Japan’s industrial output fell by 4% year on year with a sharp dip last month of -2.6%. Japans manufacturing is still feeling the effects of the Thailand floods, however this should only be a temporary problem and manufacturing should pick up as Thailand gets back on its feet. The strength of the Yen is a real concern for Japan and we expect them to intervene to weaken their currency in the future, which like the US dollar, has become a safe haven of sorts.
The Italian government has raised 9 billion Euros today through an auction of short term debt at a lower interest rate of 3.251% compared to their long term debt bonds of 6.504%. This should help them in the short term but with debt repayments of 161 billion Euros due to be paid between February and April; they will need to raise significant capital to cover these debts and the future does not look bright. The cycle of banks borrowing funds from the ECB and buying sovereign debt through government bonds looks set to continue into next year. This will put more pressure on the struggling Euro and Eurozone leaders to come up with a solution to the crisis.
There is very little data out today with the only figure of note being mortgage applications out of the US at 12.00. The figure will show if there are signs that the housing market in the US is recovering, however it is unlikely to affect markets significantly. This week is likely to be very quiet in terms of currency fluctuation as there is a general lack of liquidity in the market. Given the time of year most traders will have removed their positions with a view to moving back into the market after the new year.
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