Mixed Results from Second-Tier Data

September 25, 2013

A generally quiet day so far.  The dollar has gained against commodity-sensitive currencies, rising 0.7% against the kiwi, 0.4% versus the Australian dollar and 0.2% relative to the loonie.  The U.S. currency is unchanged against the Chinese yuan but down 0.2% versus the euro, Swissie, yen and sterling.

Share prices advanced 1.2% in New Zealand and 0.8% in Australia but fell 1.2% in Indonesia, 0.8% in Japan, 0.6% in the Philippines and China, 0.5% in South Korea and 0.3% in India.  In Europe, stocks are down 0.3% in Germany and France and by 0.2% so far in Britain, but equities have firmed 0.2% in Italy and 0.1% in Spain.

Ten-year German, Japanese, and British sovereign debt yields are unchanged.

The WTI oil price rose 0.6% to $103.72 per barrel.  The price of gold has gained 0.5% to $1322.20 per ounce.

Australia’s central bank released a financial stability report, declaring the banking system sound but warning against too much speculative household credit demand and the dangers of keeping interest rates at ultra-low levels too long.

New Zealand’s August trade deficit of NZD 1.191 billion was the largest shortfall since September 2008, reflecting surprisingly weak export growth.  The Filipino trade deficit of $0.649 billion in July was 75% larger than June’s gap.

Small business sentiment in Japan, as calculated by Shoko Chukin Bank, printed at 49.8 in September after 49.7 in August and 49.4 in July.  The 3Q quarterly average score of 49.6 was a half point above the 2Q mean.

Corporate service prices in Japan dropped 0.3% on month in August, but the 12-month rate of increase stayed at a 5-year high of 0.6%.

The Bank of Japan’s balance sheet grew 3.0 trillion yen in the first 20 days of September to JPY 208.7 trillion.

The U.K. distributive trades monthly survey, compiled by CBI, printed at a better-than-forecast 34 after readings of 27 in August, 17 in July, 1 in June and minus 11 in May.

Several European confidence indices were reported today.  German consumer confidence improved further to a 6-year high of 7.1 in October from 7.0 in September and August and 5.9 last April.  Swedish consumer confidence slipped to 98.0 in September from 98.8 in August and 98.3 in in July. Italian consumer confidence advanced by 2.5 points to a higher-than-forecast score of 101.1 in September. French business sentiment had been forecast to improve a point but instead dipped to 97 in September from 98 in August.

Spanish producer prices eased 0.1% both on month and on year in August.  The Greek trade deficit narrowed EUR 100 million to EUR 1.14 billion in July. Norwegian unemployment in May-July averaged 3.6% versus 3.4% in 2Q.

U.S. mortgage applications increased 5.5% last week following an 11.2% gain in the prior week, as the 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell further to 4.62% from 4.75% and an earlier September peak of 4.80%.  The Fed’s decision not to start tapering is having a positive effect on the housing market.

Other scheduled U.S. data releases today are durable goods orders and new home sales.

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

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