Quiet Monday Morning Ahead of a Busy Week

March 16, 2015

The dollar has slipped 0.4% against the kiwi, 0.3% versus the euro and sterling, 0.2% relative to the loonie and 0.1% against the Australian dollar but is unchanged vis-a-vis the Swissie and Japanese yen.

No major market-moving data were released so far, but investors await several U.S. releases: industrial production and capacity utilization, the National Association of Home Builders housing market index, the Empire State Manufacturing Index, and Treasury-compiled capital flows.

Chinese Premier Li indicated that leeway exists for more meaningful stimulus to secure the 7% growth target.  Reserve Bank of Australia Deputy Governor DeBelle attributed low bond yields to supply-side factors.  ECB President Draghi gives a dinner speech tonight.  The Bank of Japan Policy Board met for the first day of this month’s two-day meeting but isn’t expected to modify policy settings.  An FOMC statement on Wednesday will be accompanied by updated forecasts and a Janet Yellen press conference afterward.

Chinese share prices jumped 2.4% to a 6-1/2 year high following the aforementioned comments by Premier Li.  In other stock market action, markets closed unchanged in Japan, up 0.5% in Hong Kong, 0.4% in Singapore and 0.2% in Indonesia, but down 0.7% in Taiwan, 0.3% in Australia and 0.2% in India.  In Europe, share prices have risen by 1.0% in Germany, 0.9% in France and Spain, 1.1% in Italy, 0.5% in Great Britain, 0.3% in Switzerland, but plunged 2.6% in Greece.

West Texas Intermediate oil slid another 0.2% to $44.74 per barrel.  Comex gold at $1,157 per ounce is 0.4% firmer.

The ten-year Japanese JGB yield rose three basis points to 0.41%.  German bunds are steady.  The 10-year British gilt yield softened a basis point.

New motor vehicle sales advanced by a greater-than-forecast 2.9% last month and were 4.1% greater than the February 2014 level.

New Zealand’s service-sector purchasing managers index fell 2.0  points to a 3-month low in February of 55.6.

Indian wholesale price inflation became even more negative in February, posting an on-year drop of 2.1%.

The Swiss PPI/import price index recorded a 1.4% drop last month, most since November 2008, and posted a 3.6% on-year decrease, most since October 2009.  Domestic producer prices and import prices respectively fell 2.1% and 3.0% over the post reported twelve months.  Swiss retail sales volume sank 2.1% in January and were 0.3% below their year-earlier level.

Dutch retail sales registered a smaller on-year rise in January than December, but that economy’s trade surplus widened 5.1% to EUR 5.14 billion.

The Czech current account surplus of CZK 33.58 billion in January was 57% wider than anticipated.  Czech producer prices slid 0.1% in February and were 3.6% lower than a year before versus 12-month declines of 3.7% in December and 3.5% in January.

Denmark’s PPI fell 4.7% on year in February, while a 1.0% 12-month decline in Israeli consumer prices, twice the drop posted in January, suggest another interest rate cut by the Israeli central bank will be happening soon.

Turkish unemployment was at 10.4% in December and averaged 10.8% in the fourth quarter.

Britain’s Rightmove house price index went up 1.0% in March, the smallest monthly rise in 1Q.  Its 12-month 5.4% pace of increase was down from 6.6% in February and 8.2% in January.

Copyright 2015, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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