Commodities and European Stocks Rocked by More Selling Pressure

February 8, 2016

West Texas Intermediate oil fell 2% overnight to $30.20 per barrel.  Copper lost 2.6%, platinum plunged over 8.0%, and nickel hit a 12+ year low.

Share prices in Europe are down 7.3% in Greece, 2.5% in Germany, 2.4% in Spain, 2.3% in France, 1.7% in the U.K. and 1.5% in Switzerland and Italy.

In the Pacific Rim equities rose 2.9% in Indonesia, 2.5% in Singapore, and 1.1% in Japan but fell 0.8% in Taiwan and 0.6% in China.

The 10-year Japanese JGB and German bund yields are priced at 0.04% and 0.29%, and the 10-year British gilt fell four basis points to 1.52%.

Comex gold is fairly steady at $1,174.11 per troy ounce.

The dollar fell this Monday by 0.7% against the yen and 0.6% versus sterling but shows little change against other major currencies, with gains of 0.3% against the euro, 0.2% versus the Swissie and kiwi and 0.1% relative to the loonie and yuan but a dip of 0.1% vis-a-vis the Australian dollar.

Japan recorded a JPY 16.6 trillion current account in 2015, up from 2.69 trillion yen in 2014 as imports plunged 10.3% while exports grew 10.3%.  The seasonally adjusted current account surplus in December amounted to JPY 1.635 trillion, up from JPY 1.42 trillion in November, JPY 1.49 trillion in October and JPY 776 billion in September.  Seasonally adjusted merchandise exports (down 4.7%) and imports (-4.5%) each dropped sharply in December.  Imports have declined nearly 9% over the last four reported months of 2015.

Japan’s economy watchers index, a gauge of perceived retail activity by workers in the services sector, fell back to a reading of 46.6 in January from 48.7 in December and 46.1 in November.

Japanese labor cash earnings ticked up 0.1% in December, less than hoped, after being unchanged in November, but real cash earnings were 1.0% greater than a year earlier.

Japanese bankruptcies posted a 6.4% on-year drop in January, most since October.

Stock and bond transactions in Japan last month generated a net 2.238 trillion yen capital outflow.

Bank lending in Japan accelerated to a 12-month increase of 2.3% in January (2.4% excluding trusts). 

Chinese foreign exchange reserves dived $99.5 billion in January and are at 3-year low.  Reserves collapsed $510 billion in 2015.

The Sentix measure of investor sentiment toward the eurozone dropped more sharply in February than forecast to print at a 10-month low of 6.0 after readings of 9.6 in January and 15.7 in December.

Ireland’s construction purchasing managers index jumped 5.3 points to a 7-month high of 63.9 in January.

In the year to December, industrial output rose 3.7% in Spain, 0.7% in the Czech Republic, and 4.5% in Turkey.  Spanish production fell on month for the first time since August.

Hungary’s trade surplus widened from EUR 6.3 billion in 2014 to EUR 8.1 billion last year.  The Czech trade surplus of CZK 149 billion in 2015 was little changed from its size the year before of CZK 146 billion.  Finland posted a EUR 690 million trade deficit in 2015 after a 2014 shortfall of EUR 1.8 billion. Denmark’s current account surplus increased to DKK 11.9 billion in December from DKK 11.4 billion in November.

The Bank of France is projecting French GDP growth in the current quarter of 0.4%, twice the result in the previous quarter.  The bank’s business sentiment index edged up a point to print at 101 in January, while its sentiment indices for services and construction were at the same levels as in November and December.

A member of the ECB Governing Council said policy will be eased further in March if needed. 

The Fed’s labor market conditions index will be reported today.

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

Tags: , ,


Comments are closed.