Little More than a Rumor to Trade on

August 20, 2012

Today’s calendar of data releases is pretty bare.  The main piece of news is a report in the German press that the ECB may consider limits for peripheral minus German bond spreads. New macroeconomic forecasts will be unveiled after the September ECB Council meeting on the 6th. 

Several Asian markets were closed for the end of Ramadan.

Greek Prime Minister Samaras is scheduled to hold several bilateral talks this week with other European leaders and reportedly will plead for more time to implement structural reforms.

The German 10-year bund yields increased 7 basis points on the ECB rumor.  The British gilt is up 3 bps, and the Japanese JGB is steady.

Market action has been uneventful this Monday.  The dollar is unchanged against the euro, Swiss franc, sterling and yuan.  The greenback is 0.3% lower versus the New Zealand and Australian dollars and down 0.1% versus the yen and Canadian dollar.

Share prices are narrowly mixed, having fallen by 0.5% in China and Taiwan and edged 0.1% lower in Hong Kong and Australia.  Equities firmed 0.6% in New Zealand, 0.4% in Thailand, and 0.1% in Japan.  The Spanish IBEX and German Dax are 0.6% and 0.3% stronger.  The British Ftse is off 0.1%, and the Paris Cac is trading unchanged.

Gold prices are steady at $1619.40 per ounce.  Oil is at $96.01 per barrel, 0.4% closer to the $100 psychological threshold.

The British Rightmove house price index posted a record August drop of 2.4%, trimming its on-year increase to 2.0% from 2.3% in July and 2.4% in June.  The U.K. household finance index improved 1.4 points to a still-depressed reading of 38.9.

Construction output in the euro area recorded a third consecutive monthly decline, dropping 0.5% in June and by 2.8% from a year earlier.  Output slid 0.1% in the second quarter from 1Q and declined 5.9% from the second quarter of 2011.

Dutch consumer sentiment was unchanged in August from the July reading of negative 32.

Japan’s June index of leading economic indicators was revised up 0.6 points to 93.2 but remained two points below May’s reading of 95.2.  The coincident indicators index was revised downward to 94.1, lowest since November.

GDP in Thailand grew 3.8% last quarter and by 4.2% from the second quarter of 2011.  Government officials revised projected 2012 growth slightly downward to a range of 5.5%-6.0%.

New Zealand’s services performance index printed at a 7-month low of 53.1 in July, down from 53.9 in June.

The only U.S. indicator scheduled for release today is the Chicago Fed National Activity Index.

Copyright 2012, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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