Lots of Data Hardly Moved the Dollar

September 10, 2012

The dollar has edged up 0.1% against the yen, euro, Swissie, kiwi and sterling and is 0.1% lowr against the loonie and yuan.  The only meaningful change is the greenback’s 0.5% advance against the Australian dollar.

There’s also been little movement in equities.  Japan’s Nikkei closed unchanged.  Share prices elsewhere in the Pacific Rim went up 0.8% in in Taiwan, 0.4% in China and Indonesia, and 0.2% in Australia but slipped by 0.3% in South Korea, 0.2% in the Philippines and 0.1% in Singapore.  The German Dax has edged up 0.1%.  The Paris Cac is down 01%, and the British Ftse is unchanged.

Oil prices are flat at $96.39 per barrel. Gold is down 0.3% at $1735.90 per ounce.

Yields on 10-year British gilts and German bunds are up by seven and four basis points.  The 10-year Japanese JGB has slipped two basis points.

Several Chinese and Japanese economic indicators were released with mixed results.  First China:

  • An 8.9% increase of Chinese industrial production in the year to August was the slowest on-year gain since May 2009.  Such followed increases of 9.2% in July, 9.5% in June and 13.4% last November.
  • But retail sales rose a bit faster, clocking an on-year increase of 13.2% after 13.1% in the year to July.
  • CPI inflation ticked upward to 2.0% from 1.8% in July, dampening expectations of more monetary easing very soon.
  • Producer prices, however, recorded a bigger on-year decline of 3.5% following 12-month drops of 2.9% in July, 2.1% in June, 1.4% in May and 0.7% in April.
  • Fixed asset investment in January-August was 20.2% greater than a year earlier, down from a rise of 20.4% in January-July.
  • The $26.66 billion trade surplus was larger than projected.  The surplus in June-August averaged $27.8 billion per month.  On-year export growth remained weak at 2.7% in August after 1.0% in July, and imports recorded their first 12-month decrease (2.6%) since last January.

As for Japan,

  • Second-quarter GDP growth in Japan was halved to 0.7% at an annualized rate (SAAR) from a quarterly pace of 1.4% estimated initially.  Such represents an abrupt slowdown from first-quarter growth of 5.3% SAAR.  Major demand components in 2Q changed as follows: consumption +0.5% SAAR, non-residential investment +5.6%, residential investment +3.8%, public investment +7.2%, and current government expenditures +0.6%.  Net exports exerted a drag of 0.3 percentage points, and inventories dampened the growth rate by 0.6 percentage points.  Nominal GDP sank 1.0% SAAR.  Real GDP was still 3.2% greater than a year earlier.
  • The economy watchers index sipped to a reading of 43.6 in August from 44.2 in July.  Such was the fourth sub-50 score in a row.
  • Seasonally adjusted consumer sentiment ticked up to 40.5 following a dip to 39.7 in July from 40.4 in June and 40.7 in May.
  • Japan’s seasonally adjusted current account surplus narrowed more than 50% to JPY 335 billion in July from JPY 774 billion in June, thanks to a 6.6% monthly plunge in exports.  The unadjusted current account surplus of JPY 625 billion was 40.7% smaller than in July 2011 and embodied an on-year 7.4% drop in exports and a 1.9% rise of imports.  The Basic Balance (current account plus net long-term capital inflows) posted a surplus of JPY 1.64 trillion in July.

Australian home loans dropped 1.0% in July, marking their first decline in five months.  New Zealand real manufacturing activity ticked 0.3% higher last quarter, a marked slowdown from the 1Q pace.

Italian real GDP growth last quarter was revised downward by a tenth to show contractions of 0.8% from 1Q and 2.6% from 2Q11.  Consumption and business investment each fell sharply.  Prime Minister Monti denied plans to accept the ECB bond-buying conditions in exchange for support.

Euroland’s Sentix investor confidence index improved much more than assumed with a reading of minus 23.2 after minus 30.3 in August, minus 29.6 in July and minus 28.9 in July.

French industrial production rose just 0.2% in July after no change in June and was 1.5% lower than in July 2011.  The Bank of France’s business sentiment index rose three points to a score of 93 in August.

Greek industrial production was 5.0% lower in July than a year earlier.  Finnish industrial output rose 0.8% on month and 1.2% on year in July.  Portugal’s trade deficit of EUR 1.997 billion in July was 15% smaller than the June gap.

Swedish industrial production firmed 0.3% in July but was 0.4% lower than a year earlier.  The Riksbank surprised analysts last week with a 25-basis point cut of its repo rate to 1.25%. Denmark posted a DKK 13.4 billion current account surplus in July, 14% smaller than in June.  Danish CPI inflation accelerated to 2.6% in August form 2.3% in July.  Norwegian consumer prices in August slid 0.4% on month and rose just 0.5% on year (0.0% on a harmonized basis).  Norway’s PPI was 4.4% higher than a year before. 

Czech consumer price inflation ticked up to 3.3% in August, halfway between June’s 3.5% and July’s 3.1%.  Turkish industrial production was 3.2% greater in the second quarter than a year earlier adjusted for variations in the number of working days. 

Malaysian industrial production fell 4.7% on month in July, trimming the 12-month increase to 1.4% from 3.7% in the year to June.

U.S. consumer credit figures will be released today.

Copyright 2012, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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