North American Holidays and Lack of Data Reports Make for a Quiet Start to a New Week

February 18, 2019

North American markets will be shut Monday for the U.S. Presidents Day holiday and Canadian Family Day holiday.

Share prices in Asia rose 2.7% in China, 1.8% in Hong Kong and Japan, 1.7% in Indonesia, 0.8% in Singapore and Taiwan, and 0.7% in South Korea but fell 0.9% in India. Among European bourses, stocks so far are down 0.3% in Germany and the U.K., but up 0.3% in Spain and Italy.

Ten-year German bund and Japanese bund yields are unchanged. Their British counterpart ticked down a basis point.

In commodity trading, the price of WTI oil and gold are up 0.5% and 0.4%.

With scant foreign exchange market leadership due to the aforementioned market closures, the dollar has slipped overnight by 0.3% versus sterling, 0.2% against the euro, Swiss franc, peso, and Australian dollar, and 0.1% vis-a-vis the loonie, kiwi and yuan. The yen lost 0.1% versus the dollar.

Japanese core private domestic machinery orders ended 2018 on a soft note, dipping 0.1% in December and posting only a 0.9% rise from end-2017. Machinery orders from the government fell 14.8% on month and 12.2% on year, while export orders sank 21.9% on month but eked out a 1.7% rise from December 2017’s level. In 2018, both public sector machinery orders and core private domestic machinery orders rose 3.6%, and foreign orders went up 5.9%.

Thailand GDP grew 0.8% on quarter in 4Q18 and was 3.7% greater than a year earlier. That was a tad less than full-2018 economic growth, which posted a 6-year high of 4.1% after growth of 4.0% in 2017.

Singapore’s  SGD 2.415 billion trade surplus in December, a 2-month high, was 24% wider than November’s surplus.

New Zealand’s service-sector purchasing managers index jumped 3.1 index points to an eight-month high of 56.3 in January.

The British Rightmove house price index increased 0.7% in February, but its 12-month rate of increase was halved to just 0.2% from 0.4% in the year through January and 0.7% in December.

Copyright 2019, Larry Greenberg. All rights reserved. No secondary distribution without express permission.

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