Thu 11 Jan 2018


watch Nightly Business Report. watch PBS NewsHour. watch Bloomberg Tech.

In Portfolioticker today

read_this Hey Jarvis, how did we go today?

  • Today at the stock market Opinion
  • The portfolio today Opinion
  • News
  • flag_japan Japan Update
  • flag_china China Update
  • Today at the stock market

    bull/bearWall Street closed at record highs on Thursday as rising oil prices lifted energy stocks and investors bet on a strong U.S. corporate earnings season.

    • The S&P 500 index rose 19.33 points, or 0.70%, to 2,767.56
    • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 205.6 points, or 0.81%, to 25,574.73
    • The Nasdaq Composite index rose 58.21 points, or 0.81%, to 7,211.78.
    • Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.40-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.18-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
    • The S&P 500 posted 107 new 52-week highs and 8 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 176 new highs and 18 new lows.
    • On U.S. exchanges 6.74 billion shares changed hands, above the 6.39 billion average for the last 20 trading days.

    Wall Street had dropped on Wednesday, the first daily decline for S&P and Nasdaq in 2018, after a report China would slow U.S. government bond purchases and a report that U.S. President Donald Trump would end a key trade agreement.

    “The unifying factor of today’s move and this whole week is a heightened confidence in the pace of economic activity. That helps explain the demand picture, which has oil up at $70,” said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.

    The S&P energy sector closed up 2% as Brent crude rose above $70/barrel for the first time since Dec 2014, boosted by a surprise drop in U.S. production and lower crude inventories.

    The consumer discretionary sector saw strong gains in media and retail stocks, while the industrials index was helped by airlines after news from No. 2 U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines.

    NY Fed President Dudley

    The major indexes pared gains briefly in late afternoon trading on Thursday after New York Fed President William Dudley said tax cuts could lead to economic overheating. He predicted above-trend GDP growth with rising inflation in 2018.

    “Dudley is touching on something that investors should fear,” said Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago. “The only threat to the stock market right now is high interest rates. If rates are higher, the present value of equities are too high.”

    Expectations of Positive Earnings Reports

    Investors are betting on bullish quarterly earnings reports from big companies and details on savings from federal tax cuts. The reporting season kicks off in earnest on Friday, with results from the big U.S. banks JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co.

    Earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to have increased by 11.8% in the recently-ended quarter, with the biggest gain from the energy sector, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

    “This market feels this week like a deep breath before the onslaught of earnings reports. This is a wait-and-see mode with a healthy amount of optimism, ” said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman.

    Delta Air Lines shares closed up 4.8% at $58.52 after it predicted a double benefit from the U.S. corporate tax cut – savings on its own bill and an uptick in business travel as companies to spend tax savings. It also reported an upbeat quarterly profit.

    Delta helped the Dow Jones U.S. Airlines index close up 4.2%. The Dow Jones Transport index rose 2.3% – its biggest one-day percentage gain since 29 Nov 2017.Reuters

    Market indices

    Market indices
    ^ Market indices today (mouseover for 12 month view) Chart: Google Finance

    Index Ticker Today Change 31 Dec 17 YTD
    S&P 500 SPX (INX) 2,767.56 +0.70% 2,673.61 +3.51%
    DJIA INDU 25,574.73 +0.81% 24,719.22 +3.46%
    NASDAQ IXIC 7,211.78 +0.81% 6,903.39 +4.46%

    Portfolio Indices

    USD and AUD denominated indices over the past 52 weeks (Chart: Bunting)
    ^ USD and AUD denominated indices over the past 52 weeks Chart: Bunting

    Index values

    :-) Our USD-denominated index closed on a record high of 3.210.
    :-( Our AUD-denominated index continues to suffer from the effects of an AUD that continues to rise against a weakening USD.

