Many Asian Stock Markets Fall at Least 1.0%

September 17, 2018

While Japan was closed for Respect for the Aged Day, share prices elsewhere in Asia dropped 2.1% in China to a 4-year low, 1.8% in Indonesia, 1.6% in Hong Kong, 1.3% in India, 0.7% in South Korea and 0.6% in Singapore. Investors continue to worry about a trade war involving the United States.

Stocks softened much more mildly in Europe, with declines so far of 0.6% in Switzerland, 0.3% in Germany, 0.2% in the U.K. and Greece, and 0.1% in France.

Against the backdrop of high expectations that the Federal funds rate will be raised later this month, ten-year sovereign debt yields climbed 2 basis points in the U.K. and Germany and 1 basis point in the U.S..

The dollar is mixed, with upticks of 0.3% against the euro and 0.1% versus the yen but dips of 0.4% relative to sterling, 0.3% vis-a-vis the Swiss franc and kiwi, 0.2% against the Australian dollar and 0.1% versus the Mexican peso. The yuan and loonie are unchanged against the dollar.

Gold is flat, but the price of WTI oil has risen 0.7%.

Today’s menu of economic data features mostly price and trade figures.

Chinese house price inflation accelerated 1.2 percentage points to a one-year high of 7.0% in August.

Revised consumer price figures for Euroland confirmed a total and core inflation rate of 2.0% and 1.0%, respectively, in August, 0.1 percentage point less than in July. Total CPI inflation in August 2017 had been 1.5% with a core pace of 1.2%. The energy component rose 4.0% in the year to August 2017 but 9.2% over the ensuing 12 months.

Austrian CPI inflation of 2.2% in August marked an 8-month high.

Cypriot CPI inflation in August of 2.5% was the most since September 2012.

The on-year change in the British Rightmove house price index ticked 0.1 percentage point higher to a 2-month high of 1.2%.

Czech producer prices rose 3.3% over the 12 months to August, down from 3.4% in July but above June’s 2.9% on-year pace.

But Danish PPI inflation accelerated to 7.1% in August from 6.7% in July, 6.9% in June and 3.8% in May.

Singapore recorded a trade surplus of SGD 6.755 billion in August compared to SGD 5.174 billion in July and SGD 5.285 billion in August 2017. The surplus last month was the biggest in at least a year.

Indonesia’s trade balance swung from a $1.68 surplus in August 2017 to a deficit of $1.02 billion last month as on-year import growth exploded more than 20%. But the year-to-date deficit of $4.09 billion is less than half its year earlier shortfall.

South Korea’s January-August trade surplus of $49.21 billion was down from $61.8 billion in the first eight months of 2017.

Italy posted trade surpluses of EUR 5.676 billion last month and EUR 24.73 billion in January-August.

Norway’s NOK 174.4 billion trade surplus in January-August 32.9% larger than a year before.

New Zealand’s service sector purchasing managers index settled back 1.9 points to a 2-month low of 53.2. It’s high point in 2018 came in March at 58.6.

After slowing to a 2.8% on year increase in June, Turkish industrial production in July was 5.6% higher than a year earlier.

The U.S. Empire State manufacturing index gets reported later this morning. In other U.S. news, senate confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Bret Kavanaugh has been delayed. His accuser now says she will reveal her identity and testify. Also, the Carolina’s are experiencing a fourth day of heavy rainfall from tropical storm Florence, and flooding risks are rising there.

Copyright 2018, Larry Greenberg. All rights reserved. No secondary distribution without express permission.

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