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Thread: Economic News from InstaForex

  1. #61

    Default Franc Shows Mixed Trading Against Majors

    The franc showed mixed trading versus other major currencies during early North American session on Monday. The franc rose to a multi-day high against the pound, eased from a 6-day high against the yen and a 10-day high against the dollar and recovered from near a 4-week low versus the euro.

    Against the Japanese currency, the Swiss franc eased slightly from a 6-day high of 88.37 hit at 7:05 am ET. Currently, the franc-yen pair is worth 88.25, compared to 87.42 hit at last week's close.

    The franc rose to a 5-day high of 1.6281 versus the pound at 8:45 am ET, compared to 1.6396 hit at last week's close. As of now, the franc is quoted at 1.6301 against the pound.

    The franc that rose to a 10-day high of 1.0553 against the dollar around 1:00 am ET eased thereafter. The franc is now trading at 1.0590 against the dollar. This level may be compared last week's close of 1.0661.

    The franc, which slipped to near a 4-week low of 1.4468 against the 16-nation currency at 2:25 am ET reversed its direction shortly thereafter. Currently, the franc is trading at 1.439 versus the euro, compared to previous week's close of 1.4388.

    In the upcoming hours, the U.S. monthly budget statement for March has been slated for release.

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  2. #62

    Default Philly Fed Index Indicates 8th Straight Month Of Growth In April

    Thursday morning, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released its report on regional manufacturing activity in the month of April, showing that the expansion in the manufacturing sector is continuing for the eighth consecutive month.

    The Philly Fed said its index of activity in the manufacturing sector rose to 20.2 in April from 18.9 in March, with a positive reading indicating growth in the sector. With the increase, the index came in slightly above economist estimates for a reading of 20.0.

    A faster pace of new orders growth contributed to the improvement in the sector, as the new orders index rose to 13.9 in April from 9.3 in March.

    On the other hand, the shipments index slipped to 5.6 in April from 13.6 in the previous month, although it remained positive.

    The report also showed a notable increase by the inventories increase, which rose to a positive 2.0 in April from a negative 11.0 in March, indicating a turnaround in inventories. The inventories index has now recorded positive readings in two of the last three months.

    The Philly Fed also said that firms' responses continue to suggest that labor market conditions are improving, although the number of employees index slipped to 7.3 in April from 8.3 in March.

    With regard to inflation, the report showed that the prices paid index rose to 42.7 in April from 38.6 in March, while the prices received index edged up to a positive 1.0 in April from a negative 0.4 in the previous month.

    Looking ahead, the future general activity index fell to 44.2 in April from 52.0 in March, but it remained positive for the sixteenth consecutive month.

    "Bottom line," said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist for Miller Tabak, "manufacturing remains the key source of strength in this recovery and today's data confirms that."

    Earlier in the day, a report released by the New York Federal Reserve showed that conditions for New York State manufacturers improved at a rapid pace in April, with the regional index of activity in the sector rising by much more than economists had expected.

    The New York Fed said its general business conditions index jumped to 31.9 in April from 22.9 in March, with a positive reading indicating growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had been expecting a much more modest increase to a reading of 24.0.

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  3. #63

    Default S&P Lowers 2010 Italy Growth Forecast

    Standard & Poor's lowered its 2010 growth forecast for Italy on Tuesday citing feeble demand, weak capital spending and export prospects.

    The rating agency cut the growth forecast to 0.5% from a previous 0.7%, reports said. Looking ahead, S&P forecast the economy to grow 1% next year, which is half of what is seen for the Eurozone as a whole.

    Feeble consumer demand on the back of falling earnings, anemic capital spending because of damaged corporate profitability and export prospects penalized by weak competitiveness are holding the economy in check, the rating agency was quoted as saying in a report that made no reference to ratings. S&P expects any return to growth in 2010 to be modest.

    The Italian economy contracted 0.3% sequentially in the fourth quarter following the 0.5% growth in the third quarter, when the economy ended five quarters of negative GDP. The statistical office is due to release the preliminary estimate of first quarter GDP on May 12.

