NAB Morning Call

Phil Dobbie


Start your day with the NAB Morning Call for the latest overnight key economic and market information straight from our team of expert market economists and strategists. This includes perspective on overnight news and market price action and the forces shaping movements in Australian and global markets in the days ahead.

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800 episodes

Bigger hopes of smaller hikes to come

Thursday 8th September 2022 View our disclaimer and terms of use: View our NAB Financial Services Guide: There were big market moves yesterday and overnight, with sharp drops in oil prices, bond yields falling, a turnaround in US equities and the US dollar gaining some ground, with the Yen falling to its lowest level in 24 years. NAB’s Skye Masters says there wasn’t much data to influence the markets, but there was a lot of Fed commentary that is suggesting that perhaps the pace of interest rate moves might begin to slow down. Falling oil prices and government subsidies on gas prices will also be seen as helping to tame inflation.

Sep 07, 2022
More work for the Fed, UK’s massive Truss Fund

Wednesday 7th September 2022 View our disclaimer and terms of use: View our NAB Financial Services Guide: There was a strong response to the US Services ISM overnight, which came in stronger than expected. NAB’s Rodrigo Catril says they have raised expectations for a 75bp rate hike at the next FOMC meeting, pushing bond yields higher overnight. In the UK Liz Truss is officially Prime Minister and is expected to freeze energy bills with what could amount to a £1,500 subsidy per household. So that could help reduce inflation, but higher government spending could have the opposite effect, particularly in combination with planned tax cuts. There’s also discussion about the RBA decision, Australia’s widening current account surplus, China’s trade data and the Bank of Canada meeting tonight. A busy one.

Sep 06, 2022
UK and Europe move from bad to worse, RBA today

Tuesday 6th September 2022 View our disclaimer and terms of use: View our NAB Financial Services Guide: It’s RBA day today. NAB’s Ivan Colhoun talks through what to expect, whilst Ray Attrill looks at the worsening situation in the UK and Europe. Gas prices have risen after the closure of the Nordstream pipeline, and oil prices are also on the rise after OPEC+ agreed to production cuts from next month. We’ve also seen a revision in PMIs in Europe, with the UK services PMI moving into contractionary territory. Signs of resilience are quickly disappearing. It’s a different story for the US, though, where ISM numbers are expecting to stay above 50, adding to the pressure the US dollar will place on other major currencies.

Sep 05, 2022
Putin ends Goldilocks moment

Monday 5th September 2022 View our disclaimer and terms of use: View our NAB Financial Services Guide: There was a short-lived burst of positivity on Friday, when USD payrolls numbers delivered a Goldilocks result, with jobs rising, but wage rises easing and more people piling into the jobs markets. The good news was offset by news that Russia will not be reopening the Nordstream gas pipeline, adding to the pressure on Europe to navigate its way through winter. NAB’s Tapas Strickland talks through the market impact on today’s podcast, as well as the problems in China, where 65 million people are currently in lockdown in 33 cities. The ECB, RBA and Bank of Canada all meet this week, and the UK gets a new Prime Minister later today.

Sep 04, 2022
Will strong jobs numbers add to the Fed’s battle tonight?

Friday 2nd September 2022 View our disclaimer and terms of use: View our NAB Financial Services Guide: We know the world is in an awkward place, but we keep getting positive data reads, like a strong manufacturing ISM from the US, retail sales picking up in Germany, UK house prices still strong – all the things central banks don’t really want to hear right now. So what happens if non-farms payrolls in the US tonight shows a labour market that isn’t showing any signs of weakening? NAB’s Ken Crompton reckons a soft read will cause more of a fall in bond yields than the response to a stronger set of numbers. It’ll be an asymmetric response, he says.

Sep 01, 2022
Euro inflation high, pound heading back to the pleasure dome

Thursday 1st September 2022 View our disclaimer and terms of use: View our NAB Financial Services Guide: Euro area inflation is the highest since the creation of the Euro and NAB’s David de Garis says markets are no pricing in a greater than 50 percent change that the ECB will lift rates by 75 basis points next week. That’s helped support the Euro today, whilst the pound falls further, to levels we saw in early 1985, when mullets were fashionable. Still are for some, of course. Australia’s construction sector has taken a battering, driven by weather and higher supply costs, but private sector credit growth remains strong. China’s PMIs show an economy that is taking a long time to recover – in part because of COVID, but hot weather has also had an impact. Friday’s jobs numbers will focus attention now, but the new ADP report has shown jobs growth for larger businesses and a fall in small business employment.

