Mark Time March Ahead of U.S. Jobs Report

February 5, 2016

In a week that’s seen the dollar drop its most in several years, the U.S. currency shows scant net change overnight, dipping 0.1% versus the loonie, Swissie and kiwi while edging 0.1% higher against the yen, euro and Aussie dollar.  The greenback has gained 0.2% relative to sterling and is unchanged versus the yuan.

Equities lost 0.6% in China, 0.1% in Germany and 1.3% in Japan but are up 1.3% in Spain, 0.6% in Greece, 0.5% in France and the U.K. and 0.4% in Italy and Switzerland.

The 10-year Japanese JGB slipped two basis points to 0.03%.  The 10-year German bund is under 0.30% at 0.29%.

West Texas Intermediate oil climbed 1.3% to $32.14 per barrel.  Comex gold rose 0.3% to $1,158.87 per ounce.

German industrial orders retreated 0.7% in December and posted a 2.7% on-year drop in the final month of 2015.

The French trade deficit in 2015 amounted to EUR 4.57 billion, down from EUR 5.83 billion in 2014.

Australian retail sales stagnated in December but were 4.0% higher than at end-2014.  Retail sales volume rose 0.6% last quarter.

Australia’s construction purchasing managers index dropped 3.2 points in January to a 15-month low of 43.6.

Japan recorded a customs clearance trade deficit in the first twenty days of January of JPY 1.085 trillion, 26.4% lower than a year earlier.  Imports plunged 14.8%, while exports fell by 9.6%.

Japanese international reserves at end-January equaled $1.248 trillion, $14.9 billion higher than at end-2015 but $13 billion lower than a year earlier.

Japan’s index of leading economic indicators fell 1.2 points to a 23-month low of 102.0 in December.  The index of coincident economic indicators plumbed to a 16-month low, and officials continue to characterize its trend as “weakening.”

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s published quarterly Monetary Policy Statement hints that the official cash rate may be lowered again due to soft inflation.  The report did not change its forecasts of 2-3% GDP growth this year or in-target 2-3% inflation in the fourth quarter of 2016.  Bank officials are worried about the impact of China’s economic slowdown.

The National Bank of Romania left its monetary policy rate unchanged at 1.75%, its level since the last of four 25-basis point cuts in 2015 was engineered in May.

Indonesian GDP grew 4.8% in 2015, somewhat less than the 5.0% expansion in 2014.  Last quarter GDP was also 5.0% higher than in 4Q14.

Filipino producer prices slumped 7.2% in the year to December, while consumer prices in January ticked up 0.2% on month and 1.3% on year.

Taiwanese consumer prices were 0.8% higher in January than a year earlier.

Denmark, Sweden, Hungary and Norway reported industrial production figures.

Brazilian CPI inflation rounded to 10.7% in January, the same on-year pace as in December.

Besides the U.S. Labor Department’s report, the U.S. and Canada release trade figures, and Canadian labor statistics also arrive today.

Copyright 2016, Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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