Commodity Prices Up This Easter Monday

April 25, 2011

Markets remain closed in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and much of Europe, including Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the U.K. and France.

Silver rose over 3% to a 31-year high of $49.79.  Gold touched a record peak of $1518.32 and is 0.9% higher on balance at $1517.70 per ounce. Oil climbed 0.4% to $112.73 per barrel.

The dollar is steady against the yen and down 0.4% against the Swiss franc, 0.3% against the Canadian dollar and euro, and 0.1% versus sterling and the Australian and New Zealand dollars.  The dollar rose against the yuan by 0.4% following a sharp drop last week.

The yield on ten-year JGBs slid a basis point to 1.23%.  The Nikkei-225 index edged 0.1% lower, while stocks fell by 1.5% in China and Sri Lanka, 0.4% in Pakistan, 0.3% in Indonesia and 0.2% in India, Taiwan and Singapore. 

The base rate of the Bank of Israel was left at 3.0%.  Following a bigger 50-basis point increment on March 28, analysts had been divided over whether the Bank would tighten again this month.

Japanese corporate service prices advanced 0.4% on month in March but recorded a 1.2% on-year drop after declining by 1.1% in the year to both January and February.  Advertising costs went up 4.4% on month due to seasonal pressures.

Japan’s all-industry index rose 0.7% in February before the quake.  Such had declined 0.2% in the fourth quarter and by 0.5% in January.  The index in January-February was 0.1% higher than the 4Q10 level and 1.6% greater than a year earlier.

Japanese supermarket sales in March were 0.3% greater than a year earlier, but auto sales posted a steep 35.1% plunge.

Japan’s ruling party, the DPJ, lost six of nine by-elections over the weekend.

Rumors of a further acceleration in Chinese CPI inflation this month fueled speculation of further monetary tightening soon there and elsewhere in Asia.

Many more Syrian protestors have been killed by government forces.

Singapore producer prices rose 0.3% last month and were 5.0% higher than a year earlier.  Core PPI was just 1.8% greater than in March 2010.  On-year growth in Taiwanese industrial production of 13.8% last month exceeded expectations.

Spanish producer prices rose 0.9% in March, same as in February, and accelerated to a 7.8% on-year rate of increase.  Prospects seem to be gaining that Bank of Italy Governor Draghi will be chosen to lead the ECB after Trichet’s 8-year term ends in October.

U.S. new home sales and the Dallas Fed manufacturing index will be reported today.

Copyright Larry Greenberg 2011.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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