Japan Producer Prices Climb 2.3% On Year In January
Tue, 25 Feb 2020 04:15:00 +0000

Producer prices in Japan were up 2.3 percent on year in January, the Bank of Japan said on Tuesday.

That exceeded expectations for a gain of 2.1 percent, which would have been unchanged from the previous three months.

On a monthly basis, producer prices sank 0.3 percent following the flat reading in December.

Individually, prices were up for transportation, communications, real estate, finance and advertising.

Producer prices for all items excluding international transportation gained 2.3 percent on year and fell 0.2 percent on month.


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*Japan Producer Prices +2.3% On Year In January
Tue, 25 Feb 2020 03:53:00 +0000

Japan Producer Prices +2.3% On Year In January


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Japan Producer Price Data Due On Tuesday
Tue, 25 Feb 2020 02:30:00 +0000

Japan is on Tuesday scheduled to release January numbers for producer prices, highlighting a light day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. Producer prices are forecast to hold steady, higher by 2.1 percent on year.

Japan also will see final December figures for its leading and coincident indexes; their previous readings were 91.6 and 94.7, respectively.


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Dollar Mostly Subdued Against Rivals
Tue, 25 Feb 2020 01:52:00 +0000

The U.S. dollar retreated after displaying some strength earlier in the session on Monday, amid rising concerns about global growth after the coronavirus spread rapidly outside China.

The dollar recovered after easing into the negative territory, but was still finding it tough to move up any significantly above the flat line.

The dollar index, dropped to a low of 99.11 from around 99.60, and was last seen at 99.28, up slightly from previous close.

Against the Euro, the dollar was down marginally at $1.0856, recovering from $1.0874. Earlier in the day, the dollar was up more than 0.4% at $1.0808.

Germany's business confidence improved in February, reports said citing survey data from the ifo institute. The business climate index rose to 96.1 in February from 96.0 in the previous month. The score was above the forecast of 95.3.

The assessment of current situation weakened from last month, while expectations improved in February.

The current conditions index came in at 98.9 in February versus consensus of 98.6. At the same time, the expectations index rose to 93.4 compared to economists' forecast of 92.1.

Against British Pound Sterling, the dollar strengthened to $1.2928, gaining more than 0.2%.

The Japanese Yen gained on safe-haven appeal, strengthening to 110.72 a dollar, from 111.56 yen a dollar on Friday.

The Aussie was weak against the dollar at 0.6604. Against Swiss franc, the dollar was little changed at 0.9786, while it was stronger by nearly 0.5% at 1.3288 against the loonie, riding on sliding crude oil prices.

According to Chinese officials, the coronavirus has killed 2,592 people in China and infected 77,150 people.

South Korea has raised its coronavirus alert to the "highest level" for the first time in a decade, following a rapid spike in cases over the weekend. Reports say the total number of cases so far in South Korea has risen to 763.

Italy became Europe's epicenter for coronavirus cases over the weekend. Iran has confirmed an uptick in infections.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said it is worried about the growing number of cases without any clear link to China.


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Treasuries Move Sharply Higher Amid Coronavirus Spread
Tue, 25 Feb 2020 00:25:00 +0000

Treasuries moved sharply higher during trading on Monday, extending the strong upward move seen over the two previous sessions.

Bond prices spiked at the start of trading and remained firmly positive throughout the session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, tumbled by 9.4 basis points to 1.377 percent.

With the substantial decrease on the day, the ten-year yield ended the session at its lowest closing level in well over three years.

The rally by treasuries reflected their appeal as a safe haven amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus following a spike in the number of confirmed cases outside of China.

South Korea announced a total of 231 new coronavirus cases earlier today, leading the government to raise the coronavirus alert to its highest level.

A jump in confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy as well as new cases in Middle East countries like Iraq and Afghanistan also added to concerns about the outbreak escalating into a pandemic.

Coronavirus news is likely to remain in focus on Tuesday, potentially overshadowing reports on home prices and consumer confidence.

The Treasury Department is also due to announce the results of this month's auction of $40 billion worth of two-year notes.


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Oil Ends Sharply Lower On Virus Jitters
Tue, 25 Feb 2020 00:12:00 +0000

Crude oil prices plunged sharply on Monday amid rising concerns about the outlook for energy demand due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus outside China.

According to reports, the number of new cases of coronavirus infection is rising in South Korea, Iran, Afghanistan and Italy.

A report from Reuters, quoted Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser as saying the coronavirus impact will be "short term". This probably pulled oil prices from the day's lows.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $1.95, or about 3.7%, at $51.43 a barrel, after falling to a low of $50.45 in the session.

Brent Crude futures declined $2.20, or about 3.8%, to $56.30 a barrel.

On Friday, WTI Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.50, or about 0.9%, at $53.38 a barrel.

