Post-Easter Session Sees Equities and Aussie Dollar Rise

April 7, 2015

Following the advance in the Dow on Monday, the return of markets that had been closed for Easter saw share prices advance 2.2% in China, 1.3% in Japan, 0.8% in Hong Kong and Indonesia, 0.5% in Australia and 0.4% in Singapore, Taiwan and New Zealand.  European stocks have thus far advanced by 1.5% in Great Britain, 1.4% in France, 1.3% in Italy, 1.1% in Switzerland, 1.0% in Germany and 0.9% in Spain.

The dollar has depreciated 1.1% against the Australian dollar and 0.1% versus the loonie, kiwi, and sterling.  The dollar is up 0.5% against the euro, 0.3% relative to the yen, 0.2% vis-a-vis the Swissie and 0.1% against the yuan.

The ten-year JGB yield is three basis point firmer, while its British and German counterparts have moved a basis point lower.

Commodity prices fell.  Comex gold is 0.8% lower at $1,209.50 per troy ounce, and WTI oil has fallen back 1.1% to $51.55 per barrel.

Central banks in Australia and India left their key rates unchanged as expected, while the Bank of Japan Board began the first day of its two-day policy meeting.  No policy change is expected in that case, either.

Japanese international reserves fell by $5.796 billion last month to $1.2453 trillion.

Producer prices in the eurozone rose 0.5% in February, thanks to a 2.0% month-on-month climb in the energy component.  This was the first increase of the total PPI since September, cutting the 12-month rate of decline to 2.8% from 3.5% in January. 

A number of service-sector purchasing manager surveys and some composite manufacturing and non-manufacturing indices for March were published.

  • Euroland’s composite PMI in March of 54.0 was an 11-month high and 0.7 points above the February reading.  A quarterly average of 53.3 in 1Q was the highest mean since the second quarter of 2011 and suggests GDP growth last quarter of around 0.3%.  All reporting members of the monetary union had a PMI above 50.  Germany (55.4) and Italy (52.4) reached 8-month highs, and the Spanish reading of 56.9 was the best in two months.  Ireland’s 59.8 was the strongest score but at a 9-month low.  The French reading of 51.5 was a 2-month low.
  • Euroland’s services purchasing managers index of 54.0 was the best reading in nearly four years.  Individual service PMIs ranged from top to bottom as follows: Ireland 60.9, Spain 57.3, Germany 55.4, France 52.4, and Italy 51.6.
  • Britain’s services PMI improved 0.5 points to a 7-month high of 58.9.  A quarterly average of 57.6, along with the PMI readings of 57.8 in construction and 54.4 in manufacturing, point to a GDP growth rate last quarter of roughly 0.7%.
  • Sweden’s services PMI improved 0.5 points to a 2-month high of 57.2.
  • South Africa’s private sector PMI of 51.5 in March was at a 5-month high after a no-change score of 50.0 in February.
  • Lebanon’s PMI of 48.9 represents a two-month high.  Input prices surpassed 50 for the first time in nine months.
  • Australia’s services PMI fell 1.5 points to a 2-month low of 50.2 in March.

Australian retail sales also got reported.  The data showed acceleration to a monthly increase of 0.7% in February from 0.5% in January and 0.1% in December, with a twelve-month 4.0% rate of increase after 3.1% in January.

Euroland’s Sentix index of investor sentiment improved 1.4 points to a reading of 20.0 in April, best since August 2007.  All of the rise this month involved current conditions.

Reported February trade figures today showed Finland’s deficit narrowing 38.5% on month to EUR 200 million, Greece’s deficit widening 10.5% to EUR 1.16 billion, and the Czech surplus growing 8% to CZK 18 billion.

Romanian real GDP advanced 0.7% last quarter and by 2.6% from the final quarter of 2013.

Filipino CPI inflation ticked down 0.1 percentage point to 2.4% in March, but core inflation of 2.7% was a little higher than in February.  Austrian wholesale prices fell 3.2% in the year to March.

In the U.S., the Labor Department’s JOLTS index and IBD/TIPP’s optimism index will be reported today.  Consumer credit numbers arrive, too.

Copyright 2015, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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