Preliminary Q4 data published this morning show that Germany’s Gross Domestic Product did not grow at all in the period, and dragged annualised economic growth down to 0.9 per cent from 1.1 in Q3. Adding insult to injury wholesale prices dropped by a bigger than expected 0.7 per cent in January, again dragging the annual rate down to growth of just 1.1 per cent from 2.5 per cent in December. Similarly Switzerland, where data published this morning show producer prices dropping 0.7 per cent in January for an annualised decline of 0.5 per cent. Deflation’s here.
Yesterday the EU proposed, but this must still be ratified by all 28 nations, that Saudi Arabia be added to the blacklist of countries needing extra checks to prevent money laundering. To its original list of 16, the US territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, Samoa and the Virgin Islands have been added too, taking the tally to 23. Cleaning up their act, and therefore removed, were Bosnia Herzegovina, Guyana, Laos, Uganda and Vanuatu.
Another European currency thrashing around on a support level. Note that yesterday the Swedish Riksbank kept its key rate unchanged at minus 25 basis points (last year a record low minus 50 basis points) but vowed to raise them again in the second half of this year. They have been threatening to normalise interest rates for goodness only how long and in the meantime, benchmark sovereign bond yields are back down at almost record lows. Sound familiar?
SHORT TERM TRADER: Stopped out of my long position for a very small loss.
POSITION TAKER: Square.