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Rate Hikes in the US and Rate Cuts in China

What should we expect from the FOMC meeting minutes in the US and also the latest CPI and PPI figures from China? Will oil prices continue to rally or slump with the latest development near Ukraine? And will it be another IPO year in India this year?

What should we expect from the FOMC meeting minutes in the US and also the latest CPI and PPI figures from China? Will oil prices continue to rally or slump with the latest development near Ukraine? And will it be another IPO year in India this year? Tony Nash, CEO of Complete Intelligence tells us more.

This podcast first appeared and originally published at https://www.bfm.my/podcast/morning-run/market-watch/rate-hikes-in-the-us-and-rate-cuts-in-china on February 17, 2022

Show Notes

SM: BFM 89 Nine. Good morning. It’s Seven five in the morning on Thursday, the 17 February. You’re listening to the morning run with Shazana Mokhtar, Philip See and Tan Chen Li but first, let’s recap how global markets closed yesterday in US.

TCL: Dow was down zero 2%. S&P 500 was up zero 2%. Nasdaq down. .1% Asian markets Niki up 2.2%. Hong Kong’s up 1.5%. Shanghai Composite up 6%. Sti up 5%. FBI KLCI up zero 2%.

SM: All right, so all green and Asia, but some red coming in from the US markets. For more on where markets are headed, we have on the line with us, Tony Nash, CEO of Complete Intelligence. Tony, good morning. Thanks, as always, for joining us. Can we start with just the FOMC minutes that came out overnight? What did you make of them? And do you think this raises the possibility of a 50 bits rate hike in March?

TN: Yeah, I don’t think it raises the likelihood of a 50 basis point hike in March. I think it will likely be a measured approach. We have a pretty complicated central bank system in the US right now. We’re still easing until March, meaning the Fed is still buying securities and stuff until March. That doesn’t stop until March. So we need to start quantitative tightening, which means we sell off some of those assets because there’s too much currency in circulation and then raising interest rates will unlikely to be 50 basis points. The thing to remember is the US hikes in bands. So zero to 25 basis points, 25 to 50 basis points. So even if they come out saying it’s a 25 to 50 basis point hike, it doesn’t mean it goes straight to 50 basis points. They could hike at 32 basis points. And so it’s likely some sort of calibration like that that will happen.

PS: So then if you look at it, maybe not on this specific occurrence, but cumulatively, in 2022, what was originally expected to be 75 basis points for a whole of 22 people are expecting it to go as much as 150 basis points. Now, do you agree with that assessment?

TN: Yeah, I’m not sure that 150 is correct. I think it’ll be north of 75 and we expect it to be around 100. So around a 1% hike by the end of the year. Keep in mind that the Fed does need to tighten. That’s a reality because of inflation. But we also need to remember that it’s an election year in the US, and the party in power never wants the Fed to be too aggressive in an election year. So the Fed will make motions, but they’ll probably also let it run a little bit hot because they don’t want to upset the politicians in power regardless of party.

TCL: Ahead of the Russian following through and announced troop withdrawal near Ukraine.

West Texas crude has up to around $90 a barrel. Even so, the oil market remains tight. How do you think this will play out in the weeks to come?

TN: Yes, we expect crew to really trade sideways for the next several weeks, and we’ve been saying this for about the last two weeks, and so it’s kind of proving to be that. And so it will be volatile, but it will trade sideways. The thing to remember is that crude typically rallies during tightening cycles. So we’ll likely see crude rise a bit from here. There are certain people who say it’ll be 120 or $150. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that. There has to be a certain things aligned for that to happen. But there is underlying medium and long term strength for crude oil because of the underinvestment that we’ve had over the last decade and well under investment in exploration and in production capacity. So we need an investment cycle to have the capacity to reduce long term prices.

PS: Yeah. That’s why I’m wondering whether she’ll come into the picture. Right.

As you say, there is this medium long term upside potential still happening. There’s still that pent up demand won’t shall come into the picture then?