    Index Currency Today Change 31 Dec 17 YTD
    USD-denominated Index USD 3.210 +0.67% 3.068 +4.65%
    Valuation Rate USD/AUD 0.79396 +0.63% 0.78528 +1.10%
    AUD-denominated Index AUD 4.046 +0.03% 3.909 +3.52%

    Portfolio stock prices

    :-) Amazon closed on a record high of $1,276.53, beating its 9 Jan 2018 record of $1,252.70
    :-) PayPal closed on a record high of $79.74, beating its 9 Jan 2018 record of $79.19
    :-) Visa closed on a record high of $119.84, beating its 8 Jan 2018 record of $119.34
    :-) VMware closed on a record high of $133.27, beating its 5 Jan 2018 record of $131.26

    Stock Ticker Today Change 31 Dec 17 YTD
    Alphabet A GOOGL $1,112.05 +0.17% $1,053.00 +5.60%
    Alphabet C GOOG $1,105.43 +0.25% $1,045.65 +5.71%
    Apple AAPL $175.27 +0.56% $169.23 +3.56%
    Amazon AMZN $1,276.53 +1.76% $1,169.54 +9.14%
    Ebay EBAY $37.80 +0.26% $37.76 +0.10%
    Facebook FB $187.73 -0.06% $176.46 +6.38%
    PayPal PYPL $79.74 +0.46% $73.61 +8.32%
    Twitter TWTR $24.35 +0.41% $24.01 +1.41%
    Visa V $119.84 +0.72% $114.02 +5.10%
    VMware VMW $133.27 +3.13% $125.32 +6.34%

    FX: USD/AUD

    USD

    DXY movements
    ^ Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index (DXY) movements today (mouseover for 12 month view) Chart: Bloomberg

    The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index (DXY) fell 0.4%.
    The EUR rose 0.8% to USD 1.2045, the biggest increase since Nov 2017.
    Britain’s GBP rose 0.2% to USD 1.3536.
    Bloomberg

    AUD

    AUD movements
    ^ AUD movements against the USD today (mouseover for 12 month view) Chart: xe.com

    Oil and Gas Futures

    Oil prices retreated from big gains on Thursday, but still managed to settle at three-year highs after the global Brent benchmark hit $70/barrel on signs of tightening supply in the United States.

    Brent crude futures settled 6 cents higher at $69.26/barrel, after hitting $70.05 a barrel during the session, its highest level since Nov 2014. Brent’s settlement still represents a 3-year closing high.

    Brent has gained 5% since the beginning of the year, picking up from its late-year surge.

    U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled at $63.80/barrel, up 23 cents, the highest since Dec 2014.

    Prices came off highs after an early surge that took benchmarks past key resistance levels that produced a flurry of buying in an active day in the market. However, analysts said it would take more than one day to convincingly break through $70/barrel on Brent.

    “The propulsion of the upside was due to short-covering and no buying,” said Marty Wallace, broker for iitrader.com LLC in Chicago.

    The relative strength index (RSI), which measures the speed and breadth of a rally, shows oil in an overbought condition, suggesting the move has come too far, too fast.

    “You have a very overbought market. Oil is acting like an internet stock and when it does that you know it’s getting overcooked,” said Walter Zimmerman, chief technical analyst for United-ICAP.

    Oil has been in an upward trend thanks to a steady, pronounced drop in global supply, particularly in the United States, the world’s largest consumer.

    On Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude inventories fell almost 5 million barrels to 419.5 million barrels last week. Production slowed by nearly 300,000 barrels per day, which analysts attributed to colder-than-usual weather across the United States last week.

    Adding to bullish sentiment on Thursday, market intelligence firm Genscape estimated a draw of more than 3.5 million barrels at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point for U.S. crude futures for the week ended Tuesday, according to traders who saw the data.

    Production cuts, led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia, which are set to continue throughout 2018, have underpinned prices.

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Energy Minister and OPEC President Suhail al-Mazrouei said he expects the market to balance in 2018 and that the producer group is committed to its supply-reduction pact until the end of 2018.

