Dollar, Yen, Equities and Gold Strengthen while Oil Declines

April 10, 2015

The dollar dipped 0.2% against the yen but otherwise shows gains of 0.7% against the euro and sterling, 0.4% relative to the Swissie and Australian dollar, 0.3% vis-a-vis the loonie and kiwi and 0.1% against the yuan.

Share prices have risen 1.9% in China, 1.2% in Hong Kong, 1.4% in South Korea, 0.5% in Taiwan, 0.6% in Australia and 0.4% in Singapore.  Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.2%, but in Europe, stocks are up 1.3% in Germany, 0.7% in Switzerland, 0.4% in Great Britain, 0.5% in France, 0.3% in Italy and 0.2% in Spain.

Comex gold rose 0.8% to $1,203.10 per ounce, but oil fell by 0.7% to $50.44 per barrel of WTI.

The ten-year British gilt yield increased three basis points.  Its German counterpart is a basis point firmer, but the 10-year Japanese JGB slid a basis point.

Chinese inflation was not quite as depressed as expected last months.  Consumer prices fell 0.5% on month in March, but the 12-month rise stayed at 1.4% instead of easing as forecast.  The 4.6% on-year decline of producer prices was likewise a tad less than forecast.  Analysts expected PPI deflation to remain at February’s 4.8% reading.  In January CPI inflation hit a 5-year low of 0.8%.

British industrial production growth of 0.1% on month and on year in February was disappointing.  Factory output grew 0.4% from January but posted a smaller year-over-year advance of 1.1% after 1.7% the month before.

Other countries reporting industrial production data today were Finland (down 5.1% in the year to February); Denmark (-2.3% on year); Spain (+0.6% in the year to February); Czech Republic (+4.5% in the year to February); Norway (+1.9% on year in March);the Netherlands (an on-year leap of 25.3%); and Malaysia (+5.2% in February on year).  Most importantly, French industrial production was unchanged on month and up just 0.6% on year in February.

The Central Reserve Bank of Peru left its monetary policy rate unchanged as expected at 3.25%, but as at its three prior monthly meetings this year, the reserve requirement ratio was cut by 50 basis points and now stands at 7.5%.

Swiss unemployment on a seasonally adjusted basis of 3.2% in March was unchanged from February.

The Turkish current account deficit widened more than 50% on month to $3.2 billion in February.  Austria’s trade deficit of 600 billion euros in January was almost identical to the year-earlier shortfall.

Norwegian consumer prices rose 2.0% on year in March, while producer prices in that economy were 6.1% lower.  Romanian CPI inflation doubled to 0.8% last month. 

Japanese bank lending expanded 2.6% on year in March and posted growth of 2.5% in the first quarter, the same pace as in the final quarter of 2014.

Home loans in Australia recovered 1.2% in February after dropping 1.7% in January.

Greek markets are closed for the Orthodox observance of Good Friday.

U.S. import prices and Canadian housing starts and labor statistics arrive today.

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

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