U.S. Jobs Day and More PMI Reports

May 2, 2014

Ahead of the U.S. Labor Department monthly report in which analysts look for a 6.6% jobless rate with about 220K more jobs created, the dollar is marking time.  The greenback is unchanged against the euro, Swissie, loonie and yuan, up 0.2% versus the yen, Australian dollar and sterling, and 0.1% firmer vis-a-vis the kiwi.

Share prices climbed 0.9% in Taiwan, 0.6% in Hong Kong, 0.5% in New Zealand, and 0.2% in Australia but fell by 0.4% in Singapore, 0.2% in Japan and 0.1% in South Korea and India.  The German Dax slumped 1.5% after Monday’s May Day closure.  Stocks are down 0.3% in France but up 0.7% in Italy, 0.3% in Spain, 0.2% in Switzerland and 0.1% in Britain.

Ten-year German bund and Japanese JGB yields are a basis point lower.  The 10-year British gilt is unchanged.

Gold has firmed 0.3% to $1,287 per ounce.  WTI oil is 0.4% higher at $99.83 per barrel.

Producer price inflation in Australia accelerated more sharply than expected to 2.5% last quarter from 1.9% in the second half of 2013 and 1.6% in the first quarter of last year.  Because of the Aussie dollar’s depreciation, import prices rose 8.4% between 1Q13 and 1Q14, while domestic producer prices recorded an increase of 1.9%.

On this U.S. jobs day, Japan and the euro area also reported labor statistics.

  • Japan’s jobless rate remained at the multiyear low of 3.6% in March.  The job offers-to-seekers ratio improved to 1.07 from 1.05, and employment was 0.8% greater than a year earlier.
  • Euro area joblessness in December-through February was revised from 11.9% to 11.8% and remained at 11.8% in March.  That’s 0.2 percentage points less than unemployment in March 2013.

Real household spending in Japan leaped 7.2% on year in March, the last month before the sales tax hike.  There was a 10.7% March-on-February advance.  Real disposable incomes, in contrast, recorded a 3.2% on-year decline.

Japan’s monetary base posted lessening on-year growth of 48.5% in April after gaining 54.1% between the first quarters of 2013 and 2014.

Japanese stock and bond transactions generated a net 270 billion yen capital inflow in the week of April 26.

The euro area’s manufacturing purchasing managers index climbed to a 3-month high of 53.4 according to final April data.  The Irish and Italian PMI scores of 56.1 and 54.0 were at respective 38- and 36-month peaks.  The German, Austrian and and Greek readings of 54.1, 51.4 and 51.1 were at 2-month highs. France continues to be the main disappointment.  It’s manufacturing PMI printed at a 2-month low of 51.2 and was 0.4 points lower than the flash indication.  Spain’s 52.7 also constituted a 2-month low, and the Dutch score of 53.4 signaled the slowest rate of expansion in nine months.

Among other reported European PMIs reports released today,

  • The British construction PMI survey printed at 60.8, down from 62.5 and the lowest reading in six months.  Still, 60.8 connotes rapid expansion.
  • Switzerland’s manufacturing PMI rose 1.4 points to a 3-month high of 55.8.
  • Sweden’s manufacturing PMI dropped a point to a 2-month low of 55.5.
  • Norway’s 51.2 score was at a 2-month low.
  • Poland’s manufacturing PMI was 52.0 in April, down from 54.0 in March and the weakest result in nine months.
  • The Czech PMI rose a whole point and at 56.5 matched February’s 34-month peak.

Manufacturing in South Korea is limping along.  It’s PMI score was 50.2 in April, down from 50.4 in March but a bit better than February’s 49.8 result.

Taiwan’s PMI fell 0.4 points to 52.3, a 7-month low.

Indonesia’s 51.1 reading was a point higher than in March and the best score since May 2013.

Vietnam’s PMI, 53.1, constituted a series record high.

India’s purchasing managers index for manufacturing stayed at 51.3.  February’s 52.5 had been a 1-year high.

Turkey’s PMI index fell by 0.6 points to 51.1, an 8-month low.

Australian new home sales only ticked 0.2% higher in March after surging 4.6% in February.

Indonesia’s trade surplus contracted 20% to $670 million in March.  CPI inflation edged marginally lower but remained above the 7% threshold in April at 7.25%.

CPI and PPI inflation in Thailand stood at 2.4% and 1.9% last month.

Cypriot consumer prices fell 1.6% in the year to April.

Ukraine’s government is using military force to retake control of Slovgansk from Russian sympathizers.

The U.S. reports factory orders as well as unemployment, real hourly earnings, the NAPM index and nonfarm payroll jobs today.

Copyright 2014, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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