Wednesday, 15 January 2014

US stocks jump as retail sales rise, Japanese current account deficit hits record

US stocks rebounded on Tuesday, the S&P 500 rising 1.1 percent after having fallen 1.3 percent on Monday.

US economic data on Tuesday had been positive. Retail sales rose 0.2 percent in December. Excluding autos, retail sales rose 0.7 percent, the biggest increase since February.

The euro area also had positive news to report on Tuesday. Industrial production in the region rose 1.8 percent in November, the biggest increase since May 2010.

Elsewhere in Europe, the UK reported on Tuesday that its inflation rate fell to 2.0 percent in December. This was the first time in four years that the inflation rate had come within the Bank of England's target.

There were mixed data from Japan on Tuesday though.

The Cabinet Office's economy watchers survey for December showed that the current conditions index rose to 55.7 from 53.5 in November. The future conditions index, though, dipped to 54.7 in December from 54.8 in November.

More disappointingly, Japan's current account deficit tripled in November from the previous year to hit a record 592.8 billion yen as a weak currency pushed up the country's energy imports.

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