A Couple of Holidays and Many Manufacturing Reports

May 4, 2015

Golden Week continues in Japan with today’s celebration of Greenery Day.

British markets are also closed for the early spring banking holiday.

The dollar strengthened 0.6% against the euro, 0.3% relative to the Swiss franc, 0.2% vis-a-vis the Aussie dollar and sterling and 0.1% versus the kiwi and yen.  The greenback also fell 0.5% against the Canadian dollar.

Ten-year sovereign debt yields continue to push upward, rising two basis points in Japan, while Treasury futures indicate a likely open around 2.13%, also up two bps.

Share prices rose 0.8% in China, 1.8% in India, 1.1% in Indonesia, 0.2% in Australia and 0.1% in Japan.  European bourses have climbed 1.3% in Germany, 1.0% in France and , and 0.8% in Spain.

West Texas Intermediate oil increased 0.4% to $59.37 per barrel.  Comex gold is0.6% stronger at $1,181.30 per troy ounce.

Euroland’s purchasing managers index for manufacturers printed at a 2-month low of 52.0 after 52.2 in March and 51.0 in January and February.  The preliminary April estimate had been 51.9.  The data suggest growth of about 0.4% at the beginning of the second quarter, and the report also signaled strengthening inflation as the ECB seeks.  But the data were uneven across individual members.

  • Ireland again had the strongest expansion rate, but April’s reading of 55.8 was at a 3-month low.
  • The Greek PMI slumped to a 22-month low of 46.5, signifying substantial contraction.
  • The French PMI was revised down 0.4 points from its preliminary estimate to 48.0, which was also below March’s 48.8 reading.
  • Italy’s 53.8 represented a one-year high.
  • Austria’s index climbed to an 8-month high of 50.1.
  • The Dutch 54.0 score was at a 3-month high.
  • But Spain’s index settled back to a 2-month low of 54.2.
  • Germany‘s 52.1 reading surpassed the preliminary estimate of 51.9 but was at a 2-month low after March’s 11-month peak of 52.8.

The Swiss manufacturing purchasing managers index for manufacturing stayed at the March level, which had been a 3-month low.

Sweden’s PMI rose 1.6 points to 55.7, its best score in over a year.  This result was above the 19-year average reading of 54.4.

Norway’s 50.5 PMI was 1.7 points better than in March but not as high as February’s score of 51.2.

Among eastern European PMIs, the Czech index fell 1.4 points to a 4-month low of 54.7.  The Polish score, 54.0, was also a 4-month low and down from 54.8 in March, and Hungary’s 51.0 drop 4.4 points to a 4-month low as well.

South Korea’s manufacturing PMI of 48.8 in April, a 6-month low, was down from 49.2 in March and 51.1 in both January and February.

China’s HSBC-compiled manufacturing PMI fell 0.7 points to a one-year low of 48.9.  April’s preliminary estimate had been 49.2.

Taiwan’s PMI fell 1.8 points to 49.2, the first reading below the 50 no-change threshold since July 2013.  Both orders and output contracted.

Vietnam’s PMI jumped 3.0 points to 53.7, a multi-year high.

Indonesia’s PMI of 46.7, a 2-month high, signified a slower rate of contraction in April.

In India, the manufacturing PMI softened 0.8 points to a 2-month low of 51.3.

The South African PMI sank 2.5 points to 45.4, representing a strong pace of contraction in manufacturing.

The Sentix gauge of investor confidence toward the eurozone settled back 0.4 points to 19.6 in May.  April’s reading had been the best since August 2007.

New housing permits in Australia jumped 2.8% in March, more than reversing February’s 1.6% slide and boosting the 12-month rate of increase to a lofty 23.6%.  Aussie job ads rose 2.3% in April, and expected 1-year CPI inflation is now 1.4% according to the TD-MI measure.

Indonesian CPI inflation unexpectedly reaccelerated to 6.79% in April. 

Turkish consumer prices rose 1.6% in April, lifting on-year inflation by 0.3 percentage points to 7.9%.  Turkish PPI inflation rose to 4.8% from 3.4% in March and 3.1% in February.

South Korea’s current account surplus last quarter equaled $23.42 billion.

The U.S. releases factory orders and the New York PMI report.  The Federal Reserve presidents of the San Francisco and Chicago districts speak publicly today.  Today marks the 45th anniversary of the Kent State killing of four students by Ohio National Guardsmen.  Some things never get old as last week’s use of the Maryland National Guard to quell street protests in Baltimore following the death in a black man while in policy custody.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest interest rate decision is due Tuesday.

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

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