Aug 31, 2022
More good news, that’s actually bad news

Wednesday 31st August 2022 View our disclaimer and terms of use: View our NAB Financial Services Guide: The US jobs market grew last month, whilst consumer sentiment improved. It’s not what the Fed wants to hear. Do these positive numbers mean that the US can survive a soft-landing? No, says JBWere’s Sally Auld, it just piles the pressure on the Fed to be more aggressive on rate rises. The consumer sentiment probably reflects little more than a fall in petrol prices. We know Europe is set for a hard landing, even though gas prices have fallen and Germany’s reserves are up to 80 percent. But German inflation was higher than expected overnight, which suggests the European numbers will also be higher tomorrow, putting pressure on the ECB to move faster.

Aug 30, 2022
Aussie yields push higher after July’s shopping bonanza

Tuesday 30th August 2022 View our disclaimer and terms of use: View our NAB Financial Services Guide: Bond yields in Australia rose sharply yesterday. NAB’s Rodrigo Catril says it was part of the global response to Jerome Powell’s short hawkish speech in Jackson Hole on Friday, but it was also because of the much higher than expected July retail numbers for Australia, which might suggest the RBA will have to push harder to knock inflation down to size. There’s also discussion about how quickly the market in the US is expecting to see rates rise, and how quickly they expect inflation to fall. Also, the latest on the European energy crisis, why oil has pushed higher today and a look ahead to European inflation umbers and US jobs data.

Aug 29, 2022
Fickle equity investors respond to unsurprising Powell comments

Monday 29th September 2022 We knew Jerome Powell would be giving a hawkish speech at Jackson Hole, so why were equity investors so surprised when he did just that? Clearly, they didn’t get the memo, says NAB’s Ray Attrill, referring to a huge sell off in US shares on Friday, mirrored by a big fall in the Aussie dollar. So how will the Aussie shape up now, if we see Europe and the US heading into recession, That’s more likely in Europe, where gas prices continue to rise and deliveries from Russia stop totally middle of the week, with a question mark on when – and if – they will start again. Meanwhile, Britain’s energy prices continue to rise to unprecedented levels. Where does it all end. And happy birthday to us; the Morning Call is six years old today.

Aug 28, 2022
Peering into Jackson hole

Friday 26th August 2022 View our disclaimer and terms of use: View our NAB Financial Services Guide: There’s unlikely to be any surprises when Jerome Powell steps up to the podium at the Jackson Hole Symposium tonight (Australian time). It’s well signalled that he will be uber-hawkish, and with the Fed’s credibility on the line, best not to go too-soft when inflation is spiking. That said, NAB’s Taylor Nugent says there has been some pull back in bond yields ahead of the main act, whilst equities have pushed higher overnight. Minutes from the ECB have largely been overtaken by events. It was noted that a “recession would not necessarily diminish upside inflation risks, especially if it was related to a gas cut-off”, but the question remains, what can monetary policy do about it? And US GDP has been revised up, still in negative territory but gross domestic income perhaps provides a more realistic – and positive – picture of the health of the US economy.

Aug 25, 2022
Dire Straits for UK and Europe

Thursday 25th August 2022 View our disclaimer and terms of use: View our NAB Financial Services Guide: Ukraine has just celebrated Independence Day and it’s becoming clearer how much the UK and Europe is paying the price. NAB’s Gavin Friend paints a pessimistic picture about the outlook for that part of the world, as gas prices push ever higher. He says the Fed can raise rates to moderate demand in the US, but in Europe rate hikes will do nothing to mitigate rapidly rising energy prices. Joe Stiglitz has been saying overnight that interest rate hikes will do other than, he reckons, make inflation worse. Yet UK two-year yields shot higher overnight on expectations that the Bank of England will push ahead with a faster path of rate increases.

