Waiting for ….

March 13, 2013

Investors await U.S. retail sales figures and several central bank policy decisions.  Meanwhile, stocks and sovereign debt yields are lower, and the dollar has been generally stable.

U.S. import prices, retail sales and business inventories data arrive today.

Central bank policy decisions are due Thursday in New Zealand, Switzerland, Norway, Chile, the Philippines, and South Korea.  Investors also await parliamentary votes on the new Bank of Japan leaders and expected easing by the new team in early April.

Equities dropped 1.5% in Hong Kong, 1.1% in China, 1.0% in India, 0.9% in New Zealand, 0.6% in Japan and Malaysia, 0.5% in Australia, and 0.4% in Indonesia and Singapore.  Share prices in European markets are so far down by 0.8% in Britain, 0.5% in Paris, Madrid, and Milan, and 0.1% in Frankfurt.

Ten-year German bunds and British gilt yields have moved two basis points lower, and the 10-year JGB yield of 0.63% is off by a basis point.

The dollar has depreciated 0.3% against sterling and 0.2% versus the yen but shows gains of 0.2% relative to the Australian dollar and 0.1% versus the euro, Swiss franc, loonie, and kiwi.  The yuan is unchanged after the PBoC central bank Governor Zhou declared a need to rein in inflation and ensure price stability.

Industrial production in the euro area fell by a greater-than-forecast 0.4% in January, thanks largely to drops of 1.2% in France, 1.1% in Ireland, and 0.9% in Greece.  Production of capital goods sank 1.2% on month, and total output recorded a 1.3% 12-month decline.

French nonfarm payroll employment fell by 0.4% last quarter, a very similar pace to that seen in the third quarter of 2012.  Harmonized French CPI inflation of 1.2% in February was the lowest since December 2009 and down from 1.4% in January.

Spanish consumer prices rose 2.8% in the year to February. a tenth percentage point more than expected.

According to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, British GDP dipped 0.1% in December-February.

The contentious German Bundesbank President Weidmann, who ranks among the ECB’s most hawkish members, admitted that inflation in the euro area seems to be subsiding.

Australian home loans fell 1.5% in January, posting the fourth drop in a row.  Aussie consumer confidence, however, advanced 2.0% in March.  It was the third increase in a row, following February’s 7.7% leap, which had been the biggest on-month gain since September 2011.

Food prices in New Zealand declined 0.3% in February and ticked 0.1% lower on year.

South Korea’s 3.5% seasonally adjusted jobless rate in February was the highest in a year and up from 3.2% the month before.

Industrial production in Romania rose 0.4% on month and 3.4% on year in February. 

Copyright 2013, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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