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Morning Bid: Tesla Delivers Surprise, China Goes Slow

July 3 (Reuters) – A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Wayne Cole.

The big question for the day is how will investors greet Tesla‘s (TSLA.O) announcement on Sunday that it delivered a record 466,000 vehicles in the second quarter, topping market estimates of around 445,000.

The outperformance may have been due to discounting, which is not good for margins, but analysts have still been gushing over the numbers and tipping ever-higher stock prices.

Back in the real world, China’s Caixin/S&P Global survey of manufacturing showed a slowdown to 50.5 in June, but that was not as bad as the 50.2 feared. Chinese blue chips are a touch firmer, perhaps in the hope a new chief at the central bank will bring stronger stimulus.

The People’s Bank of China again pushed back on a weaker yuan by fixing the currency well above expectations, but these official fixings are having less and less of an impact in the market and offshore dealers are testing to see if Chinese banks actually sell dollars to support the yuan.

News that U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will visit China from July 6-9 was taken as another sign the two powers were trying to defrost their relationship, though expectations are far from high.

Some of the recent hefty gains in the Nikkei seem due to speculation Japanese industry will benefit from a U.S. decoupling with China, particularly in tech. It was notable last week that Japanese chip shares surged amid reports Washington would restrict sales of AI equipment to China.

The European Union is also acting to deepen cooperation with Japan on semiconductors, as countries move to strengthen control over a technology vital for defence, electronics and autos.

The Bank of Japan’s latest Tankan survey of large firms saw an improvement in sentiment to plus 5, from plus 1, which is promising for a country where pessimism had become baked in.

The service index hit its highest since mid 2019 at plus 23, suggesting upbeat domestic demand perhaps in part thanks to the influx of tourists to the country.

Yet firms still expected inflation to cool to 2.6% in a year’s time, from 2.8% in the previous survey, supporting the BOJ’s reluctance to move away from super-easy stimulus.

The U.S. ISM survey of manufacturing due later is expected to have stayed sluggish around 47.0 in June, but more important will be the services survey given May’s surprising slowdown. The median forecast is for a rebound to 51.0 and anything weaker will fuel talk of downside risk to payrolls on Friday.

Key developments that could influence markets on Monday:

– European Central Bank policymaker Joachim Nagel speaks at a financial conference

– June U.S. ISM manufacturing survey, PMI and auto sales. Equity and bond markets close early

Source: Reuters