European economy declined in the 4th quarter of 2011 as investment fell most since 2009 amid dropping consumer spending and exports. GDP both in Euro Zone and EU 27 area fell 0.3% compared to 3rd quarter said EU statistics office on Tuesday. Exports contracted 0.4% compared to a 1.4% gain in the 3rd quarter. Investment faded 0.7% and household spending diminished 0.4%.
Several US leading banks attempt to persuade Fed to restrict the amount of information it discloses to public when it reports the outcome of recent stress tests. Federal Reserve is preparing to disclose more details than it did in 2009. The Clearing House Association said in a letter to Fed that unveiling extra information may have a negative effect on financial institutions involved in stress tests.
UK retail sales dropped in February for a second straight month as a decline in clothing buying offset the gains from food purchases, reported British Retail Consortium. Sales at stores that are operating at least one year fell 0.3% on annual basis. Same magnitude decline also took place in January. Although BoE expects slowing inflation to bolster consumption, the surge in unemployment and oil prices could curb the spending, suggest analysts.
The official SNB exchange rate for EUR/CHF is 1.2059 today; yield on 10-year Swiss Confederation bonds decreased to 0.69%. 3-month LIBOR CHF stands at 0.09%, and is within the target range of 0.00-0.25%. Swiss SMI stock index has lost 1.30% since the opening bell, and is currently fluctuating around 6075 points.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average prolonged losses on Tuesday as Yen appreciated and China announced its strategy to shift away from exports, pressing down on Japanese shipping firms and machinery providers. Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.56% or 54.44 points and ended at 9,644.15. Oil and metal shares provided substantial downward contribution with JX Holdings Inc dropping 1.2% and Inpex Corp giving up 0.9%. Kobe Steel Ltd tumbled 3.8% after rejecting dividend pay-out. Another steel producer JFE Holdings fell 3.1%.
Daily maximum: 1.3225
Daily minimum: 1.3113
The euro slightly advanced today versus the greenback as Greece moved one step closer to receive the second bailout. Daily Resistance: 1.3252; 1.3567; 1.3947. Daily Support: 1.3171; 1.3083; 1.2725. Daily Bias: Strongly bearish.
Daily maximum: 107.86
Daily minimum: 106.13
The Japan’s yen strengthened today against the shared European currency as annual average cash earnings in Japan exceeded analysts’ estimates (0.0% act./-0.3% est.). Daily Resistance: 108.23; 109.17; 112.29. Daily Support: 107.12; 106.62; 101.58. Daily Bias: Bullish.
Daily maximum: 1.5881
Daily minimum: 1.5756
The British pound-Dollar hit the market participants’ daily target (1.5847) on less-than-expected monthly Halifax HPI data (-0.5% act./0.3% est.). Daily Resistance: 1.5899; 1.6066; 1.6159. Daily Support: 1.5805; 1.5755; 1.5397. Daily Bias: Neutral.
Daily maximum: 81.56
Daily minimum: 80.78
The Japanese yen continued appreciating today versus the American dollar, piercing the daily forecast mean (81.52) on improved average cash earnings in Japan. Daily Resistance: 81.88; 83.02; 85.25. Daily Support: 81.17; 80.46; 77.51. Daily Bias: Strongly bullish.
Daily maximum: 0.9193
Daily minimum: 0.9115
USD/CHF resumed its recovery today as investors perceive stabiliziation of Europe’s macroeconomic conditions. Daily Resistance: 0.9154; 0.9219; 0.9252. Daily Support: 0.9097; 0.9005; 0.8883. Daily Bias: Strongly bullish.
Halifax: a repeat rate offender
Halifax is already a convicted sinner as far as customers of its standard variable rate mortgages are concerned. When the lender said last week it would raise the cap on its SVR to 4.25%, it shocked some customers, but for many it was more of the same scandalous rate manipulation of old.
Obama, Netanyahu give no sign of narrowing gap on Iran
President Barack Obama appealed to Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to give sanctions time to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but the Israeli prime minister offered no sign of backing away from possible military action, saying his country must be the “master of its fate”.
Australia Holds Key Rate as EU Crisis Lingers
Australia’s central bank reiterated it has scope to cut interest rates as Europe remains a potential source of shocks “for some time yet,” sending the nation’s currency to the lowest level in 1 1/2 weeks.