Higher Inflation on Energy

April 13, 2010

The U.S. and Canadian dollars lost 0.4% against the kiwi and sterling, 0.3% against the Swissie, and 0.1% against the yen, euro, and Australian dollar.

Equities have fallen 1.1% in Taiwan, 0.8% in Japan, 0.7% in Australia, 0.4% in Malaysia, 0.3% in Pakistan and 0.2% in Hong Kong.  In Europe, the German Dax is 0.4% weaker, and the Paris Cac and British Ftse are trading off 0.3%.

Greek auctions of 26-week and 52-week T-bills produced comfortably oversubscribed bid-cover ratios of 7.67 and 6.54, but the yields of 4.55% and 4.85% were still comparatively high.

10-year sovereign bond yields slid two basis points in Germany and by a single basis point in Japan and Britain.

Oil and gold prices fell 0.7% and 0.9% to $83.78 per barrel and $1152.10 per troy ounce.

German consumer prices climbed 0.5% on month in March and to a 12-month advance of 1.1% from 0.6% in February and minus 0.3% last September.  CPI inflation averaged 0.4% in 2009.  Non-energy consumer prices increased 0.3% last month.  German wholesale prices jumped 1.3% on month in March, doubling the on-year change to 4.3% from 2.1% in February.  Such was minus 8.1% last September and minus 10.6% in the year to July 2009.

French consumer prices increased 0.5% in March and by 1.6% from a year earlier.  The energy component increased 2.1% on month and 9.4% on year.

Consumer price inflation in Hungary accelerated to 5.9% in March from 5.7% in February.  Prices increased 0.7% on the month.

Portuguese consumer prices rose 1.1% on month in March but just 0.5% on year.  Swedish consumer prices were 1.2% higher than a year earlier in March but would have been twice as much if not for the impact of lower interest rates.

Japanese domestic corporate goods prices firmed 0.2% in March but still fell 1.3% on year.  Export prices increased 0.5% but fell 2.2% on year.  The petroleum and coal component recorded increases of 0.9% on month and 27.3% on year.

Britain’s merchandise trade deficit of Gbp 6.179 billion in February was unexpectedly 23.4% smaller than January’s Gbp 8.066 billion shortfall.  The goods and services deficit plunged 47.2% to Gbp 2.061 billion. 

The British Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors house price diffusion index worsened from +18 in February to +9 in March, lowest in eight months.  The Department of Community and Local Government house price index recorded a 12-month rise in February of 7.4%, up from 6.2% in January but lower than expected.  Same-store retail sales increased 4.4% in the year to March according to the British Retail Consortium.  Total sales were 6.6% higher.  Same-store sales would have gone up only 2% if not for the late Easter in 2009.

France’s current account deficit narrowed to EUR 3.6 billion in February from EUR 4.0 billion in January.

Poland’s current account of EUR 710 million in January was 31.3% smaller than the December imbalance.  The Czech current account surplus narrowed 34% to CZK 10.3 billion in February, a smaller figure than forecast.

Irish real retail sales were 3.0% greater than a year earlier in February after posting a 3.8% drop in the year to January.

Australian business conditions reached a two-year high of +13 in March, up from +8 in February.  However, the effect of five central bank rate increases was reflected in business confidence, which slid to +16 from +19.

Speaking in Washington, Hu of China said the government, not outside pressure, would set the path for the yuan.

Filipino exports posted on-year growth of 42.3% in February, similar to a gain of 42.5% in January.

In parliamentary testimony, Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa said that chances of a double-dip recession had diminished quite a bit and promised to maintain a very accommodative policy stance.

The United States and Canada report trade figures today.  U.S. import prices, IBD/TIPP optimism index and NFIB index also arrive, while Canadian house price data are due.

Copyright Larry Greenberg 2010.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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