Dallas, TX 5/17/2011 (PennyPayDay) -- Stocks were mixed in Asian trade. Australia rose three quarters of a percent, while Shanghai and the Nikkei were up a slight fraction, but the Hang Seng was down a quarter percent on the day. European indexes are also mixed so far, with the Dax off by about 0.9% and the Footsie lower by about a quarter percent. US stock futures are essentially unchanged on the day as I write.
*The Reserve Bank of Australia still sees higher rates “at some point” in order to ease inflation, says the minutes from their policy meeting earlier this month.
*The April reading of Foreign Direct Investment in China was up 15.2% on a year over year basis, less than half the forecast increase and the lowest annualized rise since last October.
*The May reading of the Eurozone ZEW Survey of Economic Sentiment was down six points from the month before to 13.6; well below the expected 17.3 and the lowest result since last October.
*The May reading of the German ZEW Survey for the Current Situation was up about four points to 91.5, the highest result in the two decade history of this report. But the Economic Sentiment component fell to 3.1 from 7.6 the month before, missing the estimate by about a point and a half.
*The April reading of the UK Consumer Price Index was higher than expected by at least three tenths for both the month on month and annualized results; which were +1.0% and +4.5% respectively. The annualized rate has not been this high since October 2008.
*The weekly report on chain store sales from ICSC showed a sales decline of 2.0% on a week on week basis for the week ended May 14; but sales were up by 3.2% versus the corresponding week from a year ago. The Johnson Redbook report on the same thing is due out at 7:55am CDT.
*The April reading of Housing Starts is due out at 7:30am CDT. Starts are forecast to be 569k units at an annualized pace, or +3.6% from the month before and the estimate for Building Permits is 590k annualized, a 0.9% increase from March. The April readings of Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization are due out at 8:15am CDT. The forecast for Production is +0.4% on the month and Capacity usage is expected to be up two tenths from the month before to 77.6%.
*The Fed is scheduled to buy Treasuries today that are due to mature between 5/31/15 and 11/15/16; the results of the operation will be announced just after 10:00am CDT.