ECB’s Knot takes cautious view on recent core inflation rise By Reuters



DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – There are some early sign that underlying inflation in the euro zone is finally moving up but it is too early to become optimistic about this trend, European Central Bank policymaker Klaas Knot said on Friday.

“We do see some initial signs of underlying inflation going up very, very, very slowly but it’s too early to be optimistic about that,” Knot said during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum.

The ECB left policy unchanged on Thursday but said that risks to the growth outlook have receded and also took a more optimistic view on inflation, which has undershot its target since 2013.

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U.S. weekly jobless claims rise modestly; labor market tight By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People wait for assistance at the Virginia Employment Commission office in Alexandria

By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased less than expected last week, suggesting the labor market continues to tighten even as job growth is slowing.

Labor market strength is underpinning consumer spending, helping to keep the longest economic expansion on record, now in its 11th year, on track, despite a downturn in manufacturing.

“Employers are not cutting positions outside of the normal churn of the labor market and workers are incredibly confident in their job prospects, and not taking the time to file a claim if they are laid off,” said Maria Cosma, an economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 211,000 for the week ended Jan. 18, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims had declined for five straight weeks, resulting in the unwinding of the surge seen in early December, which was blamed on a later-than-normal Thanksgiving Day.

Claims data for the prior week was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims increasing to 215,000 in the latest week.

The Labor Department said claims for Alabama, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Puerto Rico and Virginia were estimated because of Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, which left authorities with less time to compile the data.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 3,250 to 213,250 last week, the lowest level since September.

U.S. financial markets were little moved by the data, with investors focusing their attention elsewhere. The dollar edged up against a basket of currencies after the European Central Bank left unchanged its key interest rates and stimulus programs. U.S. Treasury prices rose, while stocks on Wall Street fell on rising worries over the coronavirus outbreak in China.

JOB GROWTH SLOWING

Last week’s claims data covered the period during which the government surveyed business establishments for the nonfarm payrolls component of January’s employment report.

The four-week moving average of claims dropped 12,500 between the December and January survey periods, suggesting some pickup in job growth this month.

The economy created 145,000 jobs last month after adding a massive 256,000 positions in November. The slowdown in job growth has been blamed on a shortage of workers and ebbing demand in some industries like manufacturing, which has been hammered by trade tensions and problems at Boeing (N:).

Boeing this month suspended production of its troubled 737 MAX jetliner, with ripple effects down the supply chain. Boeing’s biggest supplier Spirit AeroSystems Holdings (N:) said early this month it planned to lay off more than 20% of the workforce at its Wichita, Kansas base.

Despite the low level of claims, the data have been showing layoffs in manufacturing, as well as transportation and warehousing, construction, educational service and accommodation and food services industries from late 2019 through mid-January.

That fits in with the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, which last week showed “most districts cited widespread labor shortages as a factor constraining job growth,” and “a number of districts reported job cuts or reduced hiring among manufacturers,” as well as “scattered reports of job cuts in the transportation and energy sectors,” at the tail end of 2019.

“The jury is out on whether this signals a soft patch for the monthly payroll figures in January,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York.

Despite the moderation in job gains, the labor market remains on solid footing, with the unemployment rate holding near a 50-year low of 3.5% in December and a measure of labor market slack dropping to an all-time low of 6.7%.

Thursday’s claims report also showed the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid dropped 37,000 to 1.73 million for the week ended Jan. 11. The so-called continuing claims had surged to 1.80 million at the end of 2019, which was the highest level since April 2018. The jump was blamed on year-end volatility.

The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims increased 2,000 to 1.76 million in the most recent week.



Argo Blockchain Sees Mining Revenue Rise Tenfold in 2019 By Cointelegraph



Publicly-listed mining company Argo Blockchain had a tenfold increase in revenue for 2019 over the previous year, ProactiveInvestors reports on Jan. 20. Its shares bounced as the company plans further expansion in the upcoming year.

Argo Blockchain PLC is a company operating mining rigs for profit, as well as providing Mining-as-a-Service (MaaS) to institutional investors who are “looking to hold specific coins but do not want to procure via exchanges.”

Continue Reading on Coin Telegraph

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



China’s Exports, Imports Both Rise in 2019 By Investing.com


© Reuters.

Investing.com – China’s exports and imports both rose in 2019, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Tuesday.

