Weaker Share Prices, Firmer Dollar amid Thin Trading

December 28, 2011

The dollar again has a 1.29 handle against the euro, rising 0.6% against the common currency.  The greenback gained 1.0% versus sterling and 0.3% against the Australian dollar but is unchanged against the loonie and yen.

Share prices have fallen 0.9% in Germany, India and South Korea, 1.3% in Australia, 0.6% in Hong Kong.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average is 0.7% weaker.

Italy’s six-month T-bill auction was extremely successful, fetching a 3.25% average yield, down from 6.5% last month.  Italy’s parliament has approved austerity moves, whose fate previously had been in doubt.

The 10-year German bund yield fell two basis points, and the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is four basis points lower.

Gold and oil prices are down 1.2% and 0.7% at $1576 per ounce and $100.60 per barrel.

Japanese data released overnight showed weaker demand and output with marginal deflation.

South Korean industrial production fell four points in December to 99 amid uncertainty about North Korea’s political transition.

The Swiss index of leading economic indicators fell 0.33 points in December to a mere 0.01.  Analysts expected a smaller decline.

Retail sales in Sweden expanded 0.8% in November, beating expectations.  Such were 0.7% higher than a year earlier instead of about 1.0% lower as assumed.

According to Johnson Redbook and ICSC figures, U.S. chain store sales were decent in the final Christmas shopping week.

Copyright 2011, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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