highest level of confidence in a year. Analysts have also been noting the divergence in manufacturing and services conditions. Goldman Sachs notes that despite robust growth in services, manufacturing has contracted since October, with country-level indices reflecting under performance. GS says there are three drivers explaining these trends: the cyclical nature of goods demand, formalization after the pandemic, and reduced import demand. GS says these factors account for about 75% of the gap between manufacturing and services PMIs. And going forward, the bank thinks manufacturing will likely continue to lag behind services.
AUSTRALIA GDP (WED): Real Q1 GDP Q/Q is expected to show growth of 0.3% (prev. 0.5%) with the Y/Y seen at 2.4% (prev 2.7%). Analysts at Westpac expect Q/Q growth of 0.2%, slightly below market forecasts. The desk suggests that " Domestically, the detail is expected to show consumer spending stalled flat with the only growth coming from a lift in new business investment and public demand." It's worth noting the GDP metric will be released after the RBA policy announcement, whereby the central bank is expected to keep rates unchanged at its meeting next week according to 22 out of 30 economists surveyed by Reuters and with money markets pricing in a 67% probability for the Cash Rate to be maintained at the current level of 3.85%, and a 33% chance of a 25bps hike.
CHINA INFLATION (FRI): Headline CPI Y/Y for May is expected have ticked up to 0.4% (prev. 0.1%), while the PPI Y/Y metric is seen at -3.2% (prev. -3.6%). Typically, the anecdotal commentary within the monthly PMIs are taken as a proxy for the inflation figures released later. However, the PMIs from NBS and Caixin saw a divergence this month, with the former seeing its Manufacturing reading slipping further into contraction, while the latter saw its respective reading unexpectedly revised into growth. Nonethless, the commentary from the Caixin release suggested "Prices continued to plunge. As deflationary pressure has grown, the gauges for input and output prices remained well below 50.0 for the second straight month, logging their second-lowest readings since early 2016. Input prices were dragged down by falling food, fuel and industrial metals costs, while prices charged to customers were constrained by heated market competition." Meanwhile, on the more-disappointing NBS data, analysts at Nomura suggested "The sharper contraction in the manufacturing PMI suggests that the risk of a downward spiral, especially in the manufacturing sector, is becoming more real", and added that the weakness in demand is the main culprit for the manufacturing sector. Overall, recent data out of China has largely surprised the downside and raised concerns about the economic activity in the world' s second-largest economy. Chinese Global Times recently said "Experts expect full-year GDP growth to exceed 6%", and added the PBoC may cut the RRR by 0.25ppts "if the Chinese economy maintains a stable recovery in the second half of 2023 and requires more liquidity", citing experts.