Chinese Data Mostly as Expected

October 18, 2013

This week, which began fraught with expectation, is ending on a pretty quiet note with few data releases other than a slew of Chinese figures.

The dollar is unchanged against the yen, loonie and yuan, up 0.3% relative to the Australian dollar, down 0.3% versus sterling and off 0.1% against the euro, Swiss franc and kiwi.

Share prices in the Pacific Rim mostly rose, led by India’s 2.3% jump followed by 1.1% for Hong Kong, 0.8% in Taiwan, 0.7% in Australia and the Philippines, 0.6% in South Korea, 0.5% in China and 0.2% in Singapore.  Exceptions are dips of 0.4% in New Zealand and 0.2% in Japan.   In Europe, the Paris Cac, Spanish IBEX, British Ftse and German Dax are up so far by 0.5%, 0.4%, 0.3% and 0.2% while stocks in Milan have ticked 0.1% lower.

The 10-year British gilt yield has dropped six basis points.  The 10-year Japanese JGB and 10-year German bund are respectively down a basis point and up a basis point.

WTI crude oil has firmed 0.3% to $100.95 per barrel.  Gold is 0.2% lower at $1320.40 per ounce.

Chinese GDP advanced 2.2% last quarter after quarterly gains of 1.6% in 1Q and 1.7% in 2Q.  Growth in on-year terms also accelerated to a three-quarter high of 7.8%.  This was the sixth straight quarter with sub-8% on-year growth.  GDP over the first three quarters of 2013 was 7.7% greater than a year earlier.

Chinese industrial production was 10.2% greater in September than a year earlier, the second straight month of at least 10%.  Output over the first nine months of 2013 exceeded the year-earlier level by 9.6%.  Analysts had predicted a 10.1% on-year increase.

Chinese retail sales increased 13.3% on year, marginally less than an expected 13.5% advance and August’s 13.4% rise.  Sales were 12.9% greater in January-September than a year earlier.

Fixed asset investment in China rose 20.2% on year in January-September, slightly less than the 20.7% advance in all of 2012.  Analysts had expected the nine-month increase to be 20.3%.  China’s business climate index rose 0.7% between 2Q and the third quarter of 2013.

Japanese department store sales were 2.8% higher last month than in September 2012, similar to the 2.7% on-year climb recorded in August.

Japanese stock and bond transactions last week generated a JPY 540 billion outflow, quite a swing from the net inflow of JPN 2.497 trillion in the week of October 5.

Two Bank of Japan officials including Governor Kuroda spoke overnight.  Kuroda accentuated the positive influence that can be already seen of quantitative monetary easing in eradicating deflation.  Iwata said stimulus would not be withdrawn as soon as the 2% inflation goal is in sight and warned that even more stimulus would be forthcoming if the price target proves elusive.

The Central Bank of Chile unexpectedly cut its policy interest rate yesterday by 25 basis points.

Serbia’s central bank just sliced its policy rate by 50 basis points to 10.5%.  Earlier reductions were implemented of 50 bps in May and 25 bps in June.

At least five Fed officials are slated to speak publicly today: Lacker, Evans, Tarullo, Dudley, and Stern.

Dutch consumer confidence rose five points in October to a reading of minus 27, best in somewhat more than two years.

The French index of leading economic indicators rose 0.6% in August, twice as much as in July.  June’s index had stagnated.  But the index of coincident economic indicators was unchanged from July and also unchanged on balance over the four months between April and August.

Greece reported a EUR 1.22 billion current account surplus for August, down from EUR 2.727 billion in July but significantly wider than the surpluses in May or June.

Canadian consumer prices data arrive today.  No U.S. figures are scheduled, but a big backlog of statistics remains.

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



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