FED day today

Japanese machinery orders rose by +2.6% in October, the 1st increase in 3 months, though lower than the +3.0% forecast;

India’s November trade deficit came in at US$19.3bn, slightly less than October’s record of US$20.1bn. Exports declined by -4.2%, though imports rose by +6.4%. Analysts expect the deficit to increase further, putting further pressure on the Rupee. There is a serious threat that credit agencies will cut India’s rating to junk.

Indian CPI rose by +9.9% in the 3 months to November. Food prices, in particular, rose materially.

Industrial production rose by +8.2% Y/Y in October, much better than the +5.1% rise expected, though;

Saudi Arabia has cut oil output to just 9.5mn bpd in November, as opposed to over 10mn bpd earlier in the year. US oil production has risen by over 750k bpd this year, according to US authorities. Opec is producing above its 30mn bpd target – in November it was 30.8mn bpd, though the lowest in nearly 1 year. The cartel agreed to maintain the production ceiling today.

OPEC is meeting in Vienna – they are to choose a Secretary General, as well.

With oil supply increasing from Iraq, combined with rising US production, I would expect oil prices to decline next year, subject to geo-political issues – indeed, I’m surprised that oil has held up at these levels so far;

EZ seasonally adjusted industrial production declined by -1.4% M/M in October (-2.5% in September), as opposed to a flat reading expected. Y/Y, EZ industrial production came in at -3.6% Y/Y, worse than the -2.4% expected and -2.3% in September;

It looks as if the EZ may reach an agreement on banking supervision at the finance ministers meeting. Somewhat surprising given the German objections. The German’s want the ECB to supervise banks with assets above E50bn, whilst the French want the threshold lowered to just E2.5bn. At present, the UK and Sweden are opposed to a number of the proposals. The plan is for the ECB to take over supervision in January 2014;

UK unemployment claims declined unexpectedly in November by 3k to 1.58mn people, as opposed to a rise of 7k expected. In accordance with the ILO measure, unemployment declined by 82k in the 3 months to October to 2.51mn, the largest decline since 2001, with the unemployment rate at 7.8%. Average earnings rose by +1.8% Y/Y. The lower and declining level of unemployment is a mystery, given the weaker UK economic data;

The next governor of the BoE, Mr Mark Carney suggests that inflation targeting should be abandoned, with an interest rate target set, based on unemployment and/or nominal GDP growth instead. Very interesting and going the way of the FED;

US November import prices declined by -0.9% M/M, more than the -0.5% expected and much better than the increase of +0.3% expected. Y/Y November import prices declined -1.6%, more than the -1.0% expected and the flat reading in October. A decline in oil prices was probably a large element of the decline. No signs of inflation;


Asian markets closed higher, with China up over 10% from its recent lows – still believe it has further to go. European markets are up, with US futures suggesting a higher open. Its all about the FED today

The Euro is trading at US$1.3039, with the Yen weakening to Yen 82.88 against the US$. The A$ is stronger – currently US$1.0549 – just keeps strengthening. The strength has certainly surprised a lot of us.

Spot gold is around US$1715, with January Brent at US$107.64.

I remain positive/bullish and continue to add to my holdings.

Kiron Sarkar

12th December 2012

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