Today is a holiday in the U.S..
ASIA: Japan exploded higher. The rest of Asia rallied strongly as well, following U.S. markets’ optimism from last Friday. Japanese exporters led the gains. Oddly, once again, the strong yen is no longer a problem, as the yen remains just above 84 per U.S. dollar, and is trending stronger in recent hours. Still, the Nikkei remains at the 9,300 level, down substantially from the 10,700 level it began the year at.
In China, lending rules are being tightened in Beijing, with the discount on interest rates for first-time home buyers being reduced to 15% from 30% according to Capital Vue. So some tightening activity here, but mainland property stocks Poly Real Estate and Vanke were up around 2% each today regardless.
Foxconn’s Chairman Terry Gou slashed his long-term growth forecast for company, to 15% from 30% revenue growth per year. Hon Hai Precision Technology, a Taiwan-listed listed entity of Foxconn, fell 2.7%. Still, note that Mr. Gou is likely just being realistic given how large his company has become. It now generates more revenue than Apple, thus expecting 30% annual long-term revenue growth would just be ridiculous going forward, given the law of large numbers. So the tech sector shouldn’t be getting too freaked out by this one, in my view.
EUROPE: Rising higher already. Europe caught part of Friday’s U.S. rally, thus perhaps is having a more subdued carry-over today than Asia. The euro is surging, and has broken above $1.29. The Greek 10-year yield has contracted a comforting 12 basis points, but is still at 11.31%. It’s still ugly, but everything is relative these days.
MACRO: The dollar continues to lose steam. The euro has broken above $1.29, gold is holding above $1,250 and the Baltic Dry Index has firmed. The dry bulk market has been supported by stronger iron ore purchases from Chinese steel mills. Some brokers are throwing out a BDI boom by the end of the year even, with such things as a 5,500 BDI target (vs. 2,876 right now)