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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 20 2018, 05:25 AM
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Australia's Consumer Confidence Weakens Further



Australia's consumer confidence weakened for the second straight time during the week ended February 18, a weekly survey compiled by the ANZ bank and Roy Morgan Research showed Tuesday.

The consumer confidence index dropped to 115.3 from 119.5 in the preceding week. Views towards current economic conditions fell 5.5 percent last week, bringing the sub-index to an eight-week low of 107.0.

Similarly, perceptions of future economic conditions declined to a 13-week low of 106.3.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 20 2018, 05:47 AM
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EU Names Spain’s de Guindos as Next ECB Vice-Chair



Eurozone's finance ministers selected Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos to succeed European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio in May, a move that is seen to increase the odds of a German official becoming the head of the central bank next year.

Choosing a Southern European for the position increases the possibility that a northerner such as German Bundesbank governor Jens Weidmann could be voted to take the place of Mario Draghi as the leader of the ECB in 2019. The decision could have an impact to the bank's ultra-loose monetary policy for the common currency zone.

In a statement released by the EU following a short discussion among finance ministers, the Eurogroup backed the candidacy of Luis de Guindos for the position of Vice President of the European Central Bank. After the selection, De Guindos said he would step down from his post as Economy Minister within days.

A number of EU legislators opposed his appointment as ECB Vice-President on worries that the nomination of a politician could impact the independence of ECB, a criticism that was dismissed by De Guindos.

Initially, there were two candidates for the post: De Guindos and Irish central bank governor Philip Lane. Ireland decided to withdraw Lane's name for the position.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 21 2018, 05:13 AM
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Walmart Shares Tumble on Weaker Holiday Online Sales



Walmart shares tumbled after posting weak online sales for the Christmas period and issuing a disappointing annual profit forecast.

In the three months to December, online sales were 23 percent higher. However, the increase was less than half the growth seen in the prior quarter and down from the same period in 2016.

Shares in the world's biggest retailer declined more than 10 percent to $94.11. This year through Friday's close, the stock has risen by 6.1 percent.

The retailer reported its online revenue clocked in at $11.5 billion in 2017, but it suffered losses on the said sales. CEO Doug MCMillon said e-commerce losses would be “about the same” for the current fiscal year. He said that the firm was making progress in its efforts to be at the same level with Amazon and other competitors.

Under its transformation strategy, Walmart will spend more on Walmart.com and reduce spending on marketing for its Jet.com website, which targets younger and more affluent shoppers.

Despite higher-than expected sales growth at Walmart's U.S. stores, which came in at 2.6 percent, net profit declined 42 percent to $2.2 billion.

Walmart expects earnings of $4.75 to $5 per share this financial year, excluding some items, against the estimate of $5.13 by Wall Street.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 21 2018, 06:24 AM
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Japan All Industry Activity Grows At Slower Pace



Japan's all industry activity growth halved in December, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reported Wednesday.

The all industry activity index rose 0.5 percent month-on-month in December, following November's 1 percent increase. Nonetheless, this was the third consecutive increase in activity and bigger than the expected 0.4 percent rise.

Industrial production advanced 2.9 percent, while construction activity shrank 0.4 percent and tertiary industry activity contracted 0.2 percent in December.

On a yearly basis, all industry activity growth slowed to 1.8 percent in December from 2 percent a month ago.

In the fourth quarter, all industry activity rebounded 0.7 percent after declining 0.3 percent in the third quarter.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 22 2018, 04:39 AM
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ARGENTINA: Merval Rises As Fed Minutes Point To Gradual Increase In U.S. Rate



Merval, the main index of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, rose 0.85%, closing at 33,108.16 points, in a volatile session, after the Federal Reserve meeting minutes showed that the U.S. central bank will move gradually towards higher interest rates.

"The main US stock indices increased following the minutes of the Federal Reserve. The local market was not kept aside," said Eduardo Fern?ndez, an analyst at Rava Burs?til.

Ternium Siderar shares rose 0.32% even after the company reported a consolidated net profit of result of 848.1 million pesos for the fourth quarter of 2017, 10.12% lower compared to the same period of the previous year.

The Argentinean state-owned oil company YPF also ended higher (+1.22%) after starting the sale of its stake in Metrogas, dedicated to the distribution of natural gas.

