A Respite from Market Activity

December 25, 2014

Virtually all markets other than Japan are closed for Christmas today, so currency changes on the wires are not necessarily representative.  The dollar fell overnight by 0.6% against the Swiss franc, 0.4% relative to the euro, 0.3% vis-a-vis the yen, 0.2% versus the Australian dollar and 0.1% against the kiwi and sterling.  The yuan rose 0.2%.

The Japanese Nikkei fell 0.3%, and the 10-year Japanese government bond yield slid to a low for the move of 0.31%.

Minutes from the Bank of Japan meeting of November 18-19 expressed uneasiness that enough fiscal reforms still haven’t been implemented.  In a speech, Governor Kuroda said the drop in oil prices would help Japan’s economy but urged companies to adopt wage and benefit policies to the reality of a return to positive inflation.

Producer service prices in Japan, formerly known as the corporate serve price index, advanced by a greater-than-forecast 0.4% last month and posted the same 3.6% on-year increase as in October.

Japanese housing starts fell more than anticipated in November, recording a 12-month drop of 14.3%, same as in September.  October’s fall was by 12.3%.  Starts have been lower than a year before every month since February.

Japanese construction orders registered a greater-than-expected 16.9% 12-month rate of increase in November, which constituted the best outcome in four months.  Such orders had risen 15.7% in the year to October but plunged 40.3% in September. 

A number of markets will remain shut tomorrow for Boxing Day, such as Britain, Australia, and Canada.  Swiss markets observe St. Stephen’s Day.  Other centers will be on skeleton crews and shut early.  But many Japanese economic indicators are also getting releases — CPI, unemployment, retail sales, household spending, labor cash earnings, and auto production.

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

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