    The USD-denominated commodity has also benefited from weakness in the USD, which neared a one-week low on Thursday, as it makes oil cheaper to buy for holders of other currencies.

    Trading volumes were higher than average, with a flurry of trades at about 10 a.m. EST as prices jumped. More than 820,000 U.S. crude contracts changed hands on Thursday, far surpassing the daily average of 619,000 contracts over the past 200 days of trading.

    Brent may not be able to sustain a $70 level unless additional news from the Middle East bolstered bullish sentiment, analysts said.

    ICE Commitment of Traders figures showed speculators raised their net long holdings of Brent crude futures and options in the week to 2 Jan 2018 to a new record. Heavy bets like this are at risk of being unwound after quick gains.Reuters

    Futures prices

    Prices are as at 15:48 ET

    • NYMEX West Texas Intermediate (WTI): $63.58/barrel +0.02% Chart
    • ICE (London) Brent North Sea Crude: $69.14/barrel -0.09% Chart
    • NYMEX Natural gas futures: $3.09/MMBTU +6.26% Chart

    flag_australia AU: Retail Trade. Nov 2017

    Source: Peter Martin, "'Astronomical': New iPhone X pushes retail sales sky high", TheAge, 12 Jan 2018

    Source: Peter Martin, “New iPhone X pushes retail sales sky high”, TheAge, 12 Jan 2018 More

    Press Release Extract [au_retail]

    Black Friday and iPhone X sales drive 1.2 per cent rise

    Australian retail turnover rose 1.2 per cent in November 2017, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures.

    This follows a 0.5 per cent rise in October 2017.

    “In seasonally adjusted terms, rises were led by the household goods (4.5 per cent) and other retailing (2.2 per cent) industries,” the Director of the Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys, Ben James, said. “Seasonally adjusted sales in both these industries are influenced by the release of the iPhone X and the increasing popularity of promotions in November, including Black Friday sales.”

    There were also rises for clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.6 per cent) and cafes, restaurants and takeaways (0.4 per cent). Department stores fell (-1.1 per cent) whilst food was unchanged in November 2017.

    In seasonally adjusted terms, all states rose. There were rises in Victoria (1.8 per cent), New South Wales (1.0 per cent), Western Australia (1.4 per cent), Queensland (0.7 per cent), South Australia (1.5 per cent), Tasmania (1.8 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (1.2 per cent) and the Northern Territory (0.2 per cent).

    The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.1 per cent in November 2017 following a rise (0.1 per cent) in October 2017. Compared to November 2016 the trend estimate rose 1.7 per cent.

    Online retail turnover contributed 5.5 per cent to total retail turnover in original terms. This is the largest contribution to total retail turnover from online sales in the history of the online series.

    Current Prices

    The trend estimate rose 0.1% in November 2017. This follows a rise of 0.1% in October 2017 and a relatively unchanged estimate (0.0%) in September 2017.

    The seasonally adjusted estimate rose 1.2% in November 2017. This follows a rise of 0.5% in October 2017 and a rise of 0.2% in September 2017. In trend terms, Australian turnover rose 1.7% in November 2017 compared with November 2016.

    The following industries rose in trend terms in November 2017: Food retailing (0.2%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.4%), Department stores (0.4%), and Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (0.2.%). Household goods retailing (-0.3%) and Other retailing (-0.2%) fell in trend terms in November 2017.

    The following states and territories rose in trend terms in November 2017: Victoria (0.3%), South Australia (0.4%), and Tasmania (0.2%). New South Wales (0.0%), Queensland (0.0%), and the Australian Capital Territory (0.0%) were relatively unchanged. Western Australia (-0.2%), and the Northern Territory (-0.2%) fell in trend terms in November 2017.

