China’s embattled property sector made new progress in its climb out of a months-long slump as official data for January-February on Wednesday showed much narrower declines in home sales, developer investment and construction starts. Home sales by floor area in the first two months of 2023 fell 3.6% from a year earlier, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), compared with a 24% decline for the whole of 2022. The narrower sales decline followed a rise in new home prices in January, the first uptick in a year, as buyers, while still cautious, found solace in a slew of supportive policies, expectations of more stimulus steps and China’s exit from its crushing zero-COVID regime. Property investment by developers in January-February was down 5.7% on the same period of 2022, improving on December’s 12% annual slump and a 10% decline for the entire 2022.
The major Asian stock markets had a mixed day today:
The major Asian currency markets had a mixed day today:
Some economic news from last night:
Fixed Asset Investment (YoY) (Feb) increased from 5.1% to 5.5%
Industrial Production (YoY) (Feb) increased from 1.3% to 2.4%
Chinese Industrial Production YTD (YoY) (Feb) decreased from 3.6% to 2.4%
Chinese Unemployment Rate (Feb) increased from 5.5% to 5.6%
Current Account (QoQ) (Q4) increased from -11.40B to -9.46B
Current Account (YoY) (Q4) decreased from -31.87B to -33.79B
Some economic news from today:
Exports (USD) (Feb) increased from 32.91B to 33.88B
Imports (USD) (Feb) increased from 50.66B to 51.31B
Trade Balance (Feb) increased from -17.75B to -17.43B
French President Emmanuel Macron’s much-disputed plan to raise the retirement age by two years to 64 moved forward on Wednesday as a select group of lawmakers from both houses of parliament agreed a compromise text, despite nationwide protests. But approval of the deeply unpopular bill – which has faced huge street protests and repeated job walkouts – by the lower house of parliament on Thursday is far from a done deal. Opinion polls show a vast majority of voters oppose the changes, and unions, and protesters, have warned they will continue their mobilization even if the bill is voted through on Thursday. The government had initially said that pushing back the retirement age by two years and extending the pay-in period would yield an additional 17.7 billion euros in annual pension contributions, allowing the system to break even by 2027.
The major Europe stock markets had a negative day:
The major Europe currency markets had a mixed day today:
Some economic news from Europe today:
French CPI (MoM) (Feb) increased from 0.4% to 1.1%
French HICP (MoM) (Feb) increased from 0.4% to 1.1%
Industrial Production (MoM) (Jan) increased from -1.3% to 0.7%
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and the SNB are coming to Credit Sussie’s rescue after announcing it will provide the bank with liquidity if necessary. In a joint statement, the two institutions said that Credit Sussie “meets the capital and liquidity requirements imposed on systemically important banks.” The Swiss central bank said it is not worried about the string of bank failures in the US last week as it does not see a “direct risk of contagion.”
US Market Closings:
Canada Market Closings:
Brazil Market Closing:
The oil markets had a negative day today:
The above data was collected around 12:17 EST on Wednesday
The above data was collected around 12:22 EST Wednesday.
Japan 0.328% (+5.2bp), US 2’s 3.79% (-0.433%), US 10’s 3.3914% (-24.46bps); US 30’s 3.61% (-0.148%), Bunds 2.114% (-34bp), France 2.674% (-29.1bp), Italy 4.089% (-18.9bp), Turkey 10.99% (+0bp), Greece 4.242% (-10.4bp), Portugal 3.093% (-26.5bp); Spain 3.245% (-25.7bp) and UK Gilts 3.317% (-16.7bp).