Morning Report

August 24, 2023

“Traders will watch several significant US releases today, including the Unemployment Claims, forecast to hold steady at 239K. Following this, announcements from the Jackson Hole Symposium will be monitored closely throughout the day.”

Tim Hallinan – Trading Director

Main Headlines

The US Justice Department has confiscated more than $1.4 billion in stolen COVID-19 relief funds and has filed charges against over 3,000 defendants across the nation. A federal watchdog reported potential theft of over $200 billion from COVID-19 relief programs, pointing out weakened controls by the US Small Business Administration in their haste to distribute funds. In other news, The US job market showed less positivity than initially stated for the year up to March. The Labor Department reduced its March payroll employment estimate by 306,000 and private employment by a greater amount. The revised count indicates around 155.17 million workers in March, down from the earlier reported 155.47 million, reflecting a 0.2% downward change.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak did not properly declare his wife’s shareholding in a childcare company set to benefit from support for the childcare sector. The Parliament’s Commissioner for Standards began investigating Sunak in April, after opposition parties raised questions, however the watchdog found that the failure was inadvertent. In other news, the UK’s trade minister Kemi Badenoch is set to discuss with her Indian counterpart in New Delhi this week. British sources downplayed the possibility of a deal during the G20 meeting in Jaipur this week, indicating additional Free Trade Agreement discussions are likely in September after Badenoch’s visit.


Sterling is weaker than most major currencies in the early morning trade. Later, the CBI will be releasing the Realized Sales report, which measures the relative level of current sales volume of 125 retail and wholesale companies. The current forecast is set at -14, which is a steep increase from the forecasts of previous months and the lowest forecast since December 2022. In other news, the Bank of England is expected to raise the Bank Rate once more, reaching 5.50% on September 21, though a minority of polled economists still expect rates to go even higher this year.


The Euro is stronger against Sterling and weaker against the Dollar this morning. Eurozone business activity contracted more than anticipated in August, primarily driven by a rapid decline in Germany. Simultaneously, inflationary pressures resurfaced, as indicated by surveys. Activity in the bloc’s dominant services industry contracted for the first time this year, while manufacturing output decline persisted and a survey of economists suggests that the ECB will likely pause its interest rate hikes in September, even in the face of elevated inflation.


The Dollar is well bid against most major currencies overnight. Later today the US Department of Labour will release the Unemployment Claims report, which measures the initial jobless claims for the previous week. The current forecast is 239K, which would be in line with previous reporting. At the same time, the US Census Bureau will also release the Core Durable Goods Orders report, measuring durable goods orders, excluding transported items. The current forecast is at 0.2%, however the actual reporting has shown a continued increase from the forecast in recent months so we will see if that trend continues.


European stocks and US equity futures climbed in a broad-based rally fuelled by surging tech shares and signs the Federal Reserve is nearing the end of its tightening campaign. Futures contracts for the S&P 500 climbed 0.7%, while those for the Nasdaq 100 advanced more than 1%, adding to Wednesday gains. Better-than-expected earnings from Nvidia Corp. stoked the upswing. The chipmaker forecast quarterly sales to reach $16 billion, eclipsing the $12.5 billion anticipated by analysts. Nvidia’s gains alone represent about a quarter of the rally in Nasdaq futures.

Main Economic Data/Central Banks/Government (All Times CET)

10:00 a.m.: Poland July Unemployment
12:00 p.m.: UK Aug. CBI Retailing Reported Sales
1:00 p.m.: Turkey Monetary Policy
1:00 p.m.: Riksbank’s Thedeen at FI Seminar
2:30 p.m.: US Initial Jobless Claims, Durable Goods Orders

Corporate Events

Earnings include Intuit, TD Bank, RBC, Netease


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