Minuscule Change in the Dollar This Morning

September 9, 2014

The dollar is unchanged against the euro, Swiss franc, kiwi, yuan and Australian dollar.  It shows gains of 0.1% relative to the loonie and yen but is down 0.1% versus the sterling, which remains on offer as yet another poll was reported suggesting that the September 18 independence vote in Scotland will choose separation from Great Britain.  Paul Krugman’s NYT column in Monday’s paper said such a vote would be folly and fateful.

Share prices in the Pacific Rim rose 0.6% in Australia and 0.3% in Japan and Taiwan but fell by 0.9% in Indonesia, 0.3% in South Korea and 0.2% in India and China.  Equities in Europe have edged 0.1% lower in Germany, France, and Great Britain while falling by a larger 0.7% in Spain.

The ten-year British gilt and German bund yields are four and three basis points firmer.

WTI oil has risen 0.6% to $93.23 per barrel, and Comex gold is up 0.2% at $1,257.20 per ounce.

Japan’s tertiary index, a monthly indicator of service sector activity, was unchanged in both June and July, posting a 1.9% 12-month rate of decline in the latter month.  On-year growth of 3.0% in Japanese M2 money was the same in August as in June and July but down from 3.3% in 2Q, 4.0% in 1Q and 3.6% in 2013.  Broad liquidity recorded 12-month increases of 2.9% in each of the past three reported months.  Japanese consumer confidence printed 0.3 points lower in August at 41.2, showing a month-on-month deterioration for the first time since April.  Japanese machine tool orders posted a 35.6% on-year advance in August, down from 37.7% in July.  The minutes from the Bank of Japan Board’s early August policy meeting contained little surprise.  Some members worried about the soft tone of exports, but the group as a whole stuck to the view that a moderate recovery trend in GDP remains intact.

Australian business conditions fell four points to +4 in August.  Business confidence dropped for the first time in five months, printing at +8 after +11 in July.  A 0.3% rise in mortgage loans in July was the best such result since February. 

British industrial production advanced 0.5% in July, most since February, and was 1.7% greater than in July 2013.  Factory output rose 2.2% on year.  These results outperformed expectations.  The U.K. trade deficits in July of GBP 3.348 billion on both goods and services and GBP 10.186 billion on goods only each surpassed expectations.  In June, those deficits amounted to GBP 2.459 billion and GBP 9.413 billion, respectively.  The level of merchandise imports reached a 9-month high.

The British retail consortium said that same-store sales in August were 1.3% greater than a year earlier.

Bank of England Governor Carney indicated the likeliest timing of the first interest rate hike in the U.K. is the second quarter of 2015.

The French trade deficit narrowed marginally to EUR 5.5 billion in July despite lower exports.  France accrued an 84.1 billion euro deficit over the first seven months of 2014.

In the year to July, Dutch industrial production rose 1.9%, switching around from a 1.2% on-year drop in June.  Greek output fell by 2.1%, a smaller drop than that of 5.4% in the year to June. 

Czech consumer prices rose 0.6% in the year to August, and the current account swung to a deficit of CZK 34.1 billion in 2Q from a surplus of CZK 72.3 billion in the first quarter of this year. 

South Africa posted a 222 billion rand current account deficit last quarter, 38% greater than its 1Q shortfall.

Taiwan’s trade surplus was 57.5% wider in August than in July. 

U.S. small business sentiment according to the NFIB measure improved to a 3-month high of 96.1 in August from 95.7 in July.  This was the second best reading of 2014.  The ICSC weekly gauge of U.S. chain store sales showed a 0.7% rise from the prior week but a lower 4.0% on-year pace.  Still ahead today are the releases of the Labor Department’s JOLTS survey on job hirings and separations and Canadian housing starts report.  There are primary elections in a number of U.S. states, and Fed Governor Tarullo will be testifying before the Senate Banking Committee on proposed bank capital regulations.  Mexico releases the CPI, PPI, and trade figures.\

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

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