TN: It should yeah. I live in Texas, so I love Shell, but, yeah, it should come into the picture and it should help to reduce some of those prices over time. Absolutely.

SM: Tony, if I could get your thoughts on where you think supply will increase. I think Iran is coming up in the headlines again. There seems to be discussions on the nuclear deal. How do you see that playing out?

TN: I think Iran is already preparing to start exporting. So I think Iran is already exporting something like a million barrels per day, whether it’s official or unofficial. And they put $115,000,000,000 into their next fiscal year budget from oil revenues. And they’re already marketing, especially around Asia. They’ve been in South Korea recently and other places. So Iran will export oil. I think whether or not the nuclear agreement is agreed.

I think there is a skepticism that the US will enforce any embargoes.

TCL: Moving to China after last month’s ten basis points cut. The PBOC has refrained from cutting interest rate this week on the back of the slowing inflation in China. Should PPOC have adopted a more aggressive approach, you think?

TN: No. I think they need to signal I think it’s a fine path. You and I, we’ve discussed this several times since probably Q three of 2021, that I’ve expected the PVoC to start loosening in late Q one of 22. So I think the PVoC is actually listening to BFM, which is pretty awesome. A big part of this is really to weaken CNY, so it’s to stimulate the Chinese economy domestically, but it’s also to weaken the currency because they’ve had a really elevated, really strong currency over the past year and a half. And that’s partly been to fight inflation and commodity prices. Now that a number of those commodity prices, not oil, of course, but some of those commodity prices have come down off of those very high levels. It’s time to weaken their currency, which will help their exports.

PS: Which comes back to the question about China being the world’s factory, I think breathing as far as relief when we saw factory gain, inflation ease a bit to about 9.1% in January. What’s your take likely scenario of PPI moderating?

TN: That’s a good sign. So PPI peaked at 13% and so that is a good sign that the PPOC can start to moderate in ease. So I think aggressive moderation could potentially contribute to PPI. But if they’re moving in that direction gradually, as PPI eases, they’ll start becoming more aggressive about their intervention. So China is also entering potentially a slow period for the economy. So PPI will likely flow as a result of that. But as China had an appreciated CNY, they also accumulated a lot of things like industrial metals like copper and so on and so forth. So it’s not as if they need to continue to buy this stuff in huge quantities. They have a lot of storage of those commodities right now.

SM: Tony, let’s have a conversation with a quick look at what’s taking place in India in markets. India’s new stock listings are losing their edge. I think they’ve been calamitous IPO of PTM, Ecommerce, Domato and Nica. I mean, what do you make of this? Are the IPOs in India all hype and hoopla, but no substance?

TN: Yeah, I think these particularly have been a lot of hype. I think they’ve kind of peaked too early. Firms like tomato. I think every middle class urban Indian has used tomato. So it’s not as if they don’t have market penetration, but they’re really burning cash. And I think investors at this point in the cycle are already rotating out of technology. So they’re wary of firms that either don’t make money or burn cash or are very expensive in a share price perspective. So it’s the rotation out of tech. These companies need to show profitability and they need to have a more appropriate valuation. So I don’t think there’s necessarily Indian IPOs are out of favor. I think it’s really value with these companies.

SM: Tony, thanks very much for speaking to us today. That was Tony Nash, CEO of Complete Intelligence, giving us his thoughts on some of the trends affecting US markets. Also some developments in China and India as well.

PS: Yeah, I think India has a long term potential, but I think this is a bit of aberration, I believe. I think the IPOs that have come out have really been not stellar for sure. I think it’s causing a lot of people to rethink one of them being all your rooms, which is planning to IPO by saying that put on hold. So, yeah, let’s hope to see some long term gains in the future for Indian market.

TCL: I am quite curious to see and watch the US market, especially on the oil and also the inflation because has the inflation really peaked already or are we going to see higher numbers coming up in the next month inflation report? That’s something that’s unknown for now.

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