Following US-China’s trade talks reboot on Thursday, Reuters reports that China is making unprecedent proposals regarding technology transfer – a major stumbling block between the two powers. At the Asian version of the Davos forum the same day, PM Li Keqiang said there would be no technology transfer forced upon foreign investments and hinted at opening the transport, infrastructure, medical and other sectors to foreigners. Indexes throughout Asia this morning are in the green after China posted a surprising jump in manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMIs. The Caixin figure was 50.8 in March, up from 49.9 the month before and its first upward movement in 4 months. Japan, on the other hand, presented a negative industrial production figure for February on Thursday, disapointing retail figures, and – continuing the trend overnight – a 7 point loss in its manufacturing index.
Tired of the Brexit ordeal, Europeans will be examining inflation numbers this morning, after France’s CPI rose to 0.7% MoM on Friday. Germany’s figure the day before was not as optimistic – falling from 1.5% to 1.3%. The nation’s retail sales improved – up from January’s 3.1% YoY to 4.7% in February, as did unemployment, shedding 1/10 to 4.9%. Meanwhile, the Eurozone’s sentiment indicators all came in red, with industrial confidence plunging from 0.4% to -1.7% in March. Despite the Brexit saga, Brtiain’s GDP increased to 1.4% in Q4, investments and consumer credit improved, but mortgage approvals fell to 64.337K.
In what can be seen as the seed of a frontal attack on the US FED, President Trump on Friday tweeted that interest rates should be cut by a 1/2%. Had rates not been raised, he said, GDP growth would have stood at 3%, rather than 2018’s 4th quarter 2.2% – reported Thursday. Last week’s figures were weak, with continuing jobless claims increasing, pending home sales contracting on the monthly and yearly levels, and consumption down. New home sales increased by 4.9%, a pleasant surprise to those expecting a mere 1.3% in February. Still ahead today, PMIs and retail sales.
With Iranian and Venezuelan sanctions still curbing production, US-China trade optimism helped lift oil above the $60 mark on Friday. Although profit taking pricked the bubble, overnight losses were regained and this morning finds the commodity at 60.58. The Baker Hughes count saw another 8 rigs taken offline. Bitcoin also crossed the $40 threshold this morning and seems to be confirming a gradual 2 month uptrend.
|07:45-08:30 AM GMT – Italy, France, Germany, EU, UK||Markit Manufacturing PMIs (Mar)|
|09:00 AM GMT – EU||Consumer Price Index|
|12:30 PM GMT – US||Retail Sales|
|13:30 PM GMT – CAD||Markit Manufacturing PMI (Mar)|
|13:45 PM GMT – US||Markit Manufacturing PMI|
|14:00 PM GMT – US||Business Inventories, ISM Manufacturing PMI (Mar), Construction Spending (MoM) (Feb)|
|03:30 AM GMT (+1) – AUD||RBA Interest Rate Decision (Apr 2)|
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