    Food Retailing

    In current prices, the trend estimate for Food retailing rose 0.2% in November 2017. The seasonally adjusted estimate was relatively unchanged (0.0%). By industry subgroup, the trend estimate rose for Supermarket and grocery stores (0.1%), Liquor retailing (0.4%), and Other specialised food retailing (0.1%). The seasonally adjusted estimate rose for Liquor retailing (1.2%), and Other specialised food retailing (0.1%), and fell for Supermarket and grocery stores (-0.1%).

    Household Goods Retailing

    In current prices, the trend estimate for Household goods retailing fell 0.3% in November 2017. The seasonally adjusted estimate rose 4.5%. By industry subgroup, the trend estimate fell for Electrical and electronic goods retailing (-0.3%), Furniture, floor coverings, houseware and textile goods retailing (-0.2%), and Hardware, building and garden supplies retailing (-0.1%). The seasonally adjusted estimate rose for Electrical and electronic goods retailing (9.3%), Hardware, building and garden supplies retailing (1.8%), and Furniture, floor coverings, houseware and textile goods retailing (1.2%).

    Clothing, Footwear and Personal Accessory Retailing

    In current prices, the trend estimate for Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing rose 0.2% in November 2017. The seasonally adjusted estimate rose 1.6%. By industry subgroup, the trend estimate rose for Clothing retailing (0.3%), and fell for Footwear and other personal accessory retailing (-0.1%). The seasonally adjusted estimate rose for Clothing retailing (2.2%), and Footwear and other personal accessory retailing (0.3%).

    Department Stores

    In current prices, the trend estimate for Department stores rose 0.4% in November 2017. The seasonally adjusted estimate fell 1.1%.

    Other Retailing

    In current prices, the trend estimate for Other retailing fell 0.2% in November 2017. The seasonally adjusted estimate rose 2.2%. By industry subgroup, the trend estimate fell for Other recreational goods retailing (-0.6%), Newspaper and book retailing (-0.8%), and Other retailing n.e.c. (-0.1%), and was relatively unchanged for Pharmaceutical, cosmetic and toiletry goods retailing (0.0%). The seasonally adjusted estimate rose for Other retailing n.e.c (3.9%), Pharmaceutical, cosmetic and toiletry goods retailing (1.1%), Other recreational goods retailing (1.3%), and for Newspaper and book retailing (0.1%).

    Cafes, Restaurants and Takeaway Food Services

    In current prices, the trend estimate for Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services rose 0.4% in November 2017. The seasonally adjusted estimate rose 0.4%. By industry subgroup, the trend estimate rose for Cafes, restaurants and catering services (0.4%) and Takeaway food services (0.3%). The seasonally adjusted estimate rose for Cafes, restaurants and catering services (0.7%) and Takeaway food services (0.1%).

    Australian Bureau of Statistics, “8501.0 Retail Trade. Nov 2017“, 11 Jan 2018 More

    flag_europe EU: Balance of Payments and International Investment Position. Q3/2017

    Press Release Extract [eu_bop]

    “The EU28 seasonally adjusted current account of the balance of payments recorded a surplus of €69.4 billion (1.8% of GDP) in the third quarter of 2017, up from a surplus of €47.5 billion (1.2% of GDP) in the second quarter of 2017 and from a surplus of €44.8 billion (1.2% of GDP) in the third quarter of 2016, according to estimates released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

    eu_currentacct_20180111

    In the third quarter of 2017 compared with the second quarter of 2017, based on seasonally adjusted data, the surplus of the goods account increased (+€43.1 bn compared to +€34.1 bn), as did the surplus of the services account (+€46.5 bn compared to +€40.1 bn). The deficit of the primary income account turned into a surplus (+€2.0 bn compared to -€2.6 bn). The deficit of the secondary income account decreased (-€22.1 bn compared to -€24.2 bn), as did the deficit of the capital account (-€6.4 bn compared to -€13.4 bn).

