St George Economics economy and finance update
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.
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.
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.
With US markets closed, commodities had a quiet night. Oil edged higher as did gold but copper fell marginally.
No significant data released yesterday.
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.
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.
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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