Your Sunday Asia Briefing: the Fed, the Squid and the King

Are we there yet? This week could finally see the peak of the US interest-rate mountain and, fingers crossed, the last fire-sale for a US bank in the latest crisis. Yet manufacturing data from China suggests the global recovery still has a long way to go. Author of the article: Bloomberg News Adam Majendie Published…
Your Sunday Asia Briefing: the Fed, the Squid and the King

Are we there yet? This week could finally see the peak of the US interest-rate mountain and, fingers crossed, the last fire-sale for a US bank in the latest crisis. Yet manufacturing data from China suggests the global recovery still has a long way to go.

Author of the article:

Bloomberg News

Adam Majendie

Published Apr 30, 2023  •  2 minute read

j}qj{jwbab}q9wz0p2q0e[p0_media_dl_1.png Source: Bloomberg Economics

(Bloomberg) — Are we there yet? This week could finally see the peak of the US interest-rate mountain and, fingers crossed, the last fire-sale for a US bank in the latest crisis. Yet manufacturing data from China suggests the global recovery still has a long way to go.

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The big peak: The Fed will announce its latest rate decision on May 3, with most economists expecting a final 25-basis-point hike for this cycle. But with inflation still running at more than double the central bank’s 2% target, it may be next year before rates start coming down again. The following day, the European Central Bank will also probably add a quarter point, assuming inflation data on May 2 isn’t unexpectedly strong. The US April employment report is expected to show a payroll gain of about 180,000, less than the prior month, with unemployment at around 3.6%.

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The big data: China’s PMIs today disappointed, with both manufacturing and services gauges coming in worse than expected. Rate decisions include the Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday, and Bank Negara Malaysia on Wednesday, with both expected to hold. We’ll get inflation data from Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia, with the latter also reporting growth figures for the first three months of the year.

The big auction: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has asked JPMorgan, PNC, US Bancorp, Bank of America and anyone else who’s interested to submit final bids for First Republic Bank by today, which was last valued at just $650 million after its share price collapsed 97% this year.

The big earnings: Asia’s big banks are in focus this week, with HSBC, Macquarie and DBS all likely to signal stronger lending as the region’s central banks head to the end of the current rate-hike cycle. Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s firms including Adani Green Energy and Adani Ports will also report earnings after the first debt buyback since it was targeted by a short seller in January.

The big bling: Squid Game’s Hoyeon Jung was the first model on the runway last night as Louis Vuitton showcased its pre-autumn women’s collection on Seoul’s Jamsugyo bridge. LV made more than $1 billion in sales in South Korea last year and is trying to leverage the popularity of K-pop and Korean TV, which has armies of fans worldwide.

The big gathering: The 1980s junk bond king turned 21st-century philanthropist Michael Milken is once more bringing together 3,500 bankers, investors and government leaders at the Beverly Hilton in California for the latest edition of the Milken Institute Global Conference, optimistically entitled “ Advancing a Thriving World.” The view from Beverly Hills must be a little different.

And finally, as we look forward to a week that offers a mixture of hope and gloom, it’s nice to know that at least one person has finally made it to the top. 

Have a regal week.

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