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Monthly November reports included strongly positive industrial production and capacity utilization, but the Empire State manufacturing index contracted and the Philly index showed less expansion. The consumer price index fell -0.3%, a strong positive due to the reason. Housing permits and starts were down from October. Despite the slightly weak housing numbers, the November reading for the Index of Leading Indicators was up +0.6%.
The dollar firmed up to end the week, while Treasuries and the equity market largely took a breather, and oil prices recovered to $57 on pre-weekend short covering. There was no data to drive the dollar on Friday, though following the post-FOMC wave of risk-on, USD bulls took charge, taking EUR-USD to new 2-plus year lows under 1.2225, and USD-JPY back over 119.50. Cable fell into the 1.5600 region, while USD-CAD found support from cool Canadian CPI data.
The world economy has seen a tremendous amount of volatility over the last month from two groups of events. The most visible was OPEC’s decision to keep oil production at its current level. This sent oil prices lower, which led to a currency crisis in Russia. The ruble has dropped like a stone, losing over 50% of its value this year. The second group of events started with the Chinese slowdown, leading to a decrease in commodity prices. This led to money moving out of emerging markets, which originally flowed to these countries
The dollar traded firmer, underpinned by a widening in the currency's yield advantage, reaching new highs versus the yen and euro. USD-JPY led the way, extending to an eight-day peak of 119.50, with subsequent dips remaining shallow. The yen showed its usual inverse correlation with the Nikkei stock index, which closed with a solid 2.4% gain. The BoJ kept monetary policy steady today while maintaining the increase in the monetary base at 80 tln yen, as expected. EUR-USD dipped to an 11-day low at 1.2253.
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