Good Friday 2019

April 19, 2019

Due to Good Friday, Easter, and the approaching first night of Passover, financial market activity has ground to a near halt. Markets shut today in Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, the U.K., Switzerland, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Norway, Brazil, South Africa, and Mexico.

The released redacted Mueller Report remains the main story of the news cycle. If one is unhappy about the direction of America under President Trump, the report has plenty to reinforce one’s beliefs. For his base, there’s no smoking gun, and it’s time to turn the tables on the investigators.

The dollar has drifted marginally lower, losing 0.2% against the Swiss franc and 0.1% relative to the euro, yen, sterling, loonie, kiwi and yuan. There’s no movement in any of the 10-year sovereign debt yields covered routinely in this rundown of overnight news and market developments. Commodity markets didn’t open. Share prices rose 0.6% in China, 0.5% in Japan, and 0.1% in Taiwan and South Korea.

Japanese consumer prices in March no change on a seasonally adjusted basis. The year-on-year comparison of the all-items CPI accelerated 0.3 percentage points to a 4-month high of 0.5%. Core CPI inflation, excluding fresh food, edged up 0.1 percentage point, returning to January’s 0.8%, but consumer prices when excluding energy as well as fresh food maintained a 0.4% 12-month rate of increase. Energy went up 0.7% on month and picked up to a 5.1% year-on-year increase.

South Korean PPI inflation, which had dipped to negative 0.2% in February, returned to 0.1% in March. That still well down from last year’s high of 3.1% in August.

The Greek current account deficit in February of EUR 900 million was the smallest imbalance in four months and down from EUR 1.398 billion a year earlier.

Italian consumer and business confidence deteriorated further in April. The consumer sentiment index dropped to 110.5 from 111.2 in March, 112.3 in February and 113.9 in January. Overall business sentiment despite strengthened confidence in construction declined to 98.9 from 99.1 in March  and 99.6 last December. Sentiment among manufacturers slid to 100.6 this month from 100.8 in March, 101.6 in February, 101.9 in January and 103.3 at the end of 2018.

U.S. housing starts and building permits data get reported later today.

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


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