Monday, December 30, 2013

Morning Memo: Monday, December 30, 2013

"Morning Memo" begins below this "NOTE for  NEWCOMERS" to "Morning Memo"...... Each morning, we post a short bullet-point list of noteworthy events, data, etc that find their way into the assessment of global markets.  It's far from complete and is not meant to be an exhaustive reconciliation of all things that could possibly impact stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities!  Rather, it's best viewed as a cryptic memo of "highlights", noteworthy items that took place in Asia, European and US hours.....and color-coded 'Red' for seemingly negative impact on equity markets, 'Green' for positive.
This will also serve as a useful review mechanism, as scrolling through the series of "Morning Memo" posts over time ought to summarily highlight what generally drove price action.  

We hope you find this useful and informative....and as always, that you'll share feedback!!

5:00am ET...
  • mostly higher with the Nikkei ending the year up 57% as the USD/Yen traded above 105!  On the other end of the performance spectrum is China's domestic market, the Shanghai Index, which is down 7.6% on the year.  Most Asian markets will be closed Tuesday, with a few trading a half day.
  • China...PMI data due out on Wednesday, expected to drop in Dec to 51.2 from Nov's 51.4.  Meanwhile, an audit of local gov't debt levels released earlier today shows the total has grown to $3Trillion! The audit by the National Audit Office has been anticipated since it was announced last July, and is being watched closely for indications of reform measures that President Xi will pursue in order to assure that local government debt remains at manageable levels, which is how the report described current debt levels. Many analysts remain concerned that local gov't debt levels, both from official and unofficial sources, has risen to 'bubble' levels and could trigger a major financial event if not wound down.
  • Europe....quiet and mildly mixed ahead of year-end. 
  • Weekend geopolitical news with potential global macro markets implications:
    • Russia...a suspected suicide bomber killed well over a dozen people in a major train station on Sunday.  Earlier today, another report of a bombing on a bus is reported to have killed ten people.
    • Lebanon....Saudi Arabia pledged $3B to bolster Lebanon's army, taking a stand against Iranian-backed Hezbollah, adding to already high tension levels in the region.  Separately, two weeks after an Israeli soldier was killed on the Lebanese border, rockets were fired into Israel from the same area.
    • Ukraine...anti-govt protests continue, angered by the move towards Russia and away from the EU.
    • South Sudan....despite the gov't's offer to suspend fighting w/rebels, the fighting goes on.  (oil supply disruption risk?)
    • China...protesters in China's Xinjiang region, which is a hotbead of anti-gov't sentiment led by a separatist mostly Muslim group called the Uighurs.  The Chinese gov't killed eight, calling them terrorists, as they attacked a police station.
    • more later....
    • LATER:
      • Nov Pending Home sales below expectations and revised lower prev mth.
Please continue to visit Soos Global Market Musings for updates.

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(Please note: This article is solely meant to be thought provoking and is not in any way meant to be personal investment advice. Each investor is obligated to opine and decide for themselves as to the appropriateness of anything said in this article to their unique financial profile, risk tolerances and portfolio goals).
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