China Raises Reserve Requirement For FX, Stemming The Yuan's Rise

Overview

US and UK markets are closed for holidays today, contributing to the rather subdued price action today. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rallied two percent last week, the most in three months, and most markets began off the week with modest gains. Japan, Australia, and Singapore, for notable exceptions.  Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 took a seven-day advance into today's action and is struggling to extend it.  US futures have edged slightly higher.  European bond yields have edged higher. The dollar is little changed against the major currencies. Outside of the Australian dollar, which is about 0.3% higher, around $0.7735, the other major currencies are +/- 0.15%. Emerging market currencies are mostly firmer, led by the Turkish lira, which was helped by a stronger than expected Q1 GDP (1.7% quarter-over-year and 7% year-over-year). The JP Morgan Emerging Market Currency Index is extending its advance for the fourth consecutive session. Gold is holding above $1900, while oil is firm, and July WTI is extending last week's 4.3% rally as it tries to solidify a foothold above $67 ahead of tomorrow's OPEC+ meeting.  Industrial commodities, such as copper, iron ore, and steel rebar have moved higher to build on the recovery seen at the end of last week.  

Memorial Day, Holiday, American, Flag

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Asia Pacific

China's composite May CPI crept up to 54.2 from 53.8.  It was the result of a slightly disappointing manufacturing reading that slipped from April's 51.1 to 51.0. The non-manufacturing PMI, however, was stronger than expected, rising from 54.9 to 55.2.  The recovery appears to be morphing into a steady pace expansion. Caixin PMI is next (manufacturing PMI tomorrow) with May trade figures and reserves possibly before the end of the week.  

Japan has extended the formal emergency to June 20, with Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics scheduled for July 23. The emergency threatens to delay the economic recovery. April industrial output, retail sales, and housing starts were reported earlier today. Industrial production is aided by exports and rose 2.5%. While better than March's 1.7%, it still fell shy of projections for a nearly 4% gain. Retail sales, however, sorely missed forecasts and illustrates, at least in part, the impact of the social restrictions on consumption. The 4.5% month-over-month fall was more than twice the decline expected and was the biggest slump since last April. The broader measure of household spending is due out later this week. Housing starts were a bright spot. The 7.1% year-over-year advance bested expectations and was the first back-to-back gain in two years. Next up, the final manufacturing PMI reading. The preliminary report showed a slower pace of expansion (52.5 from 53.6). 

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Read more by Marc on his site Marc to Market.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are solely of the author’s, based on current ...

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