Global equities had a lacklustre session, with Europe flat and markets on Wall Street suffering a decent sell-off despite there being no clear catalyst.
Data was minor, as was the news flow -- more sellers than buyers, I guess. The more interesting news was across the pond in the UK, with data showing that 283,000 jobs were created in the three months to March -- the strongest jobs growth since 1971.
Moreover, the unemployment rate fell to 6.8 per cent from 6.9 per cent. Normally that would spark a solid bid for sterling, especially when the Bank of England inflation report offered a more bullish tone. The problem is the Canadian governor of Bank of England is up to old tricks, offering a decidedly perverse dovish tone to the market. He noted that the economy had only just begun to normalise, thus playing down rising expectations for rate hikes.
Forex moves were interesting in the wake of that BoE inflation report and comments from their Canadian governor. In the UK, Sterling dropped 100 pips to be at 1.6769 as I write. The euro did little though and trades at 1.3715 at the time of writing, while the Australian dollar weakened -- not much, just 25 pips to 0.9378.
Equities underperformed on Wall Street, with the S&P500 off 0.5 per cent at the bell (1888), the Dow was then off 101 points (16613), while the Nasdaq fell 0.7 per cent to be at 4100. By sector, industrials and consumer stocks underperformed, while telecoms and utilities were the key outperformers. Over in Europe, moves were small -- around zero -- the Dax at 0, the CaC off 0.1 per cent, while the FTSE100 was off 0.1 per cent.
Rates fell again, as US Treasuries found a bid and moves were decent. The US 10-year yield fell six basis points by the close to be at 2.546 per cent. The 5-year was off five basis points to 1.567 per cent, while the 2-year sits at 0.375 per cent.
Commodities generally found a bid, a decent one in the metals space as gold rose $11 to $1306, silver spiked 1.2 per cent and copper rose 0.8 per cent. In the Crude space, Brent was flat, down only 0.07 per cent ($109.3), while WTI rose 0.4 per cent ($102.09).
Elsewhere, US producer prices were up 0.6 per cent in April, following a 0.6 per cent rise, to be 2.1 per cent higher annually. Over in Europe, industrial production was off 0.3 per cent in March following a 0.2 per cent increased. Production is down about 0.1 per cent over the year.
Markets today: The SPI suggests Aussie stocks will fall 0.5 per cent today following weakness in global markets. In terms of the data, there’s not much locally aside from motor vehicle sales -- with the key regional data, Japanese GDP, at 9.50 (AEST). Looking further abroad, European GDP numbers (Germany, France and Italy) trickle out at 4.00pm (AEST), with the European headline figure at 7.00pm (AEST) alongside the CPI figures. The US has a barrage of data, including consumer price inflation numbers, the Empire State and Philly Fed manufacturing surveys, industrial production, TIC flows, jobless claims and the NAHB housing market index. To top it off, Fed chair Yellen gives a speech (9am Oz AEST).
Have a great day.