Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Economic data negative but Spanish yields fall amid speculation of more central bank actions

Economic data on Monday were negative.

In the euro area, the European Commission's economic sentiment indicator fell to 87.9 in July, the lowest since September 2009, from 89.9 in June.

The pain is already being felt in Spain, where the economy shrank 0.4 percent in the second quarter after contracting 0.3 percent in the first three months of the year.

In the UK, mortgage approvals fell to 44,192 in June, the lowest reading since December 2010, from 50,544 in May, net mortgage lending contracted by 355 million pounds, also the sharpest drop since December 2010, and the Confederation of British Industry's distributive trades survey's sales balance fell to +11 in July from +42 in June.

In the US, the Dallas Fed's manufacturing production index fell to 12.0 in July from 15.5 in June while the general business activity index plummeted to -13.2 from 5.8.

There was a more hopeful development in financial markets on Monday, however, as Spain's 10-year yield fell 13 basis points to 6.61 percent.

And after comments by President Mario Draghi last week, the European Central Bank may be thinking of action to push it down further. From Paul Carrel and Paul Taylor at Reuters:

The European Central Bank is thinking the unthinkable to save the euro, including resuming its controversial bond-buying program and possibly even pursuing quantitative easing - in effect printing money.

In the US, there is speculation that the Fed may cut the interest rate on excess reserves. .

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