Marketmind: Move over bond selloff, it’s Nvidia time

by | Aug 22, 2023 | Business

A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Kevin Buckland

The surge in U.S. yields to 16-year highs has dominated the market’s focus all week in the run-up to the Fed’s closely watched Jackson Hole Symposium, which should set the tone for policy direction.

Today, though, yields have finally taken a breather, just in time for Nvidia earnings to take the spotlight.

The chip designer at the centre of global AI euphoria releases financial results and forecasts following today’s closing bell.

Traders are bracing for big-time volatility: Options imply a nearly 11% swing for the shares in either direction by the end of the week. Nvidia shares have tripled in value this year to an all-time high.

Back in the world of bonds, the 10-year Treasury yield continued its retreat from yesterday’s peak of 4.366% in Asia time, slipping below 4.3%. It’s a welcome respite from the steep bond selloff that had pushed yields up as much as 57 basis points in a month.

The catalyst for the yield climb is a complex cocktail that includes expectations for higher Fed rates for longer amid a resilient economy, as well as surging Treasury issuance, a sovereign credit rating downgrade, and Chinese dollar selling to shore up a beleaguered yuan.

The People’s Bank of China sent further signals on that front on Wednesday: For a third straight day, it set the official mid-point for the yuan around 1,000 pips firmer than the Reuters estimate.

Treasury yields may also have been prodded upwards by Japan’s bond yields, which had been an anchor for developed-market rates but are on the rise after the Bank of Japan effectively doubled the policy cap on 10-year JGB yields to 1% at the end of July.

The JGB market is still feeling for an equilibrium point for the benchmark yield, but a grind to a 9 1/2-year peak of 0.675% today met no resistance from the central bank.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is proving so strong that Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin told Reuters “the reacceleration scenario has come onto the table”.

At the start of the week, the worry was that Fed Chair Jerome Powell might retract his hawkish talons in his speech on day two of the annual Jackson Hole confab on Friday, which could suck some momentum out of the bond selloff.

A 20-year Treasury auction later today will provide a test of demand for yields at such elevated levels.

The U.S. also gets flash August PMIs for both manufacturing and services, capping a day that includes the release of those same measures for Britain, Germany, France and the euro area as a whole.

Key developments that could influence markets on Wednesday:

France, Germany, eurozone, UK, U.S. flash manufacturing and services PMIs for August

Eurozone flash consumer confidence for August

US July new home sales

20-year U.S. Treasury auction

(Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Edmund Klamann)


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