Scant Change in the Dollar on a Busy Data Release Day

November 20, 2014

The dollar has dipped 0.1% against the loonie, kiwi, and yuan and edged 0.1% higher versus the euro, Swissie and Australian dollar.  Sterling is steady.

The yen is down 0.2% on balance but touched new lows for the move overnight of 118.99 per dollar and 149.17 per euro.  In the past two years since November 20, 2012, the yen has plunged 32% against the dollar and 30% versus the euro.

Equity prices in the Pacific Rim fell by 1.0% in Australia, 0.7% in Indonesia and 0.6% in Singapore but rose 1.3% in Taiwan.  There was little net overnight change in share prices in Japan, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong or India. 

European stocks fell following disappointing purchasing manager survey results for November.  They are so far down 1.6% in Italy, 2.1% in Spain, 1.3% in France, 0.9% in Germany and 0.7% in Britain.

Ten-year sovereign debt yields fell four basis points in the U.K. and by a single basis point in Japan and Germany.

Gold and oil slipped marginally to $1,193.0 per ounce and $74.46 per barrel.

The composite euro area purchasing managers index fell 0.7 points to a 16-month low of 51.4 in November according to the preliminary estimate.  A marginal increase had been predicted.  GDP this quarter will be lucky to rise 0.1-0.2%.  The services PMI dropped a whole point to an 11-month low of 51.3, and manufacturing was barely in the black with a 0.2-point dip to a 2-month low of 50.4. 

Germany’s composite PMI (51.4 versus 53.9 in October and 54.1 in September) also constituted a 16-month low.   Services (52.1) had its lowest score since July 2013, and manufacturing fell 1.4 points to the 50.0 level that delineates expansion from contraction.

The French composite PMI, although up by 0.2 points, remained below 50, printing at 48.4.  Positive GDP growth in 3Q occurred only because of public-sector spending.  Private demand continues to shrink and is depressing the level of jobs.  Both manufacturing (a 3-month low of 47.6) and services (a 3-month high of 48.8) were below 50, same as in September and October.

China’s manufacturing PMI compiled by HSBC dropped 0.4 points to the no-change 50.0 level, which is a six-month low.

Japan’s preliminary manufacturing PMI slid 0.3 points to a 2-month low of 52.1, surprising analysts. 

FOMC minutes from the October 28-29 meeting appear to corroborate the market’s current expectation that the first federal reserve rate hike will be done around mid-2015 or shortly afterward.

Japanese customs trade data for October revealed the strongest on-year export expansion (9.6%) since February.  The unadjusted trade balance was in deficit (JPY 710 billion) for a 28th straight time, however, and the adjusted deficit of JPY 978 billion remained substantial. 

Japanese supermarket sales were 1.9% lower in October than a year before, which was nearly twice the on-year 1.0% decline in September.

German producer prices slid 0.2% on month in October and recorded a second straight on-year drop of 1.0%.  Energy fell 0.5%, while all other producer prices were 0.2% lower than in September. 

In New Zealand, producer output prices unexpectedly fell last quarter and significantly too (-1.1% from 2Q and -1.0% on year).  Producer input prices dropped 1.5% on quarter and 2.2% on year; such had risen 3.5%, in contrast, over the 12 months to 3Q13.

British retail sales outperformed expectations in October, rebounding 0.8% on month after falling by 0.4% in September and climbing 4.3% on year.  Core sales were also 0.8% higher on month and 4.6% above a year ago.  The CBI’s index of British industrial trends rose 9 points to +3 in November.

Danish retail sales grew 0.7% last month to post a 12-month advance of 3.1%, but consumer confidence slid 1.9 points to a reading of 6.3 in November.

Dutch consumer sentiment worsened five points to -8 in November.

Italian industrial orders posted monthly and on-year losses in September of 1.5% and 0.4%.

The Swiss trade surplus widened by 31% on month in October, thanks to a 4.7% rise in the volume of exports.  Greece’s current account surplus narrowed 11% on month in September.

There are many U.S. data releases today: consumer prices, existing home sales, the index of leading economic indicators, the Philly Fed manufacturing index, weekly jobless insurance claims and the preliminary PMI survey results reported by Markit Economics.  Obama speaks to the nation tonight on the immigration bill.

Other data still to come are Canadian wholesale sales and Euroland consumer confidence.  Central bank decisions are awaited in South Africa and Turkey.

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

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