    Main partners

    In the third quarter of 2017, based on non-seasonally adjusted data, the EU28 recorded external current account surpluses with the USA (+€46.3 bn), Switzerland (+€18.2 bn), Brazil (+€8.3 bn), Canada (+€6.6 bn), Hong Kong (+€6.0 bn) and offshore financial centres (+€2.8 bn). Deficits were registered with China (-€28.6 bn), Japan (-€2.8 bn) and Russia (-€1.5 bn), while there was a balance with India.

    Financial account

    Based on non-seasonally adjusted data, direct investment assets of the EU28 dropped in the third quarter of 2017 by €87.6 bn, as did direct investment liabilities by €160.8 bn. As a result, the EU28 was a net investor of direct investment in the third quarter of 2017 by €73.2 bn. Portfolio investment recorded a net outflow of €110.9 bn, and for other investment there was a net outflow of €2.3 bn.

    Current account of Member States (including intra-EU flows)

    As concerns the total (intra-EU plus extra-EU) current account balances of the EU28 Member States, based on available non-seasonally adjusted data, twenty recorded surpluses, six deficits and two were in balance in the third quarter of 2017. The highest surpluses were observed in Germany (+€62.8 bn), the Netherlands (+€18.1 bn), Italy (+€16.4 bn) and Ireland (+€14.5), and the largest deficits in the United Kingdom (-€31.6 bn), Romania (-€1.5 bn) and Czech Republic (-€1.4 bn).

    European Central Bank, “Balance of Payments and International Investment Position. Q3/2017“, 11 Jan 2018 More

    flag_europe EU: Industrial Production. Nov 2017

    Press Release Extract [eu_production]

    In November 2017 compared with October 2017, seasonally adjusted industrial production rose by 1.0% in the euro area (EA19) and by 0.9% in the EU28, according to estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In October 2017, industrial production rose by 0.4% in the euro area and by 0.5% in the EU28.

    eu_indprod_20180111

    In November 2017 compared with November 2016, industrial production increased by 3.2% in the euro area and by 3.5% in the EU28.

    Monthly comparison by main industrial grouping and by Member State

    The increase of 1.0% in industrial production in the euro area in November 2017, compared with October 2017, is due to production of capital goods rising by 3.0%, durable consumer goods by 1.6%, intermediate goods by 1.1% and non-durable consumer goods by 0.1%, while production of energy remained unchanged.

    In the EU28, the increase of 0.9% is due to production of capital goods rising by 2.4%, durable consumer goods by 1.4%, intermediate goods by 0.9%, energy by 0.4% and non-durable consumer goods by 0.2%.

    Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases in industrial production were registered in the Czech Republic and Germany (both +3.6%), and Luxembourg (+3.4%), and the largest decreases in Ireland (-9.4%), Croatia (-3.6%) and Hungary (-2.1%).

    Annual comparison by main industrial grouping and by Member State

    The increase of 3.2% in industrial production in the euro area in November 2017, compared with November 2016, is due to production of capital goods rising by 6.2% and both intermediate and durable consumer goods by 4.6%, while production of energy fell by 3.4% and non-durable consumer goods by 0.1%.

    In the EU28, the increase of 3.5% is due to production of capital goods rising by 6.8%, intermediate goods by 4.8%, durable consumer goods by 4.6% and non-durable consumer goods by 0.3%, while production of energy fell by 2.0%.

    Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases in industrial production were registered in Slovenia (+9.9%), Romania (+9.3%) and the Czech Republic (+8.5%). Decreases were observed in Ireland (-10.1%), the Netherlands (-4.7%), Denmark (-2.7%) and Croatia (-1.6%).

    Eurostat, “Nov 2017 compared with Oct 2017: Industrial production up by 1.0% in euro area, Up by 0.9% in EU28“, 11 Jan 2018 More

    flag_usa US: Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims

    Press Release Extract [ser_4]

    Seasonally Adjusted Data

    In the week ending January 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 261,000, an increase of 11,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 250,000. The 4-week moving average was 250,750, an increase of 9,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 241,750.

