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Japan returned the ruling LDP coalition to power in an upper house election over the weekend.
The political limbo in Italy currently appears to have three possible solutions, in the short term. The 5SM and Lega can try to form a coalition, again.
Political uncertainty in the Eurozone is the story that won't die. Coalition talks in Germany collapsed yesterday when the centre-right FDP walked out of the negotiations.
PM Johnson has conceded considerable ground over the terms of Brexit for Northern Ireland in order to get a deal over the line in time for MPs to vote on it on Saturday, before the Benn Act requires him to seek an extension.
As we write, the Commons appears to be on the verge of voting for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill--WAB--at its second reading but then voting against the government's "Programme Motion", which sets out a very tight timetable for its passage through parliament, in a bid to meet the October 31 deadline and to minimise parliamentary scrutiny.
The PM now is at a fork in the road and will have to decide in the coming days whether to risk all and seek a general election, or restart the process of trying to get the Withdrawal Agreement Bill--WAB--through parliament.
Brazil's external deficit fell marginally in October, but most of the improvement is now likely behind us. The unadjusted current account deficit dipped to USD3.3B, from USD4.3B in October 2015. The trend is stabilizing, with the 12-month total rolling deficit easing to USD22B--that's 1.2% of GDP--from USD23B in September.
Sterling briefly touched $1.30 yesterday, in response to signs that a very small majority in the Commons stands ready to vote for an unamended version of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill--WAB-- on Tuesday.
China's property market is slowly finding its feet, following a marked and consistent moderation in monthly price gains from mid-2018 to early this year.
The alarming-looking decline in core capital goods orders since late 2014 has been substantially due, in our view, to the rollover in investment in the mining sector. But the 29% jump in the number of oil rigs in operation, since the mid-May low, makes it clear that the collapse is over.
Colombia's trade deficit continued to narrow in Q3; a postive development now that EM are back in the firing line. Assuming no revisions, the marginal year-over-year dip in the September trade deficit means that the third quarter deficit was USD3.1B, down from US4.6B a year ago.
Bond yields in Italy remain elevated, but volatility has declined recently; two-year yields have halved to 0.7% and 10-year yields have dipped below 3%.
Yesterday's IFO survey in Germany sent a marginally more downbeat message than the strong PMIs last week. The IFO business climate index fell to 115.2 in September, from 115.9 in August, its second straight monthly dip.
The results of Sunday's parliamentary elections in Italy carry two key messages.
Speculation that another general election is imminent is rarely out of the news. At present, betting markets see about a 35% chance of another election in 2019, broadly the same chance as one in 2022, when it is currently scheduled to be held.
India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, yesterday held his last cabinet meeting before the general election.
China's export data shows little impact from trade tensions so far.
For sterling traders, no election news is good news.
Support in opinion polls for both the Conservatives and Labour has been increasing steadily.
The monthly industrial production numbers are collected and released by the Fed, rather than the BEA, so today's December report will not be delayed by the government shutdown.
Yesterday's final manufacturing PMIs confirmed that the headline index in the euro area rebounded further last month.
We sympathise if readers are sceptical of our opening gambit in this Monitor.
Japan's CPI inflation was unchanged, at 0.2% in February.
Today brings yet another broad array of data, with new information on housing construction, industrial production, consumer sentiment, and job openings.
PPI inflation has finally started to soften, after having increased steadily from 2.0% in April, and holding steady at 3.0% in Q3.
The political situation in Spain remains an odd example of how complete gridlock can be a source of relative stability.
PPI inflation in Asia looks set to go from bad to worse, following June's poor numbers, which showed that the weakness in commodity prices is feeding through quicker than expected.
In order to support current market pricing, the MPC will have to be more specific about the timing of the next rate hike in the minutes of next Thursday's meeting.
Japan's PPI data yesterday confirmed that October was a turning point for prices--due to the consumption tax hike--despite the surprising stability of CPI inflation in Tokyo for the same month.
Yesterday's EZ producer price data showed that deflationary pressures in the manufacturing sector are fading. The headline PPI index fell 0.2% month- to-month in August, pushing the year-over-year up to -2.1%, from a revised -2.6% July.
The gap between the official measure of the rate of growth of core retail sales and the Redbook chainstore sales numbers remains bafflingly huge, but we have no specific reason to expect it to narrow substantially with the release of the April report today.
Industrial production bounced back in February. These data point to a reprieve for old-guard dirty industry, after stringent anti-pollution curbs were put in place in Q4.
The headline May retail sales numbers were flattered by a 2.4% leap in the wildly volatile building materials component and a price-driven 2.0% surge in gasoline sales.
When the dust settles after today's wave of data, we expect to have learned that core retail sales continued to rise in June, core inflation nudged back up to its cycle high, and manufacturing output rebounded after an auto-led drop in May. None of these reports will be enough to push the Fed into early action, but they will add to the picture of a reasonably solid domestic economy ahead of the U.K. Brexit referendum.
Germans head to the polls on Sunday to elect representatives for the national parliament. The media has tried to keep investors on alert for a surprise, but polls indicate clearly that Angela Merkel will continue as Chancellor.
Greece goes to the polls this weekend, but unlike the chaos in the summer, we doubt it will be a nail-biting experience for investors. Polls put Syriza and the conservative New Democracy neck-and-neck, but neither party likely will be able to form a majority. Syriza has ruled out a grand coalition, which potentially means tricky negotiations with minority parties. But we are confident that any new government will be committed to euro membership, and a constructive dialogue with the EU and IMF.
Italy is edging closer to a coalition government with the Five-Star Movement, the Northern League, and Forza Italia at the helm.
Catalonia goes to the polls today, and it will be a close call. Surveys point to a hung parliament in which neither the pro-separatists nor the unionist coalition will secure an absolute majority.
Japan's PPI inflation edged up further in November to 3.5%, from October's 3.4%. Energy was the main driver, with petroleum and coal contributing 0.8 percentage points to the year-over-year rate, up from a 0.7pp contribution in October.
Once again, MPs failed to coalesce around any way forward for Brexit in the indicative votes process on Monday.
Political risks have been making an unwelcome comeback in the Eurozone in the past month. In Germany, last month's parliamentary elections--see here--has left Mrs. Merkel with a tricky coalition- building exercise.
The landslide victory by anti-austerity party Syriza in Greece this weekend will increase uncertainty in coming months. The coalition between Syriza and the Independent Greeks will prove a tough negotiating partner for the EU as both parties are strongly in favor of pushing the Troika to significant concessions on any future bailout terms this year.
Mauricio Macri, the centre-right candidate of the Cambiemos--Let's Change--coalition won Argentina's weekend presidential election. Mr. Macri, the mayor of Buenos Aires, defeated Daniel Scioli, of the ruling Front for Victory--FpV--coalition on Sunday. His victory marks the end of the 12-year Kirchnerist era, characterized by wild inflation, huge public deficits and unsustainable subsidies. If Mr. Macri lives up to his promises, Argentina, the second-largest economy in South America, will become an orthodox economy on a sustainable path. The recovery will come, we think, but it will be a long and challenging process.
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