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Citi Wealth Insights

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US exceptionalism continues versus the euro area and UK

USD: US Markit PMIs show continued strength and rising prices - US Markit Manufacturing PMI declines modestly to 58.5 in the preliminary February release from 59.2 in January but shows input and output prices running at multi-year highs while the Markit Services PMI rises to 58.9.
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Case for EUR underperformance vs risk currencies

EUR: ECB minutes concerned about EUR strength and the outlook - Minutes of the ECB’s monetary policy meeting on January 20-21 released overnight confirm there have been discussions about the importance of monitoring the recent increase in nominal risk-free rates and developments in the exchange rate.
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Case for US exceptionalisms - stronger than consensus US data across the board

USD: US retail sales strongly recover after seasonal weakness - after two months of declines, US retail sales roar back in January up 5.3%MoM (well-above consensus for 1.1%MoM and Citi's above-consensus 1.8%MoM) with the control-group up 6.0%MoM. On a year-on-year basis, total sales are up 7.4%YoY – the strongest since 2011 and the control-group is up a historically high 11.8%YoY.
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RBA minutes - a slightly harder attitude towards currency strength

AUD: RBA minutes from the February 2 meeting are largely optimistic with the Australian unemployment rate expected to decline to around 6% by the end of 2021 before reaching around 5.25% by mid-2023 but with inflation only approaching 2% by the end of the forecast period (mid 2023).
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The case for EUR underperformance

EUR: Euro area Covid underperformance worsening: German border controls raise growth risks –
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Asia - Broader Allocation for Broader Recovery

Citi analysts adjusted their asset allocation to reflect the greatest potential beneficiaries of the ongoing recovery, while also managing risks to some of the best performing markets so far.
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