Multiple Holidays Dampening Market Activity

May 25, 2015

British markets are closed today for the spring bank holiday.

U.S. markets are closed for Memorial Day.

A number of northern European markets including France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Austria, The Netherlands, and Belgium are shut too in observance of Whit Monday.

The dollar traded under 1.10 per euro to a low of $1.0959 and is currently down 0.3% on balance against the common European currency.  The greenback has lost 0.1% relative to the Australian currency and Swiss franc but firmed 0.1% against sterling.  The dollar is steady vis-a-vis the yen, yuan, loonie and kiwi.

Equities have fallen sharply in Greece (2.7%), Spain (2.4%) and Italy (2.0%).  Talks to avert a Greek default remain stalemated, and opposition parties did well in local Spanish elections.

In the Pacific Rim, share prices rose 3.0% in China, 1.1% in South Korea, 1.0% in Australia, 1.7% in Hong Kong and 0.7% in Japan.

Gold is steady at $1.205.30 per ounce.  WTI oil slipped 0.6% to $59.34 per barrel.  The 10-year Japanese JGB yield edged a basis point higher to 0.41%.

The Bank of Israel’s key interest rate was left at 0.10% as expected.  It’s last change was a 15-basis point cut in late February.

The Japanese customs clearance trade balance returned to deficit in April.  The unadjusted JPY 53 billion shortfall was much smaller than the JPY 825 billion gap in April 2014 as exports climbed 8.0% on year while imports dropped 4.2%.  The seasonally adjusted deficit of JPY 209 billion was 40% smaller than forecast after a JPY 5 billion surplus in March.

Mexico recorded an $85 million trade deficit last month, down from $480 million in March.

Malaysian unemployment slid 0.2 percentage points to 3.0% in March.  Singaporean consumer prices fell 0.6% on month and 0.5% on year in April.  The 12-month decline was larger than in March.

Spanish producer prices fell 1.0% in the year to April but recorded a third straight month-on-month advance. Finnish producer prices also increased for a third consecutive month, climbing 0.5% in April, which cut the 12-month rate of decline by a half percentage point to 0.3%.  In April, Czech business sentiment improved to a 3-month high, while consumer confidence weakened to a 6-month low.

Cleveland Federal Reserve President Mester and Federal Reserve Board Vice Chairman Fisher speak publicly later today.

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



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