China HSBC services business activity index fell to 50.7 in January from 50.9 in December. An index reading above 50 indicates expansion of the sector. The indicator of China’s service sector performance declined in January, indicating a moderation in the growth of overall business activity, a survey by Markit Economics and HSBC revealed Friday. The composite output index, that measures performance of both manufacturing and service sectors, dropped to 50.8 in January from 51.2 in December. Chinese service providers reported a further expansion of new order books over the month. That said, it was the weakest rise in new business since last June. As a result, total new orders rose marginally at the composite level, Markit said.
The HSBC china services business activity index signaled only a marginalincrease of activity and posted at 50.7 in January, down from 50.9 in December.Hongbin Qu, Chief Economist, China & Co- Head of Asian Economic Research atHSBC said that the slower expansion of services activities in January reflectedsoft manufacturing growth and the impact of Beijing’s latest measures to curbofficial extravagance. As business sentiment remains stable, expect servicesgrowth to bounce back a little in the coming months. Yet a meaningfulimprovement relies on stronger growth of manufacturing sectors and theimplementation of reforms to boost service sectors.
The Indian rupee inched marginally higher at commencement on Friday, February 07, 2014 tracking regional peers and positive local equities. The domestic currency opened up by 2 paise at Rs 62.36 against the US dollar and edged down to a low of 62.37 before inching up a high of 62.29 so far during the day. In the spot currency market, the Indian unit remained in a very tight range and was last seen trading at 62.37, down 0.02% as compared to previous close at 62.38.
Rupee gained the most in over a week on Thursday as the government’s move to scrap a bond auction led to hopes that the fiscal deficit will be contained, but caution prevailed ahead of U.S. jobs data. Today, the government will release advance estimates of economic growth for the year ended 31 March after 5.30pm.
Domestic benchmark indices edged higher in early trade as firmness in Asian stocks boosted sentiment. Asian shares regained some stability stepping further away from five-month lows after a strong night on Wall Street and hopeful signs an upcoming crucial U.S. jobs report will put aside some of the global growth concerns. At the time of writing, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 103.71 points or 0.51% to 20,414.45 while the CNX Nifty was up 24.60 points or 0.41% to 6,060.90.
The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce,announced Yesterday that total December exports of $191.3 billion and imports of $230.0 billion resultedin a goods and services deficit of $38.7 billion, up from $34.6 billion in November, revised.December exports were $3.5 billion less than November exports of $194.8 billion. December importswere $0.6 billion more than November imports of $229.4 billion.
The European Central Bank president cited next week’s snapshot of euro-area economic growth and the need to better assess the inflation outlook as critical for whether policy makers take “decisive” steps when they reconvene to set monetary policy in March. He spoke to reporters yesterday after the Frankfurt-based central bank left its benchmark interest rate at a record-low 0.25 percent.
The ECB is setting up a month of data scrutiny as officials weigh up whether deteriorating price pressures are sufficient to merit fresh aid or a stabilization in money markets and signs of an economic pickup mean the current ultra-loose monetary stance is working. This month’s policy pause was enough to prompt the euro’s biggest gain in two weeks.
“The ECB continues to look at all policy options, but does not seem to have decided on a particular course of action yet,” said Elga Bartsch, chief European economist at Morgan Stanley, who predicts a rate cut in March.
Waiting a month also allows breathing space to assess the selloff in emerging-market currencies and for the ECB to compile its latest macro-economic forecasts. Draghi said that officials will for the first time look ahead two years by providing inflation and growth estimates for 2016.
“Over the past few months, there have been further signs that very stimulatory monetary policy is working to support economic activity,” the RBA said in its quarterly monetary policy statement in Sydney today. “The board’s view is that a period of stability in the policy rate is likely.”
The central bank projected core inflation of 3 percent in the year ended June, half a point higher than seen three months earlier, and 2.25 percent to 3.25 percent through December 2014, a quarter-point increase. It expressed uncertainty over what drove a price pickup last quarter and said it expects inflation to be consistent with its target over the forecast period.
The Aussie fell about 5 percent in the past three months, among the worst performing Group of 10 currencies, easing pressure on industries like tourism and aiding the RBA’s effort to rebalance the economy away from resource investment. The currency traded at 89.29 U.S. cents at 12:19 p.m. in Sydney, from 89.46 cents before the statement was released.
Gross domestic product is forecast to rise by 2.75 percent in the year to June and 2.25 percent to 3.25 through December, “primarily owing to the lower exchange rate, which is expected to boost exports and restrain imports,” it said. Those forecasts are up from November’s estimates of 2.5 percent growth in the year to June and 2 percent to 3 percent for the 12 months to December 2014.
Gold headed for a weekly gain before data on U.S. jobs and as China, which probably overtook India as the largest consumer in 2013, returned from the Lunar New Year break. Silver halted its longest rally since December.
Bullion for immediate delivery rose and fell at least 0.2 percent, before trading at $1,261.65 an ounce at 11:41 a.m. in Singapore from $1,258.20 yesterday. Gold is 1.4 percent higher this week, with the price reaching $1,274.74 on Feb. 5, the highest level since Jan. 27, as a rout in emerging markets boosted demand for haven assets. Silver fell 0.5 percent to $19.879 an ounce, snapping five days of gains and trimming its biggest weekly advance since August.
Data today may show U.S. employment growth accelerated last month from the slowest pace since January 2011, according to a Bloomberg survey. Claims for jobless benefits fell more than forecast last week, a Labor Department report showed yesterday, fueling speculation the Federal Reserve will further reduce stimulus. Volumes for the benchmark contract on the Shanghai Gold Exchange, which opened today after being shut since Jan. 31, rebounded from the least in more than two years on Jan. 30.
“Gold is flat in a relatively lackluster trading range ahead of the upcoming jobs report,” Howard Wen, an analyst at HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., wrote in a note today. “U.S. jobs data will provide the next important influence on bullion prices. The re-entry of China into the markets may buoy gold.”