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US CPI on tap today, J&J pause vaccine trials

Markets are mildly risk‐off overnight (S&P future ‐0.4%), though this follows a strong rally late yesterday. Johnson and Johnson said it was pausing clinical trials of its COVID‐19 vaccine after an unexplained illness in a participant. Trump’s probability of winning the election recovered slightly with the bookies after his Florida rally (33%; up from 31%).

The IMF/Work Bank (virtual) meetings are ongoing and the IMF will today release its latest World Economic Outlook. Since its last update in June expectations for the contraction in GDP in 2020, in the US in particular, have diminished somewhat and the IMF’s 2020 forecast of a 4.9% fall in global activity now looks slightly pessimistic. Even if it revises this up, however, the accompanying commentary is likely to be very cautious and warn of the potentially serious impact of measures to contain a second wave of the pandemic.

Day ahead: US September CPI release is due today and the UK releases August labour data. Most economists expect US headline CPI will advance by a relatively standard 0.2% m/m in September. Beneath the surface, continued pricing power in health care and housing should support core inflation. Most anticipate inflation will continue to undershoot 2% for some time.

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