US stocks remained almost unchanged last week. The January inflation rose more than expected being 1.4% year on year. The core consumer price index (excluding energy and food) showed the record growth since August 2011 being 0.3%. The higher US inflation raises the opportunity of the Fed interest rates hike and supports the dollar. For corporate sector it brings more negative as means higher credit rates. Nevertheless, it did not influence the markets due to the positive chip-maker Applied Materials earnings. The corporate and economic news neutralized each other. The recent week was the best for S&P 500 this year although the index remains 6.2% below the level of the start of the year. The trading volume on the US exchanges was 7.6bn stocks being 18% lower the 20 last trading days’ average. Today at 15:45 CET the February industrial PMI by Markit will be released. The forecast is moderately positive which supports the US stock index futures. The US dollar is getting stronger against the British pound which may touch the 11-month bottom. The Great Britain has decided on the referendum day about exiting EU – June 23.
European stock indices are surging on Monday after their fall on Friday. Investors expect the positive performance of the US stock market at the opening. They disregarded the weak industrial PMIs in Eurozone and Germany that came out early in the morning. The Markit's Composite Flash Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to its lowest in 13 months at 52.7 points. In theory, this raises the further chances of the monetary easing as the result of the next ECB meeting on March 10. No other significant economic data is expected today in EU. The additional positive for the European markets was the more than 5% rise in miners Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Glencore and BHP Billiton stocks thanks to rebounded copper prices. The British FTSE 100 index is rising today amid the falling pound sterling. The weaker currency helps to the competitiveness of the economy. Last week the pan-European Stoxx 600 index showed the record growth this year.
Nikkei is also edging up today on weaker yen following the index’s decline on Friday. The February Manufacturing PMI came out today in the morning in Japan being 50.2 points instead of the expected 52. The falling oil prices on Friday pushed up the air carrier Japan Airlines shares by 5.6%. Mizuho Financial Group has revised up its outlook for Itochu Techno-Solutions Corp. stocks so that they advanced 5.8%. The important Japan’s economic data will come out on Friday morning.
Oil prices are growing today again thanks to the yet another decline in US oil rigs count. The downtrend persists 9 weeks already. Last week another 26 rigs stopped and their current count is only 413 units, according to Baker Hughes. The same week last year the count was 1536. The Goldman Sachs investment bank anticipates the US oil production to contract by 445 thousand barrels a day in 2016 while now the production volumes are 9,135mln barrels a day. The record high oil production volumes were in US in May 2015 at around 9.6mln barrels a day. The shale revolution started in mid-2011. Thanks to the new technologies the gross increase in US oil production was 4mln barrels a day that formed the surplus of that volume in the world markets. It is reducing gradually due to the constant rise in gross demand. The additional positive for oil prices was the China’s plans on Monday to close 1 thousand coal mines with the gross production of 60mln tonnes a year. To meet the energy needs the more active use of residual oil and natural gas are planned. By doing this the China’ authorities take care about the ecology.