Business

St George Economics economy and finance update

Share Markets:

US markets were closed for a public holiday which coincided with the inauguration of the US President.

In Europe, the FTSE100 moved ahead on the hope that the US would resolve its short term debt issues.

The German central bank forecast a recovery in Germany during 2013 with growth of 0.4% expected. The German and French markets both rose 0.6% overnight.

Bonds:

The shift towards equities in Europe saw German long bond prices fall (yields rise). Their yield stands at 1.59% compared to the 3.36% yield on Australian ten year bonds.

Foreign Exchange: 

The AUD held in the US$1.05 range overnight after dipping briefly around noon yesterday.

Markets were subdued with no major data being released. The US dollar index was little changed and the euro traded sideways while trade in yen is awaiting the latest announcement from the Bank of Japan.

Commodities:

With US markets closed, commodities had a quiet night. Oil edged higher as did gold but copper fell marginally.

Australia: 

No significant data released yesterday.

Japan:

The Bank of Japan has been meeting and is widely expected to announce changes in policy today.

Further monetary easing, combined with a large government stimulus package, is expected to lift activity in Japan, allow inflation to move up and see the value of the yen fall.

As seen in foreign exchange markets, the yen has weakened against most currencies over the past four months.

Japan appears to need stimulus. Orders for machine tools fell 27.5% over the year to December while sales at convenience stores were down 2.0% over the same period.

United Kingdom:

UK house prices rose 2.4% over the year to January according to Rightmove Plc. In London, the asking price of houses is up 9.6% over the year with 29% more properties on the market than a year earlier.

United States:

The United State celebrated the Martin Luther King Jr. Public holiday yesterday which coincided with the inauguration of the US President.

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The information contained in this report (the Information) is provided for, and is only to be used by, persons in Australia. The information may not comply with the laws of another jurisdiction. The Information is general in nature and does not take into account the particular investment objectives or financial situation of any potential reader. It does not constitute, and should not be relied on as, financial or investment advice or recommendations (expressed or implied) and is not an invitation to take up securities or other financial products or services. No decision should be made on the basis of the Information without first seeking expert financial advice. For persons with whom St.George has a contract to supply Information, the supply of the Information is made under that contract and St.George's agreed terms of supply apply. St.George does not represent or guarantee that the Information is accurate or free from errors or omissions and St.George disclaims any duty of care in relation to the Information and liability for any reliance on investment decisions made using the Information. The Information is subject to change. Terms, conditions and any fees apply to St. George products and details are available. St.George or its officers, agents or employees (including persons involved in preparation of the Information) may have financial interests in the markets discussed in the Information. St.George owns copyright in the Information unless otherwise indicated. The Information should not be reproduced, distributed, linked or transmitted without the written consent of St.George.

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