New Developments Abroad

May 28, 2008

Oil prices fell another 1.6% overnight. At $126.78, such are now 6.2% below peak.

Gold prices slumped 1.9% to a sub-$900 reading of $895.8/ounce.

The dollar is mixed, advancing 0.4% against the yen and 0.1% versus the Swiss franc and C-dollar. The dollar is unchanged against the euro and A-dollar and off 0.1% against sterling.

The Nikkei fell 1.3%. The Kospi lost 1.2%, and the Hang Seng dipped 0.1%. But China’s CSI 300 advanced 2.5%. The Dax (0.5%) and Ftse (0.2%) are mildly higher.

Sovereign bond yields rose. The 10-year JGB is up 0.5 bp at 1.765% after hitting 1.785%.

Five regional German state CPI reports for May are centered around a higher-than-expected monthly increase of 0.6%, led by energy, seasonal food and holiday-related costs. On-year CPI likely to be around 3.0% after 2.4% in April. German import prices climbed 0.9% m/m in April, keeping the 12-month advance at 5.7%. Import price inflation in full-2007 was just 1.2%.

French consumer sentiment slid to -41 in May from -38 in April on an energy price squeeze on real disposable income. A -38 reading had been expected.

CPIX inflation in South Africa leaped 1.6% m/m in April, matching the gain in March and lifting on-year inflation to 10.4%. The CPI went up 11.1% y/y. South Africa is one of many emerging markets now battling double-digit inflation.

In Australia, skilled job vacancies slid 0.1% in May, while construction spending jumped 2.3% in 1Q, more than anticipated.

Norway’s central bank meets today and is expected to keep its key rate at 5.5%, but an increase in June appears possible.


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