Another Quiet Mid-Summer Session

July 21, 2015

The dollar slipped 0.4% overnight against the euro and Swiss franc but is unchanged against the yen, Australian dollar and yuan.  The U.S. currency lost 0.6% relative to the kiwi and 0.1% vis-a-vis the loonie but is 0.1% firmer against sterling.

Share prices climbed 1.1% in Hong Kong, 0.9% in Japan and 0.4% in New Zealand and Australia but fell 0.8% in India and 0.7% in Indonesia.  Greek stocks recovered 2.0%, while other European bourses show scant change, with upticks of 0.2% in France and the U.K. markets and 0.1% in Germany but downticks of 0.5% in Switzerland, 0.3% in Italy and 0.1% in Spain.

Ten-year sovereign debt yields are unchanged in Japan, down two basis points in Germany, Italy, Portugal and The Netherlands and up a basis point in Britain.

Gold, up 0.9%, has managed to stay above $1,100 at $1,106.76 per ounce.  The price of WTI crude oil eased 0.1% overnight to $50.10 per barrel.

Bank of Japan minutes from the June meeting revealed doubts from some policymakers about the success of quantitative stimulus.

Reserve Bank of Australia minutes from this month’s meeting expressed a somber view on retail sales but no urgency to cut rates again.  Officials predicted further Aussie dollar depreciation.

Japan’s government cabinet released a new monthly assessment.  It was mostly unchanged except for a downgrade of industrial production.

Japan’s index of leading economic indicators in May was unrevised from the preliminary reading of 106.2, which was a 2-month low.  The index of coincident economic indicators was revised to 109.0 from 109.2 and carried an assessed trend of “weakening.”  The lagging indicator was unchanged from April.

Japanese department store sales recorded on-year growth in June of just 0.4%, down from 6.3% in May.  Tokyo sales growth slowed to 5.9% in June from 11.6% in May.

Chinese foreign direct investment rose 8.0% in the year to June. CPI inflation in Hong Kong edged up 0.1 percentage point to 3.1% last month.

South Africa’s index of leading economic indicators fell to a six-month low in May.

British public sector finances showed a diminished deficit in June.  Net debt equaled 81.5% of GDP.

Swiss on-year M3 money growth accelerated to 2.1% in June from 1.5% in May.  The Swiss trade surplus rose to CHF 3.58 billion in June from CHF 3.41 billion in May and to 9.6 billion francs in 2Q from 8.0 billion francs in the first quarter. 

The Greek current account surplus narrowed sharply last month to EUR 407 million from EUR 955 million in May.  Portugal’s current account deficit widened to 919 million euros in June from 457 million euros in May and 339 million euros in April.  Ireland’s trade surplus in May of EUR 3.97 billion was 13.7% narrower than the April shortfall.

Finnish joblessness on an unadjusted basis of 10.0% last month was up from 9.2% a year earlier.  On a seasonally adjusted basis, such edged up 0.1 percentage point on month to 9.7%.

The only U.S. economic data on this lazy summer day will be Redbook’s weekly chain store sales report.

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



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