    Claims taking procedures continue to be disrupted in the Virgin Islands. The claims taking process in Puerto Rico has still not returned to normal.

    unemployment

    The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.3 percent for the week ending December 30, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending December 30 was 1,867,000, a decrease of 35,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since December 29, 1973 when it was 1,805,000. The previous week’s level was revised down by 12,000 from 1,914,000 to 1,902,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,913,250, a decrease of 5,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 3,750 from 1,922,500 to 1,918,750.

    unemployment

    Unadjusted Data

    The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 402,979 in the week ending 6 January 2018, an increase of 51,659 (or 14.7 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 35,257 (or 10.0 percent) from the previous week. There were 414,742 initial claims in the comparable week in 2017.

    The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.6 percent during the week ending December 30, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,294,563, an increase of 230,842 (or 11.2 percent) from the preceding week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 273,895 (or 13.3 percent) from the previous week. A year earlier the rate was 1.8 percent and the volume was 2,467,654.

    The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending December 23 was 2,101,620, an increase of 82,336 from the previous week. There were 2,294,430 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2016.

    Extended benefits were available in Alaska during the week ending 23 December 2017.

    Initial claims for UI benefits filed by former Federal civilian employees totaled 819 in the week ending December 30, a decrease of 104 from the prior week. There were 505 initial claims filed by newly discharged veterans, a decrease of 135 from the preceding week.

    There were 16,376 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending December 23, an increase of 2,540 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 8,467, a decrease of 245 from the prior week.

    The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending December 23 were in Puerto Rico (4.4), Alaska (4.1), New Jersey (2.5), Connecticut (2.4), Montana (2.3), Pennsylvania (2.3), Massachusetts (2.2), California (2.1), Illinois (2.1), and Minnesota (2.1).

    The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending December 30 were in New Jersey (+9,507), Pennsylvania (+6,850), Michigan (+5,920), Ohio (+5,773), and Wisconsin (+5,274), while the largest decreases were in California (- 9,876), Kentucky (-5,485), Texas (-4,219), Oklahoma (-1,737), and Florida (-1,528).

    Employment and Training Administration, “Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report“, 11 Jan 2018 (08:30) More

    flag_usa US: Producer Price Index. Dec 2017

    Press Release Extract [us_ppi]

    The Producer Price Index for final demand fell 0.1 percent in December, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Final demand prices advanced 0.4 percent in both November and October. On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index climbed 2.6 percent in 2017 after a 1.7-percent rise in 2016.

    us_ppi1_20180111

    us_ppi2_20180111

    Most of the December decline in the final demand index is attributable to a 0.2-percent decrease in prices for final demand services. The index for final demand goods was unchanged.

    Prices for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services edged up 0.1 percent in December after rising 0.4 percent in November. In 2017, the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services climbed 2.3 percent following a 1.8-percent advance in 2016.

    Final Demand

    Final demand services: The index for final demand services moved down 0.2 percent in December following nine consecutive increases. Most of the decrease can be traced to a 0.6-percent decline in margins for final demand trade services. (Trade indexes measure changes in margins received by wholesalers and retailers.) Prices for final demand transportation and warehousing services fell 0.4 percent. Conversely, the index for final demand services less trade, transportation, and warehousing inched up 0.1 percent.

    Product detail: A major factor in the December decline in prices for final demand services was the index for automotive fuels and lubricants retailing, which fell 10.7 percent. The indexes for loan services (partial); airline passenger services; apparel, footwear, and accessories retailing; legal services; and health, beauty, and optical goods retailing also moved lower. In contrast, prices for inpatient care advanced 0.7 percent. The indexes for truck transportation of freight and apparel wholesaling also increased.

    Final demand goods: Prices for final demand goods were unchanged in December following a 1.0-percent increase in November. The index for final demand less foods and energy advanced 0.2 percent. Conversely, prices for final demand foods declined 0.7 percent. The index for final demand energy was unchanged.

