Holiday Closures in U.K. and United States

May 26, 2014

The United States is observing Memorial Day, and there is a spring bank holiday in Britain.  These closures will dampen market activity today. 

The dollar is unchanged against the euro, Swiss franc and kiwi, up 0.1% versus the Chinese yuan and off 0.1% relative to the yen, loonie, Australian dollar and sterling.

Share prices advanced 1.0% in Japan, 0.4% in China and Australia, 0.3% in Taiwan and 0.2% in Singapore.  In Europe, stocks climbed 2.7% in Italy, 0.9% in Germany, 0.8% in Spain and 0.4% in France. 

Ten-year German bund and Japanese JGB yields are unchanged.

The price of WTI oil slid 0.3% to $104.03 per barrel.  The price of gold edged 0.1% higher to $1,293.20 per ounce.

Parties of the far left and far right, which are hostile to the process of European integration, achieved significant gains but not enough to take away the overall centrist majority in elections to the European parliament.  The National Front in France won 25%, more than the Socialists or the Center Right.  Denmark, Greece, Britain, and Austria also saw the extreme parties do especially well.  Supporters of Italian Prime Minister Renzi, however, came out on top in that country. 

Petro Poroshenko won the presidential election in Poroshenko in a rebuff of Russian interference in that country’s affairs.

The ECB is conducting a retreat in Sintra, Portugal.  President Draghi there warned of the danger of deflationary price expectations, further signaling the likelihood of an interest rate cut by the Governing Council next week.

Minutes from the Bank of Japan’s April 30 Policy Board meeting revealed three of nine members doubting that 2% core inflation will be secured by April 2015, those being Koichi, Shirai, and Sato.

German consumer confidence printed at 8.5 for a fourth straight time in June,which is the highest level since January 2007.

Czech consumer confidence retreated from a multi-year peak of -3.8 in April to a reading of -4.0 in May.  Business sentiment stayed at 9.9.  Overall sentiment was also unchanged.

Dutch business sentiment rebounded to 0.7 in May from scores of 1.1 in March but 0.3 in April.

In the year to April, producer prices rose 0.1% in Spain and 1.6% in Sweden but fell by 1.4% in Finland.

Swedish retail sales recorded a larger 5.7% on-year advance in April, up from 5.1% in March.  The 0.3% monthly increase was the fourth in a row.  Polish retail sales posted robust gains in April of 2.3% from March and 8.4% from April 2013.

Polish unemployment fell by a half percentage point to 13.0% in April.  Malaysian unemployment dropped to 3.0% in March from 3.2% in February and 3.3% a year earlier.

Industrial production in Singapore fell 4.7% last month, reversing much of a 6% rise in March.  Output was 4.6% greater than a year ealier.

New Zealand’s trade surplus fell almost in half to NZD 534 million in April from NZD 920 million in March.

The Bank of Israel announces its latest interest rate decision today.

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

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