Some Pre-Christmas Data

December 23, 2013

Japan was closed for the Emperor’s Birthday holiday, and other markets are winding down ahead of their closures.

Today saw more data releases than any other day this week, but market action has been unremarkable.

  • The dollar fell 0.4% against the Canadian currencies and shows a dip of 0.1% relative to the euro, Swissie, kiwi, Aussie dollar and sterling.  The yen is unchanged in the absence of Japanese market leadership. 
  • The Chinese yuan touched a 20-year high against the greenback but is unchanged from Friday on balance.  Chinese short-term interest rates remain elevated.
  • Gold and oil prices fell 0.3% each to $1200.23 per troy ounce and $99.03 per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude.
  • Ten-year German bunds are unchanged, while comparable Treasury and British gilt yields have firmed two basis points.
  • The Dow and S&P 500 have risen by another 0.5%.  Canadian share prices are 0.2% higher.  In the Pacific Rim, equities advanced 0.9% in New Zealand, 0.7% in Singapore and South Korea, and 0.5% in Australia and Hong Kong.  In Europe, stocks have climbed by 1.0% in the U.K., 0.8% in Germany, 0.5% in Italy and Spain and 0.4% in France.

The Bank of Israel as expected retained a 1.0% interest rate.  It’s last change, a cut of 25 basis points, was made in October.

Three U.S. releases occurred today.

  • Most importantly, personal consumption rose by an expected 0.5% in November, but personal income disappointedly ticked only 0.2% higher after dipping 0.1% in October.  The savings rate fell further to 4.2% from 4.8% in the previous month and 5.2% in September.  The personal consumption deflator was again unchanged on month but edged up 0.2 percentage points to an as-forecast 0.9% 12-month rate of increase.
  • The Chicago Fed National Activity Index rebounded to 0.6 from –0.07 in October.
  • The Reuters/U. Michigan consumer sentiment index for December was 82.5, unrevised from the preliminary estimate for that month but up from 75.1 in November and 73.2 in October.

Canadian monthly GDP increased 0.3% in both September and October.  The 2.7% on-year advance in October was well-balanced between goods (2.9%) and services (2.6%).  Industrial production went up 0.6% on month in October and 3.1% on year.  Average weekly earnings in Canada were 1.4% higher in October than a year earlier, matching September’s pace.

German import prices declined 2.9% between November 2012 and November 2013.  Energy ticked up 0.2% on month but sank 7.3% on year. 

Consumer confidence in Italy failed to improve as forecast in October but instead dropped by two points to 96.2.

Belgian business sentiment worsened 2.1 points to a reading in December of minus 6.4.  Both manufacturing and construction deteriorated, while trade improved.

The Swiss consumption indicator compiled by UBS rose by 0.17 points to 1.43 in November.  Swiss M3 growth slowed to a 12-month increase of 8.5% in November from 8.9% in October. 

Spanish producer prices fell in November by 0.9% on month and 0.6% on year.  Finnish producer prices dropped 0.3% and 0.9% from a year before.

Polish retail sales dropped on month but accelerated on an on-year basis to 3.8% in November from 3.2% in October.  Norway’s jobless rate dipped 0.1 percentage points to 3.3% in August-October.  Hungary’s trade surplus narrowed 8.6% on month to EUR 759 million in October.

Singaporean PPI inflation rose from 2.0% in October to an 8-month high of 2.6% in November.  CPI inflation in Hong Kong remained at 4.3%. 

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

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