On Tuesday, in Asian data, China’s Markit Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI) declined. After another credit bubble induced phony revival in the second half of last year, China’s manufacturing is heading back towards contraction. Thai imports fell big time. Australian and Singapore inflation data were better (lower) than expected, signalling weaker and weakening underlying economic vigour.
European data were far more dismal. The official unemployment rate in Finland edged up to 9.0% from 8.7% in February. German Purchasing Managers’ index data showed that both manufacturing and services sectors were contracting in that country in March. French Production Outlook indicator worsened from -42 to -49 and French business confidence indicator dropped from 90 to 88. In today’s European data, we learnt that Austrian industrial production contracted in February. Italian retail sales contracted for the 9th month in a row (ok, one of the nine months showed a flat reading). German IfO Business Confidence indicators declined for the second month in a row.
In the US, the Markit advanced PMI slowed down from March. Richmond Fed manufacturing index printed a negative reading and GE results disappointed on top of what we saw the previous day from Caterpillar.
Stocks in Europe and in the U.S. rallied big time
At least in the next birth, I hope God grants me the wish to have nothing to do with financial markets.