Daily Afternoon Report 15/12/2015
The dollar trimmed losses against the other major currencies today after data showed that U.S. consumer price inflation was flat in November, while prices excluding food and energy costs inched up modestly. The U.S. Commerce Department reported that consumer prices were unchanged from a month earlier, meeting expectations and following a gain of 0.2% in October.
Year-over-year, consumer prices were 0.5% higher from the same month a year earlier, compared to expectations for a 0.4% increase and after rising 0.2% in October. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy costs, increased by 0.2%, meeting expectations.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 97.78, after falling to lows of 97.23 earlier today.
Separately, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said that its general business conditions index improved to -4.6 this month from a reading of -10.7 in November. Analysts had expected the index to rise to -6.0 in December.
Market participants await the Federal Reserve’s highly-anticipated policy decision due on Wednesday. Most investors expect the Fed to raise interest rates for the first time since June 2006.
Earlier today, the ZEW Centre for Economic Research said that its index of German economic sentiment rose by 5.7 points to 16.1 this month from November’s reading of 10.4. Analysts had expected the index to rise by 4.6 points to 15.0 in December.
Elsewhere, Sterling found support after the U.K. Office for National Statistics said the annual rate of consumer price inflation rose by 0.1% last month, in line with expectations and up from -0.1% in October.
Month-over-month, consumer price inflation was flat in November, compared to forecasts for a 0.1% decline and following a gain of 0.1% in the prior month.
Core CPI, which excludes food, energy, alcohol, and tobacco costs rose 1.2% last month, matching forecasts and up from 1.1% in October.
The Reserve Bank of Australia said earlier, in the minutes of its December policy meeting that the domestic economy is strengthening and noted that overall business conditions and the employment market looked healthy. However, in its mid-year economic and fiscal outlook, Australia’s Treasury said growth forecasts were downgraded to 2.5% in 2015/16 from a previous estimate of 2.75% in May and to 2.75% in 2016/17 from 3.25%.
In Canada, data showed that manufacturing sales dropped 1.1% in October, compared to expectations for a 0.5% fall, after a 1.5% decline the previous month.