As many expected the BOJ kept rates unchanged as they continue to encourage a move away from bonds and into equities. Still the policy approach continues as slow but steady. This caused the JPY to trade above the 111 level even as the BOJ talks of 2% inflation (currently 0.5%). Hang Seng and Shanghai saw mixed session tending to cancel each other out. China announced late yesterday (US day) that their holdings of treasuries had expanded in recent weeks to $1.09tln registered the end of April.
A strong steady session across the board for Europe with gains of around +0.65% for all core. The late announcement that Greece had secured additional funds certainly supported hopes, even though there was no comment on possible debt relief. As the US opened, we heard the big news that Amazon was buying the grocery chain Wholefoods paying a 27% premium to previous close. An interesting move that seems to signal a move into the physical world. This shakes up the consumer market but demonstrates the vulnerability for every sector as the wealth creation within tech hits home. Shares in Carrefour, Tesco and Sainsbury were all woken on this news.
US was abuzz with the Amazon/Wholefoods news but tended to play within a narrow range for the day. This news will alter not just the consumers but also the core’s supply chain and bi-products. Talk of a lot of money finding its way into equities even as tech stocks declined on the week. A lot of talk around BREXIT negotiations with quotes from many senior officials, so you can be reasonably assured that the press will be full of it all weekend. There is a long way to go so probably worth countering any extremes moves on that journey. Interesting to see that the soft data seems to be losing a lot of its enthusiasm as it closes-in on the previous lagging hard data. Today we saw Housing Starts, Consumer Confidence and Business Confidence all lagging behind market expectations. DOW closes at record high, but core saw a lag in the broader S+P with the NASDAQ recovery from the lows to close a touch lower.
2’s closed 1.32% (-3bp), 10’s 2.15% (-1bp), 30’s at 2.78% (u/c), Bunds at 0.27% (-1bp) closes the US/Germany spread unchanged at +188bp. France 0.63% (+1bp), Italy 1.98% (+3bp), Greece 5.55% (-17bp), Turkey 10.22% (-5bp), Portugal 2.88% (+6bp), Gilts 1.02% (-1bp).