Busy Data Calendar Except From the United States

March 10, 2010

The dollar is mixed, with very little change against the euro, Swissy and Canadian dollar, rises of 0.5% against the yen and 0.4% relative to sterling and declines of 0.6% and 0.3% against the New Zealand and Australian dollars.

Stocks closed unchanged in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia.  Equity gains were recorded of 0.8% in Malaysia and Singapore, 0.5% in Indonesia, and 0.3% in Thailand and India. Stocks have also traded up 0.3% in France and Britain and are 0.2% higher in Germany.

Ten-year German bund and Japanese JGB yields are steady.  Gilt yields eased one basis point.

Oil and gold prices firmed 0.2% and 0.4% to $81.63 per barrel and $1126.60 per ounce.

Japanese core private machinery orders slipped 3.7% in January after soaring 20.1% in December.  They were 4.3% greater than their 4Q09 average level but 1.1% lower than in January 2009.  Foreign machinery orders fell 8.8% in January but were still 0.6% greater than the 4Q09 level.

Australia released mixed statistics: mortgage loans slumped 7.9% in January to 51K, but consumer confidence eked out a 0.2% rise in March in spite of a fourth rate increase from the Reserve Bank of Australia.  A high central bank official of the RBA projected above-trend economic growth for the next few years.

French and Italian industrial output data in January easily surpassed analyst expectations.

  • French output jumped 1.6%, three times faster than forecast after dipping 0.2% in December.  Production was 0.7% lower than a year before.  Transportation equipment soared 8.0% on the month.
  • Italian output increased 2.6%, four times greater than assumed, but fell 3.3% from January 2009.

German consumer price inflation in February was revised up to show gains of 0.4% from January and 0.6% from a year before.  The seasonally adjusted CPI dipped 0.2% on month, however, and recorded an annualized advance of merely 0.4% from six months earlier.

German trade and current account data in January were shockingly below expectations.  The merchandise trade surplus in seasonally adjusted terms was only EUR 8.7 billion, as exports fell 6.3% while imports increased 6.3%.  The surplus had averaged EUR 15.5 billion per month in 4Q09, EUR 11.1 billion per month in 3Q, EUR 10.3 billion in 2Q and EUR 8.2 billion in the first quarter of 2009.

Britain posted the first decline since August in industrial production during January, 0.4%.  Output nonetheless rose 1.0% in November-January compared to August-October.  Manuafacturing output dropped 0.9% in January, reversing December’s 0.9% increase.  Analysts had been anticipating increases of 0.9% in manufacturing output and 0.2% in overall industrial production.

Revised 4Q09 GDP in Italy was a bit weaker than the preliminary estimate, putting growth at negative 0.3% from 3Q and negative 3.0% from a year earlier.  All major components of aggregate demand exerted drags on the economy.

Swedish industrial production increased 1.6% in January, twice as much as forecast, and was only 0.2% lower than a year earlier.  Industrial orders jumped 3.7% from December and 4.0% from a year earlier.

Spanish retail sales volume was 4.5% lower in January than a year earlier.

Danish consumer prices rose 1.2% in February and 1.9% in on-year terms.  Both increases surpassed expectations.  Norwegian consumer prices rose 1.3% in February and 3.0% from a year before.  Norway’s PPI increased 2.1% on the month and 18.8% on year.  Romanian consumer prices rose 0.9% in February and accelerated to a 12-month increase of 6.9% from 6.7% in January.  Portugal’s CPI firmed 0.1% in February and 0.2% from a year earlier.

Finnish industrial output slumped 1.8% in January but was unchanged from January 2009.  Hungarian GDP dropped 4.0% between 4Q08 and 4Q09. 

Thailand’s central bank retained a key interest rate of 1.25% as had been expected.

China’s trade surplus narrowed to $7.6 billion last month from $14.2 billion in January.  Exports and imports posted on-year increases of 45.7% and 44.7%.  Those gains were each greater than forecast, but the surplus was near expectations.

U.S. wholesale inventories and weekly oil stockpiles get reported later today.  The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has a scheduled interest rate announcement and is expected to keep policy unchanged (see prior preview on this site).

Copyright Larry Greenberg 2010.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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