Little to Report on the Day Before Christmas

December 24, 2014

Deja Vu Item:  In a different suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, there’s been another fatal shooting of a black youth by a white cop.

The dollar edged 0.2% lower overnight against the yen, euro, Swissie, kiwi and sterling and also slid 0.1% versus the loonie, Australian dollar and yuan.

Many markets closed early for Christmas Eve.  In the Pacific Rim, share prices fell 2.8% in China and 1.1% in India but rose 1.2% in Japan and 0.3% in Australia.

In Europe, equities rose 1.5% in Italy, 0.6% in Germany, and 0.1% in Britain and Spain but fell 0.3% in France.

The 10-year British gilt yield rose four basis points, but the 10-year Japanese JGB edged down a basis point to another low for the move of 0.32%.

WTI oil dropped back 1.8% to $56.12 per barrel.  Comex gold slipped 0.1% to $1,176.70 per ounce.

The Shoko Chukin gauge of small business sentiment in Japan fell a whole point to 46.7 in December.  The index’s fourth-quarter average reading of 47.3 was lower than the 3Q mean of 48.0 but above the 2Q average score of 46.3.  It hasn’t exceeded the 50 neutrality level since March.

The Conference Board reported a third straight drop in Australia’s index of leading economic indicators, this time by 0.2% in October after slides of 0.6% in November and 0.3% in August.  The index of coincident economic indicators went up by 0.2% for a third consecutive month.

The KOF index of Swiss leading economic indicators eased for a third month in a row, printing at 98.7 in December after scores of 98.7 in November and 99.5 in October.

South Korean consumer confidence fell to 102 this month from readings of 103 in November and 105 in October.  Malaysia’s 2.7% jobless rate in October was unchanged from September.

The Greek trade deficit narrowed 21% on month to EUR 1.1 billion in October.

Dutch real GDP edged 0.1% higher in 3Q, slowing sharply from a gain of 0.6% in the prior quarter.  GDP was only 1.0% greater than in 3Q13.  Dutch business sentiment improved to 3.4 in December from 2.4 in November.

Turkey’s central bank is holding an interest rate policy meeting today.

Weekly U.S. jobless insurance claims will be released today.

Most markets, with the notable exception of Japan, will be closed for Christmas tomorrow.  Some like Britain stay shut on Friday.

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



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