    Interim forecast from the European Commission showed 0.4% growth for the Italian economy in the first three months of this year. The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said in an interim assessment recently that the economy likely grew 1.2% in the first three months of the year. The economy is forecast to expand 0.5% in the second quarter.

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  4. #64

    Default German FinMin: Expects To Get Greek Aid Bill Passed By May 19

    Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Monday that the German parliament is expected to approve a bill on financial aid for Greece before May 19, when the debt-ridden country holds next debt auction.

    After a meeting with parliamentary leaders, the minister said German lawmakers have signaled their basic willingness to get the bill approved to defend the stability of the euro.

    He said the bill will be presented before the parliament only when Greece concludes its talks with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Schaeuble expects Athens to reach in a conclusion this weekend.

    Eurozone members have pledged to provide up to EUR 30 billion loan for Greece, of which Germany's contribution would be EUR 8.4 billion, the largest. Meanwhile, France pledged to provide EUR 6.3 billion from its 2010 fiscal budget. IMF's contribution is expected to be between EUR 10 billion to EUR 15 billion.

    Elsewhere, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country is ready to provide financial assistance to Greece, if Athens takes "tough measures" for next several years to cut budget deficit.

    On Sunday, Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said his country is soon expected to conclude negotiations with the IMF.

    IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the Fund, the European partners, and everyone involved in the financing effort recognizes the need for speed to activate the rescue package and talks will be ended in time to meet Greece's needs.

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  5. #65

    Default Japan's Labor Cash Earnings Post First Rise In 22 Months

    The average monthly total cash earnings per regular employee in Japan rose 0.8% year-over-year to JPY 275,637 in March, data from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare showed Friday. That was the first annual increase in twenty-two months. In February, earnings fell by a revised 0.6%.

    Overtime pay growth accelerated to 11.7% from February's 8.1% as overtime work increased in factories.

    Adjusted for inflation, the average total earnings grew 2.1% year-on-year following an increase of 0.6% in February. Earnings grew for the third successive month.

    On a quarterly basis, the downturn in wage eased in the first quarter. Total cash earnings in the first quarter fell just 0.1% annually, compared to the 4.1% drop in the final quarter of 2009.

    BNP Paribas economist Azusa Kato said the slowdown in quarterly wage fall was due to the narrowed negative margin on scheduled earnings and rebound of non-scheduled earnings to positive growth. "Consumption is picking up due to more than just fiscal stimulus, as household sentiment is improving because the worst seems to be over for both employment employee wages," the economist said.

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  6. #66

    Default Asia-Pacific Nations Should Employ Capital Controls

    Asia-Pacific nations should employ capital controls to moderate short-term capital inflows that created asset bubbles and inflationary pressures in the region's developing countries, a UN agency said Thursday.

    The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, or ESCAP, also urged governments to increase their social spending to consolidate the region's stronger-than-anticipated economic rebound.

    "Governments must embrace this opportunity to secure the gains of the economic rebound by investing in social programs that directly benefit people hardest hit by the crisis," Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the ESCAP said.

    The Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2010, an annual publication of ESCAP, points out that while monetary tightening may be necessary to rein in inflationary pressures, policy makers must be cautious about withdrawing fiscal stimulus packages, as an early exit would disrupt the fledgling recovery process.

    According to the Survey, even at the height of this crisis, Asia and the Pacific was still the fastest growing region in the world, supported mostly by fiscal stimulus packages adopted by the region's biggest economies. The Survey finds that the outlook for 2010 has improved significantly, with Asia-Pacific region's developing economies forecast to grow by 7%, led by China 9.5%, and India 8.3%.

    The Survey states that the governments have to re-balance the region with greater regional consumption through increased intra-regional trade, accelerating the development of an Asia-Pacific consumer market.

    The Survey also recommends that Asia and the Pacific increase efforts to create a more integrated and sustained regional market, benefiting both national economies and a larger consumer class.

    Increased social spending directly supports income security for households by providing food security, education and access to health care, reducing the need by poorer families to maintain precautionary savings to protect against adversity. These families will then able to contribute more to local economies and invest more in their own development, the survey stated.