    Product detail: In December, prices for basic organic chemicals advanced 3.9 percent. The indexes for jet fuel, diesel fuel, home heating oil, and processed young chickens also moved higher. In contrast, prices for beef and veal fell 6.3 percent. The indexes for gasoline, fresh and dry vegetables, liquefied petroleum gas, and turbines and turbine generator sets also moved lower.

    Intermediate Demand by Commodity Type

    Within intermediate demand in December, prices for processed goods increased 0.5 percent, the index for unprocessed goods rose 2.1 percent, and prices for services edged down 0.1 percent.

    Processed goods for intermediate demand: The index for processed goods for intermediate demand climbed 0.5 percent in December, the fifth straight increase. Seventy percent of the December rise is attributable to a 0.5-percent advance in prices for processed materials less foods and energy. The index for processed energy goods also moved higher, increasing 0.8 percent. Conversely, prices for processed foods and feeds inched down 0.1 percent. In 2017, the index for processed goods for intermediate demand climbed 5.1 percent, compared with a 1.8-percent advance in 2016.

    Product detail: In December, a major factor in the rise in the index for processed goods for intermediate demand was prices for plastic resins and materials, which increased 3.1 percent. The indexes for basic organic chemicals, diesel fuel, jet fuel, residual fuels, and prepared animal feeds also moved higher. In contrast, beef and veal prices fell 6.3 percent. The indexes for gasoline and plastic construction products also declined.

    Unprocessed goods for intermediate demand: The index for unprocessed goods for intermediate demand increased 2.1 percent in December following a 3.2-percent rise in November. Nearly three-fourths of the broad-based December advance is attributable to prices for unprocessed energy materials, which climbed 4.7 percent. The indexes for unprocessed nonfood materials less energy and for unprocessed foodstuffs and feedstuffs also moved higher, increasing 1.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. In 2017, prices for unprocessed goods for intermediate demand rose 5.2 percent after advancing 13.0 percent in 2016.

    Product detail: Over half of the December increase in the index for unprocessed goods for intermediate demand can be traced to natural gas prices, which jumped 13.7 percent. The indexes for carbon steel scrap, crude petroleum, raw milk, slaughter barrows and gilts, and slaughter steers and heifers also moved higher. Conversely, corn prices decreased 3.3 percent. The indexes for fresh vegetables (except potatoes) and nonferrous scrap also moved lower.

    Services for intermediate demand: The index for services for intermediate demand edged down 0.1 percent in December after a 0.7-percent jump in November. The decrease can be traced to prices for services less trade, transportation, and warehousing for intermediate demand, which fell 0.1 percent. The intermediate demand indexes for both trade services and for transportation and warehousing services were unchanged. In 2017, prices for services for intermediate demand increased 2.9 percent after rising 2.6 percent in 2016.

    Product detail: Leading the December decrease in the index for services for intermediate demand, prices for loan services (partial) dropped 5.4 percent. The indexes for legal services, airline passenger services, machinery and equipment parts and supplies wholesaling, and staffing services also moved lower. In contrast, prices for securities brokerage, dealing, investment advice, and related services increased 1.4 percent. The indexes for television advertising time sales; metals, minerals, and ores wholesaling; and truck transportation of freight also rose.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Producer Price Index. Dec 2017“, 11 Jan 2018 (08:30) More

    flag_japan Japan update

    Currency: USD/JPY

    JPY movements
    ^ JPY movements against the USD over the past month (mouseover for inverse) Chart: xe.com

    Stockmarket: Nikkei 225

    n225 movements
    ^ Nikkei 225 movements over the past week Chart: Google Finance

    flag_china China update

    Currency: USD/CNY

    CNY movements
    ^ CNY movements against the USD over the past month (mouseover for inverse) Chart: xe.com

    Stockmarket: CSI300

    CSI300 movements
    ^ Shanghai CSI300 movements over the past week Chart: Google Finance