Asian markets closed down yesterday, led by the Nikkei’s 2.84% which fell on a rush on safe havens. The yen is up another ½% and the Australian dollar – a 1/3. Japan’s industry activity is up nearly 2%, its central bank maintaining aa sub-zero interest rate; New Zealand’s GDP is down from 3.2% to 2.6 for Q3, and Australian unemployment surprisingly rose to 5.1% in November.
Construction throughout the continent and equities are all down this morning but Germany’s PPI was reported at a 20-month high of 3.3% year on year. As we move closer to Parliament’s vote on the Brexit clause, both the Euro and the pound are up .85 and .58% respectively. Stocks aren’t doing as well, with indexes down between a percent and 1 ½. With the bank of England set to raise interest rates today, chances are the move will be delayed on Brexit contentions between government and parliament. Retail prices were down yesterday but retail SALES surprised upwards, and PPIs decreased, though at a better-than-expected rate of -2.3%. That plus a slight decrease in consumer price indexes brings inflation down to a 20-month low.
US index futures continue to fall, the Dow well beyond the 23-500 mark and falling alongside the US dollar, which has lost 0.8% so far today. The dollar got a short shot in the arm after the fed raised interest rates, but the vigour soon died out when bank head Jerome Powell said increases would probably petter out in the coming year. Mortgage applications decreased painfully by nearly 6% in the first half of December, but home sales surprisingly rose by 1.9% to 5.32 million units.
Oil at 46.50 continues sinking
And gold at 12-59 continues rising after dipping yesterday on the fed’s ¼% addition to interest rates.
Still ahead, the bank of England’s interest rate decision art noon, followed by jobs at 1:30 GMT. Japan will publish consumer price indexes at 11:30 tonight,