he decline in political risk fears surrounding Ukraine has continued overnight with gold and wheat falling again, but the big story has been the impact of improving economies around the world on global markets.
Stocks in Asia Pacific and Europe have been climbing today while US markets appear to be heading for a positive opening on another round of neutral to positive economic reports. The first round of Japanese numbers came in at or above expectations while Finance Minister Aso reminded the street that this year’s fiscal spending is front-ended with the government planning to spend 40% of its budget in the first three months of the year (to the end of June) and 60% of its budget by the end of September. Meanwhile despite expected soft retail sales in Spain, economic confidence in Europe continues to improve.
US personal income and spending met expectations with consumer confidence to come later this morning. Still, there has been enough positive data out this week stateside like yesterday’s upward GDP revision and improved jobless claims to keep traders thinking positively about the economy.
The potential for economies to accelerate out of a brutal winter has boosted expectations for resource demand, igniting renewed interest in metals and energy with copper and crude oil rallying again today. This trend continues to have a positive effect on resource currencies. AUD led the charge at the start of the week and NZD dominated through the middle of the week. Today CAD has taken the baton as it outperforms other majors rebounding from depressed levels as traders recognize that a strong US economy can be good for Canada too.
Economic reports released overnight and this morning include:
US personal income 0.3% as expected
US personal spending 0.3% as expected
US PCE core inflation 1.1% as expected
Japan unemployment rate 3.6% vs street 3.7%
Japan consumer prices 1.5% as expected
Japan retail sales 3.6% vs street 3.5%
South Korea industrl prodn 4.3% vs street 3.6%
Spain retail sales (0.5%) as expected
UK GDP 2.7% as expected
Eurozone economic confidence 102.4 vs street 101.4
Economic reports due later today include:
1:00 pm GMT Germany consumer prices street 1.1%
9:55 am EDT U of Michigan confidence street 80.5
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