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Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Tuesday, September 1st

EconomySep 01, 2020 06:38
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By Geoffrey Smith -- The dollar hits a new 29-month low as global economies appear to rebound faster than expected. Will the ISM manufacturing survey show a similar picture for the U.S.? Zoom Video blows past expectations, and oil firms ahead of the API's weekly estimate of U.S. inventories. Here's what you need to know in financial markets on Tuesday, September 1st.

1. Euro tests $1.20 as Germany gets more upbeat

Germany said its economic contraction this year won’t be as bad as first feared. New projections from the government estimate gross domestic product will fall ‘only’ 5.8% this year, instead of the 6.3% laid out in its last forecasts.

The flip side is that the rebound next year will be less vigorous – only 4.4% growth instead of 5.2%. Berlin still only expects to return to early 2020 levels of GDP at the start of 2022.

Germany’s jobless rolls fell by 9,000 in August, according to seasonally-adjusted data released earlier Tuesday, while its manufacturing PMI was confirmed at 52.0, a modest improvement from July, but lower than expected.

The euro rose as far as $1.1998, helping to drive the dollar index down to a new 29-month low.

2. Zoom on course to win 2020

Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM) cemented its place as one of the biggest winners of 2020, reporting quarterly earnings that were far ahead of even the most optimistic forecast and substantially raising its guidance for the full year.

The company reported a 355% increase in revenue from the same period a year ago to $663 million, more than the whole of its fiscal 2020 year that ended in January. Net profit rose to $186 million from $6 million a year earlier.

The numbers suggest that Zoom has more than met the challenge of scaling up rapidly in the face of an unimaginable surge in demand over the last six months. Its corporate customer base has more than quadrupled from a year earlier. 

3. Stocks set to open mostly higher

U.S. stock markets are expected to open mostly higher again, with Zoom’s blowout earnings helping Nasdaq futures to extend the outperformance seen on Monday  

By 6:35 AM ET (1035 GMT), the Dow 30 futures contract was essentially flat while S&P 500 Futures were up 0.2% and the Nasdaq 100 futures contract was up 1.0%.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its suppliers are likely to stay in focus after Bloomberg reported that the company is preparing to make 75 million iPhones in its big round of launches in October, a figure that's roughly in line with last year and suggests demand for its flagship product has held up well through the pandemic.

4. PMIs point to global resilience

The Institute for Supply Management will release its purchasing managers index for the U.S. at 10 AM ET (1400 GMT).

Releases of similar surveys around the world have mainly come in stronger than expected, with the Caixin PMI for China, which monitors the country’s private sector, rising to 53.1.

In Europe, the picture was more uneven, with manufacturing PMIs pointing to faster growth in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, but a return to contraction in Spain, where the surge in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks is now approaching the level seen during the virus’ first wave in spring. The eurozone jobless rate rose to 7.9% despite the widespread availability of government wage subsidies, while the collapse in energy prices drove the consumer price index to a year-on-year decline of 0.2%.

Elsewhere, South Korea, whose chip- and electronic-heavy economy occupies a key place in global value chains, said its second-quarter GDP had fallen only 3.2%, after a 1.3% drop in the first quarter, slightly better than the 3.3% drop forecast.

5. Oil grinds higher; API numbers eyed

Oil prices ground higher in overnight trading after positive economic data from Korea and Germany gave some reassurance to those worried about the strength of global demand.

By 6:30 AM, U.S. crude futures had risen 1.1% to $43.08 a barrel, while the global benchmark Brent had risen 1.2% to $45.84 a barrel.

The market was supported by figures released late on Monday by the U.S. government showing the extent of the drop in U.S. output earlier in the summer.  With Baker Hughes’ oil rig count still bumping along the bottom of a multi-year trend at 180 last week, U.S. output seems unlikely to revive quickly.

The American Petroleum Institute’s weekly estimate of U.S. oil supplies is due at 4:30 PM, as usual. They're likely to reflect the disruptions to the market from last week's hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.


Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Tuesday, September 1st

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