Significant Day for Data Releases

December 4, 2013

The dollar climbed against commodity-sensitive currencies, gaining 1.2% against the Aussie dollar, 0.5% versus the kiwi and 0.1% relative to the loonie. Opec oil ministers meeting in Vienna hope to leave production quotas unchanged in an effort to keep price stable and near $100 per barrel.  WTI oil advanced 1.3% overnight to $97.25 per barrel.  Gold sank 0.5%, in contrast, to $1,215.20 per ounce.

The dollar is unchanged against the euro, yen and yuan, down 0.2% relative to the Swiss franc, and up 0.2% vis-a-vis sterling.

Share prices in the Pacific Rim rose 1.3% in China but slumped 2.2% in Japan, 1.2% in the Philippines, 1.1% in Indonesia, 1.0% in New Zealand, 0.8% in Hong Kong, 0.7% in India and 0.9% in Singapore.  Equities losses in Europe are comparatively mild, with dips of 0.2% in Paris, Frankfurt and London and 0.1% in Milan.  Spain’s Ibex is steady.

The 10-year British gilt yield rose five basis points to 2.86%.  The 10-year German bund is up a basis point.  In futures trading, U.S. Treasury prices have dropped further on mounting speculation of an earlier tapering of quantitative easing by the Fed.

Euro area GDP growth last quarter was confirmed at 0.1% versus 2Q and negative 0.4% compared to the third quarter of 2012.  While business investment and government spending posted 0.4% and 0.2% advances, net exports exerted a 0.3-percentage point drag.  Personal consumption ticked only 0.1% higher, but inventories augmented GDP growth by 0.3 percentage points.

Euroland retail sales volume fell 0.2% in October, surprising analysts who anticipated a rise of 0.2-0.4%.  October’s level was 0.4% below the 3Q average and 0.1% softer than in October 2012.

Many purchasing managers surveys for November were reported today.

  • The Ezone services PMI was revised up 0.3 points to 51.2 but still below October’s 51.6 reading and at a 3-month low.  While Germany’s score of 55.1 represented a 29-month high and Spain’s 51.5 reading was the best in 41 months, the results of 47.2 in Italy and 48.0 in France were each the lowest in five months, and Ireland’s 57.1 was 3.0 points lower than its October level.
  • Euroland’s composite PMI of 51.7 points to positive but low and fragile GDP growth in the fourth quarter.  Euroland is experiencing an uneven recovery.  Several members including France are in jeopardy of negative fourth-quarter growth.
  • Britain’s service-sector PMI settled back 2.5 points to a 5-month low in November, but at 60.0 still signified robust activity.
  • Sweden’s services PMI jumped 3.3 points to 57.0. 
  • Japan’s services PMI settled back 3.5 points from October’s record high to print at 51.8 and embodied the weakest sentiment reading in 13 months.  The composite PMI reading of 54.0 was two points lower than in October.
  • According to HSBC, China’s composite PMI of 52.3 was at an 8-month high despite a 2-month services PMI low of 52.5.
  • In India, the services PMI of 47.2 showed the slowest rate of contraction since August, and the composite PMI reading of 48.5 was at its closest point to 50 since June.
  • Although Russia’s services PMI hit a 7-month high of 52.9, the Russian composite PMI of 52.2 represented a 2-month low.
  • Hong Kong’s private purchasing managers index climbed to a 10-month high of 52.1 from 50.1 the month before.
  • The non-oil PMIs of Egypt (52.5) and the U.A.E. (58.1) constitute record highs.  Egypt’s index was above 50 for a first time in over a year.
  • The Saudi Arabian non-oil PMI rose to a 2-month peak of 57.1.
  • Brazil scored a higher services PMI of 52.3 but a lower composite reading of 51.8.
  • South Africa’s manufacturing PMI edged up 0.1 points to an 11-month high of 51.6.
  • Australia’s service-sector PMI improved 1.0 points to 48.9, an 8-month high.

The Australian PMI was overshadowed, however, by news of weaker-than-anticipated 3Q GDP growth in that economy.  GDP rose just 0.6%, and the on-year 2.3% advance was the lowest since the final quarter of 2011.

In the year between 3Q12 and 3Q13, GDP rose 4.1% in Romania and 1.8% in Hungary but fell 1.3% in the Czech Republic.

Swiss industrial production swung from an on-year drop in the second quarter to a 0.7% advance in 3Q.  Brazilian industrial production slowed to a year-over-year increase of 0.9% in October.

British shop prices fell 0.3% between November 2012 and November 2013.

U.S. mortgage applications fell for a fifth consecutive week, dropping 12.8% in the week to November 29.  The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.51%.  ADP reported a solid 215K increase in U.S. private jobs last month, according to its data.

The U.S. and Canada release trade data today.  The Bank of Canada announces the result of its last interest rate policy meeting, while the Fed publishes its Beige Book.  U.S. new home sales and non-manufacturing PMI are due, too.  Poland’s central bank also has a scheduled interest rate announcement.

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

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