October 24, 2014

On an otherwise quiet Friday from a data release standpoint, investors will be monitoring any news regarding the confirmed case of Ebola in New York City.  Other areas of interest are Sunday’s ECB report on how banks did on the latest stress test and next week’s FOMC meeting.  No press conference is scheduled after the latter.

The dollar is only marginally changed overnight, with dipps of 0.2% against the New Zealand and Aussie dollars and 0.1% versus the yen, loonie, Swiss franc and yuan.  The euro is unchanged against the U.S. currency, and sterling has risen 0.1%.

Stocks rose 1.0% in Japan, 0.8% in New Zealand, and 0.5% in Australia but fell 1.0% in Taiwan, 0.6% in Indonesia, 0.4% in Singapore, 0.3% in South Korea, 0.2% in China and 0.1% in Hong Kong.  In European markets, stocks are down 0.6% in Paris, 0.4% in London and Frankfurt, 0.3% in Zurich and 0.1% in Madrid.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell by 1.0% to $81.28 per barrel.  Comex gold ticked 0.3% higher to $1,232.40 per ounce.

Ten-year sovereign debt yields are down 4, 2, and 1 basis points in Britain, Germany and Japan, and futures trading points to a slide in the Treasury yield at the open.

Third-quarter British GDP grew 0.7% from 2Q, down from 0.9% between 1Q and 2Q.  The deceleration was as expected and most concentrated in services, which posted a rise of 0.7%, down from 1.1%.  On-year growth decelerated to 3.0% from 3.2%, and the GDP level exceeded the 1Q08 peak by 3.4%.

In China, the property market cooled further in September, when only 10 of 70 cities reported higher home prices versus 48 doing so in August.  The on-year change swung to a drop of 1.1% from a rise of 0.5%.  Separately, the Conference Board’s index of Chinese leading economic indicators increased 0.9% last month versus a 0.7% increase in August, while the index of coincident Chinese economic indicators advanced 0.5%.

New Zealand’s trade deficit widened to a record NZD 1.35 billion in September, depressed by weak dairy shipments to China.  In the third calendar quarter of 2014, the deficit was 1.0 billion kiwis in size, with a quarterly drop of 3% in exports but a rise of 3.7% in imports.

The Filipino trade deficit narrowed 48.5% to $17 million in August.  South Korean GDP expanded 0.9% on quarter and 3.2% on year in the third quarter, and Singapore’s industrial production recorded monthly and on-year declines in September of 3.3% and 1.2%, which were considerably weaker than forecast.  Malaysian joblessness edged down 0.1 of a percentage point to 2.7% in July.

German consumer confidence according to GFK has stabilized unexpectedly, posting a November reading of 8.5 versus 8.4 in October.  Such had been 8.9 as recently as August.

Italian retail sales dipped 0.1% in both July and August and recorded 12-month drops in those months of 1.5% and then 1.7%.  Italian wage inflation held steady at 1.1% in September, and consumer confidence in Euroland’s third largest economy fell half a point to 101.4 in October from a September reading of 101.9.

Spanish PPI deflation halved to 0.3% in September from 0.6% in August, and Finnish producer prices also slid 0.3% in the year to September.

Austrian industrial output fell 2.1% in August and was 3.7% lower than a year earlier.  Czech business sentiment slid by 0.5 points in October, but consumer confidence recovered 3.8 points.  The overall composite index of Czech sentiment improved 0.4 points to 8.8.  The Greek trade deficit narrowed by a third to EUR 0.90 billion in August.

U.S. data is limited to new home sales today.  The aforementioned case of Ebola in NYC involves a doctor recently back from Guinea, who traveled once on a subway and visited a bowling alley before developing symptoms of fever and abdominal cramping.

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

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