Week Starting Slowly

December 28, 2015

The British, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand markets are closed in observance of Boxing Day.

The dollar is 0.7% stronger against the loonie but has slipped 0.4% relative to the euro.  The U.S. currency has edged up 0.1% versus the yen, kiwi and sterling and gained 0.2% relative to the yuan and Aussie dollar but is unchanged against the Swiss franc.

At $37.16 per barrel, WTI crude oil is down 2.4%.  Comex gold is 0.4% lower at $1,072.26 per ounce.

Stocks fell 2.9% in China, 1.3% in South Korea, and 1.2% in Hong Kong but rose 0.6% in Japan.  The Spanish, French and German markets have so far dropped by 0.9%, 0.7% and 0.5%.

The ten-year German and Japanese sovereign debt yields are three and one basis points lower at 0.60% and 0.26%.

Japanese industrial production declined 1.0% last month, twice as much as anticipated.  METI officials maintained that the IP trend is fluctuating sideways.  A silver lining is that firms predict coming output increases of 0.9% in December and a whopping 6.0% in January.

Japanese retail sales figures also disappointed, posting a monthly 2.5% plunge and a year-over-year drop in November of 1.0%.  Large-store sales declined 1.5% on year.

Japanese motor vehicle production was 6% greater than in November 2014.

Russian real GDP in November was 4.1% lower than a year earlier.  This drop was slightly steeper than the 3.6% on-year decline in October.

Czech economic confidence went up 0.6 points to a reading of 11.7 in December following a 1.1-point improvement in the prior month.  Consumer confidence climbed two points to +5.0, and business sentiment edged 0.2 points higher to 13.3.

Finnish consumer and industrial confidence each weakened in December, the former halving to 2.4 and the latter sliding a point to negative 11.

Hong Kong recorded a HKD 33.09 billion trade deficit last month, down from HKD 52.2 billion a year earlier.  Imports contracted more than twice as rapidly as exports.  Thailand’s trade surplus of $300 million in November constituted a 5-month low and was a mere seventh as large as the October surplus.

The Dallas Fed manufacturing index will be reported later today.  Israel’s central bank is holding an interest rate meeting.

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

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