The oil company Vista Oil & Gas reported that it agreed to acquire an oil operating platform of Pampa Energ?a (+2.51%) and Pluspetrol Resources Corporation in Vaca Muerta.

The shares of Distribuidora de Gas Cuyana (-2.36%), TGS (-2.34%), San Miguel (-1.38%), and Tenaris (-,86%) fell the most, while Cresud (+5.16%), Holcim (+4.15%), and Autopistas del Sol (+3.68%) posted the strongest gains.

The locally traded U.S. dollar rose 0.37%, to 19.92 Argentinean pesos, due to lower interest rates from Lebacs, the country's central bank bonds.

"The drop in the interest rate set by the central bank to the Lebac left the greenback without a clear trend, with sudden ups and downs amid a sharp drop in the trading volume," said Fernando Izzo, an analyst at ABC Mercado de Cambios.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 22 2018, 05:17 AM
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Eurozone Business Growth Remains Firm in February



Eurozone business growth remained strong in February, with companies at their most optimistic in over five years, a private-sector survey showed.

The eurozone was one of the best-performing major economies in 2017, and its businesses started 2018 by ramping up activity at the quickest rate in well over a decade.

However, February's preliminary Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) indicated that the pace of growth set in January, the fastest in well over a decade, has lost a little momentum.

IHS Markit's composite flash PMI for the euro zone, seen as a good guide to economic health, dropped to 57.5 in February.

Nevertheless, this month's reading was still one of the most growth - or farthest above 50 - in more than 11 years. According to IHS Markit, the eurozone was on track for its best quarterly growth since the second quarter of 2016, with the PMI pointing to first-quarter growth of 0.9 percent.

Companies shared that optimism - an index measuring expected output in a year's time climbed to 68.3 from 68.0, its highest since IHS Markit started collecting the data in July 2012.

Consumer confidence in the bloc dropped more than expected this month, but that was from a 17-year high set in January, official data recently showed.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 23 2018, 04:55 AM
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Japan Overall Nationwide Inflation Advances 1.4% In January



Overall nationwide consumer prices in Japan climbed 1.4 percent on year in January, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday.

That exceeded forecasts for 1.3 percent and was up from 1.0 percent in December.

Core CPI, which excludes food prices, advanced an annual 0.9 percent - above expectations for 0.8 percent and unchanged from the previous month.

Among the individual components, prices were higher annually for fuel, medical care, food, transportation and education, while they were down for furniture and housing.

On a monthly basis, overall inflation added 0.4 percent and core CPI gained 0.2 percent.

Among the individual components, prices were higher monthly for food, fuel and furniture, while they were down for clothing, recreation and medical care.

Also on Friday, the Bank of Japan said that producer prices in Japan were up 0.7 percent on year in January.

That was shy of expectations for a gain of 0.8 percent, which would have been unchanged from the previous month.

On a monthly basis, producer prices were down 0.6 percent after adding 0.2 percent in December.

Prices were down for leasing, transportation and financial services, while they were higher for advertising services.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 23 2018, 05:16 AM
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Germany Business Confidence Drops in February



Sentiment among German businesses dropped in February, according to a closely watched survey that comes on the heels of other polls indicating enthusiasm is easing after hitting multi-year peaks.

The Munich-based Ifo economic institute said its business climate index, based on a monthly survey of some 7,000 companies, declined to a 5-month low of 115.4 from 117.6 in January. The drop in the German headline figure was mainly caused by managers scaling back their business expectations for the next six months, with the respective sub-index dropping to a 10-month low.

A sector breakdown of the Ifo figures revealed that the main impediment came from manufacturing, where the mood among managers had reached a record peak in January. Business sentiment also deteriorated in wholesaling, construction and retailing.

The Ifo data come a day after a survey of German purchasing managers also pointed to a decline in output growth expectations.

Ifo chief Clemens Fuest said firms were less satisfied with their current business situation, but the indicator remains at its second-highest level since 1991.

This upbeat growth outlook was also mirrored in the finance ministry's monthly report that was recently released which said recent data was pointing to a continuation of the economic upswing at the beginning of the year.

Germany is coming off of a year of strong economic expansion. Economists broadly expect the country to continue performing well in 2018, but some have questioned whether the rapid pace can hold.

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