Quarter-end Data Deluge

June 30, 2015

The dollar is trading with overnight gains of 1.4% against the kiwi, 0.5% relative to the euro and Swiss franc and 0.1% vis-a-vis sterling.  It is unchanged versus the yen and Australia and dollar and down 0.1% against the loonie and yuan.

Stocks in China rebounded by a big 6.7%, buoyed by a liquidity injection from the Peoples Bank of China.  Elsewhere in the Pacific Rim, share prices rose 1.8% in Hong Kong, 1.1% in Singapore, 0.9% in Taiwan, 0.7% in Australia and South Korea, 0.6% in Japan and Indonesia, 0.5% in India and 0.4% in New Zealand.

In Europe, the German Dax and Paris Cac show losses of 0.4%, but stocks are up marginally in Spain and Italy.  The British FTSE fell 0.6%. 

Greece remains shut.  Creditors presented Greek authorities with another proposal, but it probably won’t seal a deal.  If Greece fails to pay the IMF the EUR 1.5 billion owed today, it will not trigger an immediate default.  Only a failed debt service to a private creditor will do that, so the drop dead moment may not happen for another three weeks.

Gold at $1,173.51 per ounce is 0.5% lower.  Oil is 0.3% firmer at $58.65 per ounce.

Ten-year sovereign debt yields are lower in Germany, France, The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and Japan but up in Italy, Spain, the U.S., Switzerland and hugely in Greece.

Japanese housing starts rose 5.8% on year in May, most since the year to January 2014.  Construction orders fell 7.4% on year, less than in April.  Labor cash earnings were weaker in May than April, posting an inflation-adjusted on-year drop of 0.1%.  Japanese motor vehicle production recorded a 16.6% on-year plunge in May following 12-month declines of 7.4% in April and 6.5% in March.

In the year to May, South Korean industrial production contracted 2.8%, while that economy’s retail sales went up 3.5%.

Eurozone consumer price inflation slowed to a 0.2% 12-month increase in June from 0.3% in May and zero in April.  Energy prices fell 5.1%.  Core inflation slid to 0.8% from 0.9% the month before.

Eurozone unemployment was 11.1% in May, same as in April but a half percentage point less than in May 2014.

German unemployment fell just 1K in June, considerably less than the drops of 9K in May and 14K in April.  The jobless rate stayed at 6.4% for a third straight month, and job vacancies, up 9K, rose more sharply than in May.

German retail sales volume went up 0.5% in May but posted a 1.4% on-year decline.  The April-May average level was 0.8% greater than the 1Q15 mean.

British GDP growth in the first quarter was revised to a gain of 0.4% from 0.3%.  Personal consumption, government expenditures and business investment respectively enhanced GDP growth by 0.5, 0.2 and 0.3 percentage points, but next exports exerted a 0.6 percentage point drag.  Real GDP rose 2.9% between the first quarters of 2014 and 2015.

The U.K. current account deficit of GBP 26.548 billion in 1Q15 was 8.2% smaller than the GBP 28.93 billion fourth-quarter 2014 shortfall but 30.7% wider than the year-earlier deficit of GBP 20.307 billion.  British consumer sentiment jumped six points to a reading in June of 7, more than reversing May’s drop of three points.

Producer prices in the year to May fell 1.7% in France, dipped 0.9% in Austria, dropped 6.3% in Malaysia, fell 4.6% in Greece, declined 5.5% in Cyprus, and fell 1.9% in Italy.  But Iceland’s and Brazil’s PPI inflation rates, in contrast, were 12.5% and 6.1% higher than a year earlier.

Italian consumer prices edged up 0.1% in June both versus May and from a year earlier.  French consumer spending edged up 0.1% on month in May and recorded on-year growth of 1.8%.  Irish joblessness was steady at 9.7% in June.  Spain’s current account swung to a EUR 230 million deficit in April from a EUR 940 million surplus in March.

Danish real GDP advanced 0.5% on quarter and 1.7% on year in the first quarter.  Denmark’s 4.8% unemployment rate in May was unchanged from April.  Italy’s 12.4% jobless rate in May was likewise the same as in April.  Portuguese retail sales and industrial production were 1.9% and 3.2% greater in May than a year earlier.

Real GDP in Canada slipped 0.1% in April.  GDP has declined in each month so far of 2015 and in five of the last six reported months.  On-year Canadian growth slowed further to 1.2% in April from 1.5% in March.

Among released Australian statistics, new home sales fell 2.3% on month in May, their first drop of 2015.  M3 money and private-sector credit posted May-over-May increases of 6.5% and 6.2%.  Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Stevens gave a speech implying a low central bank rate would continues for quite some time longer.  He complained that monetary policy is being asked to do too much around the world because of the failure of governments to shoulder their policy responsibilities.

Business sentiment in New Zealand fell 2.3% in June, the first drop since around the time of the 2011 earthquake.  Building permits in New Zealand were unchanged on month and 2.2% higher on year in May.  M3 money growth accelerated to 8.1% in May from 7.7% in April.

In South Africa, M3 money and private credit rose 8.4% and 9.5% in the year to May.  South Africa’s trade balance improved by 6.4 billion rand to a ZAR 4.987 billion surplus in May from April’s deficit.

The Case-Shiller U.S. house price index revealed a cooler market in April.  The month-on-month increase of 0.3% was down from a range of 0.9-1.2% increases in the previous four months, and the 12-month advance of 4.9% was down from 5.0% in February and March.

The Milwaukee regional manufacturing purchasing managers index contracted at an accelerating pace in June for a third straight time, printing at 46.55 in June after readings of 47.70 in May, 48.08 in April and 53.25 in March.

Still to come from the U.S.:  consumer confidence from the Conference Board and the Chicago manufacturing PMI.

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

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