Little Happening on Good Friday 2016

March 25, 2016

Markets are closed for Good Friday in the U.K., Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, India, Brazil, Canada and the United States.  Greece is shut for Independence Day.  The Good Friday/Easter Monday holiday period tends to be one of the quietest market times of the year.

Sure enough, the dollar is unchanged against the kiwi and yuan, up 0.1% relative to the yen, euro, Swissie and sterling, and down 0.1% versus the Canadian and Australian dollars.

Chinese, Japanese and South Korean share prices posted respective changes of +0.6%, +0.7% and minus 0.1%.  The 10-year Japanese JGB yield slipped a basis point to negative 0.10%.

Comex gold at $1,217.05 per troy ounce is unchanged.  West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 0.8% to $39.46 per barrel.

Core Japanese CPI inflation remained at zero in February.  Energy, which is included in the core index, fell 1.8% on month and 10.9% on year.  Headline inflation picked up to 0.3% from zero, with food climbing 2.7%, most in 3 years.  During March in Tokyo, total consumer price inflation swung to negative 0.1% from +0.1% the month before, and core CPI recorded a larger 0.3% on-year decline after falling 0.1% in the year to February.

Japanese corporate service prices were unchanged in February from January, resulting in the smallest on-year increase (0.2%) since October 2014.

Japan’s index of leading economic indicators in January was revised upward to a reading of 101.8 from 101.4 reported initially and 101.3 in December, which happened to be at a 3-year low.  The index of coincident economic indicators printed at a 9-month high.

Japanese stock and bond transactions last week generated a 3.83 trillion net capital outflow, more than reversing a JPY 1.56 trillion inflow the week before.

Revised French national income accounts confirmed the preliminary data showing a 4Q-over-3Q 0.3% increase in real GDP and on-year growth of 1.4%.  GDP on average grew 1.2% last year, up from 0.2% in 2014.  Virtually all growth last year stemmed from final domestic demand, as net exports exerted a drag of 0.3 percentage points.

Shaken by the Paris ISIS attack, French consumer confidence dropped another point to a 7-month low of 94 in March versus 95 in February and 97 in January.

Dutch GDP went up 0.3% on quarter in 4Q and by 1.6% on year.  GDP in The Netherlands was 2.0% greater in 2015 than in 2014.

South Korean GDP grew 0.7% last quarter, an upward revision from a preliminary 0.6% but only about half as much as recorded in the third quarter.  GDP growth of 2.6% in calendar 2015 was down from 3.3% in 2014.

Malaysian CPI inflation accelerated to 4.2% in February from 3.5% in January.

Revised U.S. fourth-quarter GDP gets reported in about 45 minutes. This is the second revision.  A month ago, growth was revised upward to 1.0% at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate from 0.6% reported initially in late January.  Third-quarter growth of 2.0% had been down from 3.9% 2Q.  The weakest quarter of 2015 was the first one, when GDP expanded just 0.6%.

Copyright 2016, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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