More Thursday Data and Event Highlights

October 22, 2009

Thursday had already seen a large volume of economic news before North America opened.  Here’s a brief update on the rest of the day.

The euro was trading back under $1.50 when New Overnight Developments Abroad got posted but closed in New York near the day’s high at $1.5036.  $/yen and cable closed above 91 and $1.6600.

The DOW, S&P 500, and Nasdaq posted gains of 1.3%, 1.1% and 0.7%, shrugging off yesterday’s case of the jitters.  Canadian stocks advanced 0.8%.  The ten-year Treasuries picked up another three basis points in yield.  Gold and oil are al little softer.

Weekly U.S. jobless insurance claims of 531K were higher than forecast and 11K above the previous week.  The four-week average of 532.25K represents drops from 554.25 K in the previous four weeks to September 19 and 567.25K in the four weeks to August 22.  The peak four-week average was at 658.25K in the four weeks to April 4, but historically anything above 400K has typically been correlated with a recession.  The U.S. overall economic performance is no longer in a recession but the labor market element certainly is.

The U.S. also reported a better-than-expected 1.0% jump in the index of leading economic indicators and a worse-than-assumed 0.3% drop in the FHFA house price index (minus 3.6% from a year earlier).

Canadian retail sales increased by a much better-than-forecast 0.8% in August, as autos went up 2.4% and other retail sales increased 0.5%.

Business sentiment in Belgium improved 3.6 points to minus 14.2 in October.  The index had been at minus 22.8 three months earlier and at minus 31.8 in April.  All sectors did better in the latest month.

Taiwanese unemployment on a seasonally adjusted basis edged up to 6.09% last month from 6.07% in August.  Hong Kong consumer prices rose 0.5% in the year to September but fell 0.9% in the year to 3Q09.

The volume of Hungarian retail sales fell 7.2% in the year to August and was 4.2% lower in January-August than in the first eight months of 2008.

The Brazilian jobless rate fell more than anticipated to 7.7% last month from 8.1% in August.  Mexican retail sales dropped 1.4% in August and by 5.5% from a year earlier.

On the central bank beat, the Reserve Bank of South Africa joined the Swedish Riksbank in announcing no change in its benchmark rate.  The Bank of Canada released a new Monetary Policy Report.  See review.  Among Fed officials, Dudley of N.Y. said losses on the Fed lending schemes may be avoided.

Copyright Larry Greenberg 2009.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.


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