China’s in December rose 7.6% from a year earlier, customs data showed. It was the first gain in China’s exports since July 2019 and the fastest growth rate since March 2019.

Meanwhile, in December rose 16.3% from a year earlier.

In yuan terms, 2019 exports rose 5% from a year ago while imports 1.6% in the same period.

On Monday, the U.S. removed China from a list of countries considered currency manipulators, the Treasury Department announced.

The Chinese yuan jumped today amid news that the U.S. will no longer label China as a currency manipulator. The two sides are expected to sign the phase one trade deal this week.

China will celebrate the week-long Lunar New Year holiday from Jan. 24.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Sterling to rise this year on hopes for smooth Brexit: Reuters poll By Reuters



By Jonathan Cable

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s pound will gain more than 3% against the dollar this year, supported by interest rate differentials and hopes for a smooth departure from the European Union, a Reuters poll found on Friday.

Sterling has gyrated wildly on any snippet of news about Brexit, largely ignoring economic data, and soared more than 2% after Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a resounding election victory in December, leading markets to believe an orderly exit from the EU was all but certain.

It has since dropped back and was trading around $1.30 on Thursday as Johnson has signaled he plans to take a hard line in talks with the EU, raising fears about the prospect of a new cliff edge at the end of the year if no deal is reached.

But the poll of nearly 60 foreign exchange strategists, taken this week, said the pound would be up at $1.32 at the end of this month – when Britain and the EU are due to part ways – and will have risen to $1.35 by the end of 2020.

“Knee-jerk moves and profit-taking aside, the trend in 2020 remains for a drift higher in in our view and we look to renew our GBP long bias,” said Jordan Rochester at Nomura.

“The removal of near-term hard Brexit risks, the widely expected fiscal expansion, U.S.-China trade tensions lower and a global recovery in economic data suggest the Bank of England will stay on hold.”

Most major central banks eased monetary policy last year, including the U.S. Federal reserve, which cut interest rates three times in 2019, but the Bank of England has kept its key policy rate steady at 0.75%.

The Bank is not expected to move interest rates until 2022 at least, and while the European Central Bank eased policy late in 2019 it is expected to stay on the sidelines for the next two years.

So against the common currency the pound () will have barely moved by the end of the year. On Thursday one euro would get you 85.16 pence and at the end of 2020 its value will be little changed at 84.5p, the poll found.

(Polling by Tushar Goenka and Sumanto Mondal; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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U.S. Stocks Fall, Bonds Rise After Jobs Report: Markets Wrap By Bloomberg



(Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks fell from near records, while Treasuries rose after the latest jobs report delivered mixed signals on the strength of the economy. The dollar declined versus major currencies.

The S&P 500 edged lower after hiring data fell short of estimates and wage growth was the weakest in more than a year. The benchmark is still on track for a weekly advance as the situation in the Middle East held a tenuous calm. Boeing (NYSE:) Corp. slumped, helping to pull down the .

Treasuries pushed higher as the wage figures erased any inflation worries. Futures traders maintained the amount of easing they expect from the Federal Reserve.

The jobs data ultimately did little to alter investor views on the strength of the economy or the Fed’s next step. With stocks near all-time highs, markets continue to look past the flare-up in tensions with Iran and focus on the potential for a pickup in global economic growth.

“This is the opposite of a game-changer. It’s very consistent with everyone’s views going into this report, the Fed stays on hold and the economy is slowing down,” said Nela Richardson, an investment strategist at Edward Jones. “We’re consistent on the overall view the Fed stays pat on short-term rates this year. If anything, this report tilts the Fed a little bit towards being more accommodative, not less.”

Elsewhere, European shares rose, while bonds in the region advanced. Gold turned gained, while West Texas oil dropped below $59 a barrel.

These are moves in major markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index fell 0.2% as of 3:11 p.m. New York time.
  • The Index fell 0.1%.
  • Germany’s gained 0.3%.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1%.
  • The British pound dropped 0.1% at $1.3059.
  • The euro rose 0.1% at $1.1112.
  • The Japanese yen weakened 0.1% to 109.63 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell three basis points to 1.82%.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield fell five basis points to 0.773%.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield declined two basis points to -0.198%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 0.9% to $59.05 a barrel.
  • Gold rose rose 0.4% at $1,560.30 an ounce.


Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Macy’s allays holiday season sales worries, shares rise 5% By Reuters



(Reuters) – Macy’s Inc (N:) reported just a 0.6% drop in holiday period same-store sales on Thursday, quelling fears of a more dramatic fall in the department store operator’s numbers for the crucial annual shopping season after an earlier profit warning.

The company benefited from strong online sales and demand for gifting assortments, Macy’s Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gennette said.

The reported drop was for the months of November and December.

Macy’s shares rose nearly 5% in premarket trading.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Asian shares rise on China’s policy easing, trade deal hopes By Reuters


© Reuters. Passersby are reflected on a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo

By Andrew Galbraith

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Asian shares kicked off the new decade higher on Thursday, after global stocks ended the previous one at record highs, and buoyed by Chinese markets after Beijing eased monetary policy to support slowing growth.

Investors also cheered news that the United States and China will sign a trade pact soon after a year of volatile negotiations between the world’s two largest economies.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan () was up 0.35% in morning trade after rising 5.6% in December.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Phase 1 of trade deal with China would be signed on Jan. 15 at the White House, though uncertainty surrounds details about the agreement.

Rising hopes for a resolution to the U.S.-China trade war helped propel global equities to record highs late last year and depress the value of the U.S. dollar.

MSCI’s all-country world index () of stock performance in 49 nations touched an all-time high of 567.80 on Dec. 27. It was last quoted at 565.46, off 0.41% from that peak.

In China, the blue-chip CSI300 index (), one of the world’s best-performing indexes last year, was 1.34% higher in early trade.

China’s central bank on Wednesday that it would cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves, releasing around 800 billion yuan in funds effective Jan. 6.

“I think the monetary angle in terms of what it means for the companies, is not that important,” said Jim McCafferty, head of Asia ex-Japan equity research at Nomura in Hong Kong.

“However for what it means for the consumer point of view, then clearly if there’s easy money and … individuals can borrow cheaply, repay debt quickly, then that of course is going to help the economy and the companies.”

McCafferty said he expects a memory up-cycle and new handset development prompted by the rollout of 5G mobile technology could help to lift tech-heavy markets like Korea and Taiwan this year.

Australian shares () flicked between small gains and losses, and were last up 0.2%. Seoul’s Kospi () began the year down 0.85%, while shares in Taiwan () added 0.51%.

Markets in Japan are closed for a national holiday.

The gains in Asia follow a bullish end to the year on Wall Street on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average () rose 0.27% to 28,538.44 and the S&P 500 () gained 0.29% to 3,230.78. The Nasdaq Composite () added 0.3% to 8,972.60.

In currency markets on Thursday, the dollar continued to weaken slightly against major peers as investors bet on a better outlook for global growth and trade.

The dollar was 0.06% weaker against the yen at 108.64 while the euro () gained 0.11% to 1.1222.

The (), which tracks the greenback against a basket of six rivals, was little changed, rising 0.04% to 96.427.

U.S. crude () was up 0.36% to $61.28 and global benchmark Brent crude () rose to $66.24 per barrel, building on a rise that gave oil its biggest annual gain in three years in 2019.

Gold, which has benefited from a weaker greenback, was up 0.18% on the spot market, fetching $1,519.64 per ounce. [GOL/]

Graphic: Asian stock markets https://product.datastream.com/dscharting/gateway.aspx?guid=516bc8cb-b44e-4346-bce3-06590d8e396b&action=REFRESH



Oil falls but on track for biggest yearly rise since 2016 By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The sun sets behind the chimneys of the Total Grandpuits oil refinery southeast of Paris

By Stephanie Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices edged lower on the last trading day of the decade on Tuesday but were still on track for monthly and annual gains, supported by a thaw in the prolonged U.S.-China trade row and Middle East unrest.

Brent has gained about 23% in 2019 and WTI has risen 36%. Both benchmarks are set for their biggest yearly gains in three years, backed by a breakthrough in U.S.-China trade talks and output cuts pledged by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies.

On Tuesday, trade volumes remained low as many market participants were away for year-end holidays.

Brent crude () was down 32 cents at $66.35 a barrel by 12:40 p.m. EST (1740 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude () fell 17 cents to $61.51 a barrel.

