Last night’s Asian activity was not very memorable, to be honest. Stocks are mixed but within narrow ranges. Hong Kong’s PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) came better than expected at 51.9 (some growth) vs an expectation of 49.7, while China non-manufacturing PMI dipped from 56 to 52.9. Also out of China: HSBC’s Services PMI remained unchanged at 52.5. A news item of passing interest is that China is limiting mortgage loans to foreign buyers to cool down property prices. It’s a small item but interesting because it goes against the conventional wisdom that China is about to reverse course and stimulate the economy. Not necessarily contradictory, but something to ponder.
In Euroland stocks are up yet again across the board, though not by much. Europe added to our recent streak of PMI releases, coming in more or less as expected. The EC PMI Composite came at 50.4 as expected, unchanged on the month. Germany’s Services PMI came a tad weaker at 53.7 vs a 54.5, while France did a bit better, at 52.3 vs the 51.7 expectation.
There are news bits here and there about this and that, but nothing of significance. All eyes are on the NFP number at 8:30, and though you never know, I’m guessing the number will be pretty close to expectations.
Shameless Plug Dept: a few thoughts on copper.