South Korea has raised its coronavirus alert to the "highest level" for the first time in a decade, following a rapid spike in cases over the weekend. Reports say the total number of cases so far in South Korea has risen to 763.

Italy became Europe's epicenter for coronavirus cases over the weekend. Iran has confirmed an uptick in infections.

Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo has reportedly decided to close 4 branches in the country as the government imposed strict quarantine restrictions in two northern "hotspot" regions close to Milan and Venice.

Iran has confirmed 43 cases and eight deaths, with most of the infections in the Shi'ite Muslim holy city of Qom. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey and Afghanistan imposed travel and immigration restrictions on the Islamic Republic.

The virus has now killed 2,592 people in China, which has reported 77,150 cases. The rapid spread of the deadly virus in several countries outside China left investors concerned about a hit to demand.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said it is worried about the growing number of cases without any clear link to China.


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Gold Futures Settle Sharply Higher Again On Safe-haven Demand
Mon, 24 Feb 2020 23:08:00 +0000

Gold prices rose sharply on Monday as traders rushed for the safe-haven asset amid an escalation in worries about global growth following reports about the spread of the dreaded coronavirus outside China.

According to Chinese officials, the virus has killed 2,592 people in China and infected 77,150 people.

South Korea has raised its coronavirus alert to the "highest level" for the first time in a decade, following a rapid spike in cases over the weekend. Reports say the total number of cases so far in South Korea has risen to 763.

Italy became Europe's epicenter for coronavirus cases over the weekend. Iran has confirmed an uptick in infections.

Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo has reportedly decided to close 4 branches in the country as the government imposed strict quarantine restrictions in two northern "hotspot" regions close to Milan and Venice.

Following the move, about 50,000 people cannot enter or leave several towns in Veneto and Lombardy for the next two weeks without special permission.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said it is worried about the growing number of cases without any clear link to China.

The dollar index, which was moving around 99.60 earlier in the day, dropped to 99.11 a little past noon, and is currently at 99.19, down 0.07 from Friday's close.

Gold futures for April ended up $27.80, or about 1.7%, at $1,676.60 an ounce, hitting a fresh high since February 2013.

The contract touched a high of $1,691.70 earlier in the session, but gave up a substantial portion of gains as the session progressed.

On Friday, gold futures ended up $28.30, or 1.8%, at $1,648.80 an ounce, ending with a weekly gain of about 3.9%, the best monthly returns since June 2019.

Silver futures for March ended up $0.346 at $18.876 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $2.5770 per pound, down $0.0310 from previous close.

Stock markets across the globe tumbled on Monday, with investors indulging in heavy selling across the board. Asian markets ended with sharp losses and the major European markets tumbled as well.

U.S. stocks are currently down with sharp losses, unable to stage any meaningful recovery after a sharp plunge within minutes of commencement of trade this morning.


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Bank Of Israel Holds Rate Unchanged For Tenth Time
Mon, 24 Feb 2020 19:19:00 +0000

Israel's central bank left the key interest unchanged for a tenth consecutive policy session, citing low inflation and weaker growth outlook.

The Monetary Committee of the Bank of Israel decided to the rate unchanged at 0.25 percent. The previous change in the rate was a 15 basis point hike in November 2018. "The Monetary Committee's assessment is that in view of the inflation environment in Israel, the monetary policies of major central banks, developments in the global economy and the risks to the domestic economy, and the development of the exchange rate, it will be necessary to leave the interest rate at its current level for a prolonged period or to reduce it," the central bank said in a statement. The Committee is taking additional steps to make monetary policy more accommodative, the bank added. Regarding the coronavirus outbreak in China, the central bank said the event is casting uncertainty on the global as well as domestic economic outlook. Citing the prevailing assessment of global financial institutions that the outbreak is likely to be contained in the coming months and its economic impact is expected to be limited.

Hence, the Bank of Israel expects no significant macroeconomic impact in Israel. "If the crisis persists and spills over into additional countries, and particularly if strict preventative measures are required in Israel, it is expected to have a more significant impact," the bank said.

"In such a scenario, the Monetary Committee has a range of tools to make monetary policy more accommodative."

The central bank expects the interim budget to have a "markedly contractionary effect" in the first half of 2020, and continuing uncertainty regarding budgetary policy after the elections.


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*Israel CB Holds Key Interest Rate Unchanged At 0.25%
Mon, 24 Feb 2020 18:43:00 +0000

Israel CB Holds Key Interest Rate Unchanged At 0.25%


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*Canadian Wholesale Sales Rose 0.9% To C$63.9 Billion In December
Mon, 24 Feb 2020 17:31:00 +0000

Canadian Wholesale Sales Rose 0.9% To C$63.9 Billion In December


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