Friday, July 1, 2011

China PMI Falls to 28 Month Low, UK to 21 Month Low, Germany 17 Month Low - Market Shrugs

Manufacturing data from across the globe came in punk overnight but it appears world markets are taking the approach that the 'soft patch' was 'transitory' and lower oil prices + Japan rebuilding supply chains will cause a rebound in the months ahead.  The bigger question is, how much of a rebound.

That... or we're just in a moment where economic news doesn't matter much as euphoria has quickly returned.

Note ISM Manufacturing in the U.S. is released at 10 AM  today - with the market running so far this week ("best week in a year") this one might be prone to disappointment.  Normally we'd have employment figures the first Friday of the month, but that is pushed off until next Friday.


We'll begin in China where PMI is once again dangerously close to the 50 level which marks the transition from expansion to contraction.
  • The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said its Purchasing Managers’ Index was at 50.9 in June compared with 52 in May.  The PMI was the weakest in 28 months and well below the 51.3 expected in a Reuters poll of economists. 
  • Meanwhile, a rival survey published by HSBC and U.K. group Markit showed headline activity at 50.1, easing from 51.6 in May, indicating factory output has now trended lower in seven of the past eight months. 

Germany, the world's second largest merchandise exporter and superstar of this recovery (unemployment just fell to 6.9%) still is solidly in expansion mode but quite far below May's levels.
  • Markit’s gauge of euro-area manufacturing tumbled to 52 in June from 54.6 a month earlier. Germany, the region’s largest economy, saw its measure fall to 54.6 from 57.7.
Of course with TRUE near term austerity unlike projections of $4B over 10-12 years ($400B or less a year) in the U.S., the economy has been stalling in the U.K. for many months.
  • The British gauge fell to 51.3 from a revised 52 in May, the lowest level since September 2009. 

Bigger picture, the questions facing markets in the coming 1-4 months will be (a) will Japan's rebound carry the day globally, (b) can crude oil stay 'contained', preferably below $100 on WTIC, and (c) what does China do facing an inflation problem ... and bad loan problem from their epic 2009 stimulus... but the need to keep the economy on steroids as it appears to be quickly hitting stall speed in the manufacturing sector.

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