New Developments Abroad: Slow Start to Final July Week

July 28, 2008

The dollar fell except against sterling, with drops of 0.3% against the Swissy, kiwi and Aussie dollar, 0.2% against the euro and 0.1% versus the yen and Canadian dollar.  The greenback gained 0.2% relative to sterling and 0.1% against the yuan.

European and Asian stocks are mixed.  Nikkei up 0.1%.  Chinese CSI 300 up 0.7%, but Taiwan -1.8%.  India +0.7% but Australia -1.0%.  Dax (-0.8%) and Cac40 (-0.6%) but Ftse up 0.2%.  Indonesia +1.3%.

Oil firmed 0.7% to $124.17 per barrel, and gold edged 0.3% higher to $939.70 per ounce.

North American and European sovereign bond yields are higher, whereas the 10-year JGB yield dipped 1 basis point to 1.565%.

Remarks from China’s Politboro suggest a slower rate of yuan appreciation, while central bank statement pledges “consistent” monetary policy.

Britiain’s Hometrack house price index fell 1.2% m/m and 4.4% y/y, the latter being the greatest on-year drop since at least 2001.

Consumer confidence in Germany fell more sharply than assumed in August to a 62-month low of 2.1 from 3.6 in in July and 8.3 in August 2007.  Lower consumer confidence was also reported by Finland.

Obama expressed confidence in Bernanke.  The Congress on Saturday approved a big rescue package for Fannie and Freddie.

There as been more intervention support for the won by the Bank of Korea.

Thailand’s central bank revised projected inflation higher and projected growth in 2008 a little lower.

Business sentiment in Australia sank from -4 in 2Q to -8 in 3Q08.  Such shows the largest on-year deterioration in ten years.

New Zealand’s trade deficit in June of NZ$ 223 mln after NZ$ 168 mln in May was smaller than forecast.  South Korea’s current account swung to a surplus in June of 159 mln won from a deficit of 1010 mln won in May.

Spain’s finance minister warned of a further rise in inflation, which stands currently at a 13-year high.  German Chancellor Merkel said there are no plans for a fiscal stimulus package in her country.


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