Global markets decline as further cracks appear in China
Concern over China’s economy has meant a gloomy start to December on the world markets. New data has revealed that factory output last month has meant lower demand for raw materials. All the major Asian markets have closed lower with the exception of Tokyo which saw gains despite a downgrade from credit agency Moody’s. In Europe all major indexes are lower as new data from the Eurozone’s three largest economies shows stagnation in factory output. Germany is at a 17 month low, France at a 3-month low and Italy is unchanged. Spain is faring better, hitting an 89-month high. The UK’s PMI has outperformed the Eurozone. Oil has hit a 5 year low and gold continues to edge lower following a vote by Switzerland not to stockpile bullion. US stock futures are mixed.
PMI Manufacturing Index at 9.45am ET
ISM Manufacturing Index at 10.00am ET
Aetrium, Pacific Gold and Thor Industries are among those reporting today.
Retail figures down for Thanksgiving weekend
New figures from the National Retail Federation show that in-store Thanksgiving spending was down 11.3 per cent on last year to a total of $50.9 billion for the weekend. Average spend per person fell 6.4 per cent to $380.95. The lower figures coincide with greater discounting in Thanksgiving and Black Friday promotions but a further shift to online shopping is a big factor. Separate data from retail analyst comScore reveal that there was a 32 per cent rise in online purchases on Thanksgiving Day with a 26 per cent rise on Friday.
Oil price could fall to $40 according to some forecasters
Some analysts predict the cost of oil could still have some way to fall, possibly as low as $40 a barrel. Ayers Alliance Securities’ chief investment officer Jonathan Barratt says that it would take an escalation in the price war and a large decline in confidence in economies for that to happen, but it would be possible. The price per barrel was $115 for Brent crude in June; now it is hovering around $67.
Americans spending more on autos
Americans have increased their spending on vehicles according to new figures from Experian. Loans for new vehicles rose by an average of $1,080 in the third quarter to $27,799 while those for used autos averaged $18,576. There has also been an increase in the volume and cost of leasing. Experian reports that there has been a rise in the level of delinquencies in auto loans; however the overall figure is still low at 0.62 per cent for loans that were delinquent for 60 days.