ASIA: Surged after yesterday’s U.S. melt-up. Japan took the lead. Gartner increased its 2010 semiconductor sales forecasts to +31.5% growth vs. 2009, from 27.1% previously, helping chip makers in Asia. The Royal Bank of Australia’s commodity index shot back up to its old highs. Chinese auto sales in August rose a whopping 55.7% year over year.
Apparently the yen doesn’t matter anymore, for today at least, as the yen is strengthening, and pretty close to taking out the 84 per dollar level.
Weakness continued however for Chinese property developers. Note that yesterday mainland stocks were ship-sawed by fresh words of caution from China’s banking regulator about the property market. Poly Real Estate hit a 2-week low, yet China’s property company Vanke continues to defy the odds and rose again today.
EUROPE: Fighting for direction. Is rising. French stocks are struggling to go positive despite the fact that French unemployment unexpectedly fell for the first time since the crisis, to 9.7% vs. 9.9%. Unemployment was actually expected to rise to 10%.
The European Central Bank is expected to hike its GDP forecasts today, but most economists don’t expect a rate hike according to a Reuters poll, and actually the consensus view is that we won’t see a rate hike until the end of 2011. The euro is above $1.28, but has been choppy.
The Greek 10-year bond yield is rising. UPDATE: Eurozone GDP grew 1% in the second quarter, according to Eurostat.
MACRO: Gold is moving up again, after losing some ground yesterday. The Baltic Dry Index is stable. The Euro is above $1.28 again.
U.S. FUTURES: Are taking a breather after yesterday’s rampage, but just gained steam in the last hour. Watch for initial jobless claims and productivity at 8:30 AM ET, and factory orders and pending home sales at 10:00 AM.