Australia overnight recorded a 32% decline in building permits year over year for November, this as its services sector performance fell 3 points to 52.1 in December. Otherwise, little data in from Asia this morning, with markets all in a healthy green. The hang seng is up 2 and a ¼, the Nikkei a percent and a bit and Shanghai and Shenzehen are up about .7 of a %.
Theresa May suffered another parliamentary defeat yesterday ahead of next week’s Brexit vote. This comes on the heels of an excellent increase in housing prices for November: 2.2% month on month compared to October’s 1.2% reduction, and that’s a 2-year record. Otherwise, Europe is in the doldrums, all confidence measures yesterday in the red. Economic sentiment is at a 2-year low; France’s trade deficit increased another billion euros; and this morning, that nation’s consumer confidence was down 5 points for December. Germany’s trade surplus increased, albeit with imports and exports both contracting this after yesterday’s report that Germany’s industrial production had declined nearly 2%.
US data was less than spectacular last night – credit change down 2 billion to 22 in November, jolts reporting a quarter million job openings less than in October and the rRedbook index down year on year to 8.9% as of January 4th. The government shutdown remains in place, the Democrats scoring a victory as they block a bill to condemn Syrian aggression and forward aid to Jordan. Canada’s trade deficit more than doubled to $2bn.
Oil overnight enjoyed the news-chain’s backwinds with a 6.3 million barrel drawdown in Cushing Oklahoma, Sino-US trade talk optimism, and Saudi Arabia’s fuel cuts now official policy. WTI’s week long rise continues steady, it’s up 20% since Christmas, and we seem to have broken free of the $50 mark. The Saudis have stated that they’re targeting the $80 barrel. And despite the downpull of the US dollar, gold continues to retreat for the 4th day in a row. Support is holding at 12-80, but the highs are definitely on their way down.
In an hour we’ll be getting Europe’s unemployment figures and GDP estimates for the UK. The afternoon starts with housing in Canada and a monetary policy report from their central bank at 3. At 3:30, the EIA reports on oil stocks change, and at 7 – the FED’s policy minutes. At 10 to midnight, investment data from Japan and at 1:30 tomorrow morning, Chinese inflation.