Many Good Friday Closures but U.S. Jobs Report Still Getting Released Today

April 3, 2015

Currency market conditions have been pretty quiet despite a tentative nuclear accord between Iran and a 6-nation U.S.-led coalition, plus today’s coming release of the March Labor Department jobs, unemployment, and wage figures.  The dollar is unchanged against the euro, yen, and sterling.  It has eased 0.1% versus the loonie and Swissie, 0.2% relative to the yuan and 0.4% against the New Zealand and Australian dollars.

Share prices rose 1.1% in China, touching a 7-year high.  Stocks gained 0.8% as well in South Korea and 0.6% in Japan.

Oil declined 1.9% to 49.14 per barrel.  Gold eased 0.6% to $1,200.90 per ounce.

The 10-year Japanese JGB yield is two basis points firmer.

Japan’s services and composite purchasing manager indices fell to six-month lows of 48.4 each.  Orders stagnated and jobs fell.  A soft yen boosted input prices, squeezing profits.  One silver lining was higher business sentiment.

The Iran deal is tentative and faces considerable scepticism in the United States given that country’s leadership to break all promises.  Many details need to be worked out by end-June.

China’s services purchasing managers index rose by 0.3 points to 42.3, enabling the composite PMI to hold steady at February’s 5-month high of 51.8.  But new business slipped to a 10-month low.

Russia’s recession seems to be stabilizing rather than intensifying.  After plunging in February to a 71-month low of 41.3, the Russian services PMI rebounded sharply to 46.1, still well below 50 and thus signifying only a slower rate of contraction.  The composite Russian PMI of 46.8 after 44.7 the month before marks a three-month high.

ECB minutes from the Governing Council meeting of March 4-5 indicate to fully implement all the stimulus measures announced since last June including QE, rather than calls for new measures.  Officials believe that the collection of measures already decided are sufficient to avert deflation and promote recovery.

Turkish CPI inflation accelerated to 7.61% in March from 7.55% in February and 7.2% in January.  PPI inflation picked up to 3.4% last month from 3.1% in February.

Czech retail sales posted a 6.3% on-year increase in February, most since September 2008.  Romanian retail sales dropped 1.4% on month and slowed to a 12-month increase of 3.5% in February from 6.7% in January.

Malaysia posted a smaller trade surplus of MYR 4.6 billion in February, about half the size of January’s surplus.  The data were influenced by the Lunar New Year holiday.

The death toll in the Kenyan massacre rose to 147.

European markets are mostly shut today, and many will remain closed on April 6 for Easter Monday.  U.S. labor statistics arrive at 08:30 local time.  U.S. trading will not last long afterward.

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

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