Holidays, Manufacturing PMI Releases, and Japanese Recession Concerns

May 2, 2016

There is a wide spectrum of holiday closures today due to the confluence of labor day observances (May Day), the Greek Orthodox Easter Monday, and the early spring British bank holiday.  Markets are shut in Russia, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Sri Lanka, Greece, South Africa, Kenya, Bosnia, Cyprus, Ireland, Bulgaria, […] More

More Good News Than Bad News

November 18, 2014

Japanese Prime Minister Abe has delayed imposition of the planned consumption tax by 18 months to April 2018 and dissolved parliament effective this Friday in preparation for a snap lower house election presumably on December 21.  Abe’s LDP/Komeito coalition was elected in December 2012 to a four-year term.  An election far ahead of schedule invites […] More

Significant Monetary Policy Changes in Japan and Russia

October 31, 2014

Quantitative and qualitative monetary stimulus was expanded sharply in Japan by a 5-4 vote, with the central bank governor and two deputy governors siding with the majority.  The impact of the decision to boost annual JGB buying from 50 trillion yen to 80 trillion yen, triple holdings of ETFs and J-REITS, and lengthen the average […] More


October 2, 2013

This month’s meeting and press conference of the European Central Bank’s Governing Council is scheduled today rather than on the customary first Thursday because Germany is closed tomorrow for Unity Day.  The ECB is located in Frankfurt.  No change in interest rates is expected, and no significant new revelations are anticipated, either. Two central banks […] More

Mixed Data and a Couple of Central Bank Meetings

July 23, 2013

The dollar rose 0.4% against the yen, drawing very near the 100 threshold.  The dollar otherwise has dropped 0.3% against the loonie, which was supported by strong Canadian retail sales figures.  The dollar has firmed 0.2% against the Swiss franc and 0.1% versus the kiwi and Aussie dollar but has edged down 0.1% relative to […] More

LDP-Komeito Coalition Secures Upper House Japanese Parliamentary Election

July 22, 2013

Prime Minister Abe’s party, the Liberal Democrats, will hold 115 of the 242 upper chamber seats.  The LDP’s junior partner, New Komeito, will hold 20 seats.  Thus the ruling coalition now controls a comfortable majority of 135 seats, up from 102 seats in the previous parliament.  The coalition will control key committees.  This marks the […] More

Global Share Prices Higher following 3-Day Weekends in the U.K. and U.K.

May 28, 2013

Equities climbed 1.1% in Japan and Hong Kong, 1.7% in China, 1.8% in Indonesia, 0.7% in India, 0.3% in south Korea and 0.2% in Australia.  Share prices in Europe so far show gains Tuesday of 1.7% in Italy, 1.6% in Britain, 1.5% in France and Spain and 1.1% in Germany.  There is some speculation that […] More

Markets Less Fearful than Yesterday

May 24, 2013

The week is ending with somewhat less anxiety than Thursday, helped by Better-than-projected German IFO business climate in May. Better-than-expected German consumer confidence and French business sentiment. Soothing remarks from Japanese officials and ECB Pdt Draghi. The ability of U.S. stocks to close down only slightly on Thursday. Nonetheless, equities are mostly lower in the […] More

Weak Ezone GDP Data Sends Euro Below $1.2900

May 15, 2013

The dollar is stronger across the board, with gains of 0.8% against the Swissie, 0.6% versus the euro, 0.4% relative to the yen, loonie and Aussie dollar, 0.2% against the kiwi, and 0.1% versus the yuan and sterling. Japan’s Nikkei-225 shot up 338 points or 2.3%, closing above 15,000 for the first time since January […] More

How Contagious Ought Japan’s Crisis Be?

March 17, 2011

One would think from watching global stock exchanges over the past week that everyone’s fate hinges on Japan’s.  After all, Japan is the third largest nation-state economy in the world, having only recently been displaced from the second slot by China.  For the past two decades, however, Japan has lacked the dynamism that built it […] More