Uneventful Friday So Far

September 21, 2012

The dollar is unchanged against the yen and yuan but down 0.8% against the Australian dollar, 0.5% versus the kiwi, 0.4% relative to sterling and the euro, 0.3% vis-a-vis the Swiss franc and 0.2% against the loonie.

Share prices in India have jumped 2.2%.  Elsewhere in the Pacific Rim, equities firmed 0.7% in Hong Kong, 0.6% in Indonesia, 0.5% in Singapore and 0.3% in Japan, Australia, and Thailand.  Stocks are up 1.0% in Italy, 0.9% in Spain, 0.4% in France, and 0.3% in Germany but off 0.2% in Britain.  Today is a quadruple witching day in the United States, which usually correlates with rising share values.

The 10-year sovereign debt yields of German and Britain have risen by four and five basis points.  Japanese JGBs are unchanged.  In Euroland, long-term rate spreads between the peripherals and Germany have stopped narrowing and remain still painfully wide.  Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy is in Italy to talk over the situation with Prime Minister Monti there.

Oil and gold prices increased by 0.6% to $92.97 per barrel and 0.3% to $1776.00 per ounce.

U.K. public financial data in August were reported.  Debt equaled 66.1% of GDP, up from 65.6% in July, 62.7% in August 2011 and 54.8% in August 2010.  Public sector net borrowing equaled 12.362 billion pounds last month, same as a year earlier. 

The Conference Board reported July indices of leading economic indicators for both Germany and Australia.

  • Germany’s LEI ticked 0.1% higher after falling 0.5% in June.  The index of coincident economic indicators also edged 0.1% higher in July.
  • Australia’s LEI was unchanged in the latest reported month and accompanied by a 0.1% uptick in the coincident economic measure.

Japanese Prime Minister Noda, whose popularity in national opinion polls has been low, captured two-thirds of the leadership vote in the Democratic Party of Japan and will continue to lead Japan’s government as a result.  Noda continues to resist Liberal Democratic Party calls for elections now but will be held at the appropriate time.  No decision has been made as yet on a supplementary budget to help economic activity.

Japanese stock and bond transactions generated a JPY 807 billion net capital inflow in the week of September 15 versus a JPY 380 billion outflow in the prior week.  The Filipino current account totaled $2.8 billion in the second quarter.

An official at China’s central bank expects third-quarter on-year growth to be somewhat lower than the first-half pace.

Dutch consumer spending fell 1.5% in the year to July, more sharply than the 12-month 0.5% decline in June.  House prices in the Netherlands were 8.0% lower in August than a year before.  Spain’s trade deficit of EUR 1.7 billion in July was 37% smaller than the shortfall in June.  Icelandic wage inflation slipped to 5.9% in August form 6.0% in July.

The Draghi bond-buying initiative has lessened capital inflows in Switzerland.  Swiss reserves rose by less in August than in prior months.  Swiss M3 money growth slowed to a 12-month increase of 8.5% from 9.5% in July.

Canadian consumer price and wholesale turnover data will be released today.  Belgian business sentiment and Mexican labor statistics are other scheduled releases.  No U.S. figures are on tap.  The Fed’s Lockhart speaks publicly.  The U.S. election is six weeks from Tuesday.  The first Obama-Romney debate is set for October 3 followed by a second on October 16 and a final one on October 22.  The vice-presidential debate between Biden and Ryan will be held October 11.

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

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