Closing Early For Christmas

December 24, 2015

The dollar depreciated overnight by 0.5% against the yen, Swissie and Australian dollar, 0.4% versus the euro and kiwi, and 0.3% relative to sterling.  The dollar edged 0.1% against its Canadian counterpart and is unchanged vis-a-vis the Chinese renminbi.

Stock markets were closed today in Germany, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore.

The British stock exchange closed at 12:30 central European time (06:30 EST) and will remain shut until next Tuesday, December 20.  Markets in France and Spain closed at 06:00 EST).  The U.S. and Canadian stock exchanges will close at 13:00 EST. 

Japan will be about the only major market open on Christmas Day and is several indicators tomorrow such as unemployment, consumer prices, housing starts, construction orders, the revised index of leading economic indicators, and corporate service prices.

In today’s limited stock market action, share prices dropped 0.7% in China, 0.4% in South Korea, and 0.3% in Japan.  The British Ftse and Spanish Ibex edged up 0.2%, while the Paris Cac lost 0.5%.  The U.S. stock exchange is in serious danger of recording the first calendar year decline in the year before a presidential election since 1939.

The 10-year Japanese JGB yield is steady at 0.27%.  The British gilt yield dipped a basis  point.

WTI oil and Comex gold firmed 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively, to $37.57 per barrel and $1,071.78 per ounce.

Released minutes from the Bank of Japan’s mid-November meeting expressed concern about the delayed and insufficient acceleration of corporate investment spending and wage awards in light of record earnings.  The round of wage talks early in 2016 may strongly influence future policy.  Core inflation is being watched carefully.

Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda in a speech insisted that there has been no slackening of the central bank’s commitment to its mission of securing 2.0% inflation and predicted significant progress toward that goal next year.

Prime Minister Abe’s cabinet in Japan approved a JPY 96.7 trillion fiscal 2016 budget.  Bond issuance will cover 35.6% of planned spending, most since FY2007.  A spike in tax revenue is assumed and growth picks up.  Upper parliamentary house elections are scheduled in 2016.

The Conference Board reported a 0.1% dip in Australia’s index of leading economic indicators in October but a bigger 0.4% advance in the index of coincident economic indicators.  Since April, the former has dropped 1.3%, while the latter rose 1.4%.

South Korean consumer confidence dropped 2.8% in December after a 1% rise the month before.

Industrial production in Singapore sank 3.6% in November and fell 5.5% below the November 2014 level.  The result was considerably worse than forecast.

Dutch producer confidence slipped to a reading of 3.0 in December, breaking a five-month streak of improvement, from 4.0 in November and 2.4 in October.

Dutch real GDP growth last quarter was reestimated at 0.1% on quarter and 1.9% on year, same as the preliminary estimate.

Weekly U.S. jobless insurance claims will be reported before U.S. markets close early for the Christmas holiday.

Peace everyone.

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

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