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  7. #67

    Default Moderate And Uneven Recovery Taking Shape Across Europe: IMF

    Europe is bracing for a moderate and uneven recovery, supported by the rebound in global trade and policy stimulus, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday.

    Growth in the region is expected to pick up during 2010-11, but the traditional drivers of recovery are likely to be weaker than usual, the Washington-based global lender said in its latest regional economic outlook for Europe.

    However, in the near term, growth will continue to benefit from exports, fiscal support and an upswing in inventories. Improvements in investor and consumer confidence should raise domestic demand.

    Nevertheless, with unemployment expected to increase, and with lingering difficulties in the banking sector likely to restrain credit supply, consumption and investment will remain lackluster, IMF added.

    Confirming its earlier prediction, the IMF said the Eurozone economy would grow 1% this year and 1.5% in 2011. Risks to this outlook is broadly balanced, it added.

    Further, the Fund said emerging Europe will face a key challenge of attracting and harnessing healthy capital inflows to restore economic growth.

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  8. #68

    Default Global Recovery Seen Gathering Pace

    The global economic recovery is building steam led by strong growth in Asia although considerable risks remain, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says. Its latest economic outlook report projected gross domestic product across OECD countries to rise by 2.7% this year and by 2.8% in 2011. In its last forecast in November, the OECD region was forecast to rise by 1.9% in 2010. The global economy is predicted to grow 4.6% this year.

    In the U.S., activity is projected to rise by 3.2% this year and by a further 3.2% in 2011. Euro area growth is forecast at 1.2% this year and 1.8% next while, in Japan, GDP is expected to expand by 3% in 2010 and by 2% in 2011. The U.S. unemployment rate is expected to average 9.7% in 2010 before falling to 8.9% in 2011. The eurozone unemployment rate is forecast to average 10.1% both this year and the next.

    "This is a crucial time for the world economy," said OECD secretary-general Angel Gurria. "Coordinated international efforts prevented the recession from becoming more severe but we continue to face huge challenges. Many OECD countries need to reconcile support to a still fragile recovery with the need to move to a more sustainable fiscal path."

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  9. #69

    Default Trichet Concerned About Bad Fiscal Policy, Not Weak Euro

    The financial stability of the euro area amid bad fiscal policy in certain member countries is the key issue the currency bloc is currently facing and not the value of the euro, the European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said Monday.

    "The euro is a very credible currency which keeps its value," Trichet said, according to the text of an interview with French daily Le Monde, which was published on the ECB website. "The issue is that of financial stability within the euro area on account of bad fiscal policy in certain countries, in particular Greece."

    "It is imperative that this be corrected," the policy maker said, adding that fiscal policies in large countries such as Germany, France and Italy were also not exceptions. He blamed fiscally challenged economies for terribly neglecting close multilateral surveillance, which was fundamental according to the stability and growth pact.

    When asked about the prevailing nervousness in financial markets, despite a massive rescue plan, Trichet said investors would take some time to regain confidence and sentiment would be restored gradually. "The measures are so significant in terms of both their nature and their scale that there is no doubt that they will have a positive effect on the markets," he said.

    The ECB chief said the mechanism to stabilize markets is taking place properly. He noted that the speed at which parliamentary decisions were taken in countries facing fiscal problems was "remarkable". Trichet ruled out Eurozone debt restructuring programme saying that it is substantially low compared to that of the U.S., Japan and the U.K.

    The policy maker also denied any Anglo-Saxon conspiracy against the euro. "I simply believe that some international investors struggle to understand Europe and its decision-making mechanisms," he said. "They have difficulty in gauging the historical size of the European construction and in anticipating the capacity of Europeans to take decisions that are just as important as those taken a few days ago."

    Further, he called for the establishment of the equivalent of a fiscal union in the euro area in terms of monitoring and supervising the implementation of policies on public finances. He expressed confidence that a quantum leap would be possible if Europe exploit everything the treaties, seen as the starting point of the fiscal union, permit and greatly improve the secondary legislation from Brussels.