(GRAPHIC: Oil holds steady in 2019 despite supply shocks – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/ce/7/7847/7829/oil%202019.png)

“This year’s oil trade is winding down amidst some subdued, low-volume trading conditions,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of trading advisory firm Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the Phase 1 trade deal with China would be signed on Jan. 15 at the White House.

The breakthrough in the talks has already boosted factories’ output and Chinese manufacturing activity expanded for a second straight month.

China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), an index showing economic trends in the manufacturing and service sectors, was unchanged at 50.2 in December from November, but still remained above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.

Tensions in the Middle East also kept traders on edge as thousands of protesters and militia fighters gathered outside the U.S. embassy in Baghdad to condemn U.S. air strikes against Iraqi militias.

Security guards inside the U.S. embassy fired stun grenades at protesters and the U.S. ambassador and other staff were evacuated due to security concerns. The U.S. strikes could pull Iraq further into the heart of a proxy conflict between the United States and Iran.

“Considering that Iraq is the second-largest OPEC producer with production around 4.6 million barrels per day, market participants may add a risk premium to oil tension if tensions last for longer,” UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo said.

“That said, we need to see if the latest protests spread also in the south of the country, where most of the crude is exported.”

U.S. crude oil production in October rose to a record of 12.66 million barrels per day (bpd) from a revised 12.48 million bpd in September, the U.S. government said in a monthly report on Tuesday.

Looking ahead, U.S. crude inventories are expected to fall by about 3.2 million barrels in the week to Dec. 27, potentially its third consecutive weekly decline, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.

(GRAPHIC: OPEC Production – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/ce/7/7848/7830/OPEC.png)

Oil prices are likely to hover around $63 a barrel next year, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday, benefiting from deeper production cuts by OPEC and its allies, and hopes that a U.S.-China trade deal could jumpstart economic growth.

“Oil prices, though largely expected to trade positive, will face headwinds from subdued global growth momentum and robust U.S. shale output levels in the first quarter (of 2020),” said Benjamin Lu, an analyst at Phillip Futures.



Oil prices set for biggest yearly rise since 2016 By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The sun sets behind the chimneys of the Total Grandpuits oil refinery southeast of Paris

By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil rose on the last trading day of the decade on Tuesday and was on track for monthly and annual gains, supported by a thaw in the prolonged U.S.-China trade row and Middle East unrest.

was up 11 cents at $66.78 a barrel by 1143 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 6 cents at $61.74 per barrel.

The volume of trade remained low as many market participants were away for year-end holidays.

Brent has gained about 24% in 2019 and WTI has risen 35%. Both benchmarks are set for their biggest yearly gains in three years, backed by a breakthrough in U.S.-China trade talks and output cuts pledged by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies. (Graphic: Oil holds steady in 2019 despite supply shocks click, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/ce/7/7847/7829/oil%202019.png)

Signs of progress in the talks between Washington and Beijing and likelihood of signing a trade deal as early as next week boosted factories’ output and Chinese manufacturing activity expanded for a second straight month.

China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), an index showing economic trends in the manufacturing and service sectors, was unchanged at 50.2 in December from November, but still remained above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.

Also supporting the prices were rising tensions in the Middle East as thousands of protesters and militia fighters gathered outside the U.S. embassy in Baghdad to condemn U.S. air strikes against Iraqi militias.

Security guards inside the U.S. embassy fired stun grenades at protesters and the U.S. ambassador and other staff were evacuated due to security concerns. The U.S. strikes could pull Iraq further into the heart of a proxy conflict between the United States and Iran.

“Considering that Iraq is the second largest OPEC producer with production around 4.6 mbpd, market participants may add a risk premium to oil tension if tensions last for longer,” UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo said.

“That said, we need to see if the latest protests spread also in the south of the country, where most of the crude is exported.”

Looking ahead, inventories are expected to fall by about 3.2 million barrels in the week to Dec. 27, potentially its third consecutive weekly decline, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday. (Graphic: OPEC Production click, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/ce/7/7848/7830/OPEC.png)

Oil prices are likely to hover around $63 a barrel next year, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday, benefiting from deeper production cuts by OPEC and its allies, and hopes that a U.S.-China trade deal could jumpstart economic growth.

“Oil prices, though largely expected to trade positive, will face headwinds from subdued global growth momentum and robust U.S. shale output levels in the first quarter (of 2020),” said Benjamin Lu, analyst at Phillip Futures.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.