A relatively quiet overnight session, with risk sentiment softening further as Europe comes online.
Japanese markets are closed today (and tomorrow) for a public holiday.
Hang Seng dragged lower by HSBC's latest case of questionable business.
U.S. futures are pushing lower, and European markets are set to follow suit at the open.
ECB to review flagship bond-buying tool in fighting Covid crisis (FT)
These snippets tell you all you need to know.
Until the new programme’s introduction, the ECB’s sovereign bond purchases were bound by self-imposed rules, designed to avoid it being accused of using monetary policy to directly finance governments, which is illegal under EU law.
This changed with the PEPP, which ditched the restriction of only buying up to a third of a country’s debt and introduced a more flexible interpretation of the rule requiring it to buy sovereign bonds in proportion to the size of each country’s economy. It also started buying Greek government bonds, breaking with the ECB’s tradition of not buying debt rated below investment grade.
A second council member said the review would look at whether the ECB should shift away from using the PEPP and focus instead on increasing the scale of its other asset purchase programmes, while potentially giving them the same extra flexibility.
“It might be easier for some national central banks to accept that we expand the traditional asset purchase programme rather than the PEPP,” said the second council member.
"Those pesky rules really got in the way before... Maybe we can just keep doing things this way?"
This will prove contentious, and was exactly what the German court case was about last month.
Jens Weidmann, head of the Bundesbank, said the court ruling “highlights important features” of the ECB's sovereign bond-buying — a reference to its self-imposed limits — that he said “ensure a sufficient safety margin to monetary financing of governments”.
Oil refiners worldwide struggle with weak demand, inventory glut
MELBOURNE/LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global oil refiners reeling from months of lackluster demand and an abundance of inventories are cutting fuel production into the autumn because the recovery in demand from the impact of coronavirus has stalled, according to executives, refinery workers and industry analysts.
U.S. fuel demand has fallen 13% year-on-year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Autumn is typically when use of heating oil and diesel rises, but with more than 179 million barrels in storage, nearly a record, refiners have no incentive to keep units running.
“Even with a U-shape economic recovery, demand potentially is going to be around 2 million bpd below where it was in the fourth quarter of 2019,” David Fyfe, chief economist at Argus, said on a webinar earlier this month.
Looking ahead, a very quiet calendar.
Fed speakers will be closely watched for further clarity on the AIT regime.
Lagarde's speech will be worth monitoring, but no expectations that she will say anything new.
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