Japan, Dubai, and Austria in The News

December 14, 2009

Japanese Tankan business survey produces mixed results.

Abu Dhabi government lending $10 billion to help Dubai World restructure debt and avoid default.

Austrian government nationalized Hypo Alpe-Adria Bank.

The yen is 0.8% stronger against the dollar, which otherwise shows no change against the euro or Swiss franc and gains of 0.4% against the Canadian dollar, 0.3% relative to the Australian dollar, and 0.2% versus the kiwi and sterling.

The Nikkei closed unchanged but most other stock markets are higher.  Gains amount to 1.1% in China, 0.9% in Thailand, Germany, and Britain, 0.8% in Hong Kong, 0.6% in France,  0.5% in South Korea and 0.4% in Australia.

Ten-year bund and gilt yields are 3 and 1 basis points lower, whereas the ten-year JGB firmed two basis points to 1.31%.

Having closed under $70 on Friday, oil slid another 0.4% to $69.56 per barrel.  Gold is 0.2% softer at $1117.70 per troy ounce.

The Bank of Japan’s quarterly business survey, the so-called Tankan, showed:

  • A less negative diffusion index for big manufacturers than feared or than posted in September and further projected improvement in March.
  • Comparatively weaker conditions for non-manufactureres and very depressed indices for small firms.
  • Adverse revisions in projected Fiscal 2009 sales and capital spending,
  • Forecast declines in profits this fiscal year of 34.7% among large manufacturers and 16.1% for all firms, and
  • A projected dollar/yen rate of 92.93 on average in the fiscal year to March 2010.

Revised Japanese industrial production in October, a monthly rise of 0.5%, was the same as the preliminary estimate.  Such was 2.4% greater than the 3Q mean level but 15.1% lower than in October 2008.  Productive capacity advanced 1.6% in October, while capacity usage firmed 0.2%.  The inventory ratio rose 0.3%.

Sri Lanka’s central bank repo rate was left steady at 7.5% as had been expected.

Two important Euroland indicators were released:

  • Industrial production fell 0.6%.  The drop was a tenth less than consensus forecasts and ended a streak of monthly increases since spring.  Output fell 11.1% from a year earlier.  Production dropped by 1.8% in Germany, 0.9% in France, 2.8% in Ireland and 0.8% in Greece, but such advanced 2.2% in Finland, 0.6% in Portugal and the Netherlands, and 0.5% in Italy.


  • Jobs fell 0.5% between 2Q09 and the third quarter, the same bad rate of drop as in 2Q and were 2.1% lower than a year earlier.

Britain’s Rightmove house price index slumped 2.2% in December but firmed 1.7% compared to December 2008.

The French current account deficit in October of EUR 4.5 billion was 18.5% wider than forecast.  There was a EUR 43.8 billion deficit in the 12 months to October.

Swiss producer prices were steady in November and 3.3% lower than a year earlier.

Finnish consumer prices firmed 0.1% in November and were 0.9% below their year-earlier level.  Portuguese consumer prices fell 0.6% in the year to November, their ninth on-year decline in a row.

Czech retail sales volumes rebounded 1.1% in October from a 1.5% drop in September, cutting their 12-month rate of decline to a surprising 4.7% from 7.3%.

Spanish home sales slumped 21.3% in the year to October.

Hong Kong industrial production slid 1.9% quarterly in 3Q09 and by 8.6% from 3Q08, less than the 9.5% drop in the year to 2Qq09.  Producer prices were 2.0% lower in the third quarter than a year earlier.

Indian wholesale prices in November rose 4.8% on year.

New Zealand retail sales were unchanged in October, weaker than had been forecast, due to a 1.5% decline in auto sales.

Canadian quarterly capacity usage and Mexican industrial output figures are scheduled today.  No meaningful U.S. figures are due.

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

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