Share Prices Mostly Down Following Easter Holiday

April 23, 2019

Trading volumes picked up as European market trading resumed following holiday.

In geopolitical news today, President Trump said any countries importing oil from Iran would be subject to U.S. sanctions. And the Chinese Politboro released a statement upbeat about growth in the early going of 2019 and suggesting lessening monetary stimulus ahead. These developments respectively buoyed the price of oil (WTI is up 0.6%) but depressed equities.

Share prices fell 0.6% in Hong Kong, 0.5% in China, 0.2% in Japan and 0.1% in Singapore, and stock markets in Europe so far show declines of 0.8% in Spain, 0.6% in Italy, 0.3% in Germany and 0.2% in France.

The dollar advanced by 0.6% against the Australian dollar and Mexican peso, 0.5% relative to the Swiss franc, 0.4% vis-a-vis the kiwi, and 0.2% against gold and the Chinese yuan. Alternatively, the dollar is unchanged against the euro, yen and sterling and has dipped 0.1% versus the loonie.

Ten-year sovereign debt yields firmed 8 basis points in Italy, 4 bps in Spain, 3 bps in the U.K. and France, and 2 bps in Germany, but their U.S. and Japanese counterparts are down a basis point in contrast.

A mere 0.1% year-on-year uptick in Japanese department store sales last month was smaller than the rises posted in any of the previous six months. Japanese machine tool orders recorded a 28.5% March-on-March decline, confirming the preliminary estimate. That was also the fifth straight year-on-year drop. Finally, a Bank of Japan-compiled measure of Japanese core CPI inflation ticked up 0.1 percentage point back to 0.5% in March, signifying the ninth time in the last ten reported months that such was either 0.4% or 0.5%.

Consumer confidence edged down 0.1 index point to a 2-month low in Denmark.

Consumer sentiment in the Netherlands rose a point to a reading of -3, which matches its long-term average reading but was below zero for a third straight month.

Icelandic CPI inflation slipped 0.1 percentage point to a 5-month low of 2.9% in March.

CPI inflation in Hong Kong stayed level in March at February’s 9-month low of 2.1%, having crested last September-October at 2.7%.

Singaporean CPI inflation ticked 0.1 percentage point higher to a 5-month high of 0.6% in March.

On-year growth in Polish retail sales declined more than in half to a 32-month low of 3.1% in March.

On-year Swiss M3 money growth stayed unchanged at 3.5% in March.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s composite purchasing managers index for that economy improved for a second straight month to 50.6 in April from readings of 50.0 in March and 49.1 in February. Such had declined from 53.9 last November to 49.1 in February.

U.S. data releases today will include new home sales, the FHFA house price index, and the Richmond Fed manufacturing index. The preliminary euro area consumer confidence index will be reported, too.

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


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