China's Expansion Does Not Prevent Deflation

Overview: Despite a soft close in US indices yesterday, global shares are on the march again today. Led by China and Hong Kong, most large markets in the Asia Pacific region advanced today. Officials gave approval for a new game from Tencent, which helped lift the Hang Seng. Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 slipped fractionally yesterday but has recouped and more today, led by utilities, information technology, and materials.US shares are trading with a firmer bias. Bond markets remain quiet. Ahead of today's US auction of $41 bln 10-year notes, the benchmark yield is near 1.16%. European yields are mostly little changed, with a slight upside bias. The dollar is mixed. The Scandis and sterling are leading the way higher. Sterling is at new highs after punching through $1.38 yesterday. The dollar bloc and yen are softer. Emerging market currencies are also mostly firmer, and China's yuan is a notable exception as trading winds down ahead of the holiday. The JP Morgan Emerging Market Currency Index is rising for the fourth consecutive session. However, it is an oil that is enjoying the longest streak. Today is the eighth session in a row that oil prices are rising, though the upside momentum may be fading. March WTI is near $58.60, after finishing last week a little below $57.00. Gold is firm within yesterday's range, meeting resistance near $1850.  

Asia Pacific

China's economic recovery is well known, but it has not been accompanied by price pressures. Its headline CPI fell 0.3% year-over-year in January. Core inflation slipped below zero (also -0.3%) for the first time since 2010, dragged down by weak household demand for services. Part of the issue is the base effect. Headline inflation rose 1% on the month in January after a 0.7% gain in December. Food prices rose 1.6% year-over-year, down from a double-digit pace through last summer. Pork prices, a key driver of headline inflation, fell 3.9% from a year ago, following a 1.3% decline in December. Separately, rising commodity prices lifted PPI above zero (0.3%) year-over-year for the first time since last January. The soft inflation readings are unlikely to impact PBOC policy but underscore why fears of an imminent tightening are exaggerated.  

1 2 3 4
View single page >> |

Read more by Marc on his site Marc to Market.

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

more
How did you like this article? Let us know so we can better customize your reading experience.

Comments

Leave a comment to automatically be entered into our contest to win a free Echo Show.