    Regarding the euro, Trichet said it is a credible currency which inspires confidence, the most important ingredient for the consolidation of Europe's economic recovery. Since its introduction eleven and a half years ago, average annual inflation has been below but close to 2%, in line with the ECB's definition of price stability. The euro's capacity to maintain its value is absolutely essential for the confidence of investors both inside and outside the euro area, he asserted.

    With regard to economy, Trichet said recent data suggest economic growth in the second quarter would be slightly higher than expected. However, he urged caution as the region's future growth depends on the ECB policy makers' ability to strengthen confidence as quickly as possible.

    Trichet repeated that the ECB is completely independent of governments and pressure groups of any kind. He reaffirmed that the interventions were aimed to enable certain markets to function more normally and that all the liquidity injected through these interventions will be absorbed.

    Also on Monday, speaking at the 38th economic conference of Austria's central bank, Trichet said the ECB is not printing money. He reiterated the bank's commitment to preserve its primary objective of maintaining price stability.

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  10. #70

    Default Japan Current Account Surplus Widens In April

    Japan's current account surplus increased in April from the previous year mainly due to a larger surplus in the trade gap, an official report showed on Tuesday. Separate data released today showed that during May, bank lending in Japan recorded the sharpest annual fall in nearly five years.

    The Ministry of Finance said the current account surplus surged 88% year-on-year to JPY 1.24 trillion from JPY 660.6 billion in the previous year. The surplus, however, came in slightly below economists' expectations for a JPY 1.30 trillion surplus and was well below March's surplus of JPY 2.53 trillion.

    A trade surplus of JPY 859.1 billion was recorded in April compared to the JPY 167.1 billion surplus a year ago. This was driven by growth in exports outpacing that of imports. Exports surged 42.7% annually to JPY 5.58 trillion, while imports grew 26.1% to JPY 4.72 trillion.

    The surplus in the goods & services account stood at JPY 433.6 billion, in contrast to the JPY 260.9 billion deficit in the previous year. At the same time, the deficit in the current transfers account narrowed slightly to JPY 137.6 billion from JPY 138.4 billion in the previous year.

    The income account surplus decreased to JPY 946 billion in April from JPY 1.06 trillion a year ago. The deficit in the services account was broadly unchanged at JPY 425.5 billion.

    Meanwhile, the surplus in the capital & financial account decreased to JPY 49.3 billion from JPY 275.8 billion in the previous year. The financial account surplus shrank to JPY 72.8 billion from JPY 293.4 billion a year ago. This was largely due to other investment deficit rising to JPY 6.38 trillion from JPY 2.57 trillion last year.

    Separately, the Bank of Japan announced that bank lending was down 2.1% year-on-year in May, marking its sharpest decline since August 2005. Standing now at JPY 396.12 trillion, it follows a revised 1.9% contraction in April.

    Including trusts, bank lending was down 2% to JPY 458.75 trillion following the 1.8% decline in the previous month. By themselves, lending from trusts was down 1.3% annually in May to JPY 62.6 trillion.

    The central bank also revealed that M2 money supply climbed 3.1% annually to JPY 777.2 trillion in May, slightly higher than forecasts for a 2.8% increase following the 2.9% gain in April. The M3 money stock was up 2.3% to JPY 775.1 trillion, exceeding expectations for a 2.1% increase following the 2.2% gain in the previous month. The L money stock climbed 2% annually to JPY 1.46 trillion.

    Japan's new Prime Minister Naoto Kan is naming his cabinet today and he is due to be formally sworn in by Emperor Akihito. Deputy Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda has been named as the new Finance Minister, a post left vacant by Kan. Noda is thought to favor spending cuts and fiscal consolidation to rein in Japan's large public debt level, which is the highest in the industrialized world.

    Kan was elected prime minister by lawmakers on Friday, two days after the resignation of Yukio Hatoyama. The former prime minister stepped down over a broken election pledge to move a controversial U.S. military base out of the island of Okinawa.

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