Good morning. Equity and Commodity markets closed the Friday session off on a weaker note with Consumer Price Index data falling in line with initial estimates. Recording 0.4% for the period, the market was disappointed with the result. European debt jitters continued with the possibility of further default by Greece. Germany announced that they would not extend the emergency bailout package, and pushed for stricter austerity measures. Chinese Inflation data continues to pressure the markets, with the large economic power announcing last week a new increase in liquidity requirements for banks. This had the subdued effect on the global economic outlook, as traders eyed the possibility of a slight contraction in the shirt term. Key economic data released in the US this coming week includes Housing Starts (market expects 565,000), Building Permits (market expects 590,000), Industrial Production (market expects 0.5%), on Tuesday, and Initial Claims (market expects 420,000), Continuing Claims (market expects 3.713m), Existing Home Sales (market expects 5.22 million), and Leading Indicators (market expects no change) on Thursday.
On the equity market front, the S&P500 weakened 0.7% or 100 points. The market reacted to corporate news in the tech sector, with Yahoo shares falling considerably, due to the Alibaba news. Key corporate data released on Monday includes earnings from JC Penney, and Urban Outfitters. Both companies are forecast to report solid profits.
On the currency front, the Japanese Yen continued to track yesterday’s movements with the currency consolidating at 80.71. CPI data fell in line with estimates with 0.4% recorded for the period. The market reacted to the economic results with trepidation and caution. Traders continue to be concerned over the economic implications of a stronger yen. Intervention fears have however been eased recently, with the greenback rising against the currency. Weakening to 1.41051, the Euro reacted to US Inflation news and Greek debt concerns. Speculation that refinancing may be required to cope with the ballooning interest costs, the market reacted negatively to the currency. Recent positive comments from ECB Chairman Trichet have had little impact on the region, with economists continuing to see very real risk in the economic system and the debt markets. Key data released next week, will paint a defining picture of the recovery and whether further government stimulation is required. The greenback rose against the Swiss Franc on Friday, with traders moving away from the European based currencies. A sharp rise in the afternoon session was recorded with the market finding Solis in the US dollar. Across the board, traders eyed weakness in the commodity space, coupled with low volatility in inflation. The CPI result was in line with estimates. Private Banking firms in Switzerland highlighted the degree of pressure the strong currency had on investment. A reduction in investment has begun translating into a fall in overall headcount. The USDCHF traded at 0.8926.