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Hong Kong protests hit markets

Share Markets:

US equity markets dipped slightly overnight as investors fretted over events in Hong Kong and as the firmer US economy heightened concerns over the potential for rising interest rates.

The Dow and the S&P500 both fell 0.2%. In Europe, the FTSE100 was flat but in Germany the Dax was down 0.7% and the French CAC40 index fell 0.8%.

Interest Rates: 

US 10 year treasury yields fell from 2.53% to 2.48% - a three-week low. Two year yields fell from 0.59% to 0.56% but later rebounded to 0.57%.

Overnight, Fed member and 'dove' Charles Evans argued for a later and shallower tightening than consensus, while his colleague on the FOMC 'hawk' Stanley Fisher has warned the Fed should not leave the tightening until too late.

Foreign Exchange:

The US dollar index pulled back slightly from a fresh four-year high made just before the London open and the euro bounced off a multi-year low as German CPI for September was slightly higher than expected.

The AUD and the NZD were both affected by a report detailing the extent of RBNZ intervention in its currency market. 

Commodities:

The price of oil rose overnight on the back of firm consumer spending numbers in the US.

There figures came on top of recent numbers showing US GDP growing at a solid pace. These same numbers lifted the price of copper. Gold was relatively steady overnight while the CRB index was up 1.0% overnight.

Australia:

No significant data was released yesterday. The AUD fell briefly into the US 86 cent range bringing the decline for the quarter to 7.1%.

China:

No data of significance released yesterday. Today sees a reading on manufacturing activity.

Europe:

Eurozone economic confidence fell from 100.6 in August to 99.9 in September.

The last time this index dipped below 100 was in August 2011, just before the recession began later that year.

Also the business climate index fell from 0.16 in August to 0.07 in September, its lowest for the year so far.

German inflation was unchanged at 0.8% for the year to September despite some preliminary state data showing a slight acceleration in price pressure.

Spanish deflation was shallower at -0.3% for the year and Belgium slipped into technical deflation with a -0.1% annual pace.

New Zealand:

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand reported yesterday that it had intervened in its currency market during August by selling NZ dollars.

The RBNZ sold NZ$521 million, its largest sale since July 2007, in an effort to push the NZD lower.

United Kingdom:

UK mortgage outstandings rose a further £2.3bn in August.

The increase came despite loan approvals slipping from 66.1k to 64.2k in August, well below the recent peak lending month of January when more than 76k mortgages were approved.

United States:

Personal income rose a moderate 0.3% but personal spending rose 0.5%, led by surging autos purchases and services spending at the expense of lower non-durables spending.

US consumer price inflation, as measured by the core PCE deflator, held steady at 0.1% in August. The annual rate has held steady at 1.5% for four consecutive months.

The data eased concerns from earlier this year that inflation might be picking up.

US pending home sales fell 1.0% in August, their second fall in three months. After falling 16% in the eight months since June last year, sales have recovered about two thirds of that decline in the past six months. Separately, the

Dallas Fed factory index rose from 7.1 to 10.8 in September.

Topics:  economy st george


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