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Monday, April 3, 2017


 The dollar is recovering nearly all the gains nearly lost on Friday. Data was pretty good, especially the PCE price index up 2.1% for the first reading over 2% in about five years. But NY Fed Pres Dudley, while admitting two more hikes this year seems reasonable, also said there is no great urgency to raise rates. He noted that higher consumer and business confidence numbers have yet to come through as “hard” data (like industrial production, PMI, etc.).

The dollar followed the yield, which initially rose on the PCE data but then tanked on Dudley. The
2- year fell the most, down 3.2 bp to 1.258%, the biggest one-day drop in two weeks. The 10-year fell 1.4 bp to 2.396%. But Dudley’s influence was fleeting. Yields are still down, but the CME FedWatch tool shows the probability of a June hike at 58.7% this morning from 50.7% on Friday. These two things are inconsistent. The dollar index is down 0.9% on the March month and 1.7% in Q1.

Other Friday data included personal income up only 0.4%, down from 0.5% the month before. The Atlanta Fed forecasts real consumer spending growth will be a dip from 1.4% to 0.8%, and that, together with a drop in net export contribution to GDP, makes the Q1 number a lousy 0.9% (from 1.0% the week before).

Other in the U.S

The Chicago PMI rose to 57.7 from 57.4 and more than forecast, but that was the only favorable hard data. On the soft data side, the University of Michigan sentiment was 96.9 from 97.6 the month before and below forecasts. Expectations fell to 86.5 in the final from 86.7, too. The one-year inflation expectation is 2.5% from 2.4% the month before but the 5-year is lower at 2.4%.

In China

The Caixin March manufacturing PMI slipped back to 51.2 from 51.7 in Feb and against a forecast of 51.6 on slowing export orders.

In Japan

The manufacturing PMI for March reached a final 54.2 from the flash at 52.6 and compared to 53.3 in Feb. The quarterly Tankan survey finds big manufacturers disappointed with an index reading of 12 when 14 was forecast. Big non-manufacturers had 20, as forecast. Capex, the proxy for GDP, is 0.6% when a drop was forecast. Small firms got the drop, -22.6, more than forecast. Big manufacturers forecast the UDS/JPY at 108.43 for the upcoming fiscal year.

In Australia

The AUD fell back on Feb retail sales disappointing at -0.1% when +0.3% was forecast and following 0.4% in Jan. Offsetting somewhat was building approvals up 8.3% when a drop was forecast, including private sector housing, up 5.3%.

In the UK

The sterling slipped lower on the Markit PMI down to 54.2 when 54.6 was expected, the third straight month of decline. Reuters notes the pound is now acting normally—down on negative news. And last week the current account deficit was reduced considerably, “offering hope that one of the economy's big vulnerabilities may be fading.”

In the eurozone

The Markit final PMI for March is 56.2, the best since April 2011, from 55.4 in Feb. Reuters notes that the composite PMI, due Wednesday, will be influenced by today;s output number, near 6-year high at 57.5 from 57.3. The Markit chief economist said "The survey is also signaling the highest incidence of supplier delivery delays for nearly six years, underscoring how suppliers are struggling to meet surging demand."

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