Asian markets opened the week in the green despite last week’s news of a delay in the Trump-Xi summit – now scheduled for April and perhaps even June. Chinese lawmakers, perhaps signalling their counterparty, on Friday voted to increase intellectual property rights protection. Last week, China’s industrial production fell by 2/10th to 5.3% growth in January.
Industrial production in Japan was up in January by 0.3%, not enough to raise the yearly reading into positive territory. Imports and exports continue to decline – -6.7% and -1.2% respectively in February – while the nation’s trade balance pleased analysts with an increase into positive territory – 116 bn yen adjusted.
And with Australia and New Zealand still shocked by last week’s mosque shooting, stay tuned tonight for Australia’s central bank meeting minutes at ½ past midnight.
CPIs across Europe last week were level to disappointing, with France the odd man out surprising with a 1/10th point increase to 1.6% in February YoY. AT present, the zone’s YoY figure for February is 1.5%, showing a very gentle upwards incline. Today’s EU trade balance is expected to show an 8 bn Euro deficit, down from December’s 17 bn Euro surplus.
And as Brexit votes keep coming in thick, furious and dubious, March house prices in the UK contracted this morning year-on year by 0.8%. The pound continues to erratically rise despite plans by Theresa May to once again try pushing her deal through parliament and hinging on a hoped-for 2-year delay if that plan is once again voted down. Expect forces to strengthen towards Thursday and the Bank of England’s interest rate decision – expected to remain at 0.75%, for now.
Following last week’s $1 bear gap in the dollar index Wednesday, the currency continues south ahead of this week’s Wednesday FED meeting. With hikes still on ice, traders will be looking to Fed Head Powell for further guidance – especially as data continues to weaken. . Jobless claims continue to disappoint, falling on the continuing level but not enough and growing on the initial count to a disappointing 229K. The Empire State manufacturing index is down by half to 3.7 in March and industrial production finally in positive territory at 0.1%, but much less than expected. The export price index increased while the import price fell, while new home sales fell beyond expectations to 0.6mn – a 7% decrease. Watch today’s NAHB housing market index at 2 PM GMT for an expected increase to 63 in March.
Friday’s oil rig count shows a 1 rig reduction to 833 for the week. As the USD depreciates, it and gold will continue upwards – gold now testing resistance at 1303 and oil for now consolidating gently upwards, as upward pressure continues to mount from Iranian and Venezuelan export sanctions and a continuing OPEC production limit – under discussion this week at the OPEC+10 meeting in Azerbaijan.
In more bad news for Boeing, the US Dept of Transport has decided to investigate the process whereby the FAA approved the ill-fated 737 MAX. With the model accounting for over 1/3 of the company’s expected revenue for the next 5 years, last week’s cost to share prices – 11%. On the banking front, DeutscheBank and rival Commerzbank, with the encouragement of the country’s finance ministry, are exploring a possible merger in order to battle their overstaffing problems and more.
10:00 AM GMT: EU Trade Balance
11:00 AM GMT: Germany Bundesbank Monthly Report
12:30 PM GMT: Canada Investment in Canadian & Foreign Securities
14:00 PM GMT USA NAHB Housing Market Index
20:00 PM GMT New Zealand Westpac Consumer Survey
22:00 PM GMT: Australia RBA Asst. Gov. Christopher Kent speech
00:30 AM GMT (+1) Australia House Price Index & RBA Meeting Minutes