Aug 24, 2022
Business activity falls, but not enough to slow the Fed

Wednesday 24th August 2022 View our disclaimer and terms of use: View our NAB Financial Services Guide: It’s that time of the month when PMI reads give us a global snapshot of how everyone is doling relative to each other. NAB’s Ray Attrill says the US provided the biggest surprise with a sharp fall in the services number, moving further into contraction territory, with a read of 44.1 – a 27 month low. That’s somewhat worse than services numbers in Europe, and well below the UK, which continues to surprise, with a Services PMI read of 52.5 (actually growing). The bad news from the US was compounded by a fall in the Richmond Fed manufacturing index (also moving into contraction) and a further slowdown in new home prices. But Europe’s future continues to be dominated with higher fuel costs, which show no signs of settling down.

Aug 23, 2022
Markets respond as European gas prices push ever higher

Tuesday 23rd August 2022 View our disclaimer and terms of use: View our NAB Financial Services Guide: The US dollar has risen close to a multi-decade, against a falling Euro and pound, as the energy outlook in that part of the world worsens and gas prices continue to skyrocket. NAB’s Tapas Strickland says this has added to the resolve of central banks to tackle inflation with faster rises in interest rates. There is a plethora of PMI reports today. The question is, if they show any weakening in the performance of economies, will that be enough to moderate the hawkishness that’s prevalent amongst most central banks right now?

Aug 22, 2022
Shopping to the very end

Monday 22nd August 2022 Markets seem to have got used to the idea that central banks will be more aggressive with cash rate hikes, ahead of the Jackson Hole symposium at the end of the week. Part of the reason for that is because, what’s been done so far is clearly not enough. UK retails sales increased in July despite all the talk about the dire state of the economy. The Canadians are also out shopping. We also saw a big increase in purchase prices in Germany, in fact the largest monthly rise since 1949. All of this adds to the expectations that the meeting in Wyoming will see an increasingly hawkish stance from all gathered there.

Aug 21, 2022
Fed still trying to show they won’t give in

Friday 19th August 2022 Bond markets have been fairly lacklustre today. NAB’s Ken Crompton says there is still uncertainty over the less-hawkish FOMC minutes this week, which is why central bank speakers are out in force pushing the party-line for higher rates faster. There’s still a difference between the markets and the Fed on how quickly those rates will come down. Meanwhile, there’s still plenty of resilience in the US economy, with jobs not really coming down. As we saw yesterday, it’s the same story in Australia. The Euro saw a sharp fall today, as gas prices shot up to a record high. Canadian and UK retail numbers are out later – will they be a other sign of resilience in the face of adversity?

Aug 18, 2022
UK’s sticker shock inflation drives caution

Thursday 18th August 2022 Inflation clearly isn’t easing yet. The UK hit 10.1 percent in numbers released yesterday. NAB’s David de Garis says the sticker-shock of double-digit inflation set the cautious mood off early. But if hiking by central banks is designed to slow consumption it is taking its time about it. US retail sales were up 10.3 percent (YoY) in July. Can an aggressive path of hikes slow demand enough to stop inflation in its tracks? Will the RBNZ be the first to demonstrate success? And will the RBA need to pick up the pace, with some worrying signs in the wages data yesterday, even though the headline number seemed quite tame.

Aug 17, 2022
Retail, wages and RBNZ

Wednesday 17th August 2022 View our disclaimer and terms of use: View our NAB Financial Services Guide: Central banks continue to keep a close eye on wages data. The UK has just reported a drop in wages growth, alongside a fall in new jobs. We’ll see Australia’s wage growth numbers later today, which NAB’s Rodrigo Catril says shouldn’t be a big rise this quarter, but expect more in Q3 and Q4. Also today, the state of US retail, Canada’s rising inflation (despite all the front-loading of interest rates) and what to expect from the RBNZ. A busy day.

Aug 16, 2022
Slow boat from China

Tuesday 16th August 2022 View our disclaimer and terms of use: View our NAB Financial Services Guide: The Aussie dollar has retreated from the gains at the end of last week, after a slowdown in China’s retail sales, industrial output and fixed asset investment. All grew well below expectations, as COVID continues to influence behaviour and, clearly, buying habits. We’ve also seen a big drop in oil overnight. NAB’s Ray Attrill says the fall is a combination of the weaker China data and signs that an Iran nuclear deal could be getting closer, which would see more oil pumped into the global marketplace. In the US equities continue to rise, even though the housing market is struggling, and the Empire State Manufacturing Index showed a massive (unbelievable) fall. The RBA minutes will be scoured today for any signs of the direction the bank will take now it is not, in their words, on a “pre-set path”.

Aug 15, 2022
A positive outlook, apart from the downturn

Monday 15th August 2022 There was a lot more positive sentiment around on Friday, because there are more signs that perhaps inflation is peaking. NAB’s Tapas Strickland says strong corporate earnings have helped, and a belief that the Fed will not be moving much further on rate hikes – even though many Fed speakers are keen to argue otherwise. It’s a different story amongst bond markets, were the 2-10 years spread remains firmly in negative territory, suggesting a recession or at least much slower activity for the remainder of the year. The RBNZ meets this week – Phil asks Tapas is they are being viewed as a test case for central banks, given that interest rates are likely to hit 3% this week, amid signs that the economy is slowing.

Aug 14, 2022
Not convinced by the Fed

Friday 12th August 2022 Markets are still behaving as though inflation will not reach the heights predicted by the Fed, and that the path of hikes will be downgraded. Softer PPIs in the US added to this sentiment. But NAB’s David de Garis says energy prices are the big concern. Brent is back over $100 a barrel, with concerns that European demand to substitute gas will push prices higher and add to inflationary pressures. But will inflation create a recession? GDP numbers in the UK today are expected to show a decline, yet unemployment remains persistently low, retail numbers are doing well and Dave says the streets of London are filled with people spending money. It doesn’t feel like a recession, whatever the numbers show.

Aug 11, 2022
False hope on easing inflation?

Thursday 11th August 2022 US inflation numbers were lower than expected, giving markets a major boost if confidence. Shares rose sharply, thew VUIX index fell to the lowest in quite a while, the USA dollar weakened, and the Aussie dollar was given a major boost. But will the enthusiasm last? As NAB’s Tapas Strickland explains, the falls were largely related to lower energy prices and the low-side core surprise was a payback for the high-side reading in June. In fact, the core reading is still rising and the Fed has made it clear they still have more work to do. So, can we expect markets to retrace their steps a little over the next day or so?

Aug 10, 2022
Inflation Day

Wednesday 10th August 2022 The long-awaited US CPI numbers are out today. NAB’s Rodrigo Catril most attention will be paid to the core reading, which excludes energy and food, the two factors which the Fed can have less influence over. If the core reading rises it shows the Fed has more work to do and that will only exacerbate recession fears. On that, we’ve seen the 2-10 yield spread falling ever lower to levels normally only ever seen ahead of recessions. China’s CPI and PPI reads will also be of interest today. There’s also discussion on today’s podcast on the NAB Business Survey yesterday – how can business indicators be so strong, whilst consumer sentiment is falling?

Aug 09, 2022
Markets in limbo

Wednesday 9th August 2022 Markets are a bit in limbo today. We’ve seen bond yields reversing some of their initial response to non-farm payrolls, with the US dollar temporarily switching direction, and the Aussie and Kiwi dollars gaining strength. But for how long? NAB’s Skye Masters says what happens next will depend on US CPI numbers tomorrow. There was a glint of hope that the worst is over with slight decline in inflation expectations in the US and New Zealand. Certainly the NAB business survey will be scanned eagerly today for price movement.

Aug 08, 2022
US jobs market too hot for the Fed?

Monday 8th August 2022 The US non-farm payrolls numbers on Friday were certainly a surprise to many, with 528k new jobs created in July, twice the market expectation. Wages also rose further. Phil talks to NAB’s Ray Attrill about the swift market response, with many assuming the Fed will go for another big hike at their next meeting. US consumer credit numbers on Friday are also a forewarning of a difficulty period ahead for struggling housheolds. Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s Climate bill has just been passed by the senate – what impact will another splurge of government spending have on the Fed’s endeavours to bring down inflation. Speaking of which, US CPI is the number to look out for this week.

Aug 07, 2022
Uncertainty reigns, except in Britain. It’s just grim there.

Friday 5th August 2022 Markets continue to be pulled in two directions. Is inflation peaking with the hope of a soft landing? Or is there more to come, forcing central banks to lift rates high enough to spark a recession. At least the uK seems to have a clearer picture, but its not a good one. As NAB’s Gavin Friend discusses today, the Bank of England has lifted rates by 50 basis points, lifted their inflation forecasts and warned of five consecutive quarters of economic contraction. So, why is it so much worse in the UK than Europe? And could a change in Prime Minister change the outlook? He also talks to Phil about yesterday’s Australian trade data and looks ahead to tonight’s non-farm payrolls in the US.

Aug 04, 2022
The quick path to credible disinflation and other stories

Thursday 4th August 2022 Nancy Pelosi has moved on from Taiwan and taken the cautious sentiment with her. Instead, very positive ISM services numbers in the US, and James Bullard talking about how the Fed will deliver ‘credible disinflation’, have seen the US dollar strengthen, helped shares bounce back and driven front end bond yields down. Today Phil talks to NAB’s Ray Attrill about what Bullard had to say, what to expect from the Bank of England today and whether Australia’s trade balance will actually increase, rather than the consensus view of a slight fall.

Aug 03, 2022
Pelosi in Taiwan, Fed nowhere near almost done

Wednesday 3rd August 2022 There has been some market caution this morning as Nancy Pelosi arrives in Taiwan, much to the disgust of China. Her rhetoric has been confrontational too, so what is the purpose of this visit? Fed speakers have been keen to shift US market sentiment away from the notion that there will be an easing in the path of rate hikes, with Mary Daly saying they are “nowhere near almost done”. NAB’s Tapas Strickland says there’s been a sharp rise in 2 year yields since, fully erasing the fall seen after the last FOMC meeting. The RBA raised rates as expected but is being cagey about where to next. On today’s podcast we look at the likely path to the end of the year, but is the market overly optimistic about how quickly rates will come back down?

Aug 02, 2022
Recession signs, RBA to hike, grains from Odessa

Tuesday 2nd August 2022 There were further signs of a looming recession, with the US manufacturing ISM weakening, the Caixin Manufacturing PMI also lower and retail sales in Germany falling the most in 50 years. Oil is also falling, and the 2-10 yield spread in the US is close to being the most inverted it’s been since the year 2000. You’d think although these recession signs at a time when central banks are still pursuing aggressive hikes would be enough to upset the markets, but NAB’s Rodrigo Catril says they clearly haven’t got the message yet, with equities showing only minor falls today. The only positive news of the day was that the first shipment of grain has left from Odessa, but it’s anyone’s guess how long that will last. The RBA meets today, a 50-basis point rise is expected, and an increase in the bank’s inflation forecast this week.

Aug 01, 2022
No inflation slowdown, just wishful thinking

Monday 1st August 2022 For those hoping that inflation was peaking (anywhere), then Friday didn’t bring good news. PCE numbers in the US are rising, Europe’s CPI is climbing higher, whilst manufacturing from China has slowed. Clearly, we’re not out of the woods yet, with former US treasury secretary Larry Summers saying on Friday that the Fed hasn’t reached a neutral rate yet, and the fact that Jerome Powell has said they have is just “wishful thinking”. So, what does this all mean for the RBA tomorrow. NAB’s Taylor Nugent says the expectation is there will be a 50 basis point rate hike, but Philip Lowe has spoken about a narrow path “clouded in uncertainty” – is there an outside chance he will see the need to move even faster as global inflation rates show few signs of easing?

Jul 31, 2022
When is a recession not really a recession?

Friday 29th July 2022 US GDP fell by 0.9 percent in Q2. On top of the 1.6 percent fall in Q1 that meets the technical definition of a recession. But Jerome Powell and Janet Yellen are keen to point out the downturn is not sufficiently broad based to be called a recession. Nonetheless it does signify a further weakening in the economy, which investors seem to be taking as a sign that the Fed won’t need to be as aggressive to counter inflation. NAB’s Gavin Friend says that although the market may be trying to lead the Fed in that direction, that’s not how Jerome Powell sees it and we can expect to see further significant hikes. Perhaps the same could be say for the RBA, with Australian retail sales continuing to rise and Treasurer Chalmers yesterday predicting inflation will peak at 7,75 percent, well above the RBA’s 7 percent forecast.

Jul 28, 2022