Stocks are Sinking in Asia and around the Globe

Lou Brien |

Stocks were very weak in Asia. The Hang Seng fell 3.8%; the Nikkei was down 3.7%, it is now down more than twenty percent since a peak last August; Australia fell one and a quarter percent; and Shanghai was off one percent. European indexes are on offer this morning, with the Footsie down a bit more than three percent and the DAX off a bit less than three percent. US stock futures are down one and a half percent, or so, as I write.

*Foreign Direct Investment into China fell 5.8% in December from a year earlier, down to $12 billion for the month. However, FDI in China was up 6.4% for all of 2015 to $126.27 billion. Outbound direct investment by Chinese companies was up 6.1% last month to $13.89 billion on the month.

*The December reading of Germany’s Producer Price Index is -0.5% on the month and -2.3% on the year; both results were a tenth more deflationary than forecast.

*The January reading of Switzerland’s ZEW Survey of Expectations of Economic Growth is -3.0, down from 16.6 the month before, according to Credit Suisse. It is the weakest result since last July.

*The November reading of the UK Unemployment Rate is 5.1%, the lowest level in a decade; it is a tenth lower than expected. In December the net change in the number Jobless Claims is -4.3k; it was forecast to increase 2.8k.



*US mortgage applications were up 9.0% in the week ended January 15, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Applications for Purchases were down 1.6% on the week, but those for Refinancing were up 18.7%.

*The weekly report on chain store sales from the Retail Economist showed a decline of 0.1% on a week on week basis for the week ended January 16. Sales are said to be up 2.5% for the week when compared to the same week from a year ago. The Johnson Redbook report on the same thing is due out at 7:55am CST.

*Goldman Sachs Q4 eps, ex-this/plus that, is $4.58, well above the estimate for $3.57.

*The December reading of the Consumer Price Index is due out at 7:30am CST. Headline CPI is expected to be unchanged on the month and +0.8% on the year, while the CPI Core rates are forecast to be +0.2% and +2.1%, respectively. Also due out at 7:30am is the December reading of Housing Starts, which is expected to be 1200k, or up 2.3% from the month before; the estimate for Building Permits is 1200k as well, but that would be down 6.4% on the month.

*The Bank of Canada rate announcement is due out at 9:00am CST; they are expected to stand pat at 0.50% with their overnight lending rate.

*BTW, because of the holiday on Monday the weekly report on energy inventories will not be released today; it’s is set for Thursday.

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