In overnight news, continuing concerns over the slowdown of the Chinese economy was highlighted by extremely disappointing international trade numbers. According to the Customs General Administration of China, international traded dropped to 210 billion in February. This statistic compares unfavourably to January data of 406 billion.
It was expected that the month on month trade balance number would decline to a more modest 339 billion. This morning’s number is the lowest published reading since March of 2015 and is also the steepest decline since May 2009.
Reading deeper into this data from China, an alteration of the date of the Lunar Year had a dramatic effect on the export numbers. This view is backed up by an analyst report from Capital Economics of Singapore which said. “In 2015, the holiday fell unusually late which meant that more of the pre-holiday rush to meet orders and less of the post-holiday disruptions took place in February, causing exports to jump 48.9 percent year-on-year.”
Later this morning, the United Kingdom Brexit debate will come strongly into focus when the Bank of England Governor, Mr Mark Carney will give testimony to a Parliamentary Committee in London on Britain’s continued membership of the European Union.
The Brexit debate is heating up between the “in” and “out” campaigners within the ruling Conservative Party. Therefore, it will be fascinating to see how Mr Carney and his deputy Mr Cunliffe manage to stick to an impartial line when it is an open secret that the Bank of England favours keeping the UK inside the European Union.
For most of today in Brussels, European Finance Ministers will meet. This meeting will take place just two days before a crucial European Central Bank meeting. The ECB President has on many occasions promoted a dovish bias on interest rates by saying that the central bank will do what it takes to bring inflation back to target. However, to date, Mr Draghi has failed to back up this rhetoric. The ECOFIN meeting could give valuable insight into the mood of European Finance Ministers and their appetite to move further down a path of stimulus.
This afternoon, we have news from Canada with announcements from the construction sector with both Housing Starts and Building Permits publications due to be released. The news from Canada has added significance as this data release will come just one day before a crucial Bank of Canada interest rate decision.
Tuesday is rounded off with data from Australia when the WestPac Banking Corporation will publish its Consumer Sentiment report. This data is followed by more news from the banking and property sector when the Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to announce Home Loans data.
Below are today’s major news releases
|09:15 AM||GBP||High||BOE Governor Carney to speak|
|All Day||EUR||High||ECOFIN meeting|
|1:15 PM||CAD||High||Housing Starts||Monthly||181K||166K|
|1:30 PM||CAD||High||Building Permits||Monthly||-2.2%||11.3%|
|5:00 PM||GBP||High||MPC Member Weale to speak|
|11:30 PM||AUD||High||WestPac Consumer Sentiment||Monthly||4.2%|
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