Easter Monday

April 21, 2014

New Zealand, Australia and much of Europe are closed for Easter Monday.

The dollar is unchanged against the loonie and sterling, up 0.2% versus the yen and Swissie, up 0.1% relative to the yuan, kiwi and euro and down 0.1% against the Australian dollar.

The ten-year U.S. Treasury and Japanese JGB yields are at 2.71%, down a basis point, and 0.60%, up a basis point.

The DJIA is 0.3% higher.  Japan’s Nikkei closed unchanged, while stocks in China slumped 1.7S.%.

Gold and oil, respectively at $1,288.50 per ounce and $104.19, have traded down 0.4% and 0.1%.

The U.S. index of leading economic indicators advanced 0.8% in March, slightly more than forecast and the third increase in a row.  The index of coincident economic indicators rose 0.2%.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index settled back to a two-month low of 0.20 in March from 0.53 in February.  There had been negative readings in both December and January but a score of 0.66 in November.

Japanese supermarket sales posted a much larger 9.4% on-year rise in March than the 1.5% uptick in February, but an on-year drop is probable in April because of the consumption tax hike.

Japan’s customs clearance trade deficit of JPY 1.446 trillion in March was more than three times greater than the March 2013 deficit.  Import growth of 18.1% on year was ten times greater than export growth.  On-year import volume growth of 6.4% in the first quarter dwarfed the 0.9% rise in exports.  The seasonally adjusted deficit of JPY 1.714 trillion in March was 44.8% bigger than in February, reflecting a 5.0% rise in imports but a 2.7% month-on-month drop in exports.  The fiscal 2013 trade shortfall, that is for the year ended March 2014, was JPP 13.75 trillion, up from JPY 8.16 trillion in fiscal 2012, JPY 4.42 trillion in fiscal 2011, and a surplus of JPY 5.33 trillion in fiscal 2010.